There are differences of opinion within the reserve study industry as to who “owns” the reserve study report, what degree of responsibility the reserve professional has, and how certain difficult situations in which boards can almost be held hostage by reserve studies should be reported. Click the link for Study in Uganda
One thing is clear – national reserve study standards do not provide adequate guidance in this area.
Many reserve preparers take the position that they have been engaged to perform an independent study resulting in a report of their findings, and that the reserve professional “owns” the entire report. These individuals also often take the position that their report is the basis for the Association’s long-term maintenance plan.
Unfortunately, national standards do not address this issue. For instance, there is no requirement that the reserve professional make any sort of statement regarding the work performed other than the vague reference to a site visit, nor any statement of opinion regarding the accuracy of the data presented or the degree of responsibility for the report. National standards only require comments on:
Completeness: Material issues which, if not disclosed, would cause a distortion of the association’s situation
Reliance on client data: Information provided by the official representative of the Association regarding financial, physical, quantity, or historical issues will be deemed reliable by the consultant
These are required disclosures that fall far short of expressing a clear, positive opinion regarding the accuracy of the report or the actual work performed.
Others believe that the report is “owned” by the Association, and that the role of the reserve professional is to assist in compiling the data and preparing the report. These individuals generally take the position that the report should be a financial reflection of the Association’s long-term maintenance plan; it does not establish the long-term maintenance plan.
Again, national standards do not provide guidance on how the reserve professional should report on his involvement with the process, nor on his opinion of the conclusions reached.