Community association management accounting software is a powerful tool for management companies. Whether your clients are large homeowner associations (HOAs) or small condominium associations (COAs), accounting software will make your job much easier. But how often should community association management accounting software be updated?
As with any technology, accounting software (and how you use it) will change over time. If you’re using the same community association management software from three years ago with no updates, you’re likely to run into a number of problems. From slow processing speed to security issues, old software can negatively affect your business. That’s why it’s important to update.
How often you should update your HOA/COA management accounting software depends on several factors. Here’s what you should consider before updating.
How Do You Use HOA/COA Accounting Software?
First, consider how your association management company uses accounting software. What services do you provide for your clients? As an HOA/COA manager, your duties may range from collecting resident fees and paying vendor invoices, to balancing accounts and generating financial reports for board members.
If you’re using community association management accounting software for complex tasks and big picture projects, you may need more frequent updates. Just as a car engine needs more maintenance than a bicycle, HOA/COA accounting software will need more updates when it comes with more features and more power.
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Security Measures Used to Protect an Association’s Data
Second, examine the security measures used by your association accounting software. How does your HOA/COA software protect your clients’ private data? Is it stored in the cloud across multiple servers? Does the software developer use strong encryption and protocols such as firewalls and antivirus software?
Often, a software developer will release updates to address security issues. Many software developers issue a standard security update a few times a year as a precaution. Always install these security updates as soon as you can.
What to Consider When Updating HOA/COA Accounting Software
After you’ve considered how your company uses HOA/COA accounting software and examined security features that may affect standard updates, it’s time to look at other factors that govern the frequency of your updates. Here are some common reasons why you’ll need to update your association accounting software:
The Software Developer Identifies a New Security Issue
Aside from general security updates, the software developer may issue an update after identifying a new security issue. Hackers release new computer viruses and malware programs all the time, so software developers need to keep up. Many developers hire security experts to identify “holes” in their software, then create solutions before those holes are exploited.
Additionally, software developers may ask you to update if there has been a data breach or other incidents at their company. Even if your clients’ data is not affected, we encourage you to update your HOA/COA accounting software whenever you are instructed to do so. Don’t wait!
The Developer Adds New Features, Improves Performance and Fixes Bugs
Security issues aren’t the only reason developers update their software. Software companies are always innovating their products to provide you with the best community association management accounting software. They often redesign their software to add new features, improve performance speed, or fix bugs.
These updates will help your association management company streamline your business. Updated software tends to be faster and more intuitive than older versions. Although an update for new features, performance, and bugs may not be as time-sensitive as a security update, we still recommend updating as soon as the developer suggests it.
Changes in Your Management Company
There are many types of software updates. As mentioned above, software developers usually release updates based on security issues and new features. However, sometimes the best update for your company means switching to a newer, better HOA/COA accounting software program altogether.
You may wish to update your company’s software to an all-in-one cloud platform like CINC Systems for several reasons. As your business expands, you’ll need association accounting software that can handle more clients and offer more complex management features. You may also need to create extra accounts as you hire new employees.
Changes in Your Clients’ HOA/COA
Similarly, you may need to update your community association management accounting software as your clients evolve. The HOA/COAs you manage may grow in membership, expand their Board, add new properties, and make other changes that affect your management.
You may need to update your accounting software so you can take on new management duties. For example, a client may wish to implement a web portal for resident fees or add new, shared recreation spaces that require an online reservation system. As your management business grows and your clients’ needs become more complex, it’s important for your association accounting software to keep up.
New Tax Laws, Municipal Codes, and Community Regulations
Finally, your association accounting software update frequency may depend on tax laws and municipal codes. HOA/COA accounting software includes many features that will help you manage your clients’ finances, especially during tax season or internal audits. Whenever a state or federal tax law changes, you’ll need to update your accounting software accordingly.
You may also need to update to adhere to new municipal codes or community regulations. Whether issued by the county, city or the association board itself, an HOA/COA will often need to change its operations strategy. This means your association accounting software must keep up and evolve alongside the community you manage.
Stay Up To Date with CINC Systems
If you’re wondering how often community association management software should be updated, try CINC Systems. CINC Systems is always updated with the latest features.
At CINC Systems, we make sure our platform is always secure and always providing the top features you need to manage an association. We have our finger on the pulse of the HOA/COA management industry, so our software is constantly evolving to keep pace.