Are you ignoring your car parks?
Car parks can be big business but are sometimes the Cinderella of service charge reporting; often being excluded from the same close scrutiny as the shopping centres that they service. A small car park can involve huge expenditure and generate more income than the rents from the centre itself.
Shopping centre car parks can be split into two categories; those that charge for parking and those that don’t but both should be treated to the same level of scrutiny as the main centre. It is therefore vital to ensure that the costs being charged to the car park are relevant and fair. However, things can become far more complicated when parking is paid for by the visitors to the centre, for not only are there the costs to be considered but large sums of cash in machines and in remote ticket offices can obviously be particularly troublesome. There are also administrative matters to be considered, where, for example, a managing agent is involved, it can sometimes be difficult to reconcile their records and with those from the other agencies responsible for the collecting and banking car park monies.
Therefore, full and regular system reviews, backed up by an annual audit should be carried out to isolate and rectify potential weaknesses.