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What is CIRA and what does it mean for co-ops?



A new mandate from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants With over 330,525 CPA members (in August 2006), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the largest professional organization of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in the United States of America.  (AICPA AICPA

See American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
) now governs the preparation of a cooperative or condominium's annual audited financial statements. Specifically, effective with the 1992 audited financial, all common interest realty realty n. a short form of "real estate." (See: real estate)


REALTY. An abstract of real, as distinguished from personalty. Realty relates to lands and tenements, rents or other hereditaments. Vide Real Property.
 associations (CIRA), such as coops or condos, must include information about the funding of projected major repairs and replacements.

To comply with this requirement, coops and condos must supply their accountants with information about existing common building components, their projected remaining useful lives, and the estimated costs to repair or replace them. A clearly defined statement must be included describing how these anticipated major repairs and replacements will be funded.

Satisfying this mandate takes some planning. But it's a valuable activity because it will help a coop COOP

See Banks for Cooperatives (COOP).
 or condo with both short and long-term budget planning.

To undertake a long-term planning program such as the one required by the AICPA, the coop or condo should condua a study to estimate the remaining useful lives and the replacement costs of the components of common property. All mechanical systems, the building's infrastructure and facade, and similar capital items should be examined. These components may include the roof, exterior walls, heating system, plumbing, windows, lobby, elevators, security systems, and furnishings furnishings

the extra type or quantity of hair on the head, tail, ears or legs, specified for a particular breed. For example, the feathers in setters, the beard in Bearded collies, the eyebrows in Schnauzers.
 and equipment. While not required, it may be wise to review the effectiveness of current preventive maintenance The routine checking of hardware that is performed by a field engineer on a regularly scheduled basis. See remedial maintenance.

preventive maintenance - (PM) To bring down a machine for inspection or test purposes.

See provocative maintenance, scratch monkey.
 programs and service contracts.

A professional engineer may be engaged to conduct the study, though the AICPA does not require this. The study my be conducted by licensed contractors, who inspect the property and provide estimated costs to repair or replace the common property components.

The projected estimated costs need not account for inflation, but the accountant should indicate this fact in the footnotes to your financial statement.

If a co-op or condo does not comply with the new requirement, and does not conduct a study, the accountant should include a footnote Text that appears at the bottom of a page that adds explanation. It is often used to give credit to the source of information. When accumulated and printed at the end of a document, they are called "endnotes."  to this effect in the property's audited financial statement. It is then necessary to indicate the coop or condo's intention to utilize available cash, borrow funds, increase maintenance, or levy special assessments to fund repairs or replacements, or the association's intention to delay repairs and replacements until funds are available.

A similar paragraph would be included if the co-op or condo has conducted the study, but has not formulated a funding plan.

The information disclosed in the annual audited financial statement has significant impact on the dealings between potential purchasers, lending institutions Noun 1. lending institution - a financial institution that makes loans
financial institution, financial organisation, financial organization - an institution (public or private) that collects funds (from the public or other institutions) and invests them in
 and owners and the property. Understandably, these individuals can take a more informed, and possibly, more favorable fa·vor·a·ble  
adj.
1. Advantageous; helpful: favorable winds.

2. Encouraging; propitious: a favorable diagnosis.

3.
 action if they can clearly see the short and long-term plans for the property's financial, structural, and mechanical viability.

Once the repair and cost projections are made, the board, in conjunction with the managing agent, and perhaps an engineer, can establish the priorities for significant capital expenditures. A specific plan of action, including financial projections and funding should be outlined and submitted to the coop or condo's accountant for inclusion in the annual audited financial statement.

The plan needs to be reviewed and updated annually to monitor progress and include new information.

While compiling the information may appear to be an additional burden for a board, the planning will help current and future boards develop a clear perspective on long-term expenses, the direction of maintenance and common charges, and the physical and structural integrity of the building. Documenting this information and earmarking It has been suggested that some sections of this article be split into a new article entitled Earmark (USA).  funds for specific projects over the long haul Long distance. Long haul implies traversing a state or a country. Contrast with short haul.  will help the building minimize emergency spending and provide a road map for upcoming financial needs.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Hagedorn Publication
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:Review & Forecast, Section V; common interest realty associations; cooperative apartment buildings
Author:Gold, Marvin
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jan 27, 1993
Words:587
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