New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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A Longtime Board Treasurer Explains How to Be a Board Treasurer

Reynold Weidenaar in Board Operations on October 1, 2014

New York City

Oct. 1, 2014

Start with a careful review of your management company's monthly report. It might arrive two to three weeks after the end of the month, meaning that some items are almost two months old. That makes it harder to ask questions and get full and prompt answers. Here's what you need to do:

Get expense explanations. All checks have a memo field. Ask your manager to be as specific as possible in filling this in.

Make daily downloads. Use software like Quicken to make daily downloads of the activity in your building's bank account. Unless your co-op is very large, with a full range of equipment and services, typically there will be 12 to 20 payouts per month, and most will be recognizable recurring expenses (mortgage, insurance, payroll, utilities). 

Review the bills. Management should send any out-of-the-ordinary bills to you for review and approval before payment. This does not apply to routine recurring items; however, professional services, repairs, equipment, maintenance and supplies should be vetted as soon as the bills arrive.

Review the paid checks. Go to the bank's website, log in to your account and view the image of the paid check and read the memo. If that is not clear, then call your manager.

Verify the management report. When you receive the monthly report, revisit transactions that you have already seen. The report will show scans of the bills supporting the payouts, and it will be easy to deal with further questions and information if need be. 

Review the checking account monthly to determine, in consultation with your managing agent, how much excess cash can be transferred to the reserve account, which should be high-interest savings or money-market account.

Keep a history. With major repairs and capital expenses, a good system is scan or take a screenshot of every invoice, which are provided in the monthly management reports. Make these accessible to management and board.

If you thrive on praise and gratitude, the treasurer's job is probably not for you. But if you have, or are interested in developing, the types of skills it entails, being the guardian of the money can be a fascinating experience. And a satisfying one, too.


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