Maybe it’s not as annoying as that trip to the dentist, but the annual budget comes around every year just like that dental appointment. And the budget process, say trustees, officers and accountants who are charged with completing it, draws the same amount of enthusiasm as a dental visit.
Nevertheless, an annual budget is the blueprint for the community and will determine its financial well being, or lack of it, for both the upcoming year and for years to come. An efficient, painless budgeting process can be achieved in different ways. One community may attribute its budget success to an active, engaged board of directors, while another may tout the importance of feedback from unit owners. And every annual budget is as unique as its community—a cookie cutter approach just won’t do.
Almost all the participants in the production of the annual budget agree that it’s a basic, down-to earth task that doesn’t necessarily need the help of an accountant or other outside professional.
Active Board Can Move Process Along
Marcia Woods is financial manager for Winterplace at Okemo Condo-minium Owners’ Association in Ludlow, Vermont. The community hires its own staff to manage the property, which wasbuilt in 1985 and now counts 248 units on about 50 acres of slopeside real estate, just a stone’s throw from the Okemo Mountain Ski Resort.
Units are occupied mostly during skiseason, but the business of property management goes on all year. “The board of trustees meets six times a year,” notes Woods.