Preparing next year's budget for your homeowners is one of the most important undertakings for the HOA board. Fiduciary responsibility is something you pledged to look after for your community and this is an area where that really comes into play. There are a few things the Board should consider for next year's Association budget.
The Board of Directors (BOD) for your homeowners association has an immense financial obligation to the community. One of the BOD’s most important jobs is to keep legible and accurate financial reports and records. These reports and records provide an overview of your community’s revenue and expenses against its financial projections or budget.
All members of the HOA board are responsible for the Association’s overall financial health; but the treasurer has specific duties to protect the Association’s assets. These duties—and the authority to exercise them—are found in the homeowners association’s governing documents and also in state laws. It’s a big responsibility, but fortunately an HOA manager can help with many of the details.
Funding community operations is one of the most important, if not the most important, functions of an HOA board. Properly overseeing day-to-day actions and long-term projects ensures the homeowners association will have a continuous supply of funds to keep the community running effectively.
Making and sticking to a budget is not a hard concept for someone to understand. You bring in X amount of dollars each month and you have X amount of bills to pay. The amount of your income is spread out to cover your monthly expenses. Theoretically your income determines the expenses you can afford, although in America we tend to take this too far. But your HOA Board doesn’t have to!
For homeowners associations with a January through December budget year, the time clock is ticking to develop a budget for the upcoming year and have the budget approved in time for the association’s year-end mailing. A budget committee can be comprised of HOA board members, members of your community association or a combination of both. How does the budget committee work and who serves on it?
An area where a lot of HOA board members get into trouble relate to properly understanding the operating fund and the reserve fund in a homeowners association. If the two funds aren’t properly maintained a Board can be setting up the Association for failure and don’t even know it. It’s crucial that Boards understand how to use the operating fund and reserve fund, and use them correctly so they don’t find the Association in financial ruin.