Hiring an HOA financial manager is a crucial decision for any community association. The financial manager for an HOA does more than just accounting and banking. They provide expert financial management, just like most professionals in that area. More importantly, they specialize in HOA fiscal management, which makes them extra valuable for a HOA board. Ready to put your HOA financial management into capable hands?
In this article:
Hiring an HOA Financial Manager for Your Community
Hiring a good HOA financial manager is a move that really pays off. Take the time to make your decision. What should you be looking for in your next financial manager?
1. Familiarity With The Job
All too often, communities start looking for a new HOA financial manager for performance-related reasons. Maybe the current manager could not properly keep up with the accounting. Invoices are not getting sent out on time, the books are not kept up with. Maybe the bills are not being paid, even. It can become a real problem. Sometimes, there is simply too much to handle.
The experienced HOA financial manager, on the other hand, can more than keep up. They keep things running well because they are familiar with the job.
The property manager is responsible for all projects related to the community. They must take maintenance requests, research vendors, oversee the work, schedule and attend meetings, and field resident calls and emails, in addition to handling all financial aspects of the community. They need to be able to rely on the financial manager to do their job unsupervised.
It happens: sometimes the HOA is so busy that something is going to fall through the cracks. When a major project is in the process of being completed what becomes more pressing: ensuring the expensive new community pool is built to community specs or that collection letters go out on time?
Many times, the financial manager will have to pick and choose where their attention is concentrated leaving some details “until tomorrow.” What if being one day late paying a vendor invoice is that important? It could be the difference between losing and keeping the contract with the amazing maintenance company.
Hiring a financial manager to work with your property manager is the ‘divide and conquer’ method of community management. The property manager can handle projects, maintenance, and board meetings, while the financial manager can maintain records, send out invoices, pay vendor bills, and prepare financial statements.
Hiring a reliable financial manager to handle the accounting aspect of property management can increase the efficiency of your current property manager. Just knowing that the financial manager is capable already frees up the rest of the HOA board. So they can focus on maintenance and projects while leaving all financial responsibilities to a trained professional.
3. Specialized Knowledge of HOA Financial Management
There is a reason why you don’t get your car’s engine repaired at a tire shop. Shops that work on tires require a different set of skills and equipment compared to shops that works on engines. The same goes for HOA and condo property management. The usual business financial manager is a generalist. They understand what they need to do to keep a company operational.
When it comes to a specialized field such as HOA accounting, however, they may not have all the necessary skills to manage it properly.
Financial managers come with a specialized set of tools as well. Because HOA finances is all they do, they will have the best software and technology available. And they know how to use them to keep track of accounting information. They will also have more training and certifications, most being CPAs. In general, they are more equipped to handle association financial information.
4. A Solid Partner for The Board
Managing the finances of an HOA or condo association is more tedious and time consuming than many people believe. Detailed financial statements including a balance sheet, income statement. They also include receivables and payables statements, bank statements, and general ledgers for all community accounts.
All these need to be prepared and presented to the board at regular intervals. This way, the board can make educated decisions regarding the community budget and allocation of funding. The community board of directors and state law determines how frequent this needs to be. Most communities prepare financial statements monthly.
The financial manager will also be responsible for preparing and collecting all member dues and responding to homeowner inquiries in a timely manner.
Many times, the property manager alone will not have time to properly keep track of delinquent dues or work on collections thus losing the community association money. By hiring a financial manager, they can focus all their time on collecting the money owed to the association. A professional financial manager will also have the resources to report delinquent accounts. They can also help to ensure dues are paid in the future.
5. Ability to Oversee Financial Decisions
HOA laws can be confusing and differ from state to state and region to region. A general property manager may not be aware of the laws affecting the financial management of a community association. Having a trained professional on staff helps with this. They can ensure that all state and local financial laws are being followed and enforced. Moreover, they can also help when it comes time to pay taxes or prepare for an audit.
Having one person in charge of paying bills will also ensure that all vendor bills are paid in time. Not only does this help to maintain good relationships with community vendors, but it can also avoid any late fees and save the association money.
6. Ability to Tap Into Network of Professionals
The financial manager will also have a list of approved vendors and can make vendor calls on behalf of the community. A good HOA financial manager will also have experience working with vendors. They may be able to contribute to board decisions with their suggestions.
Ready To Meet Your New HOA Financial Manager?
Consider meeting your new HOA financial manager through a HOA management company. An experienced HOA and condo association financial management company can help you establish financial stability for your HOA. Expert financial management keeps an HOA financially stable. It also helps the association stay fully compliant with any and all relevant regulations. A good HOA management company also offers a wide variety of financial services including financial management, back office services, collection services, and homeowner communication services. For more information, give us a call.
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