By Beth Gilbert
The end of the year is always a busy and hectic time, especially if you’re an association manager. From preparing annual reports for boards to budgeting for the next fiscal year, there’s so much that has to be done on top of your already full schedule. And if you have a paper-based system or outdated software to handle your accounting, budgeting, and reporting workflows, then the process is even more cumbersome and prone to error. Luckily, there are many ways you can streamline your processes to save time, money, and headache.
Here are 4 ways you can simplify your end-of-year duties and ensure your business is set up for success in the new year. Plus, be sure to check out the extended tip list at the end of the article for more insights!
1.) Streamline your communications
● Leverage mobile communication tools like text and email to send messages to homeowners and board members in bulk.
● Avoid wasting time manually compiling annual letters by using software with a fully integrated mailing service that automates the process.
● Schedule annual meetings and year-end community events with a digital association calendar to keep your homeowners and board members in the loop.
2.) Automate your accounts payable
● Rather than manually scanning and entering invoices by hand, automate your accounts payable process using the latest technology.
● With AppFolio Property Manager’s Automated Accounts Payable, all of your invoices are forwarded to AppFolio via mail or email, where they are received, scanned, processed, and then digitally posted for your review, saving you valuable time.
3.) Identify ways for your associations to save
● Calculate how much going paperless can save on mail, board packets, and supply costs.
● Analyze previous spending to spot potential excess operational costs or fees.
● Review and/or renegotiate vendor contracts, pricing, terms, and fees.
● Ensure adequate insurance coverage to mitigate future unexpected expenses.
4.) Set annual meetings up for success
● Review board member terms and identify upcoming expirations.
● Request the latest contact information and update association directories.
● Plan a communication cadence (one month, two weeks, one week, and the morning before) to drive attendance at annual meetings.
● Reinforce the need to meet quorum to approve new budgets.
● Increase participation by offering hybrid in-person/virtual meeting options.
● Add an informative cover letter to annual meeting packets about how and why dues are increasing.
When you have the right tools in place and are following the best practices, the end of the year is a lot easier to manage. For more ways you can successfully guide your associations into the new year, take a look at this expert tip list.
Beth Gilbert is the Sr. Director of the Community Association market at AppFolio. Beth brings over 15 years of product experience to AppFolio and is currently responsible for developing the vision and strategy for the community association market. She is passionate about building relationships with customers to learn about new ways to partner in the success of their businesses.