HOA Board Member Responsibilities And Duties To The Community

Understanding HOA board member responsibilities is important for aspiring directors, current board members, and community residents. After all, they act as stewards of the community’s funds and wield authority over the residents. All parties involved should understand what being a board member entails. 

What is the HOA Board of Directors?

Nearly all planned developments have an owner association of some sort. The HOA is responsible for common area maintenance, amenity management, and rule enforcement. While all the homeowners technically own the amenities and shared spaces in common, it can be hard to manage all these responsibilities without a dedicated team.

In comes the HOA board of directors — the team precisely responsible for executing all of the HOA’s tasks. They are made up of a few homeowners and run the community. Board members are usually voted in by the members through an election process. 

General HOA Board Member Responsibilities

community activity | hoa board member responsibilities

The general HOA board responsibilities are dictated by the community’s governing documents. More specifically, homeowners should check the CC&Rs, bylaws, and articles of incorporation. The duties of HOA board members often involve the following: 

  • Collection of dues and assessments
  • Annual budget creation
  • Meeting hosting and management
  • Rule enforcement
  • HOA policy creation
  • Common area management and maintenance
  • Financial management
  • Hire personnel, vendors, and management companies to carry out HOA tasks

In addition, state law might require HOA board members to do specific activities. For example, the Florida Homeowners Association Act Section 720.303(7)(a) states that the association must prepare compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements depending on the HOA’s total revenues.

The Board’s Fiduciary Obligation

Generally speaking, HOA board members have a fiduciary responsibility toward the community. Every board member has to:

  • Act in the community’s best interest
  • Be well-informed before making decisions
  • Act in good faith
  • Take actions only within their scope of authority
  • Not act negligently or willingly harm the HOA or its residents

Powers of the HOA Board

The HOA board members do wield power over certain aspects of the community. These include the following:

  • Setting Assessments. Board members can usually increase HOA fees and levy special assessments at their discretion, subject to the provisions of the governing documents and state law.
  • Adopting Rules and Regulations. As long as they are not against the law or governing documents, HOA board members have the power to create and adopt policies for the good of the community. They might require homeowners to maintain their lawns or prevent them from using specific exterior paint colors.
  • Enforcement and Fines. HOA board members have the power to levy fines, charges, and interest for late payments and rule violations. They may also be able to suspend a homeowner’s rights and privileges or fix the issue themselves to correct a violation.

HOA Board Positions and Their Duties 

Every HOA board consists of officers, including the HOA president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. What are the responsibilities of the HOA board of directors for each of these officer positions? Let’s examine each one’s role below.

1. President

The HOA president is responsible for overseeing the association as a whole. They often have the final say when deciding on community projects and other initiatives. This means that if the board cannot reach a consensus, the president can give a red or green light to decide. 

In addition, the president is responsible for overseeing the community’s activities. They must understand all the HOA’s internal processes and governing documents to help it run optimally. They’re also in charge of presiding over and conducting meetings. 

2. Vice President

The role of the vice president is often neglected in many communities. After all, it might seem like a redundant position, as the vice president’s role is quite similar to the president’s. However, vice presidents are important for several reasons.

Firstly, the vice president acts as a substitute for the president when they are absent. The president could be sick, away on vacation, or they might have taken a leave of absence for personal reasons. In this case, the vice president will act on the president’s behalf and take over their responsibilities. 

Furthermore, many vice presidents take over other regular community duties. For example, they might serve as the head of an important committee or spearhead a community project. 

3. Secretary

happy accountant | hoa board member responsibilities

The secretary handles all of the community’s documentation. This means they hold and manage the governing documents, forms, and legal paperwork. They update the records when there are changes and ensure the HOA remains compliant with legal requirements. 

In most communities, the HOA secretary also acts as the board’s and residents’ liaison. They are in charge of sending out meeting notices, announcements, and minutes to the community and are responsible for recording the minutes during HOA meetings. 

4. Treasurer

The treasurer has one of the heaviest HOA board member duties of all. This is because they are responsible for all the financial matters of the HOA. They handle the money, conduct internal controls, audit the records, monitor spending, and manage payments. Moreover, they may be in charge of collections and tax filings. 

Treasurers usually take care of the HOA’s insurance policies, too. They must ensure the HOA has all the necessary coverage, including worker’s compensation, D&O insurance, and general liability. 

Finally, the treasurer often serves as small communities’ accountant and budget manager. If a community is large enough, they might hire a dedicated bookkeeper and accountant. Nonetheless, all of these are still under the treasurer’s jurisdiction. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Anyone be a Board Member?

No, not all homeowners can be HOA board members. The governing documents and state law may include HOA directors’ qualifications (and disqualifications). For example, those with a criminal history may be automatically disqualified from candidacy. 

Can the HOA President Make Decisions Without Consulting Others?

Actually, HOA presidents generally can only make decisions if they consult the rest of the board members.

Understanding HOA Board Member Responsibilities

Directors must familiarize themselves with numerous HOA board member responsibilities. Doing so will help them understand what they need to do when elected. Moreover, a clear understanding of their duties will prevent them from acting outside their authority. 

It can be challenging to manage a community, even with a dedicated board of directors. Get professional help by contacting Freedom Community Management. We provide premier HOA management services to communities in Florida. Contact us online or call us at 904-490-8191 today!

Is Daily Bank Reconciliation For HOAs Ideal?

Daily bank reconciliation for HOAs can be a tedious process for bookkeepers, accountants, and treasurers. Nonetheless, it can be beneficial for homeowners in many ways. Let’s examine why daily bank reconciliation can be ideal for communities. 

What is Daily Bank Reconciliation for HOAs?

Bank reconciliation is the process of comparing internal account records with bank statements to make sure they align. If records match, it means the bookkeeper and accountant did well when recording daily transactions.

However, mismatched data often means there was a miscalculation or a mistake in the recordation process. The bookkeeper or accountant must find what caused the discrepancy and fix the records to ensure the accounts reflect reality. 

Daily account reconciliation, on the other hand, simply means you do this process daily. The accountant or bookkeeper must compare the day’s records with the bank statement to ensure the ending balances are correct.

Why is Bank Reconciliation Important?

Bank reconciliation is important for many reasons. Here are the biggest reasons why HOAs should always reconcile their bank statements.

1. Correct Mistakes

HOA accountants and bookkeepers are in charge of recording daily transactions and ensuring they are correct. Skilled as these professionals may be, though, it’s not uncommon for them to make a few mistakes here and there. They might have forgotten to record a payment or miscalculated certain transactions.

Unfortunately, mistakes like these can be hard to spot without a reference point. Bank reconciliation allows them to use bank statements as the point of reference to identify discrepancies. Moreover, it helps them track down which transaction might have been responsible for the error.

2. Internal Control

discussing with wife | daily bank reconciliation for HOAs

Why is bank reconciliation important in internal control? While discrepancies may point to honest mistakes, they can also uncover suspicious activity committed by one of the staff or board members. In other words, they can reveal potential fraud. 

Sadly, fraud is a common occurrence in homeowners associations. Some board members think it’s their right to misuse funds to “compensate” them for their work—even though they do not usually receive a salary.

Other times, staff members, directors, and HOA managers may have bad intentions and take community funds themselves. They might steal a small portion every month, so it goes unnoticed. This is why even the most minor discrepancies in bank reconciliations should be investigated.

3. Understanding Your Financial Position

The assets of a homeowners association may project a financially healthy community, but assets only tell one part of the story. With bank reconciliation, HOAs can zoom into their liquidity and examine their cash flow. It allows them to make more informed decisions to stay liquid for upcoming expenses.

4. Correcting Bank Errors

It’s uncommon, but banks do make mistakes. The bank might have charged duplicate fees or miscounted a particular deposit. Not noticing the error can be devastating as it could mean hundreds — maybe even thousands — of losses. Bank reconciliation helps you spot these errors and notify the bank.

Bank Reconciliation: The Benefits of Doing it Daily

Most people recommend conducting bank reconciliations at least once a month. However, the truth is that it’s always better to do it as often as possible. What is the purpose of the daily bank reconciliation in HOAs? 

Easier to Correct Mistakes

First of all, it’s much easier to correct mistakes when you reconcile statements daily. The longer you wait, the more transactions you must review and verify. It can get complicated, mainly if the discrepancy traces back to several errors. 

Spot Fraud Early

Fraud often happens when there are few to no checks and balances in the community’s accounts. The person committing fraud might slowly withdraw money from the accounts to evade detection. If bank reconciliation only happens once a month (or worse, every few months), they might have already stolen a large amount. 

While you can catch the fraud after reconciling the bank statements, it’s not easy to get the money back. Homeowners will have to shoulder the consequences of negligence and pay higher fees just to cover the cost. 

More Accurate Reflection of Reality

Daily bank reconciliation for HOAs ensures your records always accurately reflect reality. Homeowners will sometimes review the HOA’s financial records to keep the board accountable. They might make the wrong conclusions if the community’s cash accounts are bloated or underreported. 

For example, a resident might question a recent assessment increase. If the records show the HOA has a lot of cash, they might make a complaint thinking the increase is unreasonable. In reality, the board might have made the decision because the community lacks cash in the bank.

How to Conduct a Bank Reconciliation

How do you conduct daily bank reconciliation for HOAs? Here are a few simple steps to help you cross-examine your records and bank statements.

1. Compile Records

Get all of the relevant records and transaction lists together. This includes your bank records, statements, general ledgers, logbooks, journals, and any other document you might think is necessary.

Most banks provide monthly statements to homeowners associations. However, a lot of banks will also update your account in real time through online banking. Sophisticated accounting software can also connect to certain banks and collect financial information instantly.

2. Review and Cross-Examine Records

The hardest part of bank reconciliation is the review part. Make sure to check each income and expense account in the books to ensure each line item corresponds to the transactions in the bank statement. Deposits and withdrawals should also be accounted for.

3. Make Adjustments

If you find a discrepancy, it’s essential to adjust the bank statements and cash accounts properly. Remember that some discrepancies can be caused by processing delays, such as deposits in transit or outstanding checks. 

4. Check Ending Balances

calculating | daily bank reconciliation for HOAs

After making each adjustment, ensure all records’ ending balances match. Otherwise, you might have missed an error and need to go back.

The Board’s Fiduciary Duty

Daily bank reconciliation for HOAs is ideal because it eliminates errors immediately and uncovers fraud before it snowballs. Of course, it’s not always feasible if you don’t have the manpower. Nonetheless, these checks and balances are part of fulfilling the board’s fiduciary responsibilities to the community.

Does your HOA need help with daily bank reconciliation? Freedom Community Management can help. We provide financial and HOA management services to communities in Florida. Call us today at 904-490-8191 or contact us online to find out more!

HOA Owner Portal: A Necessity In The Digital Age

The HOA owner portal is one of the most convenient tools for homeowners, board members, and management companies. It serves as a central hub for accessing information and a means of processing transactions easily. However convenient it might be, is it really necessary?

What is an HOA Owner Portal?

An owner portal in HOA communities is a secure online space where HOA managers, board members, and homeowners can log in with an individual account. They can access important documents, announcements, and meeting reminders through the portal. 

In addition, many HOA portals facilitate quick and easy interaction between homeowners and management. Residents can often reserve amenities, report violations, and create maintenance requests with a button. 

In some instances, an HOA owner portal can even serve as an online hub where homeowners can interact and discuss community issues. This is especially useful for large communities where homeowners cannot always meet physically. 

HOA Portal vs HOA Website

An online portal for homeowners is distinct from HOA websites in several ways. Firstly, HOA websites are public and serve to connect outsiders to the HOA. Potential buyers can read about the community through the website, which can be a way to attract new homeowners. 

Meanwhile, an HOA owner portal allows homeowners and managers to access more sensitive information. Members-only information may include newsletters, HOA governing documents, and forms. Often, HOA portals are only accessible via password.

It can get confusing as the homeowner portal often exists within the HOA website. Homeowners might think they’re accessing the portal when, in reality, they’re just using the public webpage!

10 Reasons Why HOA Owner Portals Are Necessary

A homeowner portal on HOA websites is necessary for several reasons. Here are the top reasons why you should consider having one. 

1. Easy Communication

conversation | hoa owner portal

HOA owner portals offer a secure way for community members to communicate with each other. Homeowners, board members, staff, and HOA managers can all connect through online forums. In addition, it’s an easy way to disseminate important information. Board members can send notices of upcoming meetings, past setting minutes, and other announcements.

Plus, when members can better engage with each other online, it fosters a stronger sense of community. They can collaborate on projects, create polls, discuss issues, and make suggestions for community improvements all in one place.

2. Amenity Reservation

It can take a lot of work to manage a community with several amenities. An HOA owner portal makes it easy by providing an online reservation system. This way, homeowners won’t need to argue over who gains access to the gym and who doesn’t. They can reserve their slot online and adjust their schedules accordingly.

Online reservations make foot traffic control much more accessible. With it, HOAs can prevent venues like gyms and pools from overcrowding. They also no longer need to station staff on-site just to manage the venue’s maximum capacity. 

3. Online Payment and Account Management

An online portal makes it easy for homeowners to update their account information and make online payments. They can access their unpaid due balances, view fines, and review their payment history. More sophisticated portals even allow them to set up automatic payments.

4. Maintenance Requests

The HOA board only sometimes has the luxury of time. They cannot inspect every nook and cranny of the neighborhood to look for damages or potential problems. For this reason, they often enlist the help of homeowners to report any maintenance issues they spot.

An HOA owner portal makes this process much quicker. Residents can take photos and submit work orders all through the website. Moreover, they can even track the progress of these requests to keep the board accountable. 

5. Access to Essential Information

An HOA portal lets homeowners access all the essential information related to the community. These may include updated governing documents, meeting schedules, insurance information, and newsletters. 

6. Efficient and Affordable

Online portals act as a central hub for all things HOA. Since residents can pay bills, access information, and interact in one place, the HOA can go paperless and save money on printing. Online portals are also quicker because they eliminate the manual processes of submitting physical forms, reading through them, and going through approval. 

7. Security

Documents, homeowner information, and community data are all secure within the HOA portal. Only members with an account can access the portal so that no outsider can steal your data. Sometimes, HOA portals even provide two-factor authentication to confirm the person’s identity before they can log in. 

8. Enhanced Transparency

HOAs can enhance transparency with homeowner portals. Budget summaries, project updates, and expense reports are usually accessible. Homeowners can quickly review the HOA’s spending and feel at ease knowing how their money is spent. They can keep the board accountable and raise questions if there’s any suspicious activity.

9. Feedback Collection and Management

checking reviews | hoa owner portal

It’s not uncommon for residents to complain about the HOA and board. The HOA owner portal allows them to provide feedback directly to the board without attending a meeting, share ideas, or offer suggestions.

The board’s online portal allows them to collect all the feedback and give it careful thought. Because it’s online, board members can also compile and group similar feedback, allowing them to address complaints and issues more efficiently.

Furthermore, online portals allow the board to address comments promptly. They can explain the reason behind specific actions or apologize for mistakes. Doing so will make homeowners feel heard and appreciated.

10. Event Management

HOAs often host Christmas parties and Easter festivals to increase community engagement. However, event management can be stressful, especially without the proper tools.

An owner portal can help by allowing committees to create and publish events online. Residents can quickly see the details of an upcoming event to stay informed. This eliminates the need to post flyers or send physical announcements in the mail. 

Get an HOA Owner Portal Today

An HOA owner portal is necessary in today’s modern world. It brings several advantages to communities as boards no longer need to communicate with them by sending letters in the mail. It’s an easy way to disseminate information and manage various activities like payments, events, and maintenance requests.

Do you need access to an HOA portal? An HOA management company like Freedom Community Management can help. Call us now at 904-490-8191 or contact us online to learn more!

Using Modern Technology In HOA Management

Homeowners associations should take advantage of technology in HOA management. Technology can alleviate the burden of managing communities through automation and smart processing. It is an invaluable tool that can support functionality and efficiency.

Understanding the Role of Technology in HOA Management

Homeowners associations have been around for decades, dating back all the way to the 1800s in the United States. It wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s, though, that these communities truly began to boom. Since then, HOAs have grown in number with each passing year. Today, estimates show that there are almost 370,000 HOAs across the country.

Throughout the years, as more HOAs sprouted, technology advanced with it. Whereas associations relied mostly on manual processes and traditional methods in the past, associations have since transitioned to incorporating technology into their operations. 

There is no denying that technology offers plenty of benefits, chief among them being the streamlining of processes through automation. For example, with HOA software, HOAs can go through an entire billing process with just a few clicks.

It also allows for convenience for everyone involved. Board members can track requests and send notices without doing much, while homeowners can view their accounts and settle payments remotely. Using technology in HOA management also promotes transparency and accountability through easy records inspections and financial updates.

Technology plays a critical role in the management of HOA communities. It supports collaboration and fosters a sense of community in residents. With online forums and discussion boards, technology inevitably increases engagement with homeowners and promotes a harmonious community.

How to Take Advantage of Modern Technology in HOA Management

In today’s digital landscape, HOAs can significantly benefit from integrating modern technology into their management practices. By leveraging innovative tools and systems, HOAs can enhance efficiency, improve communication, and streamline operations. 

Here are the tools and systems that make up modern HOA management.

1. Online Payment Systems

woman linking credit card | technology in hoa management

Online payment systems simplify the collection of dues and fees, offering homeowners a convenient way to pay. These systems support multiple payment methods, including credit cards, direct bank transfers, and electronic checks. 

The automation of recurring payments reduces manual administrative tasks and ensures timely transactions. This benefits both the HOA and the homeowners.

2. Financial Management Tools

Financial management tools are crucial for maintaining accurate and transparent financial records. These tools assist with budgeting, accounting, and generating financial reports. They enable HOAs to track expenses, manage reserves, and produce detailed financial statements, ensuring robust financial oversight and planning.

3. HOA Websites and Owner Portals

HOA websites and owner portals are centralized hubs for information dissemination and communication. These platforms give homeowners easy access to important documents, announcements, meeting minutes, and contact information. Additionally, they can access their accounts, settle balances, and submit complaints or work orders. These portals also allow for direct communication between residents and the HOA.

4. Task Management Tools

Task management tools help HOA boards and teams organize and prioritize duties. These tools enable the assignment and tracking of tasks, ensuring the efficient completion of projects and meeting deadlines. By improving task coordination, HOAs can enhance productivity and accountability.

5. Architectural Review Software

Architectural review software streamlines managing and approving homeowner requests for property modifications. This software allows homeowners to submit requests digitally while the board can review and approve them online. It ensures that all changes comply with the community’s guidelines, maintaining the aesthetic and structural integrity of the neighborhood.

6. Facility Reservation Tools

Facility reservation tools simplify the booking of community amenities such as clubhouses, pools, and tennis courts. Homeowners can view availability and make reservations online, reducing the administrative burden on HOA staff and ensuring fair and organized use of shared facilities.

7. Online Voting Systems

Online voting systems enhance the democratic process within the HOA by making it easier for homeowners to participate in elections and referendums. These systems ensure secure, transparent, and efficient voting, encouraging greater homeowner involvement and facilitating quicker decision-making.

8. Data Analytics

analyzing graphs | technology in hoa management

Data analytics tools enable HOAs to gain insights from the vast amounts of data they collect. These tools can analyze trends, monitor community satisfaction, and identify areas for improvement. By leveraging data, HOAs can make informed decisions that better serve their communities.

9. Cloud-Based Management

Cloud-based management platforms provide HOAs with a centralized, accessible, and secure way to manage their operations. These platforms offer features such as document storage, communication tools, and task management, all accessible from any device with an internet connection. Cloud-based solutions enhance collaboration and ensure that vital information is always available.

What to Look for in HOA Software

Selecting the right HOA software is crucial for maximizing the benefits of technology. Here are vital factors to consider when choosing HOA management software.

Necessary Features

First, board members should identify the specific needs of their HOA. This ensures that the software they choose offers the necessary features. This could include online payments, task management, communication tools, and financial management capabilities. Tailoring the software to an HOA’s requirements will ensure it effectively addresses the association’s unique challenges.

Data Security

Data security is paramount when handling sensitive homeowner information. Look for software that employs robust security measures, such as encryption, secure login protocols, and regular security updates. Protecting personal and financial data builds trust with homeowners and safeguards against cyber threats.

Data Privacy

Data privacy is essential for maintaining homeowner confidence. Boards should choose software with strict access controls, allowing only authorized personnel to view and manage sensitive information. Implementing role-based access and audit trails helps maintain accountability and compliance with privacy regulations.

Hiring an HOA Management Company

While technology can significantly enhance HOA management, hiring a professional HOA management company can further streamline operations and bring additional expertise to the table. A management company can provide comprehensive services, including financial management, maintenance coordination, and homeowner communication.

Furthermore, most management companies already leverage modern technology in their operations. They use the latest software and management tools to automate processes, reduce inefficiencies, promote transparency, and offer convenience.

Integrate Technology in HOA Management

Technology plays an essential role in today’s management landscape. This is true for businesses and homeowners associations. While HOAs can purchase or subscribe to self-managed software, hiring an HOA management company that already utilizes technology to its advantage is infinitely more beneficial.

This is where Freedom Community Management comes in. Call us today at 904-490-8191 or contact us online to learn more about what we can do for you!

9 Benefits Of Hiring An HOA Manager

An HOA manager can positively impact your community. A manager possesses the proper training, experience, and tools to ensure smooth operations and successful HOA management. This can certainly prove helpful for a volunteer HOA board.

What Is an HOA Manager?

An HOA manager is a professional manager that an HOA or its board of directors hires to assist with community management. Some states require HOA managers or community managers to carry a license to practice. 

For example, in Florida, most situations require these managers to have a license to work. Managers can obtain a license in the Sunshine State by submitting specific requirements. This includes going through an application process, taking an exam, and receiving proper training.

There are two types of HOA managers: those who work for a management company and those who work independently. An independent HOA manager works as an individual and is hired directly by the association. In contrast, homeowner association management companies can employ managers and assign them to client communities.

What’s the Difference Between a Property Manager and a HOA Manager?

While many people use property manager and HOA manager interchangeably, there is a clear distinction between the two. An HOA manager is a professional who manages community associations, such as HOAs, townhomes, and condominiums. They can sometimes be referred to as community managers or association managers.

Meanwhile, a property manager is a professional who manages rental properties. They answer to landlords or rental property owners and handle things like collecting rent, addressing tenant complaints, and enforcing the lease agreement.

The exact duties of an HOA manager depend heavily on the agreed-upon services highlighted in the management contract. Some communities require full-service management, complete with all the bells and whistles. However, other communities only need select services, such as financial management, administrative work, and remote management.

Top Reasons Why Hiring an HOA Manager Is Beneficial

It is understandable for your HOA board to think twice about hiring a professional manager. After all, managers don’t come free. Apart from the apparent advantages of lessening the board’s workload and giving you more free time, there are plenty of other reasons to hire an HOA manager.

1. They Are Experienced Experts

Professional managers have many years of HOA experience under their belt. They know how to easily manage associations and understand what to do in certain situations. They also know the best practices in the industry.

Trained professionals can also focus on fulfilling their HOA manager responsibilities. Volunteer board members don’t always have the same luxury, as they have other priorities in life. Meanwhile, HOA managers are specifically trained and hired to care for your community.

2. They Are Utmost Professionals

team discussion | hoa manager

Board members often find it difficult to detach themselves emotionally from the job. When a homeowner comes to them with a problem, board members might let their personal judgments and biases influence their decision. After all, homeowners are more than just their constituents – they’re neighbors.

In comparison, an HOA manager is a neutral third party who can professionally make decisions. Managers have an easier time removing themselves from the situation and looking at things objectively. They won’t think twice about enforcing a rule or collecting a past-due assessment. Professionalism and fairness also prove helpful when resolving disputes.

3. They Help With Administrative Work

An HOA manager typically handles administrative work to keep the community functioning. Tasks include planning board meetings, organizing paperwork, and maintaining the community website. If your association hires a management company, administrative work is usually delegated to a team of back-office staff members.

4. They Enforce the Rules

Enforcing the rules is a vital function of the HOA board. Unfortunately, not all board members have time to accomplish this in a procedurally correct manner. This is where an HOA manager comes in handy.

An HOA manager can inspect violations frequently, send violation notices, and plan disciplinary hearings. The HOA board can then decide on the penalty, which the manager can help carry out.

5. They Make Collections and Finances a Breeze

The HOA manager can assist the board with budget preparation and tracking. This keeps the association in good financial standing. The manager can also help collect dues, offering several payment methods. This gives homeowners more options, thereby minimizing late or missed payments.

If a homeowner does default on their fees, the community manager can also enforce the HOA’s collection policy. This can include charging late fees, temporarily suspending owner privileges, taking legal action, attaching a lien, and even initiating foreclosure proceedings.

In addition to collections, the association manager can also help with accounting and financial management. Tasks include preparing financial statements, maintaining the books, assisting with tax preparation, and planning the reserves.

6. They Handle Maintenance and Repairs

Every HOA community needs proper and regular maintenance to ensure functionality, maintain curb appeal, and preserve property values. If your HOA board doesn’t have the time and resources for this, an HOA manager is the key to your problems.

Managers can schedule routine maintenance and facilitate repairs. They can hire the right vendors to complete the job and monitor progress to ensure quality. If your HOA hires a management company, the company may have in-house maintenance personnel for this type of work.

7. They Liaise With Vendors

Homeowners associations rely on vendors for many things, including maintenance, cleaning, legal work, and insurance. Coordinating and communicating with these vendors can be a handful. With a community manager, though, your board can delegate the job to a trained professional.

In addition to coordinating with vendors, managers can help with the vendor-hiring process. This includes sending out RFPs, screening potential applicants, negotiating vendor contracts, and monitoring performance.

8. They Are Communicators

community meeting | hoa manager

Communication is a pillar of success, especially when managing a community. Board members might need more time or energy to ensure good communication. However, an HOA manager can step in to fill this gap.

Managers can communicate with homeowners and send notices as necessary. They can also respond to resident concerns and address their complaints. Beyond that, managers can help with board communications, even attending their board meetings.

9. They Can Provide Legal Help

Board members should seek legal assistance from a lawyer. However, managers can typically provide sound advice for minor issues.

Community managers are well-versed in the federal, state, and local laws that may affect HOAs. It is also part of their job to keep up with legislative changes. This allows them to ensure that your association complies with all regulations. They can also help with other legal aspects, such as filing reports with the Secretary of State, recording liens, and amending governing documents.

Worth the Money

As you can see, every community association can benefit significantly from having an HOA manager. While it does cost money to hire one, it is undoubtedly well worth the price, considering what you get in return.

This is where Freedom Community Management comes in. Call us today at 904-490-8191 or contact us online to learn more about what we can do for you!

Is Bookkeeping For HOAs A Necessary Service?

Bookkeeping and accounting are terms often used interchangeably. However, they are distinct in several ways. Is bookkeeping for HOAs a necessary service? How is it different from accounting and which service is best for your community? Let’s find out. 

What is Bookkeeping for HOAs?

The bookkeeping process for HOAs involves recording and organizing the community’s financial data. It consists of recovering and tracking the association’s financial transactions like bank reconciliations, payroll, billing, and invoicing.

HOA Bookkeeping vs Accounting

Bookkeeping for HOAs is quite similar to accounting. In fact, the terms are often confused, as bookkeeping also involves preparing financial statements, maintaining an HOA chart of accounts, and balancing subsidiaries. 

However, while bookkeeping is mainly concerned with organizing data, accounting is more concerned with presenting and interpreting information. It’s a high-level process that uses the bookkeeper’s data to produce financial models. 

For this reason, accounting involves several additional processes, including the following:

  • Analyzing operational costs
  • Reviewing and interpreting financial statements
  • Completing income tax returns
  • Preparing to adjust entries
  • Helping the HOA understand the result of certain financial decisions

Accounting is more of a process that helps you make decisions about the data your bookkeeper has compiled. It allows associations to understand better the community’s financial standing, profitability, and trajectory. Moreover, it helps them become more aware of cash flow. These analyses can help HOA boards with strategic tax, forecasting, and financial planning. 

Bookkeeping for HOAs: What Are the Benefits?

Bookkeeping is a necessary part of financial management. After all, you need information to make financial analyses. Here are some reasons why the practice is still required.

1. Maintaining Accurate Financial Records

Typically, the treasurer serves as the bookkeeper for HOA communities. However, while this setup can be convenient for small communities, the treasurer of a large community may need help to handle the workload.

For this reason, many associations avail of professional HOA bookkeeping services to track the neighborhood’s income and expenses. Professional services have the experience and manpower to handle the immense workload. Moreover, there is less confusion when it comes to generating financial statements.

2. Spotting Financial Errors Early

Whether you need bookkeeping for small HOAs or significant associations, professional bookkeeping services will help you monitor your finances regularly. Doing so can reduce the risk of financial errors if you manage your books less frequently.

Bookkeepers can immediately spot minor issues like double charges, questionable invoices, and suspicious financial activity. Missing these minor issues could result in major financial losses for the community.

3. Easy HOA Audit

searching documents | bookkeeping for hoas

Many associations need to prepare HOA-audited financial statements as required by state law or the governing documents. Regular bookkeeping can make the process faster as all the financial records will be easily accessible. No need to scour through all the receipts and invoices dating months back!

4. Monetary Savings

Professional bookkeeping services seem expensive now but will save you money in the long term. Regular bookkeeping prevents you from making financial mistakes due to delayed recording and organization.

In addition, tracking records daily allows you to keep tabs on accounts payable. This prevents you from incurring unnecessary interest and late fees. Plus, a dedicated bookkeeper can also save money for the residents. The bookkeeper can send timely invoices so residents can make monthly payments without delay. 

5. Access to Accounting Tools

Professional bookkeepers can access industry tools that make financial management more effortless. Often, they already have the necessary tools, so you don’t have to worry about researching the best software. 

6. Financial Transparency

Bookkeeping allows the HOA to maintain financial transparency with the rest of the community. By recording transactions regularly, the HOA can itemize each transaction and showcase how money is spent and collected. Community members can inspect these records to verify, with their own eyes, how the community spends its funds. 

7. Legal Compliance

Homeowners associations are subject to several laws that require financial transparency. Proper bookkeeping helps the community maintain accurate records and ensure compliance with state laws and governing documents.

8. Accurate Budget Creation

Information is vital to creating an annual budget. With a detailed record of the association’s financial history, the HOA budget committee can easily forecast the coming year’s expected expenditures and income. 

In addition, effective bookkeeping can help the community track the actual income and expenses as they happen. The board can quickly adjust the budget — whether it’s by increasing revenue sources, managing cash flow, or reducing expenses — to ensure the community’s financial stability. 

9. Financial Stability

Financial stability starts with maintaining accurate records and financial reporting. Incorrect records can be devastating, as they can mislead the board into thinking the HOA has enough funds when it does not. The board might make unsound financial decisions that could cost the community a lot of money.

10. Tax Preparation

need help and taxes notes | bookkeeping for hoas

Homeowners associations are subject to taxes like other corporations. Proper bookkeeping ensures that each financial transaction is properly categorized and recorded, helping the HOA avoid filing errors. 

Does Every HOA Require a Bookkeeper and Accountant?

Depending on the HOA’s financial needs and size, homeowners associations may need only one person to fulfill the roles of bookkeeper and accountant. However, if the association’s operations are too complex, multiple people may need to fill either role.

For example, some homeowners associations have hundreds of units. These associations typically have more sophisticated collection systems and hire more vendors. It’s not uncommon for them to have hundreds of transactions each day.

Even if the HOA is not particularly large, it’s nearly impossible for a single person to handle complex financial needs such as managing significant investments and multiple income streams. 

Starting with a bookkeeping service may be wise to ensure basic financial tasks are managed appropriately. As the association grows — or when it has enough funds — it would be ideal to hire both for comprehensive financial management.

The Bottom Line

Bookkeeping for HOAs may initially seem unnecessary, but it’s important for organizing the association’s financial data and promoting transparency. If possible, consider allotting a budget for a designated bookkeeper. 

Freedom Community Management helps communities all across Florida with financial management and accounting. Call us today at 904-490-8191 or contact us online to learn more!

The Challenges Of HOA Accounting And Financial Management

HOA accounting is one of the most challenging parts of community management. It’s easy to make a mistake, especially if the management team and accountant are inexperienced when it comes to accounting for homeowners associations. However, most of the challenges can be overcome and mistakes can be avoided with good practices. 

HOA Accounting and Financial Management Challenges

Most HOA financial management and accounting challenges can be circumvented. It takes ample preparation, good financial practices, and a team of seasoned professionals. What are the challenges to watch out for regarding your HOA accounting method and financial management practices? Here are some common examples.

1. Collection Management

hoa fees blue card | hoa accounting

HOA fees are the main source of income for most homeowners associations. These funds keep the community alive by paying for maintenance, supplies, and reserve funds. They keep the community from falling apart and ensure it remains a good place to live.

However, unpaid dues and multiple late fees can imbalance the association’s finances. Without timely collections, the HOA won’t have enough funds for management and upkeep. Create a schedule homeowners can follow to stay on top of monthly collections.

In addition, it may be wise to hire a collection agency or attorney to help the community manage delinquencies. HOAs should give grace to homeowners who have trouble keeping up with the expense. Nonetheless, it cannot be too lenient as it can lead to significant losses for the HOA. Everyone else will have to shoulder the cost of unpaid dues. 

If possible, HOAs can use technology to speed up the process. Offering an online payment platform makes the process more convenient for both the homeowners and the HOA board. Plus, an online platform can be connected to several payment methods, such as ACHs, eChecks, and credit cards. 

2. Bank Reconciliation

The HOA’s accountant might record the community’s financial activity in the books, but the records should align with the association’s bank accounts. A discrepancy could mean mismanaged funds, unrecorded transactions, or even fraud. 

Unfortunately, bank reconciliation can be difficult for homeowners associations without prior experience. Most communities use Excel sheets to reconcile accounts, but this is not always a practical solution for large associations with hundreds of monthly transactions.

HOAs can mitigate potential problems with bank reconciliation by using technology. Reliable HOA management software has comprehensive accounting features that can handle bank reconciliation. If you have room in the budget, consider purchasing one for the community.

Alternatively, some HOA management companies offer bank reconciliation as part of their homeowners association accounting services. Many also have comprehensive accounting software, eliminating the need for your community to purchase your own. 

3. Duplicate Bills

Duplicate bills and payments are surprisingly common. Some vendors send invoices more than once to follow up on an unpaid bill. Other times, they simply need to remember they have already billed the HOA. It’s easy to make a mistake when this happens, as HOA financial managers might not constantly check and pay the bill twice.

Fortunately, HOAs can mitigate the risk of duplicate payments by utilizing HOA management software. These tools simplify the process and reduce the possibility of human errors. Alternatively, HOAs can delegate the task to a reliable HOA management company that can process payments more thoroughly. 

4. Compliance With State Law

Homeowners associations must be familiar with state laws to remain compliant while doing accounting. However, most board members need help memorizing every single piece of legislation that affects HOA accounting.

Hiring a professional HOA accountant familiar with local laws related to HOAs and financial management is essential. They can help the community remain compliant and use the correct formats when preparing HOA financial statements. 

5. Filing IRS Forms

It may seem surprising to some but homeowners associations do pay taxes. If they do not qualify for exemptions, they need to file their year-end tax forms with the IRS just like other organizations. 

Unfortunately, taxes are particularly confusing for homeowners associations. They’re also time-consuming and complex so it’s easy to make a mistake. This could lead to devastating consequences as failing to pay the right taxes or missing a deadline could mean penalties.

A good solution would be to utilize automation to eliminate human errors. HOA software can streamline the process and automatically generate forms and supporting documents. Plus, they’re more accurate and guarantee homeowner transparency.

If you need a little extra help, a dedicated accountant and financial manager with experience in HOA tax filing can also be beneficial. You can also ask an HOA management company to take care of the tax for you. 

6. Potential Fraud

hiding behind a mask | hoa accounting

Just like other organizations, homeowners associations are subject to fraud. The best way to avoid this is to adopt internal controls when it comes to accounting, fund management, and HOA financial reporting. 

Make sure that no single person has complete control over HOA finances. The person who writes the HOA’s checks should not be the same person who manages collections or invoices. Moreover, payments should all be made directly to the HOA’s bank account instead of an association officer. 

In addition, we recommend assigning one person to review all deposits, invoices, and bank statements. An audit every few years is also a good idea to find any cracks in the HOA’s finances. The board must protect the community and ensure its funds are properly utilized.

7. Budgeting

The budget can make or break an association’s finances. A well-made budget can make all the difference between being in debt or having leftover funds for rainy days. Thus, each association should pay attention to the budgeting process and prepare the following year’s budget months in advance.

Consider forming a dedicated budget committee to assess the community’s financial status. They can survey vendors, research rate increases, and forecast potential expenses to create a realistic budget for the coming fiscal year. 

Hire a Professional

HOA accounting and financial management are some of the most difficult parts of community governance. Without the right background or expertise, you may end up in the red and put the community in financial trouble. If nothing else, make sure to pay special attention to financial management. 

Homeowners associations often need help with HOA accounting and financial management. That’s where Freedom Community Management can come in. We offer expert financial management and accounting services to associations across Florida. Call us now at 904-490-8191 or contact us online for professional HOA financial services in Florida!

How Can The HOA Transition From Developer Without Any Problems

Every homeowners association will undergo an HOA transition from developer. But, how exactly does this process work? When should the transition happen and how long can developers remain in control? Let’s answer all of these questions in the sections below. 

What is HOA Developer Turnover?

Homeowners associations are typically formed by a developer that plans the community. Once most of the community is built and sold, the developer can turn over governance to the community members. From then on, the homeowners are in charge of rule enforcement and common area management.

This shift in authority gives communities more control over how the neighborhood is run. The residents elect a new, non-developer-controlled board of directors who set the direction for the rest of the community. Board members and community residents can work together to decide which rules to keep or amend and how to manage operations. 

When Should You Transition HOA From Developer?

How long can a developer control an HOA? Should a developer control the community for only a set period? Or can they control the HOA as long as the residents do not want to take over community governance?

Both state law and the governing documents provide guidelines for when the developer should start turning over community control. In Florida, the Florida Homeowners Association Act Section 720.307(a) states that transition must happen three months after 90% of all units have been conveyed to non-developer members. However, it also states that communities should follow the date, percentage, or event set by the governing documents, if any.

The community’s governing documents may also contain provisions about turnover. In many cases, the developer must sell the community after a certain time passes or a specific number of units have been sold. 

However, the HOA transition from developer usually starts even before the deadline. Developers must make gradual changes at least one year before the official turnover date. This allows the community to adjust to the increased involvement and new responsibilities. 

HOA Transition from Developer: How to Do It

The community can follow these simple guidelines to transition HOA governance from the developer. 

1. Form a Task Force

Homeowners associations must follow the timeframes and benchmarks in the governing documents. However, keeping track of all the tasks and deadlines can be challenging. Forming a dedicated turnover committee one year before the transition date is better.

Committee members should include one industry expert — potentially an HOA manager — and several homeowners. The transition committee can collaborate with the current board, homeowners, and developers to decide when the elections will be held and how to transition community governance. 

2. Create a Plan

team discussion | hoa transition from developer

The committee should create a detailed transition plan with critical milestones. All important events and tasks, such as board elections and training, must be planned in advance. Moreover, the team should comply with all regulatory and legal requirements. 

3. Hire the Pros

HOAs need a network of professionals like engineers, community managers, accountants, and attorneys to handle the community. These individuals can help with financial management, address legal questions, manage the common elements, and handle any concern that requires a professional’s insight and expertise. 

4. Establish Communication Channels

HOAs should create open and accessible communication channels with the board, homeowners, and developers during the transition. Everyone involved should be kept in the loop about how things are progressing. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts that could have been avoided.

In addition, frequent communication encourages involvement — something homeowners will need to adjust to once they begin managing the community. Establishing transparency is also key to a successful community in the long term. 

5. Compile Essential Records

The developer must give the board all essential community documents during the transition. This includes, but is not limited to, the following records:

  • Original and certified Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws and Meeting Minutes
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Comprehensive Homeowner List and Contact Information Sheet
  • Tangible Property
  • Association Funds
  • Insurance Policies
  • Financial Records
  • Contractor, Subcontractor, Manufacturer, and Supplier Warranties
  • Service and Employment Contracts

6. Audit Contracts and Documents

The developer often executes contracts on behalf of the community during development. These include contracts with vendors, insurance providers, and staff. It’s a good idea to conduct an audit of every agreement to understand the terms between the HOA and its third parties.

The new board should ensure every agreement is reasonable. Otherwise, the HOA may choose to opt out through the termination clause. An HOA attorney can also help navigate the complexities of termination and contract reviews. 

7. Evaluate the Community

The transition committee can work with an engineer to inspect all the common areas. They can help the residents uncover any defects and examine alleged imperfections in the construction. This keeps the developers accountable for their mistakes so the community residents won’t have to suffer the consequences in the future.

In addition, the residents should assess the reserve study and get a financial audit to have a complete picture of the community’s current state. Make sure to also verify whether the association has enough insurance coverage in case of emergencies.

8. Set Transition Meetings

The developer can formalize the turnover by setting a transition meeting. During the meeting, they can relinquish control to the newly elected board. They might also discuss financial issues, transfer documents, and ongoing projects. 

9. Execute Maintenance Items

The developer should guide the newly elected board in executing maintenance items. This process will teach them to handle maintenance tasks, so they know what to do even after the developer is out of the picture.

10. Transition Financial Control

a calculator | hoa transition from developer

The new board should check the developer’s accounting statements and records to ensure everything is in order. This can also help the community better understand the HOA’s financial health.

Apart from this, the board should slowly be able to get the community’s finances under their control. Consider working with a CPA to conduct financial audits and ensure all the funds have been handled well.

Ensuring a Smooth Transition

When it’s time to transition the HOA from the developer, there are many things to consider. The developer and community must work together to create a good transition plan to prepare for the future. This way, the community can easily handle itself when the developer finally needs to exit. 
Does your HOA need help with developer turnover? A professional management company like Freedom Community Management can help. We provide excellent HOA management services across Florida. Call us now at 904-490-8191 or contact us online to learn more!

What Is Condo Association Management?

Condo association management helps ensure curb appeal and protect property values. Condominiums would benefit from hiring a professional company that specializes in this service. In doing so, they can facilitate smooth operations and preserve the community’s financial health.

What is Condo Association Management?

Condominium management is the practice of overseeing the day-to-day operations of a condo association. This includes managing typical areas, maintenance and repairs, enforcing community rules, and managing finances.

While the condo board—consisting of volunteer unit owners—is primarily responsible for condo property management, many communities hire a professional management company for the job. A condo association management company helps the board carry out its duties and acts as an intermediary between the unit owners and the board.

Condo association management ensures that all aspects of the community run smoothly. From administrative tasks such as record-keeping and meeting coordination to more hands-on duties like property maintenance and emergency response, the management company plays a critical role in the condominium’s overall functioning.

Condo Association vs HOA: What’s the Difference?

While condo associations and homeowners associations manage residential communities, the two have critical differences. 

Condo associations typically manage multi-unit buildings where residents own their individual units. However, these residents share ownership of common areas like hallways, lobbies, and amenities. They can also share ownership elements such as balconies, interior walls, and roofs.

HOAs, on the other hand, usually manage single-family home communities where residents own their homes and lots outright. However, these residents share ownership of community amenities like parks and swimming pools. They don’t typically share the walls and roofs of individual homes, too.

Condo associations often have more responsibilities due to the shared nature of building infrastructure and facilities. This makes condo association management more complex and specialized than HOA management.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Condo Management Company?

The exact responsibilities of a condo management company depend on the services it offers and the agreement it enters with a condo community. Some communities only require bare minimum services, while others seek full-service management services.

That said, condo management companies typically have the following responsibilities:

1. Maintenance and Repairs

out of service elevator | condo association management

One of the primary responsibilities of a condo management company is overseeing maintenance and repairs. This involves regular inspections of common areas and building infrastructure to ensure they are in good condition. The management company coordinates maintenance requests from residents and hires the appropriate contractors to complete the job.

2. Accounting and Financial Reporting

Financial management is a critical aspect of condo association management. While specific financial services can vary from one company to another, they usually include the following:

  • Budget preparation and management
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Upkeep accounting records
  • Financial statement preparation
  • Reserve fund management

3. Fee Collection

Condo fees are the lifeblood of any condo association. As such, it is important to collect them in a timely manner. A condo management company can also help with this.

Condo management companies send owners invoices and offer them flexible payment options. They also work to minimize delinquencies within the community by enforcing strict collection policies. This includes sending reminders, setting up payment plans, and, if necessary, initiating legal actions to recover unpaid dues.

4. Rule Enforcement

Another responsibility of a condo management company is to enforce community rules and regulations consistently and fairly. This involves tracking violations, notifying residents of infractions, and following up to ensure compliance.

Violation penalties can change from one community to another. These can include fines and the temporary suspension of privileges. In Florida, though, a condo association must provide notice and allow the owner to appear at a hearing before it can take disciplinary action (Section 718.303(3) of the Florida Condominium Act). 

5. Dispute Resolution

Condominium associations are no strangers to conflicts within the community. While the condo board can attempt to resolve the dispute, such situations usually call for third-party neutrals. A condo management company can exercise internal dispute resolution and even employ mediation or arbitration strategies to avoid litigation.

6. Board Assistance and Education

Effective communication between the management company and the board of directors is vital for the smooth operation of the community. The management company regularly updates community operations, financial status, and any issues that need board attention. They also assist in organizing and facilitating board meetings, ensuring that all necessary information is available for informed decision-making.

In addition, a condo management company often provides training and education for board members. This helps them understand their roles and implement the best practices in community management.

7. Resident Communication

cheerful woman | condo association management

Another responsibility of a condo management company is resident communication. This includes providing residents with a way to give feedback or make complaints, sending them timely notices, and keeping them in the loop on important issues.

8. Legal Assistance

A condo management company is well-versed in federal, state, and local laws that can affect condominiums. It can advise the condo board on legal matters, ensure compliance with the law, and help in amending the governing documents, among other things.

How Much Are Condo Association Management Fees?

The cost of condo association management services can vary widely based on several factors. These include the size of the community, the level of services required, the nature of the facilities, and the location. 

Typically, condo management companies structure their fees as a flat monthly rate per unit or a percentage of the association’s monthly budget. This equates to $20 to $50 per unit per month or 5% to 10% of the budget. Board members should review the management contract carefully to understand the fee structure.

What to Look for in Condo Association Management Companies

When selecting a condo association management company, an association should consider the following qualities:

  • Experience and Expertise. The board should look for a company with a proven track record in managing condominiums and a deep understanding of the unique challenges.
  • Range of Services. The board should ensure the company offers comprehensive services that meet the community’s needs.
  • Communication Skills. Effective communication is crucial. As such, it is best to hire a company that prioritizes clear, consistent, and transparent communication with the board and residents.
  • Technology and Tools. A modern management company should offer online tools for maintenance requests, payment processing, and access to essential documents.

The Final Word

Condo association management is essential for the successful operation of condominium communities. In understanding the responsibilities involved and what to look for in a management company, condo associations can ensure they choose the right partner.

This is where Freedom Community Management comes in. Call us today at 904-490-8191 or contact us online to learn more about what we can do for you!

Top Reasons To Hire A HOA Management Company

When you hire a HOA management company, you unlock several benefits of professional management. Although hiring a management company isn’t free, the fees are well worth the services you get in exchange.

What is a HOA Management Company?

An HOA management company professionally manages homeowners associations, condominiums, and other communities. This company offers its services for a management fee, which can be a fixed overall rate or a per-door price.

The responsibilities of an HOA management company can vary depending on the association’s agreement with the firm. However, they typically include site management, collections, administrative work, and homeowner communication. A management company can alleviate the burden of the HOA board by helping with day-to-day operations and offering valuable advice.

Why You Should Hire a HOA Management Company

Hiring an HOA management company is one of the best decisions an HOA board can make for its community. This is especially true for larger communities, where managing hundreds of homes and complex facilities can be pretty tricky for a few board members.

If you are still deciding, here are the benefits of hiring an HOA management company.

1. Expertise and Experience

An HOA management company has a staff of capable professionals with ample experience in the industry. Professional managers undergo specialized training, even earning certifications, to become well-versed in the field. Compared to volunteer homeowners, managers are more equipped to handle the challenges of HOA management.

2. Compliance With Regulations

An HOA management company knows federal, state, and local laws affecting community associations. The company can ensure your association complies with all regulations, minimizing the risk of liability and potential damages. 

An HOA management company also has the time and resources to remain current on legislative changes. Laws can be amended and repealed, while new laws are constantly introduced. With professional management, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with these changes.

While it can help to have a lawyer on the HOA board, nothing compares to a staff of trained legal experts. Not all communities are fortunate enough to have someone on the board with legal experience, and there is no guarantee that they will stay on the board forever.

3. Fair Rule Enforcement

caution | hire a hoa management company

Selective enforcement can put both the HOA and the board members at liability risk. This is always a real possibility in a community without professional management. Board members are, after all, volunteer homeowners. They may have biases and judgments. They can also let their personal relationships with neighbors affect their decision-making.

In contrast, professional managers act as neutral third parties. This gives them the unique position of being able to enforce the rules consistently. Fair rule enforcement builds trust among homeowners and adds credibility to the HOA board.

4. Well-versed in Financial Management

One of the benefits of hiring an HOA management company is accurate and timely financial management. Accounting and financial management are two areas in which most HOA boards struggle the most. After all, not everyone can handle the intricacies of the subject matter.

Fortunately, an HOA management company can help with this, too. Most companies have a team of accountants and financial advisors on retainer. They can help maintain accounting books, prepare financial statements, reconcile bank statements, and prepare annual budgets. They can also give prudent advice on all things related to HOA finances.

5. Streamlined Collections

The HOA board must collect homeowner dues. However, this usually proves difficult when the association’s ways are stuck in the past.

An HOA management company typically offers flexible payment options with convenient online payments, ACH, credit cards, and more. They can also accommodate elderly residents who prefer to mail their check payments.

Most management companies use state-of-the-art software, too. This makes collections a breeze. Homeowners can set up recurring payments, ensuring they never miss a deadline. Companies can also send invoices, manage billing, and keep track of delinquencies using this software.

Speaking of delinquencies, an HOA management company is more experienced in collecting past-due fees. They can employ various collection methods, including referring the account to the legal department.

6. Prompt Maintenance and Repairs

One of the most common HOA management company responsibilities is maintenance and repairs management. This services sees the company conducting frequent inspections, performing routine maintenance, and making necessary repairs. Some management companies employ in-house maintenance personnel, while others outsource the job to a maintenance company.

Additionally, homeowners can report maintenance issues and submit work orders. The management company will then sort through these reports, prioritize them based on urgency, and dispatch the proper personnel to take care of the job. With prompt maintenance and repairs, your HOA community can preserve curb appeal, ensure functionality, and preserve property values.

7. Neutral Third-Party

An HOA management company serves as the perfect third-party neutral when it comes to dispute resolution. Board members may find it difficult to remain unbiased or emotionally detached when resolving conflicts within the community. With a management company, though, internal resolution procedures, mediation, and even arbitration can go more smoothly, allowing parties to reach a mutual agreement.

8. Access to Network of Contacts

Another reason to hire an HOA management company is that you get access to its wide network of contacts. Management companies, especially ones that have been in the business for a long time, typically have many connections—from contractors and vendors to insurance agencies and law firms. Plus, these contacts usually come pre-vetted.

9. Use of Modern Technology

Most HOA management companies don’t rely on manual methods; instead, they leverage modern technology. By hiring an HOA management company, you can look forward to streamlined processes, automated solutions, and 24/7 access to information.

10. Best for Board Members

gear together | hire a hoa management company

Board members are volunteer homeowners. And while volunteers are expected to fulfill their duties just the same, they don’t always have the benefit of time and expertise.

With an HOA management company, board members can delegate the day-to-day operational and administrative work to staff members. This gives them more bandwidth to focus on making important decisions for the community’s future.

The Right Match

There are many reasons to hire a HOA management company. Finding the right one, though, is often an uphill battle. You want a company that meets your expectations, tailors their solutions to your needs, delivers quality results, and offers competitive rates.

This is where Freedom Community Management comes in. Call us today at 904-490-8191 or contact us online to learn more about what we can do for you!