One of the most effective ways to safeguard your associations assets is to make sure that check signers do not
Make sure that it takes approval of the board to move reserve funds and that the board reserves the right to approve payment on reserve projects.
Make sure all board members know that it is wrong to vote on a transaction if it is with a business they have an ownership interest in. Make sure only qualified, independent businesses which are licensed, bonded and insured work on your association property.
And make sure you know if your manager has a relationship with any vendors so you know you are getting what you pay for.
Setting up a lock box for assessment payment processing might seem expensive but it saves time, money and ensures that all funds get to the bank. You get a report on who paid and when and it is deposited immediately, not once or twice a month, when someone remembers to check the PO Box.
Some uncollected assessments are normal, but do they seem to be excessive? How aggressively is the manager following up with the past due amounts? Discuss who owes past due amounts and why with your manager at every meeting.
Have the manager create a special report for the major projects that are approved for your association. Track what the Reserve Study predicted for the cost, the bid that came in and what actual costs have been incurred.