HOA Software Programs

For HOA boards and property managers, keeping up with administrative tasks like accounting, record keeping, and communication can be daunting. HOA management software aims to make these jobs easier by organizing all your community’s data and processes in one centralized platform.

HOA software goes by names like community association management software, condo management software, or property management software. Essentially, it contains tools to handle accounting, document storage, work orders, communications, meeting management, and more – tailored specifically for HOAs and condo associations.

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The benefits of using HOA-focused software rather than general accounting or office suites include:

  • Specific features for HOA needs like dues collection, governance, and covenant enforcement.
  • Centralized data and simplified workflows.
  • More automation and integration between tasks through use of an HOA website.
  • Optimized for use by owners, board members, managers, contractors, etc.

Let’s explore the purpose of HOA software platforms and options for associations of different sizes and budgets. We’ll look at what key features to look for in a tool that can not only help organizations stay organized but also support compliance and operational efficiency for your community!

 

Community-Finances-Management-Software

Why Your HOA Needs Software

There was once a time when HOAs and community associations had to rely on manual processes for most tasks. Paper documents, binders full of records, and spreadsheets were the norm. But as modern technology has improved, manual processes have been replaced with more efficient ways to manage HOAs – namely, HOA software platforms.

Software for HOAs can cover a variety of tasks, from financial management and communication to legal compliance and managing documents. It helps organizations stay organized while also simplifying everyday tasks like collecting dues or tracking maintenance requests. In addition, many HOA software platforms offer features that can help with complex tasks such as budgeting and forecasting.

While many HOA software programs will have an all-in-one feature set, some also offer the ability to customize features and add-ons that can improve organization-specific needs.

HOA Management Software: This type of software helps HOAs manage their residents’ data, track their dues payments, and keep records of maintenance requests. It can also be used to generate valuable reports for budgeting or forecasting.

Property Management Software: This type of software is generally more comprehensive, including features and functionality specific to property management, including lease agreement tracking, tenant screening, and accounting.

Accounting Software: Accounting software is a must-have for any HOA that handles financial transactions. This type of software can automate many accounting processes, such as budgeting, invoicing, and bookkeeping.

 

 

CRM Software: CRM software, or customer relationship management software, is an excellent way for HOAs to keep track of tenant information such as contact details and rental history. It can also manage communications between the HOA and tenants, such as sending out automated reminder emails or addressing complaints.

Document Management Software: Document management software is essential for any HOA that needs to store large amounts of information relating to its tenants. It can help HOAs keep track of important documents such as leases, contracts, tenant agreements, and board meeting minutes.

What is HOA Management Software?

What is HOA Management Software?

HOA management software, also called HOA software or community association management software, refers to all-in-one platforms designed specifically for homeowners associations and condo managers. This software goes beyond basic accounting or office tools to include features like:

Accounting tools for dues, fees, fines, budgets, and financial reporting
Document storage for bylaws, meeting minutes, policies, etc.
Owner/resident database with contact info and account balances
Online portal for owners to make payments and submit requests
Maintenance tracking and coordination workflows
Board and community calendars, notifications, and messaging
Contract and vendor management
Meeting management with agenda creation and document sharing
Rules and violation tracking
Website integration

The benefit of comprehensive HOA management software is it centralizes and connects data and tasks in one place. This saves community managers, boards, and owners time by automating workflows and facilitating coordination. HOA-specific tools simplify complex association management jobs.

What is the Best Accounting Software for an HOA?

One of the most critical components of any HOA management software is the accounting module. HOA accounting requires tracking multiple revenue streams like dues, fees, and fines, as well as layered expenses. So what is the best accounting method for HOAs?

General accounting software like QuickBooks can get the job done, but programs designed specifically with HOAs in mind offer more tailored tools. Features like pre-configured HOA billing and invoicing templates, automated late fee assessment, and consolidated financial reports make accounting a breeze.

Look for a platform that integrates accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, and robust reporting under one seamless system. Handling budgeting, 1099 forms, and audits in the same software saves huge headaches.

Additionally, a centralized owner-ledger that tracks dues, credits, fines, etc., for each member simplifies accounting greatly for HOA treasurers and managers. Rather than manually enter two or more transactions for each payment, the owner ledger allows a single entry that updates all connected accounts.

The best HOA accounting software grows alongside your association over time, with scalable features and different tier options as needed. This prevents having to migrate platforms as your community expands.

Is QuickBooks Good Software for HOAs?

Is QuickBooks Good Software for HOAs?

QuickBooks is one of the most popular general accounting software programs. But is QuickBooks a good solution for HOAs?

On the plus side, QuickBooks contains robust tools for tasks like invoicing, bill payment, and reporting that translate well to HOA accounting needs. Features like batch invoicing make it easy to generate monthly HOA dues statements.

However, there are some downsides to relying solely on QuickBooks for community association management:

  • No specialized tools for owner ledgers, violations, maintenance requests, etc. Add-ons are often required.
  • Not optimized for collaborative use by the board, managers, and owners simultaneously.
  • No specific HOA reporting like budget vs. actuals, or past due balances by owner.
  • Limited options for online homeowner portals to accept payments and view docs.
  • No built-in meeting management, community messaging, or document storage.

While QuickBooks can handle basic accounting, HOA boards should consider pairing it with software that adds HOA-specific community management tools for a complete solution.

HOA Website Software

In addition to operational management software, many HOAs want to establish an online presence through a community website. HOA website software provides pre-built templates and tools to easily create and manage an HOA website.

Does your HOA offer a fast and easy way for current and future homeowners to access information about their community? HOA website software can provide an online resource for residents to stay up-to-date on the current happenings of the local community. 

 

 

These HOA website software programs should include features such as:

  • An interactive directory of contact information, documents, and records.
  • A calendar displaying upcoming events and activities.
  • A secure login page for residents to access private community information.
  • Tools for online payment processing of dues or fees.
  • An easy-to-use interface for administrators to update content quickly.

You should research HOA website software programs that offer customizable design options for the site. This can help ensure your website looks great and communicates the unique mission of the local community. With a good user experience, residents will be more likely to use the site on time and stay informed about their HOA.

Other Software Options for HOA Management

Other Software Options for HOA Management

In addition to dedicated HOA management platforms, associations can look to other types of software to assist with operations:

Property Management Software

This type of software is generally more comprehensive, including features and functionality specific to property management, such as lease agreement tracking, tenant screening, accounting, and maintenance coordination. 

While designed more for rental properties, large condos or HOAs with many renters may find these tools helpful. For instance, if your HOA has a sliding scale of rent depending on the size of an apartment, you will need an accounting system with the capacity to accurately track and process those payments.

Other features of a property management system could help you streamline the application and onboarding process for tenants – key for helping ease the transition for new renters.

CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an excellent way for HOAs to keep track of homeowner and resident information, such as contact details and account history. 

This HOA software program can also manage communications between the HOA board/manager and homeowners, such as sending out automated emails or tracking complaints. 

Popular CRM systems like Salesforce or Zoho may appeal to large HOAs wanting robust communication and reporting capabilities. However, even smaller HOAs can benefit from the convenience and cost-efficiency of a cloud-based CRM system.

Document Management Software

Document management software is essential for any HOA needing to store large amounts of information relating to its members and properties. It can help HOAs keep track of important documents such as governing docs, architectural requests, meeting minutes, maintenance records, and more. 

Cloud scanning and storage programs make it easy for HOAs to quickly store and access documents while also reducing the risk of data loss. Many document management systems have features such as full-text search capabilities, version control tracking, and file sharing between members.

Tips for Choosing the Right HOA Software Program

So, how can you decide which HOA software program is right for your organization? Here are some tips to keep in mind when evaluating the different options.

1. Know your needs today – and your needs tomorrow.

There are a variety of features available in HOA software programs, and it’s important to understand which ones you need today – and might need in the future. Consider what tasks you want your software to help with now, as well as possible growth or changes that may occur down the line.

2. Look for scalability.

Speaking of tomorrow, it’s wise to find a software program that can grow with your organization. Make sure the HOA software you select offers the ability to add more features, users, and data as needed. If you have a revolving ownership, look for a system that can easily transition data and manage new owners.

3. Evaluate the integrations available.

If you have integrated systems in place already, be sure to ask if the software you’re looking at is compatible with those systems. Sometimes it’s better to go with an all-in-one solution if possible, but if you’re using other systems, your HOA software should be compatible with them.

4. Utilize customer service.

Your HOA software should come replete with a knowledgeable customer service team to help you out when needed—whether it be for something simple like setting up an account to more complex issues like problem-solving or training new users. Make sure the customer service is available when you need it, and confirm that they’re experienced with HOA software.

5. Look for a user-friendly platform.

Your HOA software should have an intuitive design and straightforward navigation that helps minimize confusion and streamline tasks. It’s also important to make sure the software offers flexibility in customizing the platform to meet your HOA’s specific needs and processes.

 

 

6. Consider the cost.

You’ll eventually have to consider the cost of HOA software. Many software providers offer subscription-based or pay-as-you-go options, so make sure to find out the details and if there are any hidden fees before making a decision.

It’s also important to consider whether you can get more value for your money with certain packages—for example, some may include additional features or discounts for larger organizations. 

As you evaluate different providers, make sure to compare the features and pricing options so that you can get the best value for your HOA.

7. Trial and demo the software.

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few providers, it’s essential to try out the software before making a final decision. Many companies offer free trials or demos of their products so that you can familiarize yourself with their features and get a better sense of how they work. 

This is also an excellent opportunity for your HOA board to ask questions and see if the software is a good fit for your needs. It’s also important to consider how user-friendly the platform is, as this will play a major role in determining how quickly you can adopt the HOA software.

FAQ

FAQ

What features should I look for in HOA management software?

Look for features like owner portals, maintenance coordination, document storage, accounting tools, community calendars, mobile apps, and website integrations tailored specifically for HOAs.

What are some affordable HOA software options?

Many vendors offer free or low-cost tiers for very small HOAs and condos, like CondoControl, TOPS One, and Avidovation HOA. These provide basic features to get started.

What does community association management software offer?

These platforms provide specialized tools for HOAs and condos to handle accounting, meetings, communications, violations, document management, work orders, websites, and more.

Can I use regular accounting software like QuickBooks for my HOA?

You can use QuickBooks for accounting, but it lacks key HOA-specific features. Many boards pair it with full-featured HOA management software for a complete solution.

How do I choose the right HOA software?

Consider your community’s size, features needed, and budget. Look for software that can scale with your growth and integrate new tools easily. Ensure mobile access and an intuitive interface.

What does HOA software cost?

Pricing varies widely based on features and number of units, but expect roughly $50 – $150 per door monthly. Many offer discounts for longer contract terms or additional communities.

Get started today

HOA Start software and our community website support provide all the tools you need to operate your association efficiently and effectively. Are you ready to take the next step? Join the network of HOA Start customers and share the success with your community. Call 863-462-7483 to speak with a team member, or click here to send us an e-mail message today.

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