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Board of Directors Questions

Does your company send out late charge notices to past due homeowners?

Yes, eCondoServices sends out late charge notices to those homeowners that are delinquent in paying their assessments. All homeowner assessments are due on the 1st of each month. The Association’s governing documents typically allow for a “grace period” before a late charge penalty is levied. Normally the “grace period” ranges from 10 to 20 days. eCondoServices’ accounts receivable staff follows a programmed schedule for sending out late charge notices every month. Both our notices and collection process has been reviewed by our collection attorney to ensure that we comply with the State law.

How does eCondoServices help the Board keep track of homeowners that are past due on their assessments?

eCondoServices tracks the billing of monthly assessments and payments for each homeowner. Our accounts receivable employees make the deposits of homeowner payments and send out collection notices every month. In your monthly financial package sent to the Board, the delinquency aging report shows the status of each unit, how much is owed by the unit, and how delinquent ( 30, 60, 90+ days) each homeowner is. The reports are updated each month.

Are collecting homeowner dues each month and keeping records of who has paid their dues for the month part of your service?

Yes, we do these things each month as part of our service contract. Individual ledger accounts for tracking assessments and payments are set-up for each unit in the Association. Assessments and payments are tracked and updated every month. We also have an ACH program (automatic dues withdrawal) for homeowners that want the added convenience of automatic monthly payment of their dues.

Does your company travel to the bank to deposit the homeowner dues payments?

Yes, our staff processes bank deposits every day. Our staff also handles the monthly deposit transfers between the operating and reserve accounts. We also collect and deposit the payments from the homeowners that use their bank’s bill payer service.

Who approves the invoices and pays the Association’s bills each month?

eCondoServices receives the bills each month. Our Accounts Payable department assembles, scans, and emails the Treasurer of the Board all of the invoices for review of the expense codes, invoice amounts, and approval twice a month. Once approved, eCondoServices writes the checks and mails the approved payments to the vendors.

Our previous bookkeeper occasionally paid our utility bills late and we were assessed late charges? How are you going to keep that from happening?

Unlike most companies in the industry, eCondoServices performs two check runs every month to ensure the Association’s obligations are handled in a prompt fashion without late charges. Most companies only do one check run per month.

We have a resident caretaker at our community. Does the Treasurer still need to do the payroll?

No, eCondoServices prepares and distributes the payroll checks, and files the necessary tax reports for all of the Association’s employees each pay period.

When we change over to eCondoServices, who is going to inform all of our vendors and our bank about the address change?

When we receive the invoices from the vendors that are forwarded to us by the post office, our standard procedure is to include a change of address letter in the envelope with the payments to your vendors. For the bank account changeovers, we communicate directly with the banks and complete all of the paperwork for the changeover on your behalf. We serve as your registered agent and central business office for everyone affiliated with your Association, including your vendors.

How frequently do you produce financial statements for our Association?

Our accounting staff uses the latest condominium accounting software to produce the monthly financial package for the Boards. The comprehensive package includes the following: cash flow statement, balance sheet, income statement, check register, expense distribution report, delinquency report, and a summarized aging report.

Our Association has a moving fee that needs to be collected? How is that done?

Many Associations have fees related to moving in order to offset wear and tear to the building, additional garbage collection costs, and extra administrative work. The moving fees are noted on the resale certificate for collection by the escrow company at closing. When we receive a notification from the Board or Committee of a move in/move out for a rental unit, we send a letter to the homeowner and apply the moving fee to the unit ledger account.

We need meeting notices sent out to the homeowners. Do you arrange the mailings?

Yes, our office staff arranges, assembles, copies, and sends out the mass mailings for annual meeting packages, budget ratification meetings, window washing notices or any other project approved by the Board.

Our Board spends a good deal of time on preparing our annual budget. What is your role in preparing the budget? Can you help us?

We do 95% of the work for the Association by preparing the draft budget for Board review, edits, and approval. Our staff uses year to date actual expenses and revenues to estimate the year end totals. We call the various utilities and suppliers (PSE, City water, sewer, garbage company, insurance, etc.) to find out the proposed increases in the coming fiscal year and use the information in formulating the new budget for Board review and approval.

Can you provide a sample of your financial statement for review by our Treasurer?

Yes, we can email you a sample of our financial statement package. We can also send you samples of our collection notices if needed.

How does the Board know if the Association’s spending is on track with the budget?

An income and expense statement is produced each month for the Board of Directors to review. The report shows the monthly record of expenses compared to the monthly budget. The year-to-date expenses are also compared to the year-to-date budget so Board members can readily see where they stand on spending compared to the budget.

Does eCondoServices prepare our Federal tax return?

No, we hire a third party CPA that specializes in condominium taxes to prepare the tax return and to do the annual audit, if required. We provide the Association’s records, office space, and answer auditor questions as part of our service in order to facilitate the preparation of the tax return and/or audit. During the year, eCondoServices completes the quarterly paperwork and makes the required tax deposits to the IRS and State as needed.

Last year, the Association had an unexpected event that resulted in a mid-year special assessment. Are you able to do calculate and coordinate special assessments for us that might come up in the course of a year?

Certainly. We have procedures in place to levy and manage special assessments ranging from a one-time lump sum payment or for payments spread out over several months or a year. Special assessments require accurate accounting in order to properly inform the Board and the homeowners on how the special assessment money is collected and spent. Many companies co-mingle special assessment funds and expenses with the regular operating financial statement. This is poor accounting practice and often leads to headaches for Boards in tracking and reporting project expenditures to the members. When accounting for special assessments, eCondoServices opens a separate special assessment bank account and produces a separate special assessment financial statement to ensure accurate reporting and tracking. In the event that the special assessment project expenses come in below budget, homeowners are ensured an accurate refund of any unused special assessment funds with our procedures.

Is eCondoServices involved in managing the association reserve accounts?

Yes. We analyze and review the reserve study to advise Boards of the cost and timing of upcoming projects, and incorporate the reserve study funding recommendations into the draft budget each year.

What happens with our Association’s records at the end of the year?

As part of our contract, we maintain master files for all correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records, bank accounts, insurance policies, contracts, and common area repair expenditures. We hold two years of Association records at our office and arrange for offsite storage of the Association’s other records.

What is a reserve study?

Condominium associations must establish a reserve fund account to pay for major repairs or replacement of common elements. The purpose of a reserve account is to fund components that are in need of repair or replacement within 30 years such as new roofs, plumbing, exterior painting, and deck repairs. Reserve studies are used to determine appropriate funding levels each in order to be able to pay for the replacement or repair when it is needed, and to minimize the need for special assessments. An adequate amount of reserve funding is determined through a reserve study. Also, condominium resale certificates are required to contain a statement of the amount of any reserves for repair and replacement and the portion of those reserves currently designated for any specific project. The requirement that condominium associations conduct reserve studies passed the Washington State Legislature as Senate Bill 6215.

Do you update the reserve study every year?

Associations must conduct and update reserve studies annually according to the new State of Washington law. The initial reserve study must be done by a professional. In addition, a reserve study update is to be done every third-year thereafter by a reserve study professional. Although eCondoServices does not perform reserve studies or updates every third year, we do have a reserve study division that can complete those for you. We can assist the Board Treasurer in doing the annual updates.

If we need a good window washer, landscaper, or other vendor, can you help us find one?

Yes. We have a list of approved vendors that have done well at our other Associations that we manage. We are happy to provide contact information to the Board for services that they need. Our wholly owned handyman service is available for other small jobs.

We need to replace our roofs next year and are concerned about finding a good roofer and making sure the job gets done right. We need help obtaining bids and someone to oversee the project. Can you help us?

Most Boards need help on large projects. Our managers are not roof experts and do not have the time, knowledge, and experience to manage major projects. We do have a construction management division that can just help answers your roofing questions, or handle a few parts of the project such as specifications and bidding process, or manage the entire project from step one to completion. It just depends on what level of service that you need.

Who is going to handle the paperwork for obtaining our pool permit and elevator permit each year?

eCondoServices.com responds to the City, County, and State regulators for you on the legal and administrative issues pertaining to the property (back flow tests, elevator permits, pool permits, etc.) We complete the permit paperwork and pay the permit fees.