Honesty IS the best policy

Over the last several weeks we have heard several stories where Association Board Members have been caught taking advantage of their position and taking funds from their community. Living in a glass house is never easy and some might argue they worked for the money, but the bottom line is, they stole from their neighbors.

Recently in West Palm Beach an 82 year old Board President embezzled $22,000.00 from the Norwich K Condominium Association to pay some debts and to offset the costs of an affair he was having in New York. Some might find this story humorous; unless of course you were one of the residents stolen from. But one has to ask, how did this happen if they had a management company? Who is watching the money? Was there no system of checks and balances?

At CCM, our accounting staff is college educated; some working toward their master’s degree in accounting/finance. Our CFO oversees every account held by our Associations, and the monthly financials sent to our Boards allows for complete transparency.  CCM has in the past had a Board Member or two who thought no one was really watching, no one would notice. Well we were watching, and we did notice.  CCM assisted the Sheriff’s Department in having these offenders prosecuted.

I once had an employer who wanted me to “save him from himself”. He was talking about impulsive decisions, not stealing. But none the less, we had a check and balance system.  When no one is watching or working as a team, the opportunity does lend itself to bad things happening. As a Board Member, it is your fiduciary responsibility to make sure the Association funds are spent wisely, and most importantly, accounted for.

Honesty is always the best policy!

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