Should we change our reserve fund study provider?

H.T. writes:

Dear Paul: We must update our reserve fund study by the end of our next fiscal year. The board is discussing the possibility of asking a different provider to update the study. Is this allowed? What are your thoughts?

Paul replies:

Dear H.T.: Good question. I do not know of any reason you could not change the provider that conducted your latest reserve fund study. However, you should keep in mind that your last provider has compiled a comprehensive database of information to arrive at its recommendations; it may be much simpler to update the information and at the same time save the corporation money by not starting from scratch. The existing provider may not want to share the data with a competitor. While you may have a copy of the data it might not be easily transferable to another provider. If a new provider uses a different “average cost” database than the one used for your latest study, comparisons may be challenging to make. I would stay with the same provider unless there was a compelling reason to change. Best wishes.

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