Tag Archives: hoa manager vinings

Audit the Associations Books?


Audits are Expensive and Should Be Done Selectively.

An audit is an extensive and methodical examination of all of the books, records and accounts that support the financial statements.  In most circumstances, they are costly and time consuming.  However, it is often prudent to audit the HOA books and records whenever a developer turns over a community to the homeowners to verify that the developer has fulfilled its obligations to the association, and won’t leave unit owners holding the bag for any unpaid fees.  Or an audit may be need if misappropriation of funds by an association or management company is suspected or a community is transtioning from self-management to a management company and experiencing extreme financial hardship.    In those case, a forensic audit must be performed to determine exactly where the money has been going.

A Review is a Less Expensive Alternative to an Audit.

A review is a report of limited assurance stating that the accountant is not aware of any material modifications that need to be made to the financial statements in order for them to conform with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The accountant must perform sufficient inquiry and procedures to give a reasonable basis for that conclusion.  A review is a more affordable alternative for most associations and should be sufficient in most cases.

When governing documents talk about “audit,” it generally refers to some level of independent review of the books by a CPA.   Depending on the size and complexity of your HOA, an audit may be overkill and may not be warranted.   Rather than perform an annual audit, the Board may elect to perform an annual review.

Whether your HOA decides to do a review, a compilation, or a full blown audit,  we think it is a good idea to do on an annual basis.   Some HOA governing documents require it, others are silent on this point.

There are a variety of qualified CPA‘s in the Atlanta area that can do this work for your Atlanta HOA. Why is this a good idea? The easiest answer is a simple one: it’s smart, prudent policy. Even if you are confident in your Atlanta HOA management company, it is a good idea to do this as it shows the membership that you are being thorough in your desire to ensure the HOA’s funds are tended to in an appropriate manner. Regardless of whether you do an audit, make sure you review the financial reports you get from your property management company each month.

We are happy to provide financial report training to any of our clients. We’ll explain what the GAAP rules are and why we adhere to them in your financial reporting. We’ll also explain the rules of double entry and much more. If you are interested in getting more information on our financial report training webinars please contact us by going to our website at http://www.riversidepropertymgt.com.

Homeowners Associations Expectations


Atlanta at Night

Real estate developers usually create a homeowners association to control the appearance and managing of common areas in the land being developed. Upon selling a preset number of homes in the developed residential subdivision, it is turned over to the homeowners of the subdivision. There comes a time though that this association would need some form of help from experts to make sure that the subdivision will be a great place to live in.

This is where HOA managers come in. If you are living in Georgia and you think that your homeowners association is in need of professional guidance, you are in luck as there are good HOA managers in the city.  When searching you might want to consider this helpful website.  Before you work with one though, make sure that they offer plenty of services that will satisfy the needs of the association and that you have a good understanding of what your associations needs are so you can communicate those clearly to the community association management company.

Common features include HOA managers attending annual board meetings. This way, they would be able to gauge properly the progress of the association in terms of obtaining its goals. It would also enable them to see in what facet is the association lacking in terms of focus. This would allow them to be able to provide enough input that the whole association would benefit from.

The annual budget of the homeowners association is a delicate matter and it needs to be properly managed. Thus, it would be a good thing to have an HOA management company that would be able to provide professional guidance to the board of directors in formulating the annual budget. This way, the association would be able to make the most out of its budget. With that in mind, all residents of the subdivision would be able to benefit greatly from the money they have put in the association.

On the meeting that HOA managers would attend, they also have to be able to present a recap of the past year’s budget and its appropriations. This would allow the members of the association to see where the money went. This would provide transparency which is a very important thing especially with money involved.

These are the most common things that you should look for in an HOA manager or HOA management company. They would be handling very vital functions and thus should have the right background for the job. Apart from having these most common features as part of their service, they should be able to provide you with enough proof that they have extensive experience in such endeavors.  Also ask them to show you the certifications the staff has from the industry educational organizations.  This educational experience will allow you to understand the time and energy the HOA property management company has invested to prepare to help your Homeowner Association or Condominium Association.

Do Research Before Voting Down the Association Budget


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Q: I live in a small, 70-unit condominium project, and we are having terrible money problems, mainly steming from the misappropriation of funds from the management company.

We are having a meeting where our homeowners’ association board is expected to ask for its third assessment in two years.

A group of residents sent letters to homeowners asking them to vote down the proposed new assessments and increased dues, and to get a new management company. What is the percentage of votes needed to stop the board from increasing our costs?

A: You always want to be careful when making statements that the management company has misappropriated funds from the association.

Such a statement needs to be made from actual facts that came be obtained from an audit. If the management company did misappropriate funds, an immediate complaint should be filed with the Nevada Real Estate Division.

Your board sets the priorities as to where the money will be spent and most of your funds are probably being used for insurance, utilities, annual financial report from a certified public accountant, management fees and maintenance contracts.

Condominium projects tend to have higher operating expenses because of the maintenance, repair and or replacement of the roofs, exterior painting and plumbing/mold/water leaks.

In addition, state law requires the association properly funds the reserve account. It would not surprise me if your association has a delinquency issue that is contributing to the financial deficit.

You need to make an intelligent decision to review a projected 2012 budget, 2011 year-to-date financial report, an accounting of the total dollars owed to the association and an estimate of how much of the debt is collectable, the reserve study — more specifically what is the projected ending balance for the reserves for 2011 and 2012 — plus the anticipated capital expenses for 2012 and monthly contractual expenses for the association for 2011 and projected 2012.

After reviewing these financial documents, you may discover that without an increase in assessments, you may have to cut services for the association to pay its regular operating expenses.

Assuming that an increase is not warranted, you would need a majority or more (look at your covenants) of members to reject the proposed budget, which calls for an increase, at a meeting in person or by proxy.

If the proposed budget is rejected, then the previous budget remains in place until a new budget is prepared by the board, to be either ratified or rejected by the membership.

If you do not have the percentage of owners to reject the budget at the ratification meeting, then by state law the budget is ratified.

Depending upon your governing documents, look at assessments and voting, you may need 51 percent or as high as 75 percent of the voting members to reject budget.

As to changing the management company, it is the authority of the board to select, hire and fire its contractors. You would need to either convince the board to make a change using membership pressure or elect new board members who would make the change.

Source: http://www.lvrj.com/real_estate/do-research-before-voting-down-budget-132843408.html

Brought to you by Riverside Property Management, Inc. (678) 866-1436

How Do I Form an HOA ( Homeowners Association) in Georgia?


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Home Owners Associations (HOAs) bring peace and civility to shared communities. Condominium or single-family home complexes may create an HOA to determine how common areas will be maintained, for example. In Georgia, as in most states across the country, bylaws and a board of directors must be established before an HOA is official. Talk to neighbors within your development to garner support for the HOA and commence with an expeditious launch.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

    • Contact the Georgia General Assembly. Reach out to the offices of your House of Representatives and/or State Senator and ask for a copy of the Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act (GPOA). Review the GPOA to familiarize yourself with the rules and guidelines of the state for creating an HOA. Log online and visit the official Georgia General Assembly website to find the contact information for your respective representatives.

    • 2

      Form the physical HOA. Assemble residents of your community. Elect HOA leadership representatives including a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. Establish any committees necessary to the function of your HOA — planning or policy committees, for example. Write the bylaws for the HOA. State how shared community areas will be overseen, who is affected by the rules and the amount members will pay for annual dues. Title the bylaws “Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions.”

    • 3

      Reach out to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Ask an IRS representative for all necessary 501(c)(4) tax documentation for creating an HOA. Filing for 501(c)(4) status makes the HOA an official non-profit organization. Submit all necessary forms and supplemental documentation — a copy of the bylaws, for example — required by the IRS. Consult IRS agents and the 501(c) (4) forms for instructions.