Sheryl Nance-Nash in Board Operations on September 19, 2013
McIntosh-Brown talked with Josh Koppel, the president of HSC Management, about using the five-year-old Dropbox file-hosting service. The "cloud" storage system lets you bring all your documents, videos and photos anywhere. Installing the free Dropbox software creates a special folder on your computer. Anything you add to the folder automatically saves to all your devices — computers, phones, tablet — and to the Dropbox website. You can access these files while out and about and easily share them with others, including those who don't have a Dropbox account.
"It's unbelievably better," says Koppel, who has been employing the system since May 2013 to distribute monthly financial statements to boards. These can include bank statements, reconciliation, cash flow, check registry analysis of charges and collections for all residents, copies of bills paid, open invoices, a detailed general ledger and more.
"With Dropbox, everything is in one place; it looks better and is clearer," says Koppel. Furthermore, Dropbox stores each monthly statement in the archives. "When board members change, you can delete them from the system."
Dropping a Hint
Once Koppel decided to go with Dropbox, he sent notices to his clients about the change. "You can share the box via a link. It's safe, confidential. You get notification when something has been added to the box. It's made life easier."
Co-op board president McIntosh-Brown agrees. "When we get documents in the box, I can get on the phone with Josh or other board members and can quickly do a conference call. We can all see the documents," she says. "I can break things into folders and share a portion of the information or all of it, which is important. I'm thankful our management company is open to new ideas. We have information at our fingertips, can get it on our phone, tablet, or computer."
Koppel recently started using the service for his purchase applications as well. "Dropbox saves time," he explains. "Our staff was spending at least two full days with the monthly statements and we're not spending that kind of time now. I'm able to download my monthly statement in the computer. It's paperless and that saves me money — and it ultimately saves the building money."
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