|Re: CPA||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)|
|Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2018 18:43:33 -0700 (PDT)|
> On Sep 14, 2018, at 5:58 PM, Katie Henry <katie-henry [at] att.net> wrote: > > If you decide to use an outside entity to pay your bills and manage your > books, you have to watch them closely. You can't just walk away. If you are > informed enough to perform decent oversight, it might be easier to do it > yourself. I agree with Katie. We’ve had several management companies and seem to have found a good one but have had problems that one would think we shouldn’t have had. And I do think it would be easier to do ourselves. Problems: 1. Not paying utility bills so the utilities were turned off—I think the utility company called first so they weren’t all turned off but it took a lot of detective work to find 3 months worth of bills in a desk drawer at that management company. They were using a computer program and one would think the financial manager would have noticed that there were no records of utilities being paid. How they got in the drawer, no one knew. 2. Inability to get a checkbook-like list of payments and deposits. I and our computer software geek went out to work with the accounting person to figure out how to do this. They were using a software a friend of the owner was developing and it was very strange. The process for getting journal was so complicated the young woman in charge would never have remembered how to do it. Most management companies use some other software only large companies use. An advantage of working with an independent bookkeeper is that they will use something accessible like Quickbooks or Freshbooks. 3. Another day our tech person spent 14-16 hours in the basement trying to figure out why our internet was down, testing wires everywhere, switching things in and out, etc. Finally he called the ISP to find out if they had changed settings or equipment recently. They said, Yes, you haven’t paid your bill for 6 months so we turned off service. 4. We changed banks and changed the credit/debit card we use for small purchases — the management company didn’t review our accounts to ensure that payments that had been charged to the card every month were transferred. More things turned off and discontinued. Small things but more irritation, delay, and do-overs. 5. We left one management company after repeated failures to follow through on many things. They turned over the accounts and boxes and boxes of paper, unsorted. There was $25,000 in our account that was unaccounted for. The treasurer tried to track down the source but was unable to. It had apparently been there somewhere for a few years and didn’t seem to relate to any unpaid bills or taxes. Since it was in our favor we finally just shrugged and bought a CD. 6. We had a contract for a quarterly servicing of our parking gate but the company wasn’t showing up and the gate was breaking down. The servicing company was a one person operation and he didn’t want to send a bill every time he came out. Despite having a contract for 4 calls a year and a notice from us that he had shown up, they wouldn’t pay him until he sent an invoice. We eventually had to change service companies even though this guy was good and understood us and our system. You will end up only being able to use companies that can deal with your management company—meaning the service company has to have their own office manager to produce paper and follow up on getting paid. —— I could go on but you get the picture. The people that management companies hire are clerical workers and young. They don’t look for or flag possible problems. You will in all probability have members who have much higher skills and who certainly have a greater interest in keeping the lights on and the elevator running. Last week a member had to sleep in the living room because she came home when the elevator was out. We couldn’t get anyone to come out and see what the problem was for 24-36 hours. We have 4 residents who can’t climb stairs. So without the help of a management company, there are still things going out all by themselves. It was a weekend so we were on our own. Not being negative about hiring a management company, just being realistic about how well it many not work. You still have to check everything. Sharon ---- Sharon Villines, Washington DC "We're only the light bulbs, and our job is just to remain screwed in.” Bishop Desmond Tutu
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