Following the Money The Treasurer/Accountant Relationship

Fall is here and with it comes the season for watching football. Football seems to dominate American culture. There are pro games four days a week, pre-season, post-season and Pro Bowl games, college, indoor, fantasy football, and of course the definitive game of the year—the Super Bowl.

But what does football have to do with co-op and condo management? It’s an excellent metaphor: football is not just about the individual players—quarterback, running backs, tight ends and wide receivers—it’s about teamwork. Famed football coach Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers once said, “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

As in football, a co-op has its own team of players—including the board of directors, treasurer, accountant and property manager. Each has his or her own responsibilities, but unless he or she cooperates with the rest of the team, the play will likely fall apart, and the team can ultimately lose.

In football, the goal is to get the ball across the goal line to score points; the team with the most points wins. In a co-op board, the goal of the team is to achieve sustained fiscal success by keeping good financial records, obtaining a profit to pay for various repairs and upgrades and other tasks at hand, and organizing a productive checks-and-balances system so all the responsibilities do not fall on one person.

Role Call—The Property Manager

The property manager acts similarly to the quarterback—who calls the plays, throws the passes, hands the ball off or runs with it. “The property manager is the operations person who oversees the daily business of the organization,” explains Calvin K. Clemons, author of The Perfect Board (Synergy Books). “This person collects the revenue and posts it accordingly. In my opinion, this person (or department) should then processes expense payments, but should not sign checks. This person is responsible for the regular financial statements and reports.”

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