Ah, the stress! Association budget season and stress go together like Colorado and snow!

It might not be budget season, but the anticipation can still give you a headache. With the dreadfulness associated with that time, you might be asking, “What can I do now to prepare for that time of year?”. There are a number of things that managers and the board can collectively work on now to ensure the success of your community later.

#1 Conduct an in-depth review of the associations’ past expenses

During this review take a look into all your expenses for the past few years. You should work on factoring out non-recurring expenses, and factoring in anticipated expenses for the upcoming year. You can also start to review your governing documents, these documents will need to be revised if you plan to increase or decrease the amount of your assessments.

#2 Ask Questions!

This is also a good time to ask questions such as; how can we improve? What can we do differently to better our association? Was there something management should have done differently this year? Write these questions down, and conversate with members of the board to plan accordingly.

#3 Get Feedback from Residents

You should communicate with homeowners that belong to your association. Ask if they have any recommendations to improve the community, what has been a subject of irritation within the community? This is the time to write these things down, so a plan can be created.

#4 Get Organized

During this phase of preparation, you should get out any contracts that will be continued into the next fiscal year. Look for any changes, especially price. You should also work on laying out and estimating the cost of utilities and maintenance.

When completing this prep, it’s important for you to be realistic. By planning, you are taking efficient steps to ensure the success of your associations’ short-term and long-term goals. You’re maintaining the financial responsibility of your association, which has a lot to do with the association’s overall prosperity. Hopefully, by organizing and starting your plan now you can remove some of the stress surrounding the season. Happy planning!