One of the most important jobs on the board of a homeowners association is the position of HOA treasurer. The position is much more than a simple knowledge of how to manage finances, although this is also important. Whether you are planning to run for the position or are looking for someone to fill it in, these are the must-have qualities of an HOA treasurer.
Look for These Qualities of an HOA Treasurer
A homeowners association without stable finances will almost always be unsuccessful. Therefore, a competent treasurer is required to keep the HOA running smoothly. The HOA treasurer is responsible for all things related to finance, from collecting dues to paying invoices. They are also in charge of bookkeeping, creating financial reports, and budgeting for the upcoming year.
It is a given that every member of the HOA board must have a good sense of responsibility. Apart from this, here are 8 characteristics of a treasurer:
1. A Familiarity With the Rules
What makes a good treasurer? First of all, a good treasurer must be familiar with the association’s governing documents. This includes the bylaws, CC&Rs, and rules and regulations.
The governing documents of an association outline a variety of financial procedures — everything from how much dues can be collected to when the association’s books need to be audited. It is up to the treasurer to make sure these guidelines are followed.
2. Detail-Oriented with Concern for the Long-Term
Being a good treasurer means being able to balance a vision for the long-term financial success of the company along with the ability to take care of the everyday small details. Since the treasurer deals with numbers, attention to detail is required, especially when it comes to balancing books.
Treasurers that have the long-term in mind will not be surprised when unexpected costs present themselves. A person in this position should plan ahead for every eventuality as well as have a vision for how the association can improve and better serve the community in the future.
3. Clear and Methodical Record-Keeping
One of the other qualities of an HOA treasurer is being extremely organized. The treasurer must keep records of the HOA’s finances in a clear and methodical fashion.
When financial records are all over the place, it can be hard to keep track of where the HOA’s money went. The goal for any treasurer should be for the financial records to be so systematically kept that a new treasurer would have no trouble in taking over operations should the position ever need to be filled.
4. A Spirit of Teamwork
The treasurer must also be a team player. The HOA treasurer role should ideally be filled by someone who is eager to educate others on the board as to the finances and to teach them how to use incoming funds to better the community.
Moreover, the treasurer must know how to communicate with their fellow board members and must not act alone.
As homeowners associations are considered corporations, they are able to take out loans and other financial assistance. Though the treasurer will work to coordinate these, they do not have the authority to do so on their own. The HOA board must agree before entering into any agreement and give the treasurer permission.
5. Transparent and with a Strong Moral Compass
The treasurer should also have an attitude of full disclosure and should provide other members with constant access to the budget and plans for funds. An HOA’s financial condition should not be kept confidential. All community residents, including the board, have a right to know whether the association is in good financial health.
Additionally, while not exactly considered one of the HOA treasurer skills, a candidate with a strong moral compass is ideal. Since the treasurer handles the association’s finances, they may be tempted to embezzle or misappropriate funds. A good HOA treasurer is able to successfully fight this temptation or never have it cross their minds in the first place.
6. Well-Informed of the Law
It is every board member’s duty to be knowledgeable of the law, whether it be federal, state, or local. As such, the treasurer must be familiar with any and all laws that apply to an HOA’s financials.
For instance, North Carolina’s Planned Community Act has a section on how surplus funds must be handled by the association. They must also keep up-to-date in case of any amendments to the law.
7. Skilled at Delegation
An excellent treasurer should have the attitude of a servant and should be diligent at delegating and overseeing the completion of tasks relating to the community’s finances. There are many HOA treasurer duties. Rather than putting themselves forward and attempting to do all of the work, a good treasurer will delegate and then take a step back, taking the role of a manager rather than as executor of the tasks.
8. A Heart for the Community
Above all, a treasurer should have a heart for the community. If they love the community and are committed to the health and success of the HOA, you can be sure that they will take the greatest care in managing the finances of that community.
This heart will come across in their diligence, their enthusiasm, their commitment to being present and on time to meetings, and their willingness to set aside control and be a servant and team player.
How to Be a Good Treasurer for an Organization
The choice of who to appoint as treasurer is one of the most important choices that an HOA board will make. Thus, look for these qualities of an HOA treasurer.
It is crucial to find someone organized and methodical with a heart for the financial health of the community and the ability to manage and serve. He/she must also be aware of the HOA treasurer’s responsibilities and be committed to fulfilling them. A treasurer who possesses these qualities is sure to be a valued member of the board.
Whether or not the treasurer has knowledge of finance can impact how they perform their duties. While this knowledge is not necessary, it can be extremely helpful in cases where good business judgment is needed.
Finances are often a major reason why a board may choose to hire a management firm. Management firms take over most accounting duties, but the treasurer is ultimately responsible for ensuring the association’s financial records are properly maintained. If your HOA is in need of professional help, keep us in mind.
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