Stone Mountain Corporation
Re$erve Studies


Stone Mountain Corporation developed the proprietary SmartRe$erve™ software in the early 1990's to facilitate the task of reserve analysis for community associations.

The distinguishing feature of our SmartRe$erve™ software is that it has the ability to analyze long-term reserve expense patterns over a 30-year period and then iteratively determine what level of reserve funding per year will required to fund those projected expenses while always maintaining a positive reserve account balance. This process is called "Cash Flow Optimization."

When most reserve study providers include a cash flow analysis in their report, it is often not an optimized cash flow analysis. Rather, they take the straight-line depreciation annual funding amount and project that funding rate forward in a 30-year cash flow projection. This often results in large surpluses in the reserve account in future years, and occasionally results in deficits.

Scroll down to see an example of our Optimized Cash Flow Analysis report. The purpose of an Optimized Cash Flow Analysis report is threefold:

● Determine a recommended optimal annual reserve funding rate such that future reserve balances will not go below zero or some specified threshold amount.

● Prove that recommended funding levels will be able to fund projected reserve expenditures.

● Provide a long-term reserve project schedule. The layout of the cash flow analysis helps board member determine which projects will happen in which years.

One of the benefits of the Cash Flow Analysis method is that you don't need to concern yourself with how much money your association has in each of the different reserve component categories such as roofs, streets, pool, tennis, etc. which is common practice for people who adhere to the Straight-Line Analysis method.

Although straight-line depreciation enthusiasts spend a lot of time tracking how much money they have in each reserve component category, when they don't have enough money for their painting, for example, they invariably "steal" money from their roofing fund, etc., thus impeaching prior efforts to segregate funds for each component.

By contrast, the Cash Flow Analysis method is considered to be a cash flow pooling method" in which the analysis method concerns itself with how much the "pool" of reserve expenses is going to cost for each year in the 30-year projection and then it determines how to fund those expenses. As long as there are enough funds in reserves to fund the pool of reserve expenses in each year, the funding plan works.


Here is a sample 30-year cash flow analysis. Note how each reserve expense is projected with the proper frequency and with compound inflation applied to future costs.

As you can see, the recommended optimal reserve funding is $45,458 and the minimum end-of-year reserve account balance of $10,000 occurs in the year 2027.

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