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When it comes to community associations, there are several important responsibilities. One of the most confusing, yet vital, is proper financial management. Maintaining the best interest and financial health of the association is of the utmost concern. It’s not worth taking a risk when it comes to these duties. That’s why it’s imperative to entrust your association’s fiscal management to a CPA, but not just any CPA. You need a CPA with the right experience.
When looking for a CPA for your association, these are three things to consider:
- Industry Involvement
There are several important services that need to be performed by a CPA.
- Financial Statements. Your association’s financial statements are important to maintain fiscal responsibility. Your CPA should be able to perform audits, reviews, or compilations to comply with desires of membership and current applicable statutes. Financial statements should be designed to fulfill disclosure and presentation requirements according to all generally accepted accounting principles and the laws and rules of Florida.
- Budget Preparation and Review. Florida Statutes contain specific requirements for budget preparation. You need a CPA who can assist you in preparing and reviewing your budgets to make sure it complies with the law and makes good business sense.
- Association Transitions. Florida statutes have very specific requirements for associations going through transitions in control from the developer to owners. Many of the requirements have significant financial impact. Your CPA should be able to assist pre-turnover member work groups to prepare for the turnover.
- Reserve Analysis. Providing for future repair and replacement of certain common properties is an important duty of your organization. Your CPA should be able to assist you in matching results of reserve studies to required budget disclosures and answer other questions related to reserves.
- Statutory Compliance. Florida Statutes and Rules impose procedural requirements upon all associations. You need a CPA who can assist your association in complying with the requirements.
- Accounting Procedure Review. Your CPA should also be able to review current accounting processes and procedures and make recommendations for improvements.
- Income Tax Preparation and Planning. When it’s time to file income tax and other taxes, your CPA can prepare the returns and deliver them for review and signature. As you build a relationship, the CPA can make tax planning observations to help your association.
- Accounting Assistance. There will be additional accounting tasks that arise throughout the year. You need a CPA who can be a personal controller, whether advising on the “nuts and bolts” of running the association or reviewing on an as-needed basis.
Cavanaugh & Co provides these services for community associations.
Not every CPA is familiar with the specific laws and rules that govern Florida associations. You need a CPA who is passionate about the industry and has experience serving different types of associations including residential condominiums, timeshares, co-operatives, homeowners, commercial office condominiums, and “dock-ominiums.”
Cavanaugh & Co has served hundreds of association clients throughout the west coast of Florida for more than 40 years. Our partners were at the forefront of the accounting profession during the development of accounting rules for associations and continue to serve their peers to raise the bar for all professionals. We constantly seek creative solutions for our associations. We currently serve many types of associations including several large-scale associations and those with waterfronts.
Not only is experience important, but you also need a CPA who is involved in the condominium and homeowner association industry. Your CPA should have a primary focus in accounting, auditing, and consulting for associations. Your association CPA should also have training in community associations and be involved in industry organizations to remain abreast of all current rules and guidelines.
Two of Cavanaugh & Co’s partners have been instrumental in the community association industry. They are founding members and past chairmen of Common Interest Realty Association (CIRA) Committee, which was established by the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) to help practitioners deal with the unique accounting and reporting matters faced by associations in the state. As past chairmen, they were instrumental in the development, drafting, and review of Florida Statutes and Rules. Our partners remain active in the association industry, volunteering to give presentations to the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and communicating regularly with the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums and Mobile Homes staff regarding accounting issues.
To make the best choice for your association’s CPA, consider services, experience, and industry involvement. Cavanaugh & Co is uniquely qualified to serve associations in each of these areas. We go the extra mile to understand your goals and identify and provide solutions to exceed expectations. Don’t trust your association’s financial management to just any CPA. You need a well-qualified, experienced, advisor. Look no further than Cavanaugh & Co.