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.
“The board members should be familiar with and understand the association’s sources and uses of funds,” says Karen Sackstein, a CPA based in Fair Lawn. “They should be familiar with the managing agent’s reporting package. They should understand what areas of their development are common elements and therefore required to be maintained by the association.”
William Dietrich, a CPA in Millington, believes that board members of co-ops and condos should have a broad understanding of a building’s financials since it’s a collective concept.