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HOA 101: Understanding the Role of the Board Treasurer

HOA treasurer taking notes at HOA board meeting

To function correctly, a homeowners' association (HOA) must have a board of directors authorized to act on a community's behalf, create and enforce community guidelines, and maintain shared spaces. Generally, the HOA board of directors has four officer positions: president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Each officer has specific duties and responsibilities related to the operation and function of the association. Read on to learn more about HOA treasurer duties and HOA treasurer responsibilities.

What does an HOA treasurer do?

While there may not be an official HOA treasurer job description, the HOA board treasurer acts as the financial manager for the association. He or she is responsible for the association funds and maintaining all financial records. From billing and collections to disbursement of funds, the treasurer oversees and supports all things financial.

What makes a good board treasurer?

The importance of the HOA treasurer shouldn’t be overlooked, and finding the right person for the job is crucial to the success of the association. Some HOA treasurers may not feel comfortable handling the association’s financial operations, so may not be as involved in the role. On the other hand, the opposite can occur, and the treasurer may become too involved or make suggestions that aren’t in line with appropriate business practices. It’s best to select someone with an accounting background and sound business judgment to serve as the treasurer. Plus, it's always a good idea for the HOA treasurer to lean on and partner with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who has experience working with HOAs to save time and money and eliminate bias.

Need help finding a CPA? Check out how to find the right CPA for your HOA

What are HOA treasurer duties?

In short, the treasurer is the custodian of the funds, securities, and financial records of the association. While specific roles and HOA treasurer responsibilities vary by association, primary duties typically include:

  • Reviewing financial records for accuracy
  • Overseeing billing and collections
  • Ensuring timely payment of invoices
  • Making necessary investments of the association’s funds
  • Confirming audits and reserve studies are performed

Sometimes, an association manager or management company handles funds and day-to-day record-keeping functions. If this is the case, HOA treasurer duties may include ensuring appropriate parties follow the association’s governing documents and bylaws in maintaining all financial records and reports. Review your management contract and governing documents to confirm roles and details. 

Looking for your HOA records? Here are 5 places to find your HOA governing documents

Budget Preparation: The HOA Board Treasurer’s Most Important Task

As the leader in preparing the annual budget, the board treasurer must be willing and able to fulfill this crucial task with expert thoroughness. In preparing the budget, the treasurer must:

1. Review all contracts.

All contracts should be reviewed to ensure they are being fulfilled, the pricing is correct, and the services are still required. The contract and pricing review should be completed early on in case new contracts or vendors are needed. 

2. Contact utilities.

Board members should contact all utilities to find out if prices are expected to increase and calculate this into the working budget. They should ask about discounts and specials, too. 

3. Review financial statements.

It’s important to review the income statement, the balance sheet, and the comparative budget for the current fiscal year to evaluate the association's current financial position. The board must determine where there are shortages and excesses and make necessary adjustments to avoid problems down the road.   

Want more financial tips and advice? Here are 5 tips for maintaining the financial stability of your HOA

4. Review recent reserve study.

Make sure the association’s reserves are properly funded so money is available in case a reserve component requires maintenance or there's an emergency situation. Reserve expenses should also be allocated as recommended by the professional reserve study analyst to avoid special assessments, increased dues, and general community frustration. 

Understanding Other Board Roles

As the go-to financial custodian, the HOA treasurer is vital to the success of the community. Your HOA treasurer should be thorough and responsive and have sound business judgment.

To be the most efficient and effective organization, it's crucial for both residents and leaders to fully understand each key player on the board of directors. To learn more about the HOA board secretary, read our post, “HOA 101: Understanding the Role of the Board Secretary.”