Category Apartment Management Software

Swachh Bharat Cess – Service Tax Changes for Housing Societies and Apartment Owners Associations

As per the recent service tax notifications (Notification No. 21/2015-Service Tax and Notification No. 22/2015-Service Tax), all organizations that offer services covered under the ambit of Service Tax, should charge an “Swachh Bharat Cess” at 0.5% of the service value from November 15th 2015.

Housing Societies need to collect and pay service tax at the rate of 14% for all members where the monthly collection is more than Rs. 5,000/- (Refer Jan 2014 Circular on Service Tax on Apartment Associations for more details). Other key aspects of interest are listed below.

Swachh Bharat Cess needs to be on a separate line item on invoice

From Nov 15th, the invoices need to have another line item called “Swachh Bharat Cess” charged at the rate of 0.5% value of the taxable amount. Based on our understanding, Swachh Bharat Cess needs to be charged separately on the invoice, needs to be accounted separately in the books of account and needs to be paid separately under separate accounting code which should be notified separately.

Swachh Bharat Cess paid for services availed cannot be claimed as Input Credit

Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 determine if a tax / cess can be claimed as input credit. Howver, there is no amendment in the Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 regarding Swachh Bharat Cess. In the absence of the same, Swachh Bharat Cess levied by the Housing Society vendors and paid by the Housing society cannot be claimed as input credit. So, at this point in time, this would be extra cash outflow on the society due to Swachh Bharat Cess.

What should you do in ApnaComplex to take care of this additional cess on the invoices you raise?

If your society is levying Service Tax, identify the best scenario that fits you among the below to know the steps.

Scenario 1: If you are using recurring invoice with automatic service tax calculations, you need not do anything. ApnaComplex is enhanced to charge this as a separate line item on the invoices raised after Nov 15th.

Scenario 2: If you are using recurring invoice with service tax as a calculated line item, you need add a new charge type with name “Swachh Bharat Cess” and move the same to Taxes accounting head in Chart of Accounts. Post that update your recurring invoice setup to add one more line item with net value equivalent to 0.5% under SB Cess head.

Scenario 3: If you are using manual mode, you need add a new charge type with name “Swachh Bharat Cess” and move the same to Taxes accounting head in Chart of Accounts. Now, go to Income->Add charges (or upload charges) with net value equivalent to 0.5% under SB Cess head.

In all scenarios, we would always recommend you to check with your accounting firm or auditor to ensure they are on board with your understanding.


Testimonial from Vasanth Vihar AWHO to ApnaComplex

There is no better way for ApnaComplex team to celebrate the festive season than receiving a glowing testimonial from Major Ramesh Ramachandran, Joint Treasurer of Vasanth Vihar AWHO – a 424 unit residential complex in Bangalore.  Vasanth Vihar AWHO has adopted ApnaComplex around May 2015 and has instantly experienced the benefits of the powerful accounting capabilities of ApnaComplex.
Here is what Major Ramesh Ramachandran has written to us:

Having used other Apartment Management software I can vouch that ApnaComplex is India’s No 1 Apartment management Software. The accounting module does not permit the Accountant to manipulate the accounts without the appropriate permissions being given. Details of every individual making an entry is logged. The ease of use and automation of the system cuts the accounting costs by 50%. The various reports that can be generated with the click of a mouse has been appreciated by the not so tech savy members. Members can check their payments online without having to contact the RWA office.

Other than Accounting, every other feature that you can conceivably think of for communication, facilities management and other aspects of society management, have already been incorporated in ApnaComplex.  I stand by every word the company has stated in their “Details of Features and Benefits” pages.

Last but not the least, their exemplary support makes life so much easier.

Thank you Major Ramesh! We are happy we are able to help your society!

Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s #1 mobile and web based Apartment Management Software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Habit #7: Effective management committees always cooperate

CooperateIn this blog post, we are going to emphasize on the seventh and last habit of highly effective management committees to always cooperate with each other. Effective management committees understands change is natural and no one can hold a position forever and hence, move on and give a smooth handover to the next person taking over. In our earlier blog post, we talked about Habit 6: How effective management committees create an inclusive culture. Read more…

Pointers for committee members to always cooperate with each other:

Do not cling on to the committee post – Management committee members when get elected need to understand and prepare themselves that no one can hold a particular position in the committee forever. Elections will be held every year and one has to step down for the new members. Don’t cling to your committee posts. Honestly, it never helps!

Understand change is natural – Change is a natural process. As Socrates said – “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” While stepping down from the committee or moving to a new role, always cooperate with other committee members. Do not try to take revenge from a resident or a committee member who opposed you in your earlier term. Understand all the discussions happen for well-being of the apartment residents.

Give a smooth handover – A smooth and systematic handover or transition is very important for the apartment operations to go on smoothly. Old committee members should ensure that new committee members are given a proper handover so that they can operate smoothly after the transition. It is your duty and responsibility to give a smooth handover to the new committee members.

Extensively support as an ordinary resident – After you step down from the committee, do not part your ways from the new committee members. You can still extend support, give suggestion/advice to the new committee members. Become a part of the sub-committee or the task force and help out the new members. Do not sabotage against them with other residents. It will really bring their morale down!

Try to help out and cooperate with the new committee members as much as you can and create a healthy environment for both the committee and the residents in an apartment. 

Do the management committee members in your apartment complex always cooperate with each other? Do let us know by commenting on our blog. You can find blogs on all the seven habits of highly effective management committees on www.apnacomplex.com


Communicate effectively with ApnaComplex communication tools

Communication-ToolsApnaComplex has always tried its best to offer the best possible facilities and tools to its users. Communication gap has always been a problem in most of the apartments. There is a lack of an effective communication system among co-committee members or between the apartment management committee members and residents. Understanding this gap, ApnaComplex offers various communication tools to its users for their convenience.

Overview of ApnaComplex Communication Tools:

(1)Notice Board 

(2)Forums (Classifieds, Discussion Forum, Notice Board, Groups, Polling Booth )

(3)Email/Message

(4)SMS

(5)Repository

(6)Wiki

screenshot-apnacomplex (1)

 

As an ApnaComplex member (whether you are part of apartment management committee or not) you may need to do one of the following at some point in time:  

(a) Communicate with all residents

(b) Send out personal or one-to-one messages

(c) Communicate with Administrator of your portal

(d) Communicate with Committee

(e) Communicate with Registered Owners

(f) Communicate with sub-groups of residents

(g) Reach out a larger connected, trusted audience

When you need to send a message across to and individual or a group in your residential complex, there are different communication options to choose from for different communication scenarios. This can be a bit confusing for a new user!

We will publish a series of blogs for you to understand exactly which communication tool will be best suited for what scenario and the guidelines to use the same. Let us know your doubts, queries on ApnaComplex communication tools by commenting on this blog and we can help you solve them. Log onto www.apnacomplex.com regularly for more information on ApnaComplex communication tools.


How technology ended the door to door maintenance collection saga?

Door-to-door maintenance collection

Door-to-door maintenance collection

The vicious cycle of maintenance calculation, payment dues, reminders and door-to-door maintenance collections kept most of the apartment management associations on their toes a few years back.

Keeping a track of the defaulters, reminding the defaulters to pay the maintenance and then finally collecting the same made the already difficult job of managing an apartment even tougher for the apartment associations. Also, since there was no way of ensuring whether a resident has read a maintenance fee reminder notice posted on the apartment notice board, the only way out for the RWA (Resident Welfare Association) was to reach out to residents and collect maintenance on a door-to-door basis. This was a highly painful and a time consuming process. In addition, one had to depend excessively on manpower for this activity, which increased the costs as well.

Thanks to technology, long gone are the days when apartment management associations were reaching out to residents on a one-to-one basis to collect maintenance. Management associations now use sophisticated apartment management software to simplify their maintenance collection process to an extent of a single mouse click!

One of the misconceptions that most of the apartment management associations had was about apartment management software being very costly. This misconception was cleared, when a lot of apartments started using ApnaComplex, a cost-effective subscription-based leading apartment management software with zero hardware costs and an ongoing support. The cost of the software is directly proportional to the number of units an apartment has, making it more economical than ever for the apartment management associations.

How apartment management software helps the management associations in timely collections?

Timely reminder for payments – The apartment management software instead of sending reminders to each and every resident one by one, empowers the management association to now send automatic reminders to all residents at one go via email/SMS. Residents don’t mean to default on maintenance payments, it’s their hectic schedules and absence of a mechanism to remind them in a timely manner that makes them miss out on submitting the maintenance charges on time. A reminder system reduces the default rate up to a great extent.

Ease of paying maintenance charges – The software comes with a payment gateway that empowers the residents to make their payments online and directly crediting the amount to society’s bank account. The payment can be made via credit/debit card or net banking as per resident’s convenience. This eases the residents from the whole ordeal of coming to the society office just to drop a cheque or pay in cash and in the same time saves the management association from the entire reconciliation effort.

Reduces manpower costs– The software automates the entire process of collections and reduces the requirement of any manpower for collections. The notices/reminders are sent in a timely and periodic manner to the residents and there is absolutely no requirement for a person to conduct door-to-door collections or inform residents about payment defaults.

Filter the list of defaulters – The apartment management software enables the management association to filter the list of defaulters. The entire process gets automated and a list of residents whose maintenance payments are due can be easily drawn out along with the penalty to be charged from them. This helps the management association to identify the exact number of defaulters to be contacted. Emails/SMS to be sent out to defaulters is also automated through this software reducing the manual work up to a great extent.

Meets expectations of both apartment management association and residents – A lot of times a warning message posted on the apartment notice board about maintenance default provokes residents to get into a verbal spat with the management associations. A timely reminder via SMS/email can cause lesser disputes, higher collections for management associations and lesser defaults on behalf of residents ensuring their harmonious living in the apartment.

Sun City Apartment Owners Association (SAOA) managing an apartment of 1200+ apartment units revealed that using ApnaComplex, a cost-effective subscription based apartment management software has led to a quicker collection cycle and much lesser defaulters in their apartment. It has enabled online payments with about 55% payments now happening online reducing the manual effort of reconciliation up to a great extent. The association now has a much clearer view on individual resident account and collection of long pending dues has been possible only because of ApnaComplex.

Maintaining a full-time staff or volunteers who lack expertise/time while dealing with maintenance collections or collecting default payments can become a very expensive as well as tiresome process. Use apartment management software to relieve your association from the painful process of door-to door maintenance collections today!

Log onto www.apnacomplex.com for more information


Announcing Survey feature in ApnaComplex

In yet another first, ApnaComplex now has ability to conduct “Surveys” and gather detailed feedback on any aspect related to the society. Surveys offer ultimate flexibility for Committee Members to carefully consider various opinions in the community. This feature is available to all our users including the Free edition users.

Administrators can create a Survey with a title, detailed description which will be presented to the survey respondents. While creating, admins can also select the respondent category such as owners, residents or admins and set dates for survey validity.

Once survey is created, admins can proceed to add any number of questions to the survey. Questions can be of different types such as multiple choice questions, text based questions and the user can be asked to select only one or more among the options provided. Questions can also be marked if it is mandatory to answer them before proceeding to next questions.

Creating a Survey in ApnaComplex - Sample

Creating a Survey in ApnaComplex – Sample Screenshot

While creating the Survey, administrator can make the Survey a ‘Secret’ where the respondent’s details will not be revealed. Also, admin can chose to publish the results to every one OR only to the administrators.

Once all questions are added, admin can publish the survey for members to respond to along with an expiry date for the poll.

Respondents can answer the survey questions, go back and modify them before finally submitting them.

Admins can view the response reports wen they wish when the survey is in progress and also download the response summary as excel.

How is Survey different from Polling Booth?

ApnaComplex has Polling Booth since beginning. Polling Booth primarily offers a mechanism where members can “vote” on a particular question and indicate their choice among the various options listed. Its not possible to collect verbatim feedback in polling booth. It is to be used for something such as ‘Election’ or for voting for an AGM resolution etc.

Survey is much more elaborate and flexible. Committees can create their own Forms and Questionnaires for any activity in the society such as data collection, detailed qualitative feedback on vendors, facility audit checklists, event registration forms – possibilities unlimited.

Are you not happy that there is a team out here thinking about Apartments and Managing Committees like yours all the time and trying to make life easy for every one of you 🙂

What are you waiting for? Go to Forums->Surveys and start your first survey!


Become Better at Managing your Apartment Complex – Get your society on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s leading web based Apartment Management Platform.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Apartment Management Software Update: Enhanced Action Item Tracker

We just released a significant enhancement to the Action Item tracking module – part of ApnaComplex’s Apartment Management Software.

The action item tracker in ApnaComplex is a central place where things to be done get tracked – be it the Preventive Maintenance Schedules of the Assets or AMC Contract Renewal Reminders or a tracking an actionable out of a Committee Meeting – the tracker offers a simple yet powerful tool to the managing committee.

The tracker was originally conceived as a tool for committee members only to track their activities. Thus it is available to only those who have been assigned ‘Action Item Admin’ role in the portal. Any one who needs to be assigned an Action Item (AI) must be given the role of Action Item Admin.

Enhanced Action Item Tracker - Apartment Management Software

With the new enhancement, we are removing the restriction of assigning AIs only to Action Item Admins. An action item now can be assigned to any one with in the community – including Staff.

You can easily assign an action item to member/staff – just by typing few letters of their names or flat number or staff roles. This auto-suggest feature for member/staff names helps in cases of large complexes where the members run into thousands. The assignee can see AIs that are assigned only to her/him – update them or reassign them. A member/staff will not have access to even view Action items that are not assigned to her/him.

With this enhancement, it is now easy to assign action items to any one with out giving them the access to entire action item list.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex.com – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most mature and comprehensive apartment management software platform. The platform also includes Facility Management Software for Housing Societies to automate various aspects of society office – including Asset Management, Inventory Tracking, Staff Attendance Tracking etc. ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of secretary and estate managers lot better by reducing efforts put in towards administration of a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 15-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!


Major Enhancements to Complaint Tracking in ApnaComplex

Can one improve that is already the best? We just did!

Complaint box – ApnaComplex’s most widely used feature – with its all powerful capabilities around complaint logging, tracking, auto-escalations, complaint analytics, highly configurable bunch of options – is surely the best in the business.

We have just released a bunch of enhancements to the complaint box to make it better than the best 🙂
Following capabilities are now part of the Complaint Box for all our customers:

1. Suspend SLA calculation / Ability to put Complaints “On Hold”: Quite a few customers have expressed a need to suspend SLA calculation for complaints on a need basis. This is especially to handle complaints where there are external dependencies like procurement of new material, or ordering of a new contract etc. To cater to these scenarios we now support a ‘On Hold’ Category as one of the statuses a complaint can go to. By default the “On Hold” option is not available for complaints. This can be made available by modifying the setting in Complex->Settings->Complaint box.

When a complaint is moved to ‘On Hold’ status – the SLA calculation will be stopped and it will resume once the complaint is moved off the “On Hold” status. All reports are enhanced to take the ‘On Hold’ Status into consideration.

2. Ability to de-commission Complaint Categories – This feature would come in handy if you have created many categories and do not want all these displayed when members are raising complaints. Go to Complaint Box->Setup Categories – you can see a new icon in the actions column called “Inactivate this complaint category”. Once inactivated a complaint can never be logged against a decommissioned complaint category.

3. Edit Category Name and Delete complaints: ApnaComplex now supports editing of a category name and also an ability to delete complaints by relevant admins!


Announcing Staff Leave Management and Weekly Off Management in ApnaComplex

We are happy to announce that now ApnaComplex supports Leave Management and Weekly Off Management of Maintenance Staff.

ApnaComplex was first to introduce attendance tracking capabilities that is tightly integrated with bio-metric devices couple of years back. This has helped several societies tighten the security of their respective complexes and also ensure payments are done as per the attendance. As a natural extension of this, we now offer committee members and estate managers to track the weekly offs and leaves of the maintenance staff.

With help of the leave management module:

  • Society can now maintain the Holiday list for the year.
  • For maintenance staff, weekly offs can be captured to help in creating a schedule for the maintenance staff.
  • Committee / Estate Manager can mark full day or half- day leaves for any of the staff – with an ability to update/cancel the leave.
  • The holidays, weekly offs and leaves can be viewed in a calendar view by the committee.

The holiday list of the society can be viewed by all the members of the portal and the admin features are available for Staff Admin and Community Admin roles.

Go to Directory->Maintenance Staff and you can see the “Manage Holidays” button to manage add/update/delete holidays. You can also spot the icon for managing weekly offs and leaves in the staff listing below against every staff.

This module is available for all customers who are subscribed to Standard Management and Ultimate Editions.

Yet another feature by ApnaComplex.com to eliminate paper based records and aid automation of your society office!