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Each month we answer a question about living in a community title. This month a reader asks, do we need an accountant?
Is a Strata Manager obliged or legally required to have the Corporation's accounts put together by a professional bookkeeper or accountant? We have a corporation of 42 units in Adelaide, and our strata manager attends to the bookkeeping himself. Is there a professional standard they must adhere to? Legally, should accounts be audited by a professional and should this be done annually?
Hi Mr Monopoly,
I can assure you it's very much the norm to have your strata management company carry out your group's bookkeeping. Under the Strata Titles Act, there is no requirement to engage a professional bookkeeper or accountant to carry out these duties, but that's not to say there aren't regulations around how they conduct themselves.
If the Body Corporate allows for someone (like your Strata Manager) to receive money (for instance, quarterly payments and sinking fund contributions) from another person and to hold the money on behalf of the Corporation (in a bank account) or pay bills,
then it must be held in a Trust Account.
The requirements for handling money on behalf of the Corporation is laid out in Division 6A of the Strata Titles Act. On top of that, section 36H – Audit of Trust Accounts - makes it clear that any agent who looks after a Trust Account must have the accounts audited by an auditor. Section 40 also asserts that proper records, receipts, and expenditure must be kept. Your Strata Manager should then give these statements to all owners at each AGM.