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Linda Palfi
CNC Properties
47033 Creekside, Calgary, Alberta
P: 403-998-7732
F: 403-592-8002
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Treasurer is a key condo role

 

The leadership necessary to properly govern a condominium corporation includes financial analysis from a Board member who holds the position of Treasurer. While most Boards rely on their Chair or their property manager for financial input, the best Boards have an active Treasurer who reports to the Board monthly and to the general meeting of all owners annually. He/she will recommend any needed contribution increases, any special assessment, how to invest money for best return and whether expenses are within or exceed the budget so far this year.

 

As they say, information is power, and what condominium Board has enough information about its financial situation? Only in self-managed smaller developments do I often see the treasurer take a hands-on role administering the finances of a condo corporation. Too often it's all left to the building's property management firm, with the Board only receiving a monthly summary of what's in the bank. There's much more that can be done to ensure tight fiscal operations.

 

The ideal arrangement would have a professional management firm collect and hold funds in trust, with the Board's Treasurer attending quarterly at the management office to review the bills that have been paid and check account balances. Property management firms can be running dozens and even hundreds of buildings at a time, so it's no surprise that a review will find some of another building's bills paid with your building's money. Even audited financial statements don't review spending in such a way as to find these day-to-day errors, but a resident volunteer Treasurer would spot them quickly.

 

A good Treasurer will take a hard look at the largest area of spending, which is utility costs. Is it time to lock in electricity or natural gas prices? If so, with which company, and for how long? Are there savings to be obtained in common-area lighting, heating or hot-water use? Perhaps the Board will be advised to buy every suite owner a low-flow shower nozzle, or install neon-style bulbs in incandescent-lit areas, such as stairwells and the parking garage. Perhaps the new heating boilers should cost more, but offer a higher efficiency rating, with a payback on the increment of cost that the Treasurer will justify.

 

Well-run condominiums enjoy political leadership from their Chair, management leadership from their hired manager, but will also ask for financial analysis and recommendations such as these from their Treasurer.

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