Accounting, Finance and Tax
For a personalized experience, attendees may elect to attend sessions in any track. Tracks do not include general sessions or deep dives.
An update focused on the upcoming accounting changes. These changes will include a new revenue recognition model for both contracts with customers and contributions received and made, lease accounting changes and other recently issued accounting pronouncements. Presenters will cover each of these areas and delve into the most important aspects that independent schools will need to know to be prepared for implementation. The interactive session will include relevant examples for participants.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn what has changed as a result of recently issued accounting pronouncements and how it may affect the way certain transactions are accounted for and the impact on financial reporting.
Michele DiVito, Senior Director, RSM US LLP
Jeri Fleming, Senior Manager, RSM US LLP
Did you know that your donors can give more to your school for less money? With fewer donors making larger gifts, understanding how your constituents can leverage the tax code and compound interest to maximize their donations is imperative to successful giving campaigns in 2020 and beyond. Learn about donor-advised funds, bunching and other donor-focused strategies.
Learning Objective: Learn how the finance office can partner with the advancement office to make giving stronger for your school.
Rick Darvis, CPA, CCPS, President, Rick Darvis Accounting
Nancy Greene, Vice President for Finance and Operations, Pine Crest School
A little over 10 years ago, the finance director and the director of entrepreneurship at University School established a student investment committee that invests "real" funds of the school. Over the 10-year period, the school has funded the committee $100,000, and now the portfolio is nearly $200,000. The students have established bylaws and an investment policy. We will share the portfolio they have created, returns and current market value. We will explain the process of how students are selected to the committee, function as a group and evaluate new and current stocks.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn the information necessary to establish a student investment committee at their school.
Greg Malkin, Director, Young Entrepreneur Institute, University School
William Willoughby, Student, University School
David Wright, Finance Director, University School
Independent schools share many common and some wildly different opportunities and challenges. This session is designed to provide an opportunity for individuals managing accounting, finance, tax and other controller/assistant CFO functions to join roundtable discussions with other professionals from similar types of schools. Participants will examine differences and commonalities of their individual roles and school communities, share experiences and learn from each other's successes and failures. Explore how other schools handle many of the challenges you face.
Learning Objective: Participants from similar types and sizes of schools will explore similarities and differences within the controller functions, engage in guided conversations about sharing experiences and make connections with controller professionals from similar types of schools.
Jennifer Hillen, CPA, CGMA, Vice President, Professional Development and Business Affairs, NBOA
Melisa Waters, Controller, The Bolles School
Most often, schools have separate financing and fundraising departments, which rarely interact on projects. Benefactors often have less cash to give than resources to invest, so schools aren't fully accessing the funds that donors may want to use in support of favored charities. This session will help school leaders understand the benefits of debt management by incorporating innovative fundraising and planned giving tools. Participants will also learn how fundraising flourishes when schools can offer benefactors new and meaningful ways to give via investment as well as writing a check. Case studies will show how priority projects are built using available debt capacity and the often untapped power of current and future benefactor participation.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn new fundraising and planned giving tools to enhance and expand their priority project financing capabilities so they never need to say no to an important opportunity.
Walt Coughlin, Executive Vice President, Coughlin & Co.
Michael Schierl, President, Julius Capital
Tax-exempt financing can be a powerful tool to help meet financial objectives in implementing strategic initiatives. By linking both sides of the balance sheet in a long-term capital planning process, debt can increase asset efficiency and drive strategic objectives. Thoughtful strategic planning can optimize liquidity and investment efficiency, which in turn add budgetary cushion and drive net asset growth. Transaction execution is the crucial final step in a long and thoughtful capital planning process. These processes can greatly increase institutional wealth, demarcating the difference between moderately and highly successful institutions.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn best practices for establishing and implementing long-term strategic plans, which will guide project prioritization, capital planning and a debt portfolio approach to financing projects. The ultimate financial objective of all institutions is to build net assets in an effort to support its mission.
Rich Bernero, Principal, Five Mile River Group
Justin Berry, Associate, Prager & Co., LLC
Adam Prager, Director, Prager & Co., LLC
The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TJCA) includes many new rules that not-for-profit independent schools must follow to stay in compliance with regulators and to maintain their tax-exempt status. This session will dive into the provisions that directly impact independent schools and how they can affect school policy decisions and public reporting, as well as update attendees on the provisions in question such as employee parking. Presenters will review specific examples to help keep your school in compliance. In addition, the program will cover many of the nuanced tax issues that have long impacted not-for-profit schools including those related to unrelated business income and certain employee benefits as well as gifts or sponsorships.
Learning Objective: Participants will have a better understanding of the direct and indirect impact of the TCJA and other tax regulations on not-for-profit schools, how to evaluate reporting challenges for schools in 2020 and best practices for maintaining compliance.
Kelly Gillette, CPA, Partner, Armanino LLP
Matt Petroski, Tax Director, Armanino LLP
Dean Quiambao, CPA, Partner, Armanino LLP
This session will highlight and discuss the results from the recent Commonfund Study of Independent Schools Investment Report. In addition to identifying key data trends that have emerged from the study, the session will include a moderated panel discussion with experts from Commonfund and representatives from NBOA member schools discussing how the identified trends are influencing today's investment policy decisions and helping focus institutions on strategic initiatives geared toward improving stewardship.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn key considerations for developing investment policies geared toward balancing the demand for immediate endowment distributions s and the need to maintain a sustainable endowment that will support future generations of students.
Steven Snyder, Managing Director, Head of Relationship Management, Commonfund
George Suttles, Director of Research, Commonfund Institute
Several FASB accounting standards have gone into effect recently that require new or significantly more complex disclosures on school financial statements. The new standards cover liquidity, functional expenses by nature, grants and contributions, and revenue recognition. Instead of seeing these new standards as merely annoying compliance requirements, this session shows how to turn them into opportunities to develop better financial strategies and practices for your school. Join us to learn how to use the new FASB guidelines to tell your financial story in the most creative, sophisticated way.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn how to think broadly outside of just compliance with new standards and learn how to use the new standards strategically. Learn enough about accounting to avoid being a victim of the accounting.
Curtis Klotz, Director of Nonprofit Innovation, ClintonLarsonAllen LLP
Sarah Reichling, Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
How would a board member or head of school respond if asked "how do you know that fraud isn't occurring at your school"? How can a CFO illustrate that the finance and accounting operation is above reproach? The school's primary defense against fraud is establishing and maintaining a comprehensive, proven system of internal controls. This session will outline the importance of identifying key financial risks and specifying the controls that mitigate those risks. Participants will learn very practical steps to establish an internal control framework, and evaluate controls to ensure they are designed appropriately and executed effectively.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn how to establish an internal control framework as well as an approach to testing controls to prevent fraud.
Brian Rodriguez, Chief Financial Officer, Trinity Christian Academy
Three schools — a small boarding school, a leading metropolitan day school and a school specializing in learning differences — each took a distinctly different financing path to meet their unique financing needs. One executed a bank loan, one a public bond and one a private placement with a private equity fund. What institutional goals drove these schools down different financing paths? How did each financing path differ and why? What steps did these schools take at the beginning of the process to identify their goals and financing path?
Learning Objective: Participants will learn about the market opportunities that these three schools took advantage of to obtain the best tax-exempt financing for their specific facilities’ master plans.
Bill Auerswald, Chief Financial Officer, Greenwich Country Day School
Jeff Berman, Chief Financial Officer, McLean School
Jim Poulsen, Chief Financial Officer, Thacher School
Charles Procknow, Executive Vice President, George K. Baum & Company
The session will focus on fundraising rules and regulations regarding special events, parents’ association activities, donated goods and services as well as some less commonly-used tools in the business office, such as Facebook. Business offices need to collaborate with many groups in and out of the school to develop fundraising programs to benefit their schools. Schools are expected to be the safeguard in terms of compliance with regulatory and tax laws affecting each of these ventures.
Learning Objective: Participants will develop a strong understanding of fundraising laws and regulations as well as proper accounting and tax treatments of donated gifts.
Joseph Blatt, Partner, BKD
Accreditation and strategic planning are important processes that require schools to focus on their long-term future and financial equilibrium. Review sample tools you can implement in your school, including Cost Effectiveness by Division, NBOA’s Long-Range Financial Model, stats comparisons, faculty salary analysis and more. Identify questions school leaders should ask in relation to your school's financial health, its recent history and its future projections.
Learning Objective: Participants will receive tools to assist in obtaining necessary data to make informed decisions, analyze and project future impact of decisions on their school's finances.
Palmer Ball, President, Palmer Ball Consulting LLC
Financial data is everywhere. Survey fatigue is real. With so much data available to you and your team, how are you prioritizing what matters most to your school’s long-term financial stability? Armanio LLP has analyzed over 170 schools and identified which metrics showcase their operating efficiencies, strategic initiates and long-term stability. We will share the minimum level of performance for each of our identified metrics to help schools understand how to become best in class in each category.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn how to present digestible financial data to their key stakeholders.
Matt Gard, Partner, Armanino LLC
Bryan Vencil, Audit Senior, Armanino LLC
With today's marketplace full of online crowdfunding and donation platforms, how do you choose the best fundraising solution for your school? This Goldmine session will present basic considerations when selecting a fundraising solution, including internal policies, security and best practices.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn what to consider when selecting a fundraising solution.
Jeff Olek, Regional Sales Manager, MySchoolBucks/Heartland School Solutions
The higher education industry is awash in alternative finance strategies, and independent schools are frequently encouraged to consider public-private partnerships (P3s). However, when schools do not fully understand how to evaluate them or the best time to consider using them, P3s can result in unfulfilled objectives and higher costs. This session will outline the how’s, when’s, where’s and why’s of P3 finance, at a time when independent schools must determine its relevance in funding expansion and/or capitalizing on opportunities.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn why public-private partnerships are a powerful delivery methodology used by nonprofit educational institutions, how to evaluate the risk-reward proposition of the various types of P3 relationships today and how to determine which is best for their situation.
David Adams, Senior Vice President, George K. Baum & Company
Business officers must accurately account for revenue coming in and expenses going out, as well as create a plan to serve the best interests of their schools and students. If you struggle to forecast next year's enrollment, develop an accurate operating budget months in advance or control spending, however, you’re not alone. This session will cover proven financial strategies that help you understand your school's trend data so that you can make educated financial decisions. Discover how to calculate next year's enrollment and use the results to develop your three-tier operating budget forecast.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn how to use a proven historical data formula to create an enrollment projection for their upcoming school year, how to develop a three-tier operating budget forecast and how to create a cut/hold/spend list that supports the three-tier budget.
Jerry Chambers, Consultant, Independent School Management