“A property manager deals with many issues in the course of managing a residential property, but probably the most important area is finances,” says Ira Meister, President and CEO, Matthew Adam Properties. A partner in an accounting firm that works with numerous co-ops and condominiums and who has a good perspective on what to expect regarding finances discussed this with Meister.
“Probably the most important responsibility is making certain the financial records are complete and there is sufficient information for the accountant and the board,” the accountant says.
Complete and accurate financial records are central for projecting expenditures
Meister says the accountant also told him he values asset managers who get the information to him in a timely manner. This includes the monthly financial reports and as well as preparation of the annual budget. In some buildings, the board does the initial budget, in others it is the managing agent or the accounting firm, or most often a combination. But, the accountant says, when the accounting firm reviews the budget it is important that the managing agent provides accurate historical information on usage of fuel, water, and electricity, both year-to-date figures as well as past numbers. This is central to projecting expenditures.
Coupled with this is having good financial software. The accountant points out that there are numerous software programs on the market for the financials of co-ops and condos and some management companies, particularly smaller ones, try to save money by buying inferior programs. The building is the loser in these instances.
This brings up an interesting point. A firm’s commitment to quality service extends to the technology it uses and the commitment to getting and using up-to-date systems. “At Matthew Adam Properties, we continuously look at the latest technology and invest in those we believe will improve services,” Meister says.