In December of 2002, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) instituted tougher auditing standards for businesses, including HOAs and their homeowners association management company. Contained in the AICPA’s Statement on Auditing Standards No. 99 (SAS 99), the measures were developed in response to a series of highly publicized accounting scandals that occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The type of financial corruption that SAS 99 is designed to uncover seldom happens to HOAs, but when it does, the measures ensure fiscal duplicity is uncovered.
The common areas of an HOA community contribute to its aesthetic and recreational opportunities. The peace and quiet of a private park in spring; a sparsely populated community swimming pool in the heat of summer; walking trails that weave in and out of autumnal scenery – these are some of the benefits that make a managed community worth living in, but they also require lots of upkeep. When an HOA needs to trim maintenance costs, decreasing funding for the management of common areas is a common cost-cutting measure. Is there a way to economize on community management for common areas without the areas suffering decline?
Winterization is the process of preparing something to withstand the cold weather of winter. The winterization of a managed community typically begins in early autumn when temperatures remain above the freezing mark. Waiting too late to perform the process often results in the loss of perennial plants, the bursting of water pipes due to freezing, and potential HVAC failure, to name a few. Performing winterization helps a community protect its assets, and avoid paying for certain types of replacements and repairs. Below is a list of winterization measures HOA management companies render as a part of community association management services:
Private communities must hire vendors to perform services such as snow removal, street repair, mowing, and tree trimming—a task that is often delegated to a homeowners association management company. In an established HOA community, a maintenance fund is set aside to pay for these and other HOA services, but as important as having money for the services is hiring the right vendors to perform services. Proper vendor selection may affect more than the quality of services a community receives; it may also affect the finances of the community regarding the employment status of vendors.
Maintaining a reserve fund is a part of sound community association management. Without the fund, a community has one option for paying for unexpected expenses—asking residents to pay additional fees, often on short notice. In some cases, charging additional fees is an acceptable way of affording new expenses, but charging high fees on short notice rarely sits well with residents. In some cases, additional fees can be avoided or mitigated by taking creative steps to generate additional reserve funds. Below are some examples of how providers of community management services help HOA communities generate reserve funds without charging extra fees.
Some folks call them weeds, to others they’re just a plant growing where it’s not wanted. They seem to sprout overnight and can outgrow the plants you pamper in a heartbeat. Recent rains have prompted vigorous growth. Left unchecked they can steal water and nutrients from neighboring plants. Where do they come from? How can they be controlled so they don’t take over your yard? Read on for tips on controlling these pesky invaders.