News

Technologies can enhance community association efficiency, productivity

By:Heather Karamitsos - June 3, 2019

 
No one can accuse community association managers or their accounting teams of being lazy. Managing requests from thousands of homeowners in the communities they serve can leave these employees drained and searching for more hours in a day.

No computer program or mobile app can actually increase the number of hours in a day. But, three types of technology can significantly increase productivity and decrease stress for community associations managers.

1. Community website

Dealing with homeowner questions is the most time-consuming issue for employees of property management companies.

Allowing an owner to self-serve some of the more common questions not only decreases the number of phone calls to the management company but also empowers the owner and instills confidence in the company they have chosen to manage their property. What is the magical cure to answering the most common homeowner questions? Live community websites.

Websites can provide more than just notification that there will be a community yard sale on Saturday. They can allow owners to view their personal accounts in real time, check the status of work orders they have requested, and view violation letters, including pictures of the violation to be corrected. They can also be used to push information out to owners such as, “The west parking lot will be closed for resurfacing,” or, “Hurricane Irma is expected to impact your community.”

Board members can also view financial packages, check account balances, and even approve invoices for their community, no matter what state they are in.

Websites can provide a wealth of knowledge to homeowners and board members without them ever having to pick up the phone to call the management company.

2. Mobile-friendly, cloud-based apps

Community association managers, especially portfolio managers, spend a great deal of time at the properties they manage. Without software that’s easy to use on tablets and smartphones, many must make lists of work to complete, then head back to the office for hours of computer time to address them.

By utilizing cloud-based technology, many of these tasks can be completed on the spot at the property. The right software apps can give managers the ability to work in the software while in the field. Pictures of violations can be put directly into the app, prompting the violation letter to be sent. Work orders can be closed, sending pictures and confirmation to the owner that the work has been completed. Managers inspecting completed projects, such as landscaping, painting or pressure washing, can approve vendor invoices and close out projects from the app.

Mobile-friendly cloud-based apps can save community managers significant time and headaches.

3. Integrated accounting software

Integrated accounting software means the bank and the software communicate. This integration eliminates steps, prevents fraud and decreases human error for community association managers and their accountants.

With integrated accounting software, the bank tells the software what transactions cleared the bank each day. The software then reconciles the transactions to the check register in the software. If there are discrepancies, the software puts out an alert for the accounting team. This integration is not only a powerful fraud prevention tool but also saves significant time by reconciling every bank account every day. When accounts are reconciled daily, accountants can catch and correct errors or potential fraud long before they receive the monthly bank statements.

Integrated software can also push bank statements directly into the software. This gives accountants the ability to start on the monthly financial reports the first business day of the month rather than waiting for paper or e-statements to arrive. And since the accounts are already reconciled, there are no surprises to slow down the monthly process.

The right technology can lead to happier community association clients and staff. There are many software applications with a wide range of tools such as those listed above. At American Momentum Bank, we partner with Cinc Systems to offer management companies state-of the-art, cost-effective, cloud-based technology.