It’s Association Budget Season!

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It’s Association Budget Season!

Where Do These Numbers Come From?

Seeing the big picture means keeping your community well maintained, maximizing home values and investing to protect the quality of life for all homeowners.

We’re heading into the fall season, when we prepare annual budgets for HOA clients. In developing the 2019 budgets, CMA follows best practices to accurately forecast costs and capture every dollar of savings possible for your homeowners’ association.

CMA’s systematic process provides reliable planning as we continually improve our internal processes and cost efficiencies, which include several key components:

Capture cost savings and operational efficiencies

CMA Controller Karyn Bradley works closely with Operations and Accounting to annually revise and improve the Master Spreadsheet and train all managers on its use. For example, input line items are modified to account for the incorporation of new, efficient technologies such as electronic storage and e-statements.

Accounting then prepares the Budget “Shells” for each association.  Depending on an association’s billing cycle, the spreadsheet’s formulas automatically calculate and plug in the costs for mailings in the correct cells, and any changes in the billing cycle are properly reflected. Statement printing is now integrated with our accounting software, which creates additional cost savings for all our clients. This improvement—like many others—gets reflected in the line item modifications.

Employ rigorous training, tools and review to ensure accuracy

  • These budget “shells” are specifically designed to facilitate preparation and review, and minimize, if not eliminate any possible human errors.
  • A proprietary tool uses a standardized format with all the line items for your HOA identified, formulas filled in, and variables such as association-specific information expenses factored in as well.
  • Managers are trained on a budget handbook and employ a checklist to examine budget data to avoid overlooking any important details.

Schedule to meet Deadlines

  • Our budget team is guided by a collective timeline to complete budget tasks, with time built in for review and revisions.
  • Many associations require a 30- to 60- day advance notice in writing to all homeowners, especially if they have an increase in assessments. This ensures that our associations meet or exceed financial requirements in governing documents.

Overcome common misconceptions 

Associations mistakenly assume that lower dues are synonymous with a great board. As your management partners, we help your board plan with the ‘big picture’ perspective.  Seeing the big picture means keeping your community well maintained, maximizing home values and investing to protect the quality of life for all homeowners.

Understand Your Association’s Budget 

Board members are presented with a detailed budget for review and approval. An approved budget summary is posted on all association websites to keep homeowners informed of where assessment dollars will be spent. To view a sample association budget summary, click here to download:

Sample HOA Budget Summary 

What Sets CMA Apart During Association Budget Season?

CMA employs  a proprietary system  to factor in many variables and customize a budget that captures expenses as well as practical cost savings for your association.  For example, spreadsheet line items are modified to incorporate new, efficient technologies such as electronic storage and e-statements.  Depending on an association’s billing cycle, formulas automatically calculate and plug in the costs for mailings in the correct cells, and any changes in the billing cycle are properly reflected. Statement printing is now integrated with our accounting software, which creates additional cost savings for all our clients.

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Rob Koop

Executive Vice President of Portfolio Operations, AMS®, CMCA®

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CMA Management
36 Years of Community. Well Served. (www.cmamanagement.com) Headquartered in Plano, Texas, CMA has three regional offices and numerous onsite locations providing contract management services for more than 250 residential and commercial communities ranging from 100 to more than 9,000 homes. Residential Communities •Town Home Communities •Master Planned Communities •Active Adult Communities •Commercial Associations