Cloud accounting offers many benefits for homeowners association (HOA) managers. When you manage an HOA, many of your key job responsibilities require accounting skills. Often, you’re in charge of your clients’ finances. With cloud accounting software like CINC Systems, your job becomes much easier.
If you don’t have an accounting background, the financial aspects of association management can seem daunting at times. For an organization like an HOA, balancing the books can quickly become complicated. Luckily, cloud accounting automates many of the most difficult aspects of HOA accounting.
With cloud accounting, you’ll be able to streamline your clients’ accounts and perform your tasks with greater efficiency. Cloud accounting will help you spot errors, prevent fraud, and optimize your HOA clients’ finances. The benefits of cloud accounting make this type of software one of the best investments you and your HOA clients can make.
What Is Cloud Accounting?
Cloud accounting is a term that refers to accounting practices that use “the cloud,” or remote data storage. This means that financial data is stored on multiple servers spread out across multiple locations, rather than just one hard drive on the computer in your office.
With cloud accounting, you access your clients’ financial data by using any device with an internet connection. This means you can perform financial duties for your clients in any location, just by using a username and login, instead of remaining “stuck” in your office.
There are many ways to do cloud accounting. Some managers simply use cloud-based spreadsheets, like Google Suite or Excel, but continue to perform accounting duties the old-fashioned way and calculate by hand.
However, many managers discover the tremendous time-saving benefits of cloud-based HOA accounting software like CINC Systems. In addition to storing data remotely in the cloud, HOA accounting software can automate many of the accounting tasks you face as a manager.
Now that you understand what cloud accounting is, here are some of the key benefits to using this type of financial management software for HOAs.
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Benefit #1. Bank Integration
First, most cloud-based accounting software offers a feature called bank integration. This means that you can link each of your clients’ financial accounts to your software dashboard. Bank integration enables you to monitor financial transactions in real-time, in one place, instead of logging into multiple HOA bank account websites.
Using bank integration features in cloud accounting software is a secure, convenient option for monitoring your clients’ accounts. Bank integration helps you prevent fraud and catch accounting mistakes, such as double-billing.
Benefit #2. Go Paperless
Another benefit of cloud accounting is that enables your HOA management business to go paperless. Storing your clients’ financial data in the cloud means you don’t need to rely on physical spreadsheets and invoices. Simply scan documents and upload them to the cloud, or enter data manually, then documents can be securely destroyed.
Cloud accounting also gives you the ability to pay your clients’ invoices and bills online with the click of a button. This cuts down on paper, as well as mailing supplies like stamps and envelopes. Going paperless is a great option for your HOA management business that’s also environmentally friendly.
Benefit #3. Generate Financial Reports
Cloud accounting also makes it easier than ever to generate financial reports for your clients. As an association manager, one of your duties includes providing regular financial updates to the HOA’s board. In the past, this could be a very time-consuming process that required gathering data from different sources and compiling by hand.
With cloud accounting software like CINC Systems, you can automatically generate financial reports. Reports can also be custom-tailored to meet specific criteria, such as specific budget categories, time periods, or transaction types. Then, the reports can be emailed digitally to board members.
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Benefit #4. Web Portals for Transactions
Additionally, cloud accounting software for HOAs like CINC Systems offers the benefit of creating web portals for resident transactions. This means you can create a website where residents are able to pay fees and submit work orders online.
Web portals for resident transactions then allow you to make deposits online, pay invoices, and communicate digitally with residents and vendors about the status of a transaction. This is a useful feature that saves time for everyone involved.
Benefit #5. Increased Security
Contrary to popular belief, cloud accounting is also much more secure than traditional types of accounting. Although there have been high profile cases of hacking, these situations are rare and most HOA financial fraud occurs due to internal misuse by employees or board members. Cloud accounting eliminates much of these risks because data stored in the cloud is automatically encrypted.
Data encryption means that the information becomes “scrambled” as soon as it’s uploaded, and it can only be “unscrambled” by a computer that has the right authorization code. In other words, even if someone gains access to your clients’ HOA financial data, they can’t do anything with it because they don’t have the encryption key.
Just make sure to always use a secure password, which experts recommend changing every three months for added security. Additionally, only give other people access to your cloud accounting software when absolutely essential.
Benefit #6. Do HOA Accounting from Anywhere
Finally, cloud accounting gives you the benefit of managing your HOA’s finances from any location. All you need is a computer or electronic device with an internet connection and your username and password. Then, you can log in from anywhere at any time of day.
By going mobile, you’ll be able to perform accounting duties for your HOA clients while multitasking. For example, if you need to be on-site for maintenance or construction, you can still keep an eye on financial account transactions. It’s one of the best features of cloud accounting.
Try Cloud Accounting for Associations with CINC Systems
If you’re not already using cloud accounting as part of your HOA management business, try it today. Click here to request a free CINC Systems demo. Discover all the ways cloud accounting can provide benefits to your business.