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Don’t Be Afraid of HOA Audits

Let’s face it. The thought of an audit can strike fear into the hearts of even the most experienced property managers and property management company owners. You start thinking about storm troopers and bright lights shining in your face. Just

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Avoiding Community Association Conflicts of Interest: Best practices for board members and property managers

HOA board members, as well as property managers, are bound by codes of ethics (written or unwritten) to put the interests of their respective associations ahead of their own. Conflicts of interest, or even the hint of conflicts, can create

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Presenting Your HOA’s Monthly Financial Results: Best practices for board treasurers and property managers

Most neighborhoods and their property management companies utilize accountants to prepare the monthly financial statements. As a board treasurer or property manager, you receive a monthly package of financial data that needs to be reviewed with the board. The board

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The Importance of Preparing (and Sticking to) an Annual Community Association Budget

It’s budget season! Budgeting can be one of the most tedious tasks for property managers and association board members. Most covenants require a budget and budget disclosure, but there is a vast difference between a hastily assembled and subsequently ignored

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How Well Do You Understand Your HOA’s Financial Health?

One of the key challenges of being a board member is understanding how HOA and community association financials work. Between budgets, income statements, balance sheets, bank reconciliations, reserves, and other documents, you’re presented with an almost overwhelming amount of information

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An HOA Checklist for Effective Developer Turnover

Real estate is booming again, and new communities have been springing up all over the Atlanta area. As the final homes or condos are sold in each community, the developer turns the HOA or community association over to the owners.

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Cyber Risk – Your Data is Safe, Until It’s Not…

You’ve undoubtedly read about the high-profile hacks and data breaches that have occurred over the past few years – millions of accounts compromised and credit card numbers stolen from Target, Home Depot, TJX, Yahoo, and other large companies. While big

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Should We Invest Our HOA Reserve Fund?

Many signs are pointing to a US economy on the upswing – consumer confidence is up, unemployment rates are down, and the stock market is approaching record territory. Companies are investing in growth, so shouldn’t your HOA or community association

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Tips for Effective HOA Board Member Transitions

If you are reading this article, you’re most likely a newly elected HOA or community association board member who will be taking office in the near future. HOAs and community associations are real businesses with budgets in the hundreds of

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New HOA Board Members – Get up to Speed on Your Community Finances

Five tips for quickly assessing the financial health of your community.

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Effective HOA Financial Management – Six Magic Tips to Success

There is also no magic required to achieve HOA financial success. I’ve given out a lot of financial management advice over the last 15 years, but most of it really boils down to these six tips

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

There will always be residents who agree and disagree with your decisions, and some dissenters will most likely be vocal about their disapproval. Welcome to politics.

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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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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

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Law Unsettled on Liability for Post-Chapter 13 Association Assessments

State condominium law generally creates two types of liability for association assessments – the personal liability of the unit owner and the in rem liability (property liability) of the unit.

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

Encouraging participation has to start with some dialog before you can ask for help. Reach out and share information, then request support where needed.

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Insurer prevails on late claim dispute against homeowners association

Longleaf appealed, and a three-judge appeals court panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta affirmed the lower court’s ruling. Longleaf’s policy requires it to provide “prompt notice” of loss or damage,

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Maintaining Financial Health as Your HOA Ages

The HOAs that have not adequately planned may face major dues increases, special assessments, bank loans, or worse.

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

Here are the types of issues we typically uncover during HOA audits and agreed-upon procedures engagements

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HOAs Must File Annual Tax Returns!

The bottom line is that community associations need to file federal and state (at least in Georgia) tax returns, and most are due on March 15 each year

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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

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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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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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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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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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