Organizing and keeping a co-op or condo’s books and other records is, on the surface, not that different than keeping a budget for one’s home.
But there are many important differences—filing deadlines, tax requirements, reports, avoiding costly penalties and more. As difficult as balancing the numbers for your apartment may be, doing the same thing for, say, 60 or 100 housing units is infinitely more difficult. The fact that there are detailed rules and laws governing condo and co-op financial records makes it even more important to “take care of business,” as it were.
In Your Corner
While you don’t have to be an accountant or another financial professional to understand all of the basics, it’s a good idea to have a financial professional in your corner, giving you advice. That doesn’t mean, however, that boards and managers shouldn’t have a working knowledge of the basics themselves. With this in mind, we asked several certified public accountants how boards and managers can get their financial house in order and keep it that way.
As we’ve mentioned, there are several basics that any board member should know about his or her building. Board members should have a working knowledge of both the general operating budget and the capital budget, the source of funding for capital projects, and the amount of the building’s reserve fund.
“A well-done management report and financial statement will give the board member information about the mortgage on the property, accounts payable, accounts receivable and cash positions,” says Mindy Eisenberg Stark, CPA, whose office is in Scarsdale.