Association management software is a valuable tool for any HOA community. It streamlines day-to-day operations and makes many tasks a breeze.
What Is AMS? Association Management Software Explained
As part of the leadership of an HOA community, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which investments are worth your time and the residents’ money. One of the investments you should look into, though, is purchasing or subscribing to an association management system.
What does AMS mean? AMS, which is short for association management software, is a program that easily and effectively organizes a wide variety of information relating to your association. This type of software combines the management of finances, resident payments, event planning, and many other useful tools to efficiently run your community.
Benefits of Association Management Solutions
Community association management software can be wonderfully freeing. Because it can take care of many tedious tasks, association leaders can focus more time on building a great community. An AMS system can also save your association money in the long run.
When administrative tasks are delegated to a system, your association’s productivity will also increase exponentially. Along with this increased productivity comes the inevitability of fewer funds spent on these tasks.
To top it all off, investing in AMS software is also eco-friendly. Transferring many of the daily tasks from paper to a digital platform can minimize the carbon footprint of your community. Many things that would normally use paper and ink, such as announcements and events calendars, can all be posted online.
Here are things the best association management software can help your HOA with:
Accounting is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of managing a community. It takes an accountant, or at least someone with sufficient accounting knowledge, to handle the intricacies of accounting and bookkeeping. With an AMS system, though, the task is made simpler.
An AMS can provide general ledger accounting, making it easy for you to balance your books. It can also juggle both your association’s receivables and payables, allowing you to stay on top of your financials.
Many systems even provide integrated bank reconciliation with a database for unlimited bank accounts, the ability to add bank fees and interests, and the ability to view updates in real-time. Say goodbye to manual journalizing and confusing spreadsheets — association management software is here.
2. Financial and Business Reporting
Because not everyone is a professional accountant, it can be immensely helpful to have financial reports drawn up quickly and in a way that is simple and readable for everyone on the board.
Most HOA software strives to make financial reports as self-explanatory and clear as possible with the benefit of including everyone in financial discussions and minimizing misunderstandings. Many systems also offer analytics and business intelligence that can help you make smart decisions.
3. Invoicing and Payment
Every HOA community relies on dues to survive. Unfortunately, sending invoices and collecting dues isn’t the easiest of tasks when done manually.
With an association management system, though, you can effortlessly manage billing and collection. Send invoices to members when fees become due. Many systems also allow members to pay their dues online without hassle. There are also systems that let you pro-rate dues if that ever becomes necessary.
4. Online Member Portal
Online member portals allow your association to be accessible all the time. With such a portal, members can log into their individual accounts and access information you make available to them. They can update their profiles, download copies of the HOA’s governing documents, and view the events calendar, too. Integrated systems can also make it easy for members to pay fees right from their accounts.
5. Member Communication
Communication is paramount in any given HOA community. You need to be able to talk to residents and disseminate critical information in a timely manner. With an AMS system, you can post announcements or updates, distribute e-newsletters, and also send notices such as violation notices and collection letters.
Some systems even have online reservation capabilities. This is particularly helpful if you need to control the number of people in a shared space at a given time. With this reservation system, you can eliminate redundancies in scheduling and make it easy for residents to save a spot.
6. Work Order Automation
Service requests are always a bother to manage, especially if you still do it the manual way. Some requests get lost in the shuffle, while others fail to even make their way to you. Automating your work orders with the help of association management software is a good solution to these problems.
Through the online member portal, residents can submit work orders or service requests. They can fill out the necessary fields and even attach photos as supporting documents.
Work order automation also benefits HOA board members or managers. You can track work orders in real-time, organize them according to priority or date, and even schedule repairs all from one neat place. Moreover, once a member’s request has been approved, you can send notice via the system, too.
7. Committee Management
Many HOA communities have committees that help the board with various tasks, from Architectural Review Committees to Events Committees. With the help of an AMS system, you can manage committees and sub-committees easily. Many programs also offer the ability for committees to interact and communicate. Other features usually include the recording of minutes and notes at committee meetings.
8. Event Management
If you need a comprehensive event management system, many association management systems come equipped with this feature.
You can organize one-day or multi-day events and communicate its details with members. Through the software, members can also register attendance and make payments. You can even plan every little detail right down to catering, audio/visual requirements, and room assignments (if necessary).
Association Management Software vs HOA Management Software
There might be some confusion regarding the difference between an AMS and an HOA management software. An association management software is broader and typically addresses the needs of a professional or trade association. On the other hand, HOA management software is software specifically designed to cater to HOA and COA communities.
Of course, that isn’t to say that AMS software can’t be used by homeowners associations. The features of both these programs usually overlap, which means HOAs can use either one. Though, since HOA software caters to HOA communities specifically, it normally has features that are friendlier to HOAs.
As for association management software vs property management software, the latter is used for managing real estate properties of both the residential and commercial variety. It also typically involves managing rent, tenants, and property maintenance.
An All-Around Management Tool
Association management software can be one of the best investments that you make for the community. Taking into account the amount of money it can help you save in many different areas, the program will pay for itself quite quickly. It can enhance the quality of the board, make you more efficient, and provide an easier way for residents to complete tasks online.
Condo Manager offers integrated association management solutions to self-managed communities and HOA management companies. Call us at (800) 626-1267 to learn more or schedule a free demo with us today.
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