At the general meeting in February I laid out the complexities of our community – having a business association and a residential association – and the complexities of the budgeting process. What I forgot to cover was the “good news” items.
When I studied accounting for my business management degree back in the BC era (before computers), I would spend my evenings with an adding machine, adding up columns of numbers and cross-balancing spreadsheets. The first thing I learned is that I could never be an accountant. The second thing I learned was the process.
Then the magic happened – somewhere in computer heaven a guy named Lotus invented the electronic spreadsheet. Whoa! You mean I didn’t have to waste all those hours at my kitchen table? I’m in!
The good news for us is we have two tools that simplify our budgeting – Excel spreadsheets and Clagett Management. Clagett helps collect the numbers and Excel does the calculating!
The good news of budgeting for Spring Mills is that we have reduced the process to Excel spreadsheet templates. What does that mean? If you change any of the numbers on the template, the entire spreadsheet will recalculate itself! If you update the cost of our community insurance, enter the new number into the spreadsheet template and the entire spreadsheet recalculates the appropriate numbers. Really? Yes! It is that simple. New contract for landscaping? No problem – enter the new number and wham, the spreadsheet recalculates itself. What takes two hours to explain can be done in thirty-minutes!
With Clagett’s help in collecting the number, anyone with basic computer skills and even modest math skills can assemble our annual budget. If you can manage a household budget, you can probably manage Spring Mills’ budget.
If you have ever considered joining the Board of Directors for Spring Mills, keep in mind that you do not join the Board as Treasurer (or any other position), you join the Board to help manage the community. Each year the tasks of the Board are divided between the member of the Board according to their interest and skills. It takes a few interested people to maintain the quality of life in our community. You can be a part of that team. Contact the Board and share your interest in helping.