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Subject: Treasurer Confidentiality
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Author Messages
PamH5
(California)

Posts:3


10/07/2020 10:34 AM  
Our HOA office manager will not give our treasurer access to Quickbooks stating that they contain personal employee and owner information. Can he have this access?
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:667


10/07/2020 11:13 AM  
Pam,
This seems a little fishy to me. The HOA books should not be mixed with the Property Managers. Are you a self managed HOA? If the answer is yes then you should see all of the books for the HOA. If you are using a management company your books should be totally separate and available to all board members.

The best HOA info for California HOAs can be found on this website https://www.davis-stirling.com/ it is the bible for Ca. HOAs
PamH5
(California)

Posts:3


10/07/2020 11:36 AM  
Yes we are self managed and have a certified HOA manager managing our office and maintenance staff. I have looked at Davis Stirling but sometimes it is hard to find an exact answer to some questions.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7579


10/07/2020 11:48 AM  
When Folks say they're "self-managed," it usually means they have no property manager. But you do have a PM, so this is a little confusing. Is your PM a direct employee of your HOA? Or does s/he work for a management company?

I think at Davis-stirling.com you'll find what you need under a category that's something like directors rights of record inspection. Or even look at your own bylaws. Ours say that directors have the right to inspect all association records. This also is in CA corporations code.

Wait, is your treasurer a director? Our bylaws, and maybe yours, don't require certain officers to be directors. Are you on the Board, pam?

AugustinD


Posts:4153


10/07/2020 11:56 AM  
Posted By PamH5 on 10/07/2020 10:34 AM
Our HOA office manager will not give our treasurer access to Quickbooks stating that they contain personal employee and owner information. Can he have this access?
I agree with KerryL1 with one caveat: I think having access to software is not the same as having access to hard copies of records or, say, pdf files of records. In other words, while California statutes give directors and owners certain rights with regards to HOA/condo records, I do not think rights to view "records" includes having access to software per se.

I think the manager may have some proprietary rights when it comes to accessing the manager's personal QuickBooks software. Can the treasurer instead specify what she or he wants printed out and then go from there?
JohnC77
(Washington)

Posts:207


10/07/2020 1:01 PM  
Access to the actual software should be limited to only those using it on a day to day basis. Access to the records and reports the software should be available to all Board members, especially the Treasurer.

There are many onsite managers that either work either for a management company or as an employee of the association. There are many that work as a manager as a contractor solely for that association.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10014


10/07/2020 1:39 PM  
If it is the Office Manager's Quickbooks then I say no access to it. That said, the Office Manager should provide copies of any reports to the Treasurer.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1315


10/07/2020 1:59 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 10/07/2020 1:39 PM
If it is the Office Manager's Quickbooks then I say no access to it. That said, the Office Manager should provide copies of any reports to the Treasurer.




Allowing the manager/employee to use personal software to do their job should be a no-no. The HOA should purchase any necessary tools, including software, that their employees needs.

Re: the software itself, the manager shouldn't be the only one with access, there should be at least one backup person along with a solid records retention/recovery plan that's actually followed. Accidents happen, employees get attitudes, etc. You don't want the HOAs records to be unavailable because nobody can get to them, for whatever reason.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10014


10/07/2020 2:46 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 10/07/2020 1:59 PM
Posted By JohnC46 on 10/07/2020 1:39 PM
If it is the Office Manager's Quickbooks then I say no access to it. That said, the Office Manager should provide copies of any reports to the Treasurer.




Allowing the manager/employee to use personal software to do their job should be a no-no. The HOA should purchase any necessary tools, including software, that their employees needs.

Re: the software itself, the manager shouldn't be the only one with access, there should be at least one backup person along with a solid records retention/recovery plan that's actually followed. Accidents happen, employees get attitudes, etc. You don't want the HOAs records to be unavailable because nobody can get to them, for whatever reason.




I agree this is the wise path but who assumes BOD's are wise? I can see it now. Hire me as I bring a full suite of software so you do not have to purchase nor understand it. Many BOD's would say, he!! yes.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17008


10/07/2020 3:45 PM  
The Treasurer is responsible for the books.
Hence, the Treasurer should have access to the books.

The question becomes, who owns the software?
If the PM/MC owns the software, the treasurer may be out of luck to access the program itself.
If the HOA owns the software, the PM/MC would have overstepped their bounds.

Does your Treasurer have access to the bank statements and other financial information?




MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9648


10/07/2020 3:48 PM  
I think the wrong question is being asked to the PM. Think it comes across as wanting access to THEIR quickbooks. Which is off limit. It would contain employee information of the PM's. This isn't what you want or need.

You need the membership information which is not to contain certain PII like Social Security #'s. You can know the names, addresses and lot #'s of the members. There is no need for knowing whom they work for. Your just collecting dues on that property.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17008


10/07/2020 4:01 PM  
Melissa,

In addition to names, address and lot numbers, the Treasurer should also know the payment history, mailing address (if different then the lot address), etc.

JohnC77
(Washington)

Posts:207


10/07/2020 5:49 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 10/07/2020 3:45 PM
The Treasurer is responsible for the books.
Hence, the Treasurer should have access to the books.

The question becomes, who owns the software?
If the PM/MC owns the software, the treasurer may be out of luck to access the program itself.
If the HOA owns the software, the PM/MC would have overstepped their bounds.

Does your Treasurer have access to the bank statements and other financial information?







While you were Treasurer of your association, did the rest of your Board have complete access to your excel spreadsheets to make changes?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17008


10/07/2020 7:19 PM  
No.

They received printed copies of the spreadsheets at the board meeting.

One person needs to maintain the records.
Many should have access to the records for read only purposes.

Even when we had a bookkeeper (never had a PM/MC), I had access to the books but the assessment ledgers were maintained by the bookkeeper.
Access means, I could see them, spot check and ask questions.
I did not make changes to the payment history. Any changes that were needed were done by the bookkeeper.

The Bookkeeper received the checks, recorded them in the ledger and made deposits.
I received the deposit slips, bank statements and maintained the check book ledger.

PamH5
(California)

Posts:3


10/08/2020 8:06 AM  
Thank you everyone for your valuable input. We met last night and were able to figure out what needed to be done going forward.
ChrisP5
(Missouri)

Posts:146


10/12/2020 7:35 PM  
I’m glad you figured it out. For others quick books isn’t dissimilar to Microsoft office, etc. the PM could save a copy of the associations workbook to a flash drive and give it to the treasurer. It would be a snapshot at that point in time.

Some treasurers may have quickbooks on their computers depending what they do in their professional lives.
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