Spotlight on Caroline Richardson
Meet our very own Caroline Richardson and join us as we follow Caroline’s personal journey to an “Expert Level.”
Caroline is an accounting expert in Property Management and a valued team member with APM Help & Bookkeeping as a Co-Director of the AppFolio Bookkeeping division. She has had previous accounting experience with various industries as well as in Property Management that has included A/P, A/R, maintenance and leasing; working with a lot of college students.
Caroline herself is also from a college town and understands the challenges that this type of tenant may be facing. She enjoyed finding college kids good locations to live in, especially in regards to the locality of classes and transportation to those classes. This gave her an opportunity to do the things that she loves and an opportunity to provide a genuine experience to others. Working closely with leasing and maintenance at her previous employment was good preparation for the team experience that she now knows as part of the APM culture today.
Who is Caroline?
Caroline is a loving wife and mother living in the beautiful Carolina’s. She loves math and problem solving and has taken various college classes for accounting, business management, and human resource management. She enjoys all types of arts including graphic design, photography, and music.
Thankful for Relationships
While talking to Caroline it was obvious to me how thankful she is for just about any situation and proud of how far she has come, but at the same time, she was hesitant to steal someone else’s thunder. Caroline has a lot to tell us about APM Help and her experience with the company. She tells us how grateful she is and how APM allows for “life-changing decisions”. Caroline states, “The changes that APM Help has made for my personal life are amazing. The team allows for a genuine experience and you are appreciated for what you do. You’re able to be available for your family because the team is there for you when you need it most.” She then mimics this same experience with her clients.
Caroline has an amazing ability to trust and she is thankful that she was able to meet Taylor Hou which allowed her to become a part of the APM Help family, and now extend that trust to APM Help clients as new journeys begin and new client relationships evolve.
What About AppFolio?
When asked if she has used any other property management software programs to compare AppFolio, Caroline tells us that she has used Yardi and Streamline but “AppFolio is her favorite by far.” She explains that “basically it is easy to navigate and is user-friendly for multi- purposes. Her explanation of AppFolio continues to explain to us that it is by far, all around, the best. It’s a one-stop solution for property management.
AppFolio works well in a team environment whether it be onsite or in a virtual environment and adds a lot of value to its users. The ability to use a corporate property makes it easy to record miscellaneous income and expenses that aren’t immediately applicable to a property. This is an important work solution for the bookkeeper that is working to make progress but hasn’t yet established a streamlined workflow with the client.
What do you enjoy about Property Trust Accounting?
Caroline loves the practice of problem-solving and building relationships with each client. She tells us, “The end result is priceless in the fact that the client can finally feel at ease and also has trust in the results that their books are correct.” There are many different circumstances, with individual needs such as HOAs, owner/operators, etc. across different companies. She takes pride in finding a monthly workflow that fits perfectly for each client and that allows them to be scalable at any rate. She feels that her success is only measured by the success of her clients.
What are some typical pain points that PMs have with accounting in AF?
Caroline explains that “the best thing for property managers to understand is that there are good processes out there that property managers can utilize. Each property manager is unique and has different needs and different things that are important to them. There are multiple solutions and what is the best solution for one property manager might not be the best for another.”
Caroline wants to focus on the individual client and the needs of that company. She enthusiastically states that best practices are important too but there is still the need to be respectful of the different processes that clients use to create an all around great experience. Caroline brings it home with this valuable advice, “we’re only as good as our weakest link.”
What is your favorite feature in AF?
“The Financial Diagnostic Report.” She describes it as essentially a way to track liabilities and to account for any mismatches and suppressed fee balances. “These are items that tend to cause property managers headaches and are easily diagnosed from this report.”
When you start a new client with AF, what is your process for the first review of their books?
Caroline is a stickler for the phases. This is a step by step process that she designed for Account Managers to take their new clients through. This is a process that gets results! This sounded amazing and you’ll want to learn more about her phases.
APM Help is all about relationships. These relationships start with the team and further extend to the clients all of which are part of the Property Management Community.
Your “Property Management Community Engagement Specialist”