Interesting question...let's see the follow-up.
Our condo association has 8 units and we use quickbooks. One of the members is in finance and it works very well. We all get statements every month and it can track condo fees too...
We have 8 Units and use Microsoft Money.
We have used http://www.212software.com/ (Formerly TOPS Software) 19 years. They have single association modules. They are the best Association Software in the business. They are considered the source.
Thanks to each of you for your input last night.
Asking which software is "best" is like asking what your favorite movie is or what the best coffee is.
Review and find one that is best for your group to match your needs and wants. I know ones that use Quickbooks, I also knew one that used Excel and Access with a homemande system. I have heard good and bad about TOPS.
Try these - some might be too big, but they are good to look at:
(used to be TOPS)
www.our-back-office.com (geared specificaly toward smaller management companies and self managed communities)
You might also consider just hiring an accountant or small firm to do your book keeping. Also remember that if any member writes the checks, have another member take in the payments. Get fidelity coverage (also known as crime coverage) for the board. (See if you need it if someone else is writing the checks, and if they are, make sure they have it.) Often, you can also get a good rate from a management company to do accounting only and then you can pay them as needed for advice or other matters where needed.
As you are a small association, I would recommend using QuickBooks. You can track member invoices, payments, statements, bill, checks, payroll, online bill pay, reports, budgets and the list goes on.
Join us for Property Management Done right with QuickBooks webinar on October 28th @ 1pm PST with Intuit. Register at http://fasttrackaccounting.com/2009_10_intuit_events.html
The two options that I would suggest is Quickbooks or Buildium. Buildium is an online software platform that may fit the Association needs. The online software incorporates a website to where documents can be posted and co-owners are allowed "On-Demand" access to various parts of financial reporting. Payments can be made online to vendors and co-owners can pay association dues online. There is a monthly subscription fee, however there are some things to consider.
The benefits to having QuickBooks is the initial purchase of the software is paid for upfront and there no more additional costs except for upgrades. However, the association is taking a risk with the backup of data and the possible difficulty of the transfer data and the software from one treasurer to the next. How often are backup going to occur? What is the association going to due if a virus attack and corruption the software or data file? Will the treasurer have virus software installed and will the association compensate the treasurer for anti-virus updates? What will be the policy regarding updating accounting software? These are all questions the board should be asking themselves. Also, how will data be transferred from one treasurer to the next.
Now the second option, Buildium or any other online software. The monthly cost will add to your budget, it will be about $20 a month or $240 a year for example to subscribe to Buildium. However, lets look at the benefits of subscribing to an online software platform. First, multiple data back-ups at secure location. Second, access can be easily be changed from on treasure to the next. Data can be download to PDF or an excel file format for additional back for the Association. All the co-owners can "On-Demand" access. Software updating is done more frequently. The cost of an upgrade for QuickBooks is about the same as the monthly subscription to Buildium .
In closing, the decision by the Board should be to find out what would work best for the Association and the comfort level of how the Board wishes to maintain there financials.
Todd Auspitz, President
Auspitz Management Group, LLC
We have 30 houses, how many unit or houses this software can handeling?
QuickBooks can manage unlimited numbers of units and members. To start with QuickBooks Pro and Premier 14,500 names and QuickBooks Enterprise unlimited. We host QuickBooks to have online access to Manage Community Association with QuickBooks.
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Free communication and management software firstly. Super easy to use and connects all owners by email and sms and online.
Couple this with a quality, simple accounting platform like Freshbooks and your community will run as smooth as you like.
With everyone speaking about Quickbooks, I figured I would chime in and add that the ReceivePay Product Suite, which is a third party application that installs directly into Quickbooks as a PCI-Compliant card processor. User is able to generate secure invoice and combine payment processing/accounting activities into one simple solution. Have invoices sent, recorded, and automatically updated when paid with complete security and traceability. Please email me or call me for more information at 303-357-5103.
In Most states the Condominium Act mandates a licensed management company must be hired to assist in operating the associastion. What does your state laws say on this subject??
Put "CAFM" into your search engine. They offer such a softaware package which is scaleable to your sized association. With it you should be able t o very adequately run your own association.
CAFM The best that I know about Put "CAFM" in you browser and find it
@Charles (8/27/10): I'd be surprised if any State's Condominium Act mandated the use of a management company. More likely a State Statute would say something like if the Board decides to use a property manager, that person or company must be licensed in that State.
Many states require a condo association to engage a management company. I live in a condo in Maryland and our State's condo act requires such an arrangement. Although we must engage a management company we pay only for those services that our Board of Directors approve the to provide. Many styates have similar requirements. Best check your state law on this point.
Most State's condominium acts mandate use of a management company. Even my home state of Maryland dictates that service be employed. However what services are required from the management company is a choice of the Board of Directors.
FYI: Florida does NOT 'require' the use of a Management company. The FL Statutes say a condominium (etc.) "MAY" use a management company.....
We use a newcomer software company that uses cloud technology and intelligent data gathering technology. The price is reasonable. I believe they are still looking for a few Beta testers. We got in early and pay a very reasonable fee. The software is in the cloud, not on one or more members PC. We have approximately 2000 homes and another HOA we recommended to the have only 40. The software has increased our casah flow almost double. The software let us be a self managed Association. If collect, bills, recieves payments, and credits the appropriate accounts automatically. It is awesome. You can contact the guy we have direct contact with @ email@example.com
We recommend OURS! We wrote it after 10 years as a small management company. Small Associations really have the members to do 99% of the work themselves! http://treefreeonline.com/
Whatever and whoever you may use to handle your Association business, if Dale Palmer has anything to do with it, you will be ripped off. After being interviewed by the FBI, they told me he has done this to MANY Associations. Ours was $10,000 another was $25,000 and another was $50,000. Association Managers should never be given total control of your money and they must have the highest recomendation possible before considering them.
A condo we're looking at has relatively high HOA dues ($347) It's fairly new (2004) and has a very tiny exercise room as far as amenities. The board wants to raise the HOA's 3% every year to keep up with increasing costs and to build reserves. Should we run?
Take a look at this software.
Please keep me updated on HOA software ideas as I am interested in starting my own business and would like to know what is available.