Does your association have a budget? If it does, how is it prepared? Is it even followed? Here, we provide tips for creating a budget process that works well for nearly all associations.
Know fundamentals first
Start your budget process by understanding why budgeting is important. Aside from the obvious benefit of creating a well-run association, having a solid budgeting process helps protect the value and marketability of your association’s units. Without it, lenders may be unwilling to lend for the purchase of a unit or to the association, and buyers may feel burdened and walk away because they don’t want to assume the fallout of bad decision-making in prior years.
It is just beginning to be that reserve study time of year. Why? It takes a little while to select a reserve professional and get the reserve study scheduled. And, you need to have the reserve study completed before you can complete your budget for next year.
Although state statutes generally permit anyone to perform the reserve study, asso-ciations should consider engaging a qualified, independent reserve professional. There are two professional designations available; the PRA (Professional Reserve Analyst) conferred by APRA, the Association of Professional Reserve Analysts, and the RS (Reserve Specialist) designation conferred by CAI (Community Associ-ations Institute). Both of these designations require the reserve professional to have completed at least 50 reserve studies and have at least one year of reserve study experience.
Understanding Your Community’s Financial Position in a Tough Economy
While it is always important to know where your community stands financially, it is especially important to understand the community’s financial status in an economy riddled with increasing expenses, higher delinquencies, and more bad debt write-offs. Following are several recommendations and standards for analyzing a community’s financial health: