Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
HOA Treasurer Software Recommendation?
Old 05-30-2018, 11:56 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 3,501
HOA Treasurer Software Recommendation?

Starting next month, I'll become the treasurer of our small HOA (34 units).

The previous treasurers have used Excel. I'm happy to use Excel (or Google Sheets) in my case, but I'm wondering if others have used anything better for this purpose?
__________________

joeea is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-30-2018, 12:28 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 23,040
It depends on what is involved. If very simple then I would think that excel woudl be fine. Otherwise, Quicken or Quickbooks or GnuCash (freeware) seem to be popular.

Also see similar recent thread: club treasurer software recommendations
__________________

__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...60/35/5 AA
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 12:32 PM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
davebarnes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 745
Accounting software is much better than Excel for managing a business. Tracking and reporting are so much easier.
Accounting software costs money and Excel is free.
Online accounting software makes the most sense. (starts at $9/mo or 26Ę/mo/unit)

Use The Google: "online accounting software"

P.S. Quicken is not "accounting software", QuickBooks is and it is expensive.
__________________
Dave Barnes
Old (71.0) Fart Nerd
AA 73/24/3, WR=3.6%, 91.6% retired, still working 1/2ish hrs/day
davebarnes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 12:41 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OldShooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: City
Posts: 3,453
Quickbooks.

Excel is the Leatherman tool of mathematics. If you have ever tried driving twenty or thirty screws with a Leatherman you will appreciate why a more specialized tool can be of benefit. Accounting software is that tool, and QB is the de facto standard for small businesses accounting software.

Read that other thread that @pb4uski linked.
OldShooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 01:24 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 3,501
Do you all actually use Quicken or Quickbooks or GnuCash for your HOA? Or do you know that your HOA's treasurer actually uses them? Or are you just assuming that they would be better?

If either of the former, what do those systems provide for your HOA that Excel doesn't?
joeea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 01:59 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OldShooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: City
Posts: 3,453
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeea View Post
Do you all actually use Quicken or Quickbooks or GnuCash for your HOA? Or do you know that your HOA's treasurer actually uses them? Or are you just assuming that they would be better?

If either of the former, what do those systems provide for your HOA that Excel doesn't?
Not sure who you are asking, but for me I don't use it for an HOA. I used it for many years managing rental real estate, pretty much since it was released in the 1990s. I also used it for about ten years as treasurer of our flying club, billing 80 members every month and handling about $350K of revenue annually. Finally, I have seen it used for many, many different businesses in my role as a SCORE small business mentor. So I don't think I'm just "assuming."

What does it provide beyond Excel? Too many things to count. For one, your books will always balance because it checks every transaction. Second, it provides a great interface to your CPA or tax preparer -- nothing new to learn as they already know it. Third, it allows you to email statements to your HOA members with the click of a mouse. Fourth, it will talk to your bank and import/reconcile your checking and other accounts. Fifth, it will keep track of any 1099 vendors so you can file the proper paperwork at tax time. Sixth, you will have P&Ls and balance sheets at the touch of a key. ... Lots more.

You can dig a ditch with a teaspoon, too, but it is not the optimum tool.
OldShooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 03:20 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 23,040
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeea View Post
Do you all actually use Quicken or Quickbooks or GnuCash for your HOA? Or do you know that your HOA's treasurer actually uses them? Or are you just assuming that they would be better?

If either of the former, what do those systems provide for your HOA that Excel doesn't?
I use GnuCash for our lake association... the previous Treasurer used Excel and I continued with Excel to the end of the fiscal year, then started with GnuCash.

I'm very familiar with Quicken and Quickbooks and could have chose to use either of those too. I used GnuCash instead of Quicken (which I already owned) because I wanted to try it out. I am familiar with Quickbooks from volunteer work that I do with the local food pantry that uses Quickbooks.

If cost were not a consideration then I would use Quickbooks.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...60/35/5 AA
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 03:31 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeea View Post
Do you all actually use Quicken or Quickbooks or GnuCash for your HOA? Or do you know that your HOA's treasurer actually uses them? Or are you just assuming that they would be better?

If either of the former, what do those systems provide for your HOA that Excel doesn't?
I am an HOA treasurer who uses Quicken. We only have 4 units, so 34 doesn't sound that small to me! The two treasurers before me were also using Quicken, so we basically have about 25 years of data in the file. Like the treasurers before me, I also use Quicken for personal finances, so I know the program and have a copy anyway, so it doesn't cost the HOA anything for me to use my existing software on my own laptop. I am not using the subscription version of Quicken, and I'm not sure if you can have multiple data files with that version, so if we ever get forced into an upgrade we might reconsider then.

Our finances are simple. We pay our HOA fees quarterly, so I have 4 annual bank deposits to record. I have one income category of "HOA Fees" and 4 subcategories for the four house numbers. Each deposit gets split into the 4 subcategories. If someone prepays for more than one quarter, I just put the actual amount received from them against their subcategory. I also have a "Special Assessment" category and subcategories for each unit, but haven't had to use that one in several years. Our funds are kept in a free non-interest checking account.

We have 5 expense categories: landscaping, termite, pest control, insurance, other repairs. Every outgoing check or automatic withdrawal fits into one of these categories, but I could create more if needed. (Owners pay for their own trash removal and utilities, including water, so we have no association expenses for those items.)

At the end of the year, I run a Cashflow report for the current year and a Budget report for the next year and email them to all the owners. The Cashflow report also has all the numbers that I need to fill out and file form 1120-H with the IRS.

Could I do all this in Excel? Yes. It would be a bit more cumbersome because Quicken automatically selects the right data for the reports and it has predefined reports, which I would have to create in Excel and then update yearly. If I didn't already have Quicken, I'd probably use Excel for my 4-unit association. If I had 34 units to keep track of, I'm sure there'd be a need for e-mailing invoices and reminders and adding late fees, and in that case I'd lean more towards QuickBooks since it's designed to handle those types of activities.
cathy63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 03:43 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 3,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathy63 View Post
I am an HOA treasurer who uses Quicken. We only have 4 units, so 34 doesn't sound that small to me! The two treasurers before me were also using Quicken, so we basically have about 25 years of data in the file. Like the treasurers before me, I also use Quicken for personal finances, so I know the program and have a copy anyway, so it doesn't cost the HOA anything for me to use my existing software on my own laptop. I am not using the subscription version of Quicken, and I'm not sure if you can have multiple data files with that version, so if we ever get forced into an upgrade we might reconsider then.

Our finances are simple. We pay our HOA fees quarterly, so I have 4 annual bank deposits to record. I have one income category of "HOA Fees" and 4 subcategories for the four house numbers. Each deposit gets split into the 4 subcategories. If someone prepays for more than one quarter, I just put the actual amount received from them against their subcategory. I also have a "Special Assessment" category and subcategories for each unit, but haven't had to use that one in several years. Our funds are kept in a free non-interest checking account.

We have 5 expense categories: landscaping, termite, pest control, insurance, other repairs. Every outgoing check or automatic withdrawal fits into one of these categories, but I could create more if needed. (Owners pay for their own trash removal and utilities, including water, so we have no association expenses for those items.)

At the end of the year, I run a Cashflow report for the current year and a Budget report for the next year and email them to all the owners. The Cashflow report also has all the numbers that I need to fill out and file form 1120-H with the IRS.

Could I do all this in Excel? Yes. It would be a bit more cumbersome because Quicken automatically selects the right data for the reports and it has predefined reports, which I would have to create in Excel and then update yearly. If I didn't already have Quicken, I'd probably use Excel for my 4-unit association. If I had 34 units to keep track of, I'm sure there'd be a need for e-mailing invoices and reminders and adding late fees, and in that case I'd lean more towards QuickBooks since it's designed to handle those types of activities.
Thanks! Very helpful.
joeea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 03:54 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 355
To OP - letís assume you go the excel route and there is a GAAP law change to the depreciation rules, for example. If you use excel, the VOLUNTEER Treasurer has to 1-be aware that the law changed and 2-be able to update the excel model to ACCURATELY reflect the new law. If you use a software program, like quickbooks, all you have to do is install the update.
ocean view is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 04:40 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 3,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocean view View Post
To OP - letís assume you go the excel route and there is a GAAP law change to the depreciation rules, for example. If you use excel, the VOLUNTEER Treasurer has to 1-be aware that the law changed and 2-be able to update the excel model to ACCURATELY reflect the new law. If you use a software program, like quickbooks, all you have to do is install the update.
I understand. Thanks.
joeea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 04:41 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 3,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I use GnuCash for our lake association... the previous Treasurer used Excel and I continued with Excel to the end of the fiscal year, then started with GnuCash.

I'm very familiar with Quicken and Quickbooks and could have chose to use either of those too. I used GnuCash instead of Quicken (which I already owned) because I wanted to try it out. I am familiar with Quickbooks from volunteer work that I do with the local food pantry that uses Quickbooks.

If cost were not a consideration then I would use Quickbooks.
Thanks for your help.
joeea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 04:42 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 3,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
Not sure who you are asking, but for me I don't use it for an HOA. I used it for many years managing rental real estate, pretty much since it was released in the 1990s. I also used it for about ten years as treasurer of our flying club, billing 80 members every month and handling about $350K of revenue annually. Finally, I have seen it used for many, many different businesses in my role as a SCORE small business mentor. So I don't think I'm just "assuming."

What does it provide beyond Excel? Too many things to count. For one, your books will always balance because it checks every transaction. Second, it provides a great interface to your CPA or tax preparer -- nothing new to learn as they already know it. Third, it allows you to email statements to your HOA members with the click of a mouse. Fourth, it will talk to your bank and import/reconcile your checking and other accounts. Fifth, it will keep track of any 1099 vendors so you can file the proper paperwork at tax time. Sixth, you will have P&Ls and balance sheets at the touch of a key. ... Lots more.

You can dig a ditch with a teaspoon, too, but it is not the optimum tool.
Thanks.
joeea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2018, 10:35 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,000
I am a treasurer of an 8 unit condominium complex and we use MoneyDance. For our purposes I need to track association payments, special assessment payments, interest income, and expenses. It is very similar to Quicken and uses a checkbook register for data entry. You can split a payment/income between account categories. It outputs acceptable monthly (and YTD) reports for Budget, Income-Expense, and Balance Sheet, all in PDF format if you want.


Budgeting is a bit different (and less effective IMHO) than in Quicken, but then the cost of the software is less and all versions are supported by an active Community Forum with staff chiming in when needed.


Would I use Excel instead? Sure, but the reports are the real advantage of any piece of software, and creating the code/macros to make them work in Excel is more work than I'm willing to accept.


HTH,
Rita
__________________

__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
club treasurer software recommendations ukwildcat Other topics 16 05-30-2018 09:50 AM
dallas x marriedw/children x csi miami x desperate housewives.. life in a FL HOA ladelfina Other topics 4 03-23-2007 02:08 PM
Question for HOA Officers and others Sundance Kid Other topics 12 09-28-2006 10:51 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:02 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×