An HOA budget can serve many purposes and help the HOA board to better manage the association on behalf of its clients. If you’re considering a career in community association management, it can help to learn about how a budget serves an HOA and how it affects the financial decisions of an HOA. Although you’re not accountable for creating the budget, you may be responsible for providing suggestions to the board that can strengthen their budgeting practices and ensure that their HOAs are financially strong. Here are a few reasons why it’s important for an HOA to have a budget.
Budget for HOAs: What Is the Purpose for These Budgets?
1 – Build and Maintain a Reserve Fund
The board should be able to see the reserve fund in the budget. They can assess plans for the reserve fund for future years. A reserve fund is a source of money that the HOA has saved. If the HOA has to come up with funds quickly, it can draw from the reserve fund to pay for unforeseen expenses. Investing reserve fund accounts during good years helps ensure that the HOA will have the financial resources to weather the storm.
2 – Pay for Maintenance Costs
HOAs are charged with keeping their common areas in good condition. This includes paying for common area landscaping, snow removal, trash removal and other maintenance costs. The budget should show the costs for maintenance and management of the association, as well as the costs for routine and emergency repairs. The budget can help the board anticipate the future costs for operations, repairs and maintenance of the association.
3 – Make Informed Decisions
A budget can allow the HOA to make informed decisions about the future of the community. The HOA can see where their money is going, what they have been spending money on and where they are spending money unnecessarily. If they see that they are spending money on certain things each year and those costs are rising, they can take steps to reduce the cost of those things. The budget provides the HOA with a tool to see where they are spending money and where they can cut costs.
4 – Calculate Resident Fees
HOA budgets also allow the association to decide what the monthly fees should be for residents. The board can see how much money the association is spending each month on property management, maintenance, insurance and other costs. They can compare this to the money they bring in from property owners. The board can then set a cap on their total budget costs, and the property owners will know how much each month their HOA fees will be.
5 – Set Financial Goals for the Association
The HOA budget can be a tool for setting financial goals for the association. If the HOA wants to purchase a new piece of equipment, they can decide how much they can afford to spend on the item and set a goal to pay for it within a set period of time. This allows the association to have a plan to save up enough money to acquire the item and give the board a guide to see how long it will take to save the money.
Although you may not be responsible for the budget for the HOA, understanding the purpose of the budget is beneficial when working for the association. You can offer suggestions to the board about their budgeting practices and help them to create a budget that is beneficial to the residents of the community.
If you need California HOA budgeting services, California Builder Services can help! We specialize in DRE public reports processing, HOA budgeting, & reserve studies. Contact us today!