Lauren is Original!
Lauren Crosby was a big part of the beginning of the APM Help Team. First there was Taylor to come up with the idea of a “team” and then there was Lauren.
How Did She Become Involved with AppFolio?
Lauren began her initial experience with AppFolio at the Dallas office of AppFolio in the customer success department and this lasted for about a year and a half, dealing with login issues, bank recs, cleanup and anything AppFolio related. I asked Lauren about the training program with AppFolio. She explained that the training program takes about two months. She states that “It’s several hours a day for the first three weeks with a step by step progress to understand what AppFolio does and includes written and oral tests throughout those two months.” I learned that the first month was about getting to understand what AppFolio does and the second month is all of the high-level understanding of, now that you know what AppFolio does, what causes certain complications or issues and how that is corrected.
So she joined APM Help with a strong working knowledge of AppFolio along with how to fix accounting issues. Then with APM, she learned a lot more about the property management side and how it relates to the actual property managers and why things happen as to the kinds of patterns that are more typical. She explains that when working for AppFolio, you are not allowed to actually change anything in the database for them. If a rep sees something that needs to be fixed, they walk the client through it or provide written instructions of explanation as to how to resolve the accounting issue.
Lauren knows that there are a lot of ways to change things in AppFolio but understanding the operations of the property management client that you are working with, how they work, what their clients are expecting, and what makes sense to them is a whole different and equally important side of property management trust accounting,
I asked Lauren, “What about other property management software accounting solutions? Have you tried any of them?” She replied that she hadn’t used any specifically but have gone through the demos out of curiosity as to what the differences are to compare. It would seem to me that she has not been swayed towards AppFolio competition.
A Message to the Property Management Community
Lauren’s best advice would be to try not to over complicate things in Appfolio such as processes and trying to figure out what is going on. “Just stick with what is happening with the cash.” She tells me that there are a lot of functions in AppFolio, there are a lot of different ways to record transactions and they can be overwhelming. Things like, where does it belong and what happened in the bank? Start with reviewing the transactions and following the cash to avoid rabbit holes. Everything comes back to the bank reconciliation. In summary, think cash in cash out.
Lauren’s favorite features in AppFolio?
Lauren gives some good clarification about AppFolio features. It depends on the property manager’s portfolio, how many units, etc. I had mentioned that my favorite is the allocation feature and she agrees that this feature is incredibly helpful. She told me that her favorite is the Financial Diagnostic. Furthermore, she describes it as a tool to just being able to check and have an easy snapshot of “Am I in trouble?” In general, this report tells us if the database is pretty clean and are things accounted for properly?
Secret Sauce: Steps to Getting a Client Clean
The first step is to look at the bank reconciliation and to make sure that it is three-way reconciled and in balance; nothing is forced. Usually, this is the most challenging for the first month of a client starting with professional accounting services. It’s important to make sure that everything is accounted for from the beginning because once you get going if you have problems from the beginning, they will just carry over. Next Lauren would review the Financial Diagnostic Report to make sure that the security deposits and liabilities, prepayments, and things like that are exactly where they need to be. Another important step is to look at the Trust Account Balance report to look for any negative balances. Wouldn’t you like to have Lauren on your team and in your corner to have effective accounting for your company books?
What Will You Do Now?
Would you like to hear more from Lauren? Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation and ask for Lauren! You can take this time to ask her about any FDR issue involving an escrow mismatch, Additional fee issues or a problem with your Adjusted Cash Balance. There are lots of ways to reach us. You can call (281) 949-8755, email at info@APMHelp.com, or on Facebook message us, or schedule an appointment from there.