How to best manage condo finances?
March 23, 2011 10:53 AM   Subscribe

How are you managing finances in your small condo association? Do you use something like Quickbooks, or maybe just spreadsheets?

Small association of six units, recently decided to "self-manage". Looking for the right approach that will allow us to generate monthly reports, keep track of who has paid their dues and who is delinquent, perhaps help with budget generation, etc.

Quickbooks looks like a possibility, though I've seen people complaining about how hard it is to adapt it for this task or that support is poor. Spreadsheets are another possibility, but some complain they are barely adequate for this, and reporting capabilities are weak.

What do you do? Your experience with software tools or other approaches for accounting is appreciated.
posted by Right On Red to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Our 3-unit association just uses excel spreadsheets, and heavily recommends that everyone put their dues on automatic bill-pay through the bank, which minimizes delinquency. But we're also a pretty casual group, so I'll be interested to hear what others use.
posted by ldthomps at 11:06 AM on March 23, 2011

The utility of spreadsheets probably has a lot to do with who builds the spreadsheets.

I would stay away from Quickbooks, it can be a pain to use it in any way it wasn't explicitly designed for, the interface really bugs me and is hard to navigate, I've heard many a professional accountant complain about how much Quickbooks sucks, it is expensive, and it requires you to pay for the newest "Find: 2010/Replace: 2011" version every year if you want to keep using anything but the most basic features.

I've heard PeachTree accounting recommended by the accountants who hated Quickbooks so that might work.

It shouldn't be too much trouble to start with spreadsheets and upgrade to something more if that doesn't work.
posted by VTX at 11:44 AM on March 23, 2011

We're a six unit association and we barely use spreadsheets. As the treasurer, I tally up spending every six months to create a spreadsheet with the finances of the last six months (for the bi-annual meeting). If I was diligent, I would be recording each credit/debit as it comes in. In reality, I just use our bank statements. But, like ldthomps' group, we're pretty casual.
posted by mbatch at 11:50 AM on March 23, 2011

Our 13 unit uses quickbooks- there's a version that's designed for non-profits. I think it depends more on the user than anything else.
posted by Four Flavors at 3:03 PM on March 23, 2011

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