Over the years, we’ve built up quite the library of HOA topics, with CAI magazine articles, a white paper, and nearly 100 blog posts. But these five are our readers’ favorites, consistently earning top spots for page views.
Interestingly enough, these posts also take a new board member full circle, with advice for those first exciting months after election to the nitty-gritty of audits to the dangerous moment when you’re comfortable enough in your position to consider investing the reserve fund. (Spoiler: Don’t do it!)
So whether you’re just starting out in your community’s HOA, a property manager, or you’re a seasoned board member, enjoy our summer clip show, HOA edition!
Don’t be the board member who caused the IRS audit. In our years of working with HOAs and community associations, we’d guess that up to 25 percent don’t file a return at all. Not filing brings a whole host of expected issues, plus jeopardizes the association’s non-profit status. The good news is that with help from a CPA experienced in community associations, it’s not too hard to start, or even to play catch-up.
Is it smart to invest in growth when you have a solid reserve just sitting there? Nope, because growth is not the point here. As a board member, it’s your job to keep those funds safe and keep them liquid for big expenses and unexpected projects. CDs and money markets offer at least a little interest, but before making even these safe investment choices, be sure you have accurate tabs on your reserve.
There’s no magic way to run an HOA—you can have a healthy community that’s self-managed or professionally managed. Your association can run just fine with a tactical board or with a strategic board. But there are a few key tips that keep things running smoothly. Top of the list? Fund your reserve. Check out our other five tips in the post.
Joining your HOA or community association board is a great way to help shape your neighborhood. But it’s also a major time commitment—one that will require some nights and weekends. Before you get started, take some time to understand the point of your role and how you plan to work it into the rest of your life. You’ll have to run the community like a business, not just like a resident, and that takes big-picture thinking.
Audits take time and money. But in order to spot potential risks, you need a detailed, methodical examination of accounts and all of the other items that support your association’s financial statements. Make sure you conduct an audit whenever you have a new board or management company, when there’s a developer turnover, and when there’s a covenant requirement. We talk more about why they’ll cost about $5,000 to $6,000 and what less costly alternatives will actually get you.
BJM has years of experience working with HOAs on financial matters. We can evaluate your current financial status and perform audits and audit alternatives. Contact us today.