Getting bills paid should be getting simpler over time for organizations of all sizes. But with old technology and manual processes, many HOAs find that managing Accounts Payable is time consuming and things tend to slip through the cracks. If you’re part of a typical Homeowners’ Association, there are many invoices that should be paid every month or quarter. For example, insurance, utilities, facility maintenance, waste management, pest control, and more need to be paid on a regular schedule. So, automating HOA accounts payable processing can make a difference. Here are a few of the ways your HOA can benefit from automating AP.
#1 Spend volunteer hours more productively
Most HOA board members are passionate about serving and improving their community. Otherwise, they wouldn’t put in hours every month managing the HOA in these volunteer roles. If you fit this description, you probably find it unfulfilling to spend time making sure all bills are paid on time. Someone has to do it, but the actual time involved should be dramatically reduced. Instead of getting bogged down in redundant activities, automate accounts payable and focus on the future of your HOA.
#2 Cut the risk of errors and overdue payments
The post office loses a vendor invoice. Your board member in charge of bill payment goes on vacation and an invoice sits on a desk for two weeks. A vendor sends an invoice for the wrong amount and by the time you’re through disputing the bill you must argue about a past due charge as well. You can avoid all of these things with digital billing. You have immediate access to instant invoices and can address any discrepancies, capture early payment discounts, and ensure there is no interruption in service.
#3 Keep board members in the loop
With an automated AP process, oversight is easier. Rather than using email or outdated AP processes to get approvals, all board members in the approval pathway can view and sign off on payments online—even from a mobile device. You can design this workflow for a smoother approval process. You can also allow it to add or delete members to reflect the composition of the board and the area of purview for each member. For example, expenses over a certain amount might go through a different approval process than those for a lower amount.
#4 Enjoy greater financial clarity
From being able to easily track and audit payments to using the numbers for budget forecasting, automated payment puts all the records at your fingertips. Being able to generate reports with a few clicks rather than toiling over spreadsheets and worrying about entry errors is a relief. Transparency, compliance, and better planning all make the job of managing an HOA easier for your board.
Who Should Help You with HOA Accounts Payable Processing?
Fortunately, there’s software available that can greatly simplify and streamline your AP activities. Or perhaps you already have an HOA management company helping relieve some of the burden from your board members. AP automation is certainly one of the services you should expect your management company to provide. But they should also be adding much more value in addition to tools and technology. A great HOA management partner will:
- Contract with trusted vendors to service the property
- Perform on-site inspections regularly to monitor HOA assets
- Review proposed additions to ensure they adhere to guidelines and enhance the neighborhood
- Provide insight into finances and audit accounts for accuracy
- Handle unpleasant tasks like delinquent account collection
- Help with risk management and insurance policy selection
- Engage and inform homeowners with electronic (and eco-friendly) communication
Your HOA management company should also read your entire HOA covenant, attend board meetings, and really get to know the people they are serving. To learn more about partnering with an HOA management company that values your community, contact Ardent Residential today.