Managing a homeowner association (HOA) or condominium association (COA) can be a challenge. Although association management is often very rewarding, it requires a lot of work to create and maintain a thriving community for your clients. When you manage an HOA/COA, it’s your job to keep things running smoothly so the client’s residents have a safe, peaceful place to live.
Accounting is a significant part of association management. Your duties may include collecting resident fees, paying vendors, balancing accounts, and reconciling financial information for taxes. Crunching the numbers for an HOA/COA isn’t the most exciting aspect of association management, but it may be the most important. That’s why many companies offer accounting software for managing associations.
Association management accounting software is custom-tailored for HOAs/COAs. However, every software is unique–just like the associations you manage! So how do you choose the best accounting software for managing associations? Here are some considerations:
First, consider the size of your association management company. Is it just you, or do you have co-managers and employees? Figure out how many people in your company will need to use accounting software. If you’re going to have multiple users, make sure you choose accounting software that can accommodate them.
Today, many types of software for association management are cloud-based. This means you can use the software from any computer, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection. Cloud-based software makes it easy for multiple users to access the same data at the same time, so if you work with a big team, we recommend looking for cloud-based features in your HOA/COA accounting software.
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When you’re responsible for HOA/COA accounting, it’s important that your software is up to the task. A management company with a small number of properties will have different needs compared to a larger company. As you research the best accounting software for association management, consider whether the software is designed for high or low capacity management.
A larger HOA/COA will need software with more powerful and advanced features. As you might guess, more powerful accounting software also tends to be more expensive. If you manage smaller HOAs/COAs that don’t require all the bells and whistles, don’t overpay for accounting software intended for a big community.
Do you manage an association that has common spaces like swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, or laundry rooms? If so, look for HOA/COA accounting software that can handle this. With the right association software, you can create a dashboard for residents, a reservation system for common spaces and post important information, such as hours of operation and rules, all online!
Accounting software can also help you track expenses associated with HOA/COA common spaces. This may include basic utilities, such as water and electric costs for operating a laundry room, as well as renting fees of the common area, maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
Next, look for bank integration. This is one of the most useful features of association management accounting software–and one of the most important. Bank integration means you can link an association’s bank accounts to your software. It gives you the ability to see the association’s financial data in one place, in real time, without logging into multiple websites.
With bank integration, you will be able to perform account reconciliation, general ledger management and monitor cash flow for the HOAs/COAs you manage. This helps you ensure that the association doesn’t go over-budget. It also makes it easier to generate financial reports.
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Collecting fees is often the most tedious task of association management. However, by choosing the right accounting software you can streamline this process for management and residents alike. Look for HOA/COA accounting software that can create a payment web portal, like CINC Systems. This allows residents to pay their fees online via credit card or e-check.
With a payment portal for resident fees, the association you manage can also go paperless. Additionally, this accounting software feature will save you a lot of time. You won’t need to go to the bank to deposit physical checks and your accounting software can automatically generate a list of residents with outstanding balances.
The best accounting software for managing a homeowner association or condominium association will offer the ability to process work orders online. With the right accounting software, you will be able to create a web portal where residents can submit work orders electronically. Some software also allows users to upload photos of the work that needs to be done.
Residents love this feature because they can track the status of their work order online or receive email updates. It’s also great for association managers because it helps to stay organized. You can sort work orders by submission date, category, and priority. Once the work is done, your HOA/COA accounting software will also let you pay invoices online.
Finally, consider the computer system requirements for association accounting software. Does the software require a dedicated server on an office computer, or is it a robust cloud-based application you can run on your iPad? If you’re considering software with advanced accounting features, make sure you’ll be able to install it on your existing computer equipment–or be prepared to upgrade.
When you’re ready to upgrade to the best accounting software for managing an association, try CINC Systems. CINC Systems offers all the accounting features you need to successfully manage an HOA/COA. Whether the association you manage is big or small, CINC Systems can be customized to fit your needs. It’s an indispensable platform for association accounting and property management.
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