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Computers & your building: a match for the 90's.

In today's building management market, the question is no longer, "Do you utilize a computer in your management operation?" Rather, the real question is, "How sophisticated is your computer system?"

Why? With finances tight, it has become essential for a managing agent to offer group purchasing, discounted insurance rates, and other reduced expenditures wherever possible. To this end, sophisticated systems are a must. And computers, quite simply, help facilitate those systems.

Through the use of a state-of-the-art computer management system, a managing agent can offer "user friendly" programs to his/her board member which document "real time" accounting procedures. And, by recording all transactions instantaneously and utilizing bar coded instruments, a modern system can streamline payment data entry. Can you imagine the Herculean effort which would be required to properly enter 10,000 rent and/or maintenance checks into individual accounts keeping track of who owes what to whom and there? The use of bar codes cannot only shorten the time frame for deposits by two-thirds but also insures one hundred percent (100 percent) accuracy. This bar code procedure is also an invaluable tool in the accounts payable area. Each bill received from a vendor is measured against three (3) criteria (invoice number, date and amount). If any of these fail to match the invoice, an investigation be conducted immediately. An additional benefit to an advanced computer management system is that all postings of rent, maintenance and accounts payable are automatically entered into the General Ledger. This reduces the time and effort expended by Certified Public Accountants in preparing Year End Financials and tax returns and helps to contain professional fees -- a not insignificant line item in any cooperative or condominium annual budget.

Laser-printed check writers are another advantage of the computer age. They allow an agent to service each account as the need for each check arises without the painful and time-consuming task of handwriting thousands of drafts on a daily basis or preprinting checks property by property, then running them through the computer printer.

Computer systems can save time and money. What's more, certain ultra-modern technology allows owners and/or Board of Directors to connect their computers to the managing agent's systems. This means that, through use of a modem and the proper password, an owner or board member can enter the system 24 hours a day -- literally. They can then select the data of interest to them and print their own reports, giving them the flexibility to respond to their individuals needs, within a convenient time frame. They simply obtain whatever information they require, whenever they require it. Granted, such easy access technology is not yet the norm, but then many said the same thing about the basic computer management system just ten short years ago.

Fred Rothschild is the President of Newmark Residential Real Estate Management, Inc., a manager of co-ops, condos and rental properties alike. Through his research he has developed the InFoScan, an extremely advanced computer management system. He can be reached at (212) 944-5240 Ext 240.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Building Management & Maintenance; advice on computer systems and software for real estate management
Author:Rothschild, Fred L.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 6, 1993
Words:503
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