From: Janet Murphy (
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2018 08:05:02 -0700 (PDT)
At Arboretum Cohousing (Madison WI) we have always had a very diligent
treasurer and financial team. A few years ago we realized three things:
1) Our treasurer was doing way too much work
2) If anything happened to her, we would really struggle to quickly
replicate her work (access to accounts, spreadsheets, etc.)
3) It would be easy for a less reputable treasurer to "cook the books"

We decided to outsource our bill paying, fee collection, taxes, and
bookkeeping to a CPA. We used the same person who helped us during the
build.  We pay about $2300/year for these services. Our CPA is in a small
town outside of Madison, which may keep costs down.
I'm not sure why you think you need an external audit. The act of passing
your financial information to a CPT will certainly reveal your current
financial state. If you believe you have missing or mismanaged funds, an
audit may be appropriate. You could ask the CPA about this, but make sure
up front they know you would not be using their services for any audit.

Arboretum Cohousing Finance Chair

> Today's Topics:
>    1. Friendly Audit / Accountant or CPA Advice Needed
>       (lamaiacoleman [at]
>    2. loan funds (Fred H Olson)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2018 17:10:32 +0000 (UTC)
> From: "lamaiacoleman [at]" <lamaiacoleman [at]>
> To: <cohousing-L [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_ Friendly Audit / Accountant or CPA Advice Needed
> Message-ID: <352268845.600521.1536167432278 [at]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> Hi,At Southside Park Cohousing, in Sacramento, CA we self-manage our HOA
> including our bookkeeping, accounting and taxes. Wonderful, dedicated
> volunteers do the books, etc, but they have no formal training, so we
> (including them) are seeking someone to: look at how we are keeping the
> books; make sure it makes sense and if not recommend changes to the way we
> do it; and make sure we aren't doing anything unintentionally totally
> wrong.
>  I've been trying to research what we need is called and where we'd find
> someone to hire to do this. I assume we need a CPA?? And I'm guessing we
> need an audit, although the intent might be different than a typical
> audit?? However, I've also discovered that there are many different types
> of financial review and don't know what level we need.? I've gone through
> the archives and it seems some communities have hired people to do
> something similar, but they didn't say what exactly the service was or how
> they chose who to hire for it.? In terms of costs related to audits
> mentioned in the archives, I've seen a range from $500 to $5000- a huge
> range!? I'm not sure what accounts for the difference.
>  I'd really appreciate any advice or recommendations along with
> approximate costs.
>  Thanks!
> Lamaia?PS- I contacted ECHO-CA and we aren't members so they won't advise
> us.

  • CPA Janet Murphy, September 7 2018
    • Re: CPA Sharon Villines, September 10 2018
    • Re: CPA Katie Henry, September 14 2018
      • Re: CPA Sharon Villines, September 14 2018
        • Re: CPA Philip Dowds, September 15 2018

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