Each year the Association staff, board members, committee volunteers and cluster committee representatives spend a considerable amount of time on budget preparations. Included are several steps to ensure that the Association is adequately prepared and funded for the upcoming year. It’s a complex activity that starts early so the budget can be finalized and approved prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year.
Here’s how we do it:
- The Finance Committee reviews current year spending, identifying any possible shortfalls or overages, and reviewing requirements for the upcoming fiscal year.
- The Finance Committee, Board of Directors, Cluster Committee members and Association staff work together to gather all financial information needed to project expenses for the coming year. This could include a reserve analysis, bids for contracts, projections for utility or service increases, requests for new/additional projects, comparisons of past years’ budget trends and many other details.
- The Finance Committee also examines all sources of income — assessments, interest on investments, proceeds from marina operations and other sources of miscellaneous income.
- The Finance Committee creates working drafts by adjusting the expenses and income until they balance. This may be accomplished by forgoing certain expenses to avoid raising assessments. It may also be necessary to raise assessments to cover increased expenses, such as utilities that the board cannot control.
- When the Finance Committee has developed the best possible budget draft, the association board approves the budget and sends a copy to every member along with their assessment rate for the upcoming fiscal year.
As you can see, we start the budget process early with the goal of allowing time for member input and proper review.