|▲ Accountant Bang Hee-myeong|
Korean’s love of apartment is great that many of them prefer living there to living in detached houses. However, among some issues living in apartment, maintenance fee once covered the newspapers as revealed as a good example by actress Kim Bu-seon about heating bills of the apartment she lived which was proven by investigation thereafter.
The reveal led to introduction of the Apartment Housing Management Act in 2015 that an apartment block with more than 300 households is subject to an audit. Before the act was introduced, there was an accounting firm that provided maintenance fee accounting solutions for apartment houses. <Power Korea> met accountant Bang Hee-myeong and heard about the story.
Specializing in apartment maintenance fee accounting
Bang passed a certified accounting test in 2011. He worked for Y accounting firm and then moved to H firm before opening his own SUNYUL in 2014 with specialty in apartment maintenance fee audit alongside other various services such as taxing and evaluations.
“There are many accounting firms so I thought I needed to focus on one special area and it was apartment maintenance fee audit. There were not many accountants providing services in this area so I carried on some research on related laws alongside the field work to learn the existing systems from the people in charge or the representatives of apartment blocks” said Bang.
“Unlike people’s prejudice, I found the management of maintenance fee in apartment blocks was transparent. It is regretful that the media reported some ‘mistakes’ as ‘corruption’. The reason residents of apartment think that there might be some dodgy deals behind because they feel that they pay more than it is necessary while it actually is not. So I hope the media would correct the report to make things right about this.”
“In fact, untransparency is often found at studio flats or complex buildings where less than 300 households are resident. These flats and buildings actually are the ones that our transparent maintenance fee accounting services is needed.”
Training is more important than doubt
Also serving as an adjunct professor at Namseoul University, Bang pointed out “Doubt on people in charge of maintenance fee doesn’t help. If residents feel that there is something wrong, they need to prove the wrong part with evidence and legal proof why it is wrong to settle down their doubt and issues.”
He also pointed out “I actually found that maintenance fee the residents pay is often not enough than they thought. Lack of maintenance fee makes the management work harder as well as their wages and some of them even lose their jobs. If things go this way, the safety and maintenance of apartment and its residents are not guaranteed.”
As a solution, Bang emphasizes on the importance of training the people in charge. He found that many people in charge have lack of knowledge about accounting and regulations as much less as the residents. For this reason, Bang provides free training on accounting and regulations whenever he carries out an audit.
“I feel rewarded when the people I gave free training on accounting and regulations improved themselves the next time I visited. I will keep providing my professional knowledge and knowhow to the people related so that transparent and systematic management of maintenance fee accounting is secured in all apartment and communal housing buildings in Korea.”
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