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Effective HOA Financial Management – Six Magic Tips to Success

Armed with 15 years of experience working with HOAs and community associations, I’m finally about to publish my first white paper on effective HOA financial management. As we were poring through 75 blog posts and a pile of CAI magazine

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Politics and the Board – How to Be a Politically Savvy Board Member

The vast majority of HOA and community association board members volunteer so they can do their part and give back to their communities. Politics doesn’t necessarily factor into your decision, but in reality, board members have been appointed or elected

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Top 10 Amusing HOA Stories

Happy Summer! Rather than focus on a heavy topic like HOA financial management this month, I thought we would lighten things up a little. What are the craziest things that HOA boards and property managers have experienced? I’m sure we

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Avoiding Campaign Sign Controversy in your Community

It’s summertime and it’s not only the temperature that is heating up. Although the November election is months away, judging by the campaign signs blossoming on front yards throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area, political campaigns are already in full swing.

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The Critical Importance of Community Association Reserve Funds and Reserve Studies

Successful HOAs and community associations must plan ahead for their future needs, so they can budget and save today for property and amenities that will require repair and replacement well into the future. Money is allocated each year to a

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Law Unsettled on Liability for Post-Chapter 13 Association Assessments

If a condominium unit owner files for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code and continues to own the unit, should the owner be responsible for future assessments by the condominium association? Most people would say, “Yes.”  

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The Power of HOA Participation: 10 tips for overcoming apathy in your community

Although I work with HOA boards primarily on financial and business matters, I’m still asked this question as board members look for creative ways to engage residents. I also faced resident apathy first-hand during my eight years on my neighborhood’s

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Insurer prevails on late claim dispute against homeowners association

QBE Insurance Corp. was justified in denying a homeowners association’s claim for hailstorm damage because it filed its claim nine months late, and failed to adequately explain the late notice, says a federal appeals court in upholding a lower court

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Maintaining Financial Health as Your HOA Ages

I live in a community that is nearly 25 years old. I certainly haven’t aged 25 years since we moved in, but my community has. As a board member, treasurer, and president for 8 years, I’ve experienced first-hand how amenity

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Don’t Let Your Association Movie Night Turn Into a Fright

Community associations are often on the look-out for easy and low-cost events that bring the community together for socializing and fun. And, what could be easier than a community movie night? What too many associations don’t realize, however, is that

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To Err is Human – Real Examples of Issues Uncovered During HOA Audits

Over the last few years, Bach, James Mansour & Company has conducted numerous audits and other financial engagements for HOAs and community associations. Most of these engagements confirm that the association and property manager are following the right financial procedures,

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HOAs Must File Annual Tax Returns!

Especially with self-managed communities, there seems to be a lot of confusion (and questions) about community association taxes and tax returns. The answers are pretty simple. The bottom line is that community associations need to file federal and state (at

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New Beginnings for New Community Association Board Members

10 tips for quickly, productively, and successfully getting up to speed and operating as a new board member. He draws on his experience as a CPA helping community associations with their tax preparation and financial audit-related needs, as well as

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Top 10 tips for success as a new HOA or community association board member

Welcome to the board! As a new board member, you’re in the exciting role of running a real business, wearing a lot of different hats, and making the key decisions necessary to guide your community into the future. While that

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How to Get the Most out of your HOA Property Management Relationship

Between audits, tax preparation, and other financial consulting work, Bach, James, Mansour & Company has probably interacted with more HOAs and community associations this year than ever before. Thank you! Our role provides us some unique insight into the relationship

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10 Tips for Planning and Running an Effective Annual HOA Meeting

If your community is like most HOAs and community associations, you’ll be holding your annual meeting in the 4th quarter. This is often the only time each year that the entire neighborhood comes together. Especially if you’re new to the

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Coming Soon to a Condominium Association (GA) Near You: More Flexible Special Assessments!

In community association legal terminology, a “special assessment” is an assessment imposed against all owners in addition to the regular annual association assessments. There are a variety of reasons that a Board of Directors may want to levy a special

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Top 5 Community Association Financial Fails

As a CPA (and community association board member) who has been providing tax and audit support to community associations for over 15 years, I work mostly with communities and community association management companies that are well-run and trying to stay that way. However,

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Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your HOA Audit or Financial Review

I don’t want to scare you, but as a community association or HOA board member, it’s your fiduciary responsibility to know the answer to this question. Reviewing your monthly financial statements is a good start, but you also need to

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Avoiding Fight Night – Community Association Boards vs. Homeowners

Volunteering as an HOA or Community Association board member is a thankless job at best. The basic goal of effectively operating the business of the community means that board members have to collect money from neighbors and tell them what

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Community Association and HOA Board Finance 101

Every month, your property management company, a board member, or someone with financial experience should be producing some sort of financial reporting for your community. These reports provide an overview of your community’s revenue and expenses against your financial projections

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Homeowners Associations in Georgia

Though homeowners associations often have a reputation for having seemingly strict rules about aesthetic upkeep and expensive dues, HOAs can add significant property value and curb appeal to a neighborhood. This week, we review Georgia’s HOA laws as well as

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Yes, Community Associations and HOAs Need to File Tax Returns!

This is one of the first questions I ask when I meet with a new community association client to conduct an audit or other financial procedure. All too often the response is “No. Do we have to?”    Read more……..

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Striving To Success – Lessons learned from eight years on an HOA Board of Directors

Neal Bach, President of the Atlanta, Georgia accounting firm Bach, James, Mansour & Company, was published in the January/February 2015 edition of CAI’s Common Ground™ magazine published by Community Associations Institute. In this article, Bach shares his own community association

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CAI Best Practices: Ethics

Simply put, when someone is employing ethics, he or she recognizes what is right and what is wrong and is choosing to do the right thing; however, as a great deal of business ethics literature will attest, “the right thing”

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Fidelity Insurance for Community Associations

I recently wrote an article for CAI’s Georgia Commons magazine that described how an unscrupulous property manager ran away with over $200,000 of an HOA’s money. The money was never recovered, and it turns out that the property manager was

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A Proxy Primer

The vast majority of community associations routinely use proxies in some way at their annual membership meetings. Given that, it’s not surprising that many of the questions I receive from community association Board members and property managers during annual meeting

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Community Association Credit and Debit Cards

One of the financial management seminars I conduct for property managers is called “How to improve your client relationships and minimize financial liability, one balance sheet at a time.” At a recent seminar, there were a lot of questions raised

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HOA Assessment Liens – What it Means if You Fail to Pay Your Homeowner Dues

Assessments – commonly known as HOA dues – are the lifeblood of any Homeowners and Condominium Association. Each association has different policies. This is why it’s wise to ask for a list of the HOA rules and regulations.    Read

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Top 5 Community Association Financial Fails

As a CPA (and HOA board member) who has been providing tax and audit support to community associations for over 15 years, I work mostly with communities and property management companies that are well-run and trying to stay that way.

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Look Twice Before You Cash That Check!!

The general rule in community association collections is that any payment on a delinquent account is a good thing, even if the payment is for less than the full amount owed. However, depositing a payment of less than the full

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Things to know before you buy a condo

The condominium has been growing in popularity over the years, both locally and nationally. And buying a condominium as your next home may be a great opportunity for you. But it truly is “different” from owning a traditional single family

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CAI’s Guide to FHA Certification

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) plays a major in role in housing finance through its Condominium Mortgage Insurance Program. FHA issued regulatory guidance to set standards condominium associations must meet for a

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Top 10 Attributes of Successful Community Association Boards

In addition to working with many community association and HOA boards on tax and audit matters, I’m also the president of my neighborhood’s Homeowner Association. At our next board meeting, we will start discussing new board member candidates along with

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New Proposed Federal Legislation Would Invalidate Restrictions on Amateur Radio Towers and Antennas

The national Community Associations Institute (CAI) has been following an issue in Congress that could potentially impact community associations across the country.    Specifically, last month, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced H.R. 4969, legislation that would invalidate community association

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Tips for Transitioning to a Professional Property Management Company

Our 500-home neighborhood has been self-managed for the last seven years or so, with our property manager on the association’s payroll. We enjoyed the concierge level of service from our own private manager, but early in 2014 the new Board

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Lessons Learned from Community Association and HOA Audits

Bach, James, Mansour & Company conducts a number of community association and HOA audits (and audit alternatives) each year. I’ve written about the audit alternatives before, including the popular agreed-upon procedures engagement. During these financial reviews we uncover a variety

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Community Association Reserve Studies – What you need to know, and tips for success.

Successful community associations, like successful businesses, plan ahead. Almost every community association budget has some level of contribution to a reserve fund which pays for major capital expenditures. Will your reserve fund balance actually meet those financial obligations? If you

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Homeowners Associations in Georgia

Though homeowners associations often have a reputation for having seemingly strict rules about aesthetic upkeep and expensive dues, HOAs can add significant property value and curb appeal to a neighborhood. This week, we review Georgia’s HOA laws as well as

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Community Association and HOA Audits

Last year I wrote an article for CAI’s Georgia Commons magazine about community association (HOAs, condo associations, etc.) financial audits. The article discussed some lower cost alternatives such as agreed-upon procedures engagements, and reviewed some general risks and issues that

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A list of the Do’s and Don’ts in HOA Management:

Customer service. Answer your calls and emails within 24 hours of receipt. Even if you don’t have an answer, let your client/homeowner know that you are working on it.   Read more……..

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Simplifying the Accounting for Your Homeowners or Condo Association

It is the time for some condominiums and HOA’s to do many of their budgets. For many people, budgets look like a mess of meaningless numbers. But, like it or not, the Board is responsible for understanding what those numbers

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HOA Boards Should Assess Itself Every Year

A nonprofit Board of Directors is responsible for many things in its organization. The Board oversees the operation, provides guidance, and develops policy. A good Board makes for a good organization. So who monitors the Board to make sure it’s

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