Common HOA Accounting Challenges & How to Solve Them
Common HOA Accounting Challenges
Some of the most common HOA Accounting challenges can be avoidable. What accounting and reporting procedures does your property management company use to effectively remain compliant?
One of the most difficult and time-consuming workflows in community association management is accounting. Since it affects practically every area of your organization, from owner retention to upkeep, it is also the most important. As a property manager, you cannot afford to make mistakes in your accounting.
We’ve listed some of the most typical accounting problems that arise in property management below, along with some helpful solutions, such as HOA accounting software
Homeowner assessments (HOA dues) provide the primary source of funding for a homeowners’ association’s budget. Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) are able to pay their bills on time when residents pay their dues on time. Supplies are bought, vendors are paid, and reserve funds are added to support upcoming initiatives.
Unpaid dues can result in late fees and a bad reputation for your community management company. Homeowners associations must take dues collection seriously in order to maintain successful management of the property. Even if it means hiring a collection agency, attorneys, or in some cases, an HOA-held lien on a property.
Solution: Offer online payment processing
One way to maintain a positive relationship with your homeowners and ensure timely payments are made is to offer a flexible payment system to homeowners. Use an HOA website portal for simple online payment options. This provides homeowners the freedom to pay dues whenever they want using a credit card, ACH, eCheck, or another payment method.
By automating interactions and fee assessments with the homeowner, the association management software from Smartwebs can save your management company’s accounting team considerable time. To provide real-time data and updates on past-due accounts.
Reconciling books (Bank reconciliation)
A bank reconciliation process compares the balance displayed in the HOA’s financial records to the balance shown on the account’s bank statement for the same account. If there is a difference between these two numbers, reconciliation can reveal any mistakes or omissions that may have occurred.
A number of property managers still use limited systems like QuickBooks and Excel spreadsheets to reconcile accounts. As Quickbooks was not built for HOAs, this can often lead to a lot of double data entry, confusion, and inconsistencies which can require more time spent to resolve. This makes reporting a very manual and challenging process.
Solution: Automate reconciliation with an all-in-one property management platform.
Your HOA property management software should offer robust accounting features such as real-time bank transactions and reports. When choosing the best HOA software solution, make sure that it imports bank transactions daily. With the right community association software, you can maintain automated reports of your bank activity, and handle transaction matching in one easy-to-do step. All of these things can spare your staff the time-consuming task of detangling errors at the conclusion of each accounting cycle.
1099’s and year-end close
One of the tasks most people dread all year long is preparing and sending 1099’s. It’s a time-consuming process that can easily turn nightmarish if you don’t have the right tools in place to simplify the process. If you don’t submit your 1099’s on time, you could face steep penalties with the IRS and expose your HOA to audits.
Solution: Utilize Automation
Automation eliminates the risk associated with manual data entry errors while also making the process of 1099s and closing books considerably simpler. The ability to automatically generate 1099s and supporting reports is very valuable since it saves time and guarantees accurate transparency to owners.
When all of your vendors’ and owners’ information is stored in the system, processing 1099s becomes simpler and quicker. Ensure that the 1099-NEC form, which is now necessary to report on vendor earnings, is supported.
Processing duplicate bills
It’s more common than you may think, a vendor sends a duplicate bill because they didn’t receive payment yet, or they forgot they already sent it in. To make it even simpler to unintentionally process payment twice, they might even alter the invoice date or invoice number.
Solution: Online vendor management system
An important and overlooked aspect of property management accounting is their software’s work-orders capabilities. When your accounting and work orders management are all in one platform you simplify the management process and leave little room for these accounting errors.
Property maintenance shouldn’t mean filling out so much paperwork and then trying to figure out when the work will be started and completed and payments made. With the right HOA software, homeowners can submit requests online and receive an automated email notifying them that it’s being processed. Staff will review the request and assign a vendor who will be notified via email, text, or voice message. Easily track work orders with our unique link so you always know the status. Eliminating the manual process and paper trail, helping you stay on track and eliminate errors such as processing duplicate bills.
Lack of Insight Into Financial Health
Last but not least, it can be quite difficult to gain an understanding of an association’s financial situation. Especially when data is stored in several locations and there isn’t a consistent view. Employing diverse systems can make it more difficult to obtain a complete picture of your association’s finances. Board members may not trust your association or be unsatisfied if your finances are unclear or deficient. Additionally, limited accounting solutions typically don’t provide the ability to generate specialized reports. This makes it challenging for you to inform your boards of the association’s state and empower them to take the appropriate action on behalf of the community.
Solution: One Platform
Consider adopting just one solution that has every workflow within your business on one platform. From accounting and reporting to violations and work orders. Avoid duplication or manual entry and have immediate access to your finances. Integrate your association’s financials with the rest of your business processes in a single, cloud-based system.
Streamline your accounting and reporting procedures, save time, and make room for expansion with a system like Smartwebs. Easily handle all of your association’s financial responsibilities with the help of Smartwebs. We’ve got you covered, with a variety of bank integrations, versatile accounting and reporting tools, and more.