Re: condo association accounting services
From: Larry Miller (
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 18:54:24 -0800 (PST)
Sure.  We have a Treasurer who is a community member and, usually, leader of 
the Finance Team.
The bookkeeper is not authorized to sign checks. The Treasurer receives all 
invoices at our
common house mail box. She reviews them and indicates the account number to 
charge them against.
At a meeting, she gives them to the bookkeeper to enter into the accounting 
system (Quickbooks)
and make out a check for payment. At the same meeting, the Treasurer signs the 
checks from the
previous week's invoices and the bookkeeper puts them in envelopes and mails 

It would be possible, in theory, to do all this by mail. However, that would be 
both cumbersome
and slow. Many bills, such as electricity need to be paid within 2 weeks or so 
of being
received. Trying to do this with 3 successive mailings is really slow and puts 
a lot of pressure
on the Treasurer, who is already doing a lot of work.

For reasonable financial security and to protect all parties from any hint of 
impropriety, it is
normal accounting practice to have 2 people involved in issuing a check.

The other half is receiving dues.  It is our practice not to have the 
bookkeeper handle the
money, so the Treasurer deposits the checks and gives the bookkeeper a record 
of payments. We do
this by scanning all the checks which provides a permanent record of payments. 
This could be
done by mail or email.

Our bookkeeper charges $35/hr and it works out to 10 hours a month. That's 
based on 36 units, so
there are at least 36 checks in each month and 36 invoices. There are also 
about 30 checks
written each month, not including meal reimbursements which are handled by a 
different person
(me). I was the Treasurer for 2 years, so I can give you any level of detail 
you would like.

One of our members is a CPA and he does our taxes for us. My guess is that, if 
you go with an
accounting firm, it will cost you much more than a bookkeeper. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Diana Carroll [mailto:dianaecarroll [at]] 
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 6:29 PM
To: Cohousing-L
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ condo association accounting services

Can you say more about how you interact with your bookkeeper that requires
him/her to be local?

None of the companies I've talked to so far as local to us.  the closest is
two hours away in New Hampshire.  The furthest is in California.   The only
concerns mentioned with regard to distance/location were how quickly
invoices and checks could be sent in the mail, and that there might be
state-specific condo regulations that would have to be addressed.

- diana

On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 9:24 PM, Larry Miller <larry.miller [at]>wrote:

> The reason I didn't name anyone is that our firm is local to Paso Robles.
> As we interact with
> our bookkeeper regularly, it probably wouldn't help unless you were located
> in Paso Robles, CA.
> Larry
> Oak Creek Commons
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