When it comes to HOA management and the treasurer’s responsibilities, there are a variety of things to consider. Preparing a workable budget and keeping things moving properly happens through the work of a competent treasurer who understands what’s required of them. To that end, here are five suggestions to help a treasurer, whether seasoned or new, to make sure he or she is prepared and up to the task.
1. Make Decisions
This is important for treasurers to be aware of. Frequently when mistakes are looked into, a treasurer will explain that they were simply handling it the way the previous officer instructed them to. However, if the previous treasurer was handling it wrong, that mistake is carried forward. It’s good to ask questions and get assistance from a predecessor, but the bottom line is that you need to practice making decisions you’re comfortable with based on your own experience and knowledge.
2. Study the Declaration
The Home Owners Association Declaration and Bylaws is a wealth of information because it contains the documentation of how the HOA is run. In it you’ll find what board members are responsible for and how they should conduct themselves in their roles. The treasurer is elected to handle the money, and by reading carefully, you’ll understand what’s expected of you.
3. Know the Law
If you’re unable to find a section in the HOA Declaration that explains the responsibilities of the treasurer, you can get a basic understanding from the Minnesota non-profit corporations’ act (Sec. 317A.305). Information here includes that a treasurer is responsible to:
• Handle deposit and endorsement of checks and other notes received by the HOA, ensuring that proper vouchers are made.
• Maintain precise and accurate financial records.
• Give the president and board an accounting of transactions.
• Distribute monies and issue checks on behalf of the HOA, as directed by the board.
• Carry out other responsibilities as directed by HOA management.
4. Review What You’re Doing
Reviewing work for accuracy is a must. You can look it over yourself, but it can also be helpful to have another officer go over it with fresh eyes because oftentimes in the HOA, large amounts of money are handled, and one mistake can throw everything off. It’s better to double check rather than have a missed mistake cause a larger problem later.
5. Take Advantage of Resources
Taking advantage of all the resources available to you will help you carry out your treasury responsibilities. You can start with your predecessor (remembering to make your own decisions). There are also great software programs that can help you run things smoothly, as well as organizations you can join including the MMHA and others. Finally, your accountant or lawyer likely has experience that can benefit you. Just apply the same perspectives you would use in handling your own money to help you be an effective and successful treasurer.