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Subject: Online posting of financials?
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EricM6
(Maryland)

Posts:7


02/28/2009 2:23 PM  
Ok, so the current debate in our HOA is whether to post our financial documents on our website. It is public information, so anybody who comes to the administrative office can ask to view them. I've found a couple of other local HOA websites that post theirs. So what is the consensus? Post them online or not?
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


02/28/2009 2:40 PM  

Eric,

If the website is password sensitive, then absolutely post them. The H.Os are entitled to know. Plus the fact that it will save paper, that turns into cash for the HOA, and it saves a tree. I'm loving the idea.
EricM6
(Maryland)

Posts:7


02/28/2009 2:53 PM  
We can limit it to to member of the website only, but the administration of user accounts for 900+ homes is cumbersome. The other HOAs I've found have their financials posted online with no password protection.

Speaking of saving money/trees, we have already given the community the option to opt out of the monthly mailing of the newsletter which we have posted online in PDF form. Out newsletter has cost up to $900 /month for printing and postage. We only started this last month, but we about 15% of the community have opted out of the mailing already.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


02/28/2009 3:26 PM  

Eric,

Great job with the website. That's what it is for, and everything that we as a Board can do to save the association money is an even greater feat. As long as the web site is limited to the membership, that should be sufficient to keep the financials more restricted to the members, not that having an outsider see it is hazardous. (I am a Master Gardener and every tree is precious in the long run)
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


02/28/2009 6:02 PM  
I would say that unless there is objects from the membership that I see no reason not to post it on the web site. This is assuming that there is no information that identifies who is behind in their dues. But I really don't see that the finances of an HOA are anything to hide.
hoatalk
(California)

Posts:571


02/28/2009 7:40 PM  
One of our long-time sponsors the law firm of Hindman-Sanchez in CO wrote an article on this and recommends against posting financials on a public site.

See: Article Link

From the article:
"Create a portion of the site restricted to residents only, requiring a user name and a pass code for access. General information about the community and its amenities can be a useful marketing tool, but budget information, the minutes of board meetings, and the names and addresses of residents should not be available to the general public. (Prospective buyers typically will review budget information and board minutes, but it is better if that information comes directly from the seller rather than from the association, which, absent a state law to the contrary, does not typically have a business relationship with the buyer.)"

As far as user administration for 900 users: The sites we host under our Community123.com service use a simple but effective security approach: Owners create their own website accounts via a secure self-registration process. The board only has to give out a community registration code once to all owners and they use this to get their own accounts whenever they like. No extra work for the board.
See: Demo Registration Page

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MaryA1


Posts:0


03/01/2009 8:50 AM  
Eric,

IMO, the financials are NOT public information. Anyone who comes to the mgmt ofc should not be allowed to view them UNLESS that person is a member of the HOA. Why would the mgmt co allow anyone off the street to view the financials of XYZ HOA??? If the financials are posted on the HOAs website it should only be in the "members only" section. IMO, the financials of my HOA are of no business to anyone but the members of my HOA.
EricM6
(Maryland)

Posts:7


03/01/2009 9:53 AM  
I will have to double check our bylaws, but one of our Board members indicated our financials were public record for anybody, not just our members.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


03/01/2009 10:33 AM  

Eric,
I would disagree with that. Yes, those financials are open to each and every member of the Association but they are not public documents.They do not get filed with the City, County or State. The Board member is not correct.
JohnK3
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:967


03/01/2009 10:41 AM  
I agree with Donna. The only folks on a regular basis who should have access is Membership. If a legal matter arose concerning financials, others might earn a look, but aside from that...
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


03/01/2009 10:47 AM  
No, the records of the organization are not "public records."

Remember, HOAs are NOT government agencies and are NOT subject to Open Records requests any more than any other private corporation is.

They are "public" insofar as the only "public" who can view them are the official members of the organization, either board members, directors or association members.
LeeM3
(Florida)

Posts:7


03/03/2009 7:19 AM  
I'm especially interested in knowing what the staff gets paid; each and every position at our HOA bldg.
AleshaZ
(Colorado)

Posts:10


03/03/2009 7:54 AM  
We have our financials on our password protected website. They do have to be made available to the Homeowners and this does save a lot of postage and paper costs.
SkuddleM
(Colorado)

Posts:62


03/05/2009 7:46 PM  
I thought this was a requirement in Colorado. See Colorado Revised Statute
38-33.3-209.4(1) and (2).

In any event, our annual financial report is posted on our website (see attachment)

Attachment: 13546255271.pdf

MaryA1


Posts:0


03/07/2009 12:16 PM  
Skuddle,

Are you saying CO HOA statutes require financial info to be posted in public places?
SkuddleM
(Colorado)

Posts:62


03/07/2009 1:15 PM  
Posted By MaryA1 on 03/07/2009 12:16 PM
Skuddle,

Are you saying CO HOA statutes require financial info to be posted in public places?




Sixty years ago my grandmother told me, "Fools' names are like their faces, always seen in public places..."

No, the CO statute states the disclosure (which includes an annual income and expense report) must be made available to unit owners. Our annual disclosure was placed on the HOA website without password protection to enable title companies and realtors in the area free and easy access to the information the disclosure contains.

I understand your point about keeping financial information out of the public eye and I certainly wouldn't agree with leaving the HOA's financial shorts out on the sidewalk for inspection, but I don't see what harm can come of making public an HOA's annual I&E report or the other information required to be in the disclosure (i.e. current operating budget, reserves, amount of general and any special assessments, list of insurance policies with their policy limits).
MaryA1


Posts:0


03/07/2009 3:56 PM  
Skuddle,

Well I don't see any "harm" in making this info public but I also don't see the need to do so. As far as making it easier for title companys and realtors to obtain the info for your assn, I don't think that's a valid reason. When the info is needed certainly the realtor and title co know who to contact. How would they even know you have this info on a website?
SkuddleM
(Colorado)

Posts:62


03/07/2009 7:22 PM  
The agent who needs the info eventually calls the HOA's office manager and says, "Hey I'm processing a sale of 123 4th street and I need this, and this, and that. Where can I get it?"

The office manager replies, "Oh, you can get everything you need if you go to the HOA's website and click on Annual Disclosure on the home page. If you can't find what you need there, give me a call back."

The office manager never gets the call back. Doesn't have to print and fax/mail copies of CCRs, financials, whatever, and the agent doesn't have to wait 2-3 days for the mail.

It's just a matter of convenience.
MaryA1


Posts:0


03/08/2009 12:28 PM  
Skuddle,

Well, that seems pretty cut and dried! By using this system does that mean there are no transfer fees levied on the seller/buyer after all the PM hasn't done anything but point them to your website. Whatever works for your assn and as long as the members don't have a problem with it, I say go for it. However, I'm glad my assn doesn't do this. All this info is on our website but only members have access to it. IMO, financial info of the assn is not a matter of public record.
JamesC
(Maryland)

Posts:282


03/11/2009 2:57 PM  
Posted By DonnaS on 03/01/2009 10:33 AM

Eric,
I would disagree with that. Yes, those financials are open to each and every member of the Association but they are not public documents.They do not get filed with the City, County or State. The Board member is not correct.




Donna:
I live in Baltimore County, Maryland and once our Board of Directors approve the minutes of the prior months meeting they are filed with the county depository. (THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, AS WELL AS ALL OTHER BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS ARE INCLUDED IN THE MINUTES, AND ARE THEREFORE PUBLIC DOCUMENTS) Unfortunately the only thing which cannot be named are the homeowners who are stealing the services from those of us who pay our assesement fees.
We have over $20,000 being owed by these deadbeats.

Jim
MaryA1


Posts:0


03/11/2009 4:02 PM  
James,

What is the county depository and why are your minutes and financial filed with them?
RalphD
(Delaware)

Posts:5


03/16/2009 2:06 PM  
Online posting of financials is a delicate matter. While most companies do not open their financial books to the public (they do to stockholders) a lot of inner details are public in that they must file with their State of Incorporation. Remember folks, most HOA's are non-profit organizations and that leads to a whole area that is different. Check with your local State and their regulations.

I also want to point out that their should be a code of ethics in place for a lot of these BOD's who seem to have gone renegade. People are people no matter where they live. They have their own set of unique problems and difficulties. Our covenant states that the HOA is formed not only to conduct the business at hand but to allow for the common good of each homeowner. In others words we want to make everyone better. Not just be a burden on the.
IanK1
(Florida)

Posts:7


08/01/2019 6:26 PM  
RELATED QUESTION: Are the invoices showing payment a Florida HOA makes to the Association's attorney privileged? Meaning, if a member of the Association asks the Board of Directors how much did the Association pay for the attorney's services, can the Board say "that's privileged information and not tell the Association member? I consider any payment made with Association/Corporation monies an Official Record which every member should have access to. Am I wrong? If so, why?
AugustinD


Posts:1886


08/01/2019 8:24 PM  
Posted By IanK1 on 08/01/2019 6:26 PM
if a member of the Association asks the Board of Directors how much did the Association pay for the attorney's services, can the Board say "that's privileged information and not tell the Association member? I consider any payment made with Association/Corporation monies an Official Record which every member should have access to. Am I wrong? If so, why?




You are correct. The invoices for attorney services are not privileged. Though many a HOA board will get their attorney to say otherwise.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1262


08/05/2019 5:46 AM  
I developed a website for a neighborhood in which I have rental homes.

Like most sites it has a public face and an internal, HOA members only, face. The public face has good interfaces for governing documents that are already recorded in public fora, a wide variety of information about what a great community it is, local attractions, schools and hospitals, first responders, etc ... the internal page has access to all HOA meeting minutes, financials, etc.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3123


08/05/2019 2:06 PM  
Posted By IanK1 on 08/01/2019 6:26 PM
Am I wrong? If so, why?

No, I think you're right. I also think you should start a new thread. The one you posted in is over 10 years old.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1418


08/06/2019 8:27 AM  
Another 10-year old posting gets revived.....we're on a roll
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