Filling in the knowledge gaps on your board
When it comes to handling the many aspects of your community association, especially if you are running it as you would a business, it's important to have certain professionals who act as your trusted advisors. When you do this, you'll have an unbiased group that will assist the board by providing their specific expertise as it is needed to ensure the association runs smoothly, is fiscally responsible, and is following the applicable association compliance standards. These trusted advisors include:
- Community Association Manager (CAM)
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
- Association Lawyer
Community Association Manager
The Community Association is generally the advisor that will be at the top of your list and have the most responsibilities when it comes to regular association duties. While requirements differ from state to state, CAM's are usually licensed and are required to pass a test, have continuing education, and keep up with current licensing requirements. What the CAM does depends largely on how you wish to use this person, how much free reign you are willing to give them, and what your needs are. Ideally, the association manager should execute the decisions made by the board. Key responsibilities normally include:
- Ensuring the day to day maintenance of the property
- Administrative duties
- Point of contact for residents
- Fiscal responsibilities: collecting association dues, etc.
Your community association needs a CPA for various reasons but mostly because contrary to popular belief, you do need to file a tax return every year. Some HOA's may falsely assumption that they are not required to file taxes, but whether you're a self-managed association or you work with a property management company, your association is still considered a non-profit organization and is required to file. This ensures that your association's taxes and all your other financial matters are being professionally managed. It also includes an overview of your community's revenue and expenses, budgets and projections, and any other accounting responsibilities.
The final key advisor that every HOA should have onboard is an attorney that specializes in community association law. As such, an association lawyer is well versed in the laws and regulations that relate to your association and can assist you in various legal matters that are vital to the success of the community and the betterment of all who live there. Some of the responsibilities that an association lawyer would take on include:
- Interpretation and enforcement of community rules
- Resolving legal disputes between individual homeowners
- Preparing legal documents to resolve disputes with outside parties (vendors and contractors)
- Collection of past due or delinquent assessments
Having a team of trusted advisors is a necessity for today's HOA's. Working together with these experts, you can ensure that your association is acting in the best interest of the community and that you're adhering to all the standards set forth by state association laws.
For more information on running your association or to find out about our services, get in touch with us today.