By Beth Gilbert
As we wrap up 2021, you probably have a lot on your plate between budgeting and planning for the new year and carrying out your normal board member duties. And it’s not always easy to find the time to do everything before the holidays, especially if your association or management company is using paper-based processes or using disjointed systems to get work done. In this article, I’m going to share four easy ways you can streamline year-end duties to boost efficiency, save time, and increase visibility.
Filing Annual Reports
Filing an annual report with the Secretary of State for your community association is a tedious process, but it’s required by law in most states. An annual report includes key details about your community association such as the registered agent, registered office, and officers for the corporation — all of this information needs to be updated annually in order to stay in “Good Standing” as a business. A simple way to ensure you never forget to file an annual report is by allocating one board member or an association management company to be in charge of this task and setting a repeating, annual calendar reminder, so every time the end of the year approaches, your community never forgets to file.
Determining whether you came over, in, or at budget in 2021 is critical during this time. You need this information in order to effectively develop a financial strategy for the year ahead and to know how you should allocate resources. If you don’t have visibility into your association’s financials this can be nearly impossible to find out.
One way you can get a clearer picture of your association’s financials is by taking the time to review annual reports like budget comparatives, fund balance and income statements, and profit and loss for the reserve. When you take a closer look into the data, you can make better-informed decisions during the budgeting process. If your association doesn’t have software in place that can easily create these kinds of reports, then consider adopting a solution that comes with built-in reporting and budgeting tools.
Updating Rules & Regulations
Now is also a good time to review all of your rules and regulations for your community and to make any updates based on things that have changed or will change in 2022. If you’re currently working off of paper documents or individual digital files, consider switching to an all-in-one digital system that will enable you to quickly make amendments in real-time and to share them with homeowners via an online portal.
Scheduling Your Annual Meeting & Events in 2022
Remember to schedule your annual meeting to go over important updates, recap the past year, and to share goals and budget changes for the coming year with homeowners. Additionally, you should begin planning your meetings and community events for 2022. Rather than relying on flyers or one-off emails to share these happenings, implement an association management software with a digital association calendar that enables homeowners and board members to see everything that’s on the horizon in one place. This way you save time from having to manually share each event and everyone stays up-to-date.
Completing all of your year-end duties doesn’t have to feel like a chore if you have the right tools in place. When you have a single technology solution to manage all of your associations’ finances, create reports, and share important updates, it’s easier to wrap up the year and set your community up for success.
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.