Every homeowners association (HOA) is led by a Board of Directors. Board members all have the responsibility to know the community’s governing documents, and to help make important decisions about how the association should be run. Additionally, some Board members are selected to take on additional roles, including HOA President, Vice President, and Secretary. In today’s post, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the role of HOA Board Treasurer, and exploring the critical functions this Board member plays within the homeowners association. We’ll also consider some of the qualities that make for a good Board Treasurer.
What Does the HOA Board Treasurer Do?
Let’s begin with an overview of the position. The HOA Treasurer essentially serves as the financial manager for the entire association. The Treasurer is tasked with maintaining financial records on behalf of the homeowners association, and with overseeing all association funds. The specific duties of the HOA Treasurer may vary from one association to the next, but generally, all tasks related to finance will fall under the Treasurer’s scope. Think distribution of funds, billing, dues collection, presentation of the annual budget, coordination with any outside bookkeepers, and more.
Understanding the Duties of the HOA Board Treasurer
The best way to determine a Treasurer’s duties is to review the governing documents for your association. Generally speaking, however, the HOA Treasurer responsibilities may include any of the following:
- Reviewing all financial and accounting records to ensure their accuracy.
- Overseeing the billing and collections process within the HOA.
- Making sure that all invoices to external vendors, including the management company, are paid promptly.
- Investing the association’s funds, as needed.
- Ensuring that reserve studies and financial audits are performed, as needed.
- Record-keeping, particularly all financial records / financial statements, etc.
- Preparing the annual budget, often with assistance from a CPA or from the management company, and presenting it to the Board.
- Making certain that the association has all the right kinds of insurance, including worker’s comp, fidelity, etc.
- Preparing and filing the association’s taxes, often with help from a CPA or from a member of the management company.
- Monitoring the HOA reserves, which are used to finance capital improvement projects as they arise.
- Answering questions about the community’s financial health, whether for an HOA Board member or simply when talking with members of the community.
The bottom line: The HOA Treasurer has a hand in pretty much everything related to the association’s finances. As such, the Board Treasurer plays a significant role in helping the other Board members hold up their fiduciary responsibilities on behalf of the association.
What is the HOA Treasurer’s Most Important Task?
The Board Treasurer has a number of crucial duties related to the association’s finances, and to the upkeep of financial records. With that said, the development of the annual budget is arguably the most important task that the HOA Treasurer must contend with. Simply put, a good HOA Treasurer must be prepared to be exacting and thorough as they create the association’s budget each year.
Developing the HOA Budget
This is a multi-step process, generally involving the following:
- Reviewing all contracts. The Treasurer should begin by reviewing all current contracts, ensuring that these services are still required; that the contracts are being fulfilled; and that the pricing is still acceptable.
- Determining utility costs. The Treasurer also needs to factor in the cost of utilities, which generally involves contacting utility companies to ask whether prices are expected to rise or fall.
- Reviewing all financial records. The HOA Treasurer may work with other members of the HOA Board to determine any losses or excesses, and to make any adjustments that are needed.
- Considering the reserve study. Finally, the Treasurer should take a look at the results of the most recent reserve study, ensuring the HOA has enough money stockpiled to handle upcoming repairs of capital expenditures
What Makes a Good HOA Treasurer?
If you have ever thought about becoming an HOA Treasurer, a good first step is simply running for a seat on the HOA Board. Spend some time getting to know how the association functions, and get some experience serving the community in this more general role.
If you enjoy Board service and still want to be an HOA Treasurer, note that officer positions are generally voted on internally, among members of the Board. You can check your community’s governing documents to confirm this.
Qualities of a Good HOA Treasurer
As you consider whether you are well-suited for the role of Treasurer, here are some of the key qualifications and character traits to consider.
- Familiarity with the HOA governing docs. One of the most essential traits is an intimate knowledge of the community’s rules and regulations, which provide critical information such as how much to collect for dues, when and how often the books need to be audited, and more.
- Attention to detail. The Treasurer spends a lot of time dealing with numbers, including in financial reports. As such, a willingness to sweat the small stuff, and to be careful down to the last little detail, is essential for success in the role.
- A systematic approach to record-keeping. Ultimately, it’s up to the Treasurer to ensure that all relevant financial reports are kept well-organized at all times. The Treasurer should be methodical in their approach to document management.
- Collaboration and teamwork. The HOA Treasurer may have ultimate responsibility for the association’s finances, but that does not mean they work alone. On the contrary, skilled Treasurers will be adept at communicating the specifics of the HOA finances to their colleagues on the Board. And, they will be prepared to listen to fellow Board members discuss any financial needs that might arise. Finally, the Treasurer has to be someone who can work well with the HOA manager, with external accountants and bookkeepers, etc.
- Transparency. Naturally, there is a strong ethical component to the Treasurer role. Anyone in this position needs to be very honest and above-board in everything they do, with a strong moral compass in place.
- Willingness to delegate. Again, it’s crucial to remember that the Treasurer can’t do it all. The person in this role should be willing to delegate key tasks, or to ask for help from the HOA manager whenever it’s needed.
- Passion for the community. Being the Treasurer is hard work. To do it well, you need to have a real love for your community, and a desire to serve your neighborhood and your neighbors… even in ways that might seem pretty thankless sometimes.
How Much is the HOA Treasurer Paid?
As you consider throwing your name into the hat to become HOA Treasurer, you may have questions about salary. Will you actually make money as the HOA Treasurer?
The answer, generally speaking, is no. Most HOA Boards do not pay their Board volunteers. In fact, many HOAs actually specify in their governing docs that Board volunteers are not allowed to be compensated for their service. You may find some HOAs that do pay their Board members, but this is always going to be an exception to the rule.
If you have any questions about paying those who serve on the HOA Board, be sure to check your association’s rules and regulations.
Where Can the HOA Treasurer Turn for Help?
The Treasurer has a fairly big job, but thankfully, they don’t have to do it alone. Specifically, a professional HOA management team can help with a lot of the day-to-day stuff, including invoicing, record-keeping, and more. Additionally, a qualified HOA manager can give ample assistance with budget development.
Kuester Management Group has provided a full range of financial and document upkeep services to communities throughout the Carolinas. To find out more about what we do, reach out to our HOA management team in Charlotte or in the Myrtle Beach area. We’d love to talk with you more about the duties of the HOA Treasurer, and about some of the specific ways in which we can make life easier for everyone on your Board.