Residents received another message from the Campaign/Community Manager that everything about the 2013 financial audit is “very good news”. Too bad it’s not true. Let’s take a closer look. An “unqualified” audit means that no problems were found in terms of financial practices following GAAP. That’s good.
The auditor also stated on page 1 that: “An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor’s judgement, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the Association’s preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Association’s internal control. Accordingly, we express no such opinion . . . . We do not express an opinion or provide any assurance on the information [in the reserve study] because the limited procedures do not provide us with sufficient evidence to express an opinion or provide any assurance.” That’s NOT good.
So what does all this accounting legalese mean? It means the Auditor couldn’t publish an opinion about whether the Association is being effectively managed by the Board of Directors or not – or whether or not the reserves are properly funded. Look at the date on the reserve study: June 2010! And guess what else? It was never approved by the previous board, because they had questions about the accuracy of infrastructure estimates and thought they were too low. We don’t have a current reserve study and the engineering study by Ranchland Utilities won’t be finished until December. If we have to complete major road repairs in 2015 all at once, it could wipe out our $1M+ reserve in one fell swoop. (Even if the study were accurate, how can the campaign/community manager say reserves are adequately funded when the numbers add up to $8M plus?)
The audit also lumps a lot of categories together, so even though total expenses might look OK, you can’t see individual line item overruns, and there are several, especially in legal expenditures (over $30,000 in less than 3 years). Previously, the Auditor presented their report to the whole board so they could review it, ask questions, and take corrective action – that didn’t happen this year and a flawed audit was sent to residents.
The HOAMCO CEO made a fine speech about how dissension in our neighborhood will reduce property values. News flash, Justin – not taking care of roads, trails, and irrigation systems is what actually reduces property values! Maybe the new directors will succeed where the previous “malcontents” did not, and convince the ostriches and president to pull their heads out of the … sand. We need the new reserve study completed, so we know how to properly fund future infrastructure and irrigation maintenance. We need the board to focus on community solutions instead of spending money on legal opinions and trying to force directors to resign when they ask inconvenient questions! GO TO BOARD MEETINGS AND ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT SPENDING! IT’S YOUR MONEY!