Managing accounts for a homeowner association can be challenging. Whether the homeowner association (HOA) is large or small, managing their accounts requires attention to detail, strong organizational skills, and clear communication. You’ll need to balance budgets, process work orders, collect payments, hire maintenance and repair workers, and handle many other recurring tasks.
On the other hand, managing HOA accounts can be highly rewarding. An efficient, well-managed HOA creates a thriving community that benefits all its residents for years to come.
What are the best ways to manage your HOA’s accounts? Here are 10 tips to help you manage homeowner associations.
1. Read All HOA-Related Documents
When you’re getting started in association management, familiarize yourself with common HOA documents. Read all rules, regulations, covenants, governing charters and membership guidelines, as well as all city, county and state ordinances that apply to the HOAs you manage. You may also benefit from researching local tax codes.
This research will help you manage your homeowner association accounts. When you understand the relevant legal framework, you’ll be able to make decisions quickly. You’ll also have a complete picture of your personal responsibilities as a manager.
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2. Get to Know the Residents of the HOAs You Manage
Reach out to HOA residents as often as you can. Ask for feedback. Invite comments and questions. This will help residents feel more comfortable approaching you for help. Open communication will enable you to anticipate your client’s needs and manage your accounts with everyone’s best interests in mind.
3. Create a New Budget Every Fiscal Year
Maintaining a budget is one of the most important duties of an association manager. In addition to monitoring monthly expenses, homeowner association managers are often responsible for creating the HOA’s annual budget.
Although an HOA’s finances may not change dramatically from year to year, it’s still important to draw up a new budget at the beginning of each fiscal year to reflect economic changes. Keep your budget updated and manage HOA accounts accordingly.
4. Keep Vendor Lists and Contracts Current
Depending on the needs of your clients, their HOA may require regular services from vendors and contractors. This may include plumbers, electricians, general contractors, gardeners, and cleaning and office staff.
When you manage HOA accounts, it’s important to make sure that your list of contractors is accurate and up-to-date. By keeping a database of businesses you trust, you’ll know exactly who to call when your HOA client needs work. Building strong, long-lasting relationships with vendors can also help homeowner associations save money by receiving better deals or discounts on services.
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5. Use the Best Accounting Software for Your HOA Clients
Accounting software is crucial to successful HOA management. HOA accounting software like CINC Systems streamlines an association’s finances and makes it easier than ever to stay organized. Use homeowner association accounting software to receive fee payments from residents, complete vendor invoices, and automate monthly bills.
Depending on the size of your HOA client and its unique needs, we offer accounting software that can improve the association’s financial situation.
6. Closely Monitor Income and Expenditures
Once you’ve found the best HOA accounting software for your needs, you can closely monitor your income and expenditures. Sync your HOA accounting software with your bank accounts so you can see transactions in real time. This will allow you to observe withdrawals, deposits, and scheduled payments as they happen.
By closely monitoring your HOA accounts, you’ll be able to align your client’s finances with their monthly and yearly budgets. This will limit clerical errors and cut back on excessive spending. It can also reduce incidences of fraud.
7. Automate Work Orders
When managing an HOA, we recommend implementing a community web portal where residents can submit work orders online. This will save you time and money. Processing work orders in an automated system allows you to sort by submission date, priority and category so you can solve issues more efficiently.
Members prefer to submit work orders online versus traditional paper systems. They can file 24/7 and check for updates in real time. Automating an HOA’s work order system will ensure that maintenance and repairs are performed accurately and quickly.
8. Establish Online Payment Portals for Residents
Your business can use accounting management software to create online payment portals so association residents can pay fees online. This saves time by eliminating the need for check collection. It also enables an HOA to process payments much faster.
An HOA payment portal can also be expanded to include an invoicing system for vendors. By establishing online payment processing, association managers, board members, and residents alike will be able to go paperless.
9. Maintain Adequate Insurance Coverage
Association managers have many duties. Maintaining an association’s insurance policy is one of them. Assess the needs of your HOA clients and make sure they carry liability insurance at all times. List the HOA’s assets, consult with board members, and speak to a licensed insurance agent to find the best policy for their association.
When managing accounts, add the HOA’s insurance to your list of vendors and contractors. This will make it easy to access their policy information at all times.
10. File Annual Tax Returns
Finally, always file HOA tax returns on time. Accounting software will help you do this. HOA accounting software gives you a customizable system for organizing HOA finances and generating reports, which will assist CPAs or other tax professionals.
File local and federal taxes each year with detailed, accurate information. Make receipts easily available in the event of an audit, and always ensure HOAs pay what they owe in a timely manner. Filing taxes and managing an HOA’s accounts can seem like a lot of work, but with enough organization and planning, your organization will always run smoothly.
Try new HOA management software today with CINC Systems and see how it can improve your organization.