By Rafael Aquino

Published May 1, 2024  


For community association boards, financial oversight is a crucial responsibility. It's important to maintain transparency and accountability for your members, ensuring that funds are managed correctly and that the association's operations run smoothly. In this context, two financial tools are often mentioned, audits and forensic audits, and many times, one is confused with the other. 


What is an Audit?

An audit is a systematic review of financial records conducted by an independent third party, typically a certified public accountant (CPA). The goal of a regular audit is to assess the accuracy of financial statements, ensuring they reflect the association's financial status accurately. Audits are usually conducted annually. Audits include checks for compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and other relevant standards. However, it's important to note that audits are not specifically designed to uncover fraudulent activities.


What is a Forensic Audit?

A forensic audit is a specialized form of audit that goes beyond verifying financial records for accuracy. It focuses on uncovering potential financial misconduct, such as fraud, embezzlement, or mismanagement. Forensic auditors are trained to investigate financial anomalies, trace transactions, and provide detailed reports that can be used in legal proceedings if necessary. Specific concerns or allegations of wrongdoing typically trigger forensic audits. They dive deeper into financial transactions, contracts, and other records to uncover irregularities or potential criminal activity.


Many residents and board members assume that a regular audit will catch any wrongdoing or fraud. However, this is a misconception. Audits are primarily designed to provide a fair representation of the financial statements, not to uncover fraud or misconduct. Forensic audits, on the other hand, are explicitly focused on investigating financial irregularities. They provide a more comprehensive examination, making them better for detecting fraud or other forms of financial misconduct.


Understanding the difference between an audit and a forensic audit is essential for community association boards. While regular audits are necessary for ensuring accurate financial reporting, they do not necessarily catch wrongdoing. Miscommunication of expectations can lead to a false sense of security. By differentiating between these two processes, boards can more effectively manage their financial oversight responsibilities and ensure transparency, accountability, and trust within their associations.

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As the Co-Founder and CEO of Affinity Management Services, Rafael P. Aquino leads his team to redefine excellence. They serve community   associations   efficiently

and effectively with dedication and passion. Rafael’s energy and positive spirit is the foundation of Affinity Management Services’ company culture, which instills enthusiasm and excitement when providing expert advice to its board members and relieving the day-to-day burdens of running a community association.


Since 2007, Rafael has developed a work culture that values responsive and high-quality services. He has led his team by following a proactive vs reactive philosophy. The same approach Rafael instills in the day to day operations of each association. Today, Affinity Management Services maintains its success and benefits as a result of the foundation Rafael has built and continues to foster by providing educational seminars, continuing education classes for association managers and board members alike.

Rafael and his team help condominium and homeowners’ associations save money and improve their communities. His calm, personable, and service-oriented nature helps him to establish strong relationships with ease. Rafael is known as a sincere and honest leader who looks out for the best interests of his clients and communities, and he strongly advocates for their needs. His role requires coordination and communication, as such he takes logical and intelligent steps to approach challenges head-on.

As a graduate of Florida International University’s electrical engineering program and a licensed community association manager, Rafael’s education and skills equip him with unique insights to tackle complex problems through critical thinking. He understands how each component within a system works together in order to effectively arrive at solutions, techniques, and conclusions. Therefore, as he manages the multiple challenges of running a community association management company, he understands how each property is its own unique system and tailors’ specific services to assure that all their needs are met.

For more information about Rafael P. Aquino and Affinity Management Services please visit or call 1-800-977-6279

Doral Office: 8200 NW 41st ST

Suite 200

Doral, FL 33166

Broward Office: 150 S Pine Island RD Suite 300

Plantation, FL 33324

O: 800-977-6279 ● F: 305-325-4053

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