This week’s Condo Association Board personality is on the Condo Association Board Accountant. The Accountant loves numbers and money, specifically making sure your Association has plenty of it. This is an important consideration for most Associations, as money makes the world go ‘round! Having an Accountant will make sure you’ve got the green, but don’t let them forget about the human element of your community.
The Condo Association Board Accountant Mantra – “Is the Association financially sound? We must ensure we’ve got the money we need to protect the Community.”
Gets Along With – The Engineer. Both love numbers and take a very quantitative view towards governing the Condo Association.
Clashes with – The Socialite. The Socialite focuses on the emotional quotient and community of the Association. The Accountant likes numbers. Disagreements will happen.
The Accountant is focused on the bottom line, period. They will meticulously comb through every expense your Association has, looking for waste. They will typically advocate for regular rebidding of contracts in order to ensure the association is getting the best price. The Accountant will not let the Association operate without a recent reserve study, and will fight hard to ensure that reserves are properly funded.
The Accountant also will often pay attention to things like annual audits or draft audits with greater fidelity than most Board members. Having an Accountant on your Board is a skill set that is extremely beneficial for the community, making them quite likely the most important personality to have on the Board. This is because above all else, a Board has a fiduciary duty to the Association, and that’s the Accountant’s strength. They also are good for navigating a Special Assessment.
Life can’t be run off a spreadsheet, or a least not pleasantly. The Accountant sees everything as numbers. In pursuit of a balanced budget, the Accountant might seek to cut popular amenities or activities. In these circumstances, it falls to the rest of the Board to moderate accordingly. Make sure that you take into consideration the Accountant’s feedback, but don’t forget the human side of things. The Advocate is helpful for that.
The Miser: The Accountant Who Breaks Bad
An out-of-control Accountant becomes the Miser. Unlike the Accountant, the Miser will penny-pinch on everything. They will shortchange repairs, reserves, and staff salaries. There is no such thing as spending too little money for the Miser. This can lead to a “penny wise, pound foolish” approach that has significant long-term detriments to a community. The Board must stand strong against such damaging Board members.
Tips to Working with the Accountant
The Accountant is extremely rational. They will not respond well to emotional pleas like “a party is fun, YOLO let’s get lobster!” However, they will see the logic and rationale of planned-out actions. If you can build certain activities, like committee events into the budget in a way that is responsible, they Accountant will listen. The Accountant will also likely be open to any proposal that is structured and makes sense. For example, if you can convince them of a multi-year improvement plan that enhances the community, they likely will be interested.
The Condo Association Board Accountant is an important part of your community. They will help manage your finances and ensure a fiscally sound community. Your job is to make sure they don’t forget about the Owners. A well-balanced community will benefit for having an Accountant looking out for it.