The back room

The back room refers to the property management's accounting, administrative and support staff. They are the people who receive all the condo's receivables. the common element fees, special assessments, rent from any small businesses that operate in the common elements, fees for using the amenities and all chargebacks.

They manage the operating and reserve fund bank accounts and fill in all the required government paperwork. If the corporation has employees, they look after all the payroll issues, make the necessary deductions, track the overtime and vacation pay and issue T4 slips.

They also properly file all the corporation's paperwork and work with the corporation's law firm and auditor.

Finally they pay all the invoices in a timely manner.

Most often, the back room work is done at the management company's office and it receives and sends the paperwork to the property manager. This is very common with townhouse condos and the smaller apartment towers where there is no management office.

In the larger apartment towers, much of the back room work, or even all of it may be done at the condominium's management office. The office staff may be employees of the management company or of the condo corporation and the property management accountant may come in one or two days a month to do his work on-site.

Farmed out
The little mom and pop shops farm much of their back room work out to larger management companies as they cannot afford to hire the required accountants and other office staff.

Monthly financial statements

Normally, the board has little direct involvement with the back office as that would be the manager's responsibility. However, the back office will create monthly financial reports for the board meetings.

This report will show how the corporation's finances are doing on a monthly and year-to-date basis so the board can take any corrective measures if required.

This report should include a listing of all the units that are in arrears so that the board can authorized pre-lien and lien actions when it become necessary.

Corporation records
The condo corporation owns its records and the board has legal responsibilities for their integrity, proper storage and access whenever it is required.

When the records are stored on the corporation's property, or at a secure independent storage facility the records remain under the corporation's control.

However, many management companies have physical possession of the corporation's records and if the corporation changes management companies, this often creates serious difficulties.

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