You think you have finally found the perfect Management Company for your homeowner’s Association. Proposals and RFP’s have been sent out. Interviews are complete, and the Board of Directors has reached a majority vote on who they want to use.
All of that is great but unless you make a visit to your prospective company you might be missing some crucial details, for instance:
- Exactly how many people REALLY work there?
- Is the Company Controller also a property manager?
- Visiting the company website is not enough! Randomly visit the company itself.
- ASK what accounting software package they use and see an actual generated report.
- Does the Management company employ secure dues collection methods?
- Is your personal financial information safe from hackers?
Does the Community Management Company have a dedicated accounting department?
You could be burning through money if they do not.
Let’s Dig into #6 a bit more:
Accounting and Information Systems
With a full-time, in-house accounting team dedicated to your community and a fully computerized, state-of-the-art, customized software system, which produces clear, accurate, and easy to understand financial statements, you can rest assured that your community’s accounting is accurate and precise. In addition to preparing monthly financial statements, the accounting team needs to develop a detailed business overview, evaluating your association’s fiscal position, and offering recommendations.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING PRO TIPS:
- If your prospective company is using a software platform that does not permanently close the books at the end of the month, your HOA funds are at risk.
- Investigate the software package carefully. If it is QuickBooks run away, quickly. QuickBooks is meant to manage a small business and not Association Assets.
- Does the Management Company allow unfettered use of the Association Credit Card? <— See what happened at Trimont Condominiums https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2015/12/09/former-property-manger-accused-of-stealing-75000-from-condo-complex/
When an Association’s financial instability is a news headline – property values and interest from potential buyers are compromised. And sadly, if you are a board member, your neighbor will be angry that you let it happen.
When choosing your management company act like you are a mother. You need to have eyes in the back of your head. After all, you are in charge of the purse strings and the welfare of your member’s investment.
PRACTICE THE 2 “I’s” approach:
- INVESTIGATE OPTIONS
- INTERVIEW SEVERAL COMPANIES (at their office)