Accountants are a norm for most people around tax time. And then, post-tax season, we rarely think about them. But for co-op and condo owners, this shouldn’t be the case. It’s crucial that large buildings hire an accountant to help with multiple items within the building.
After all, for most co-op and condo owners, their apartments represent one of their largest assets, if not their largest asset by far. That apartment can be viewed as an investment—and while each individual unit owner or shareholder is responsible for managing their own personal finances and doing their part in maintaining and increasing the value of that investment, the building also has a duty as well.
Balancing the Books
Boards work with outside accountants and financial advisors to balance the books, to manage reserve funds and to deal with other money matters, and it's crucial that the individual or firm in that position is capable, competent, and trustworthy—as well as being someone who can communicate complex financial information clearly and coherently to board members and residents, who are not all professional money managers.
The relationship between the board and its accountant needs to be taken seriously. This can be done via specific rulings and documents outlining everyone’s roles. And there are ways to optimize that relationship as long as everyone knows what to expect and what to demand.
The relationship between an accountant and a board usually begins when the accountant is recommended to them by other clients or professionals who have had favorable relationships with the accountant, says Joseph Cavalcante, CPA, managing member of Cavalcante & Company, LLC, and financial advisor to co-ops and condos in New York for nearly 30 years.