Analyzing and Communicating School Financial Health with The Composite Financial Index

Senior Leaders Seminar

Analyzing and Communicating School Financial Health with The Composite Financial Index

The Composite Financial Index (CFI) is a sophisticated tool employed by higher education institutions for decades, designed to help you think strategically about your school's overall financial health and communicate succinctly about it with school leaders. Four core ratios allow you to produce a more complete picture of your institution's financial strengths and weaknesses.

The ratios are:

  • Primary reserve ratio – a measure of financial flexibility

  • Net operating revenues ratio – a measure of operating performance

  • Return on net assets ratio – a measure of overall asset return and performance

  • Viability ratio – a measure of ability to cover debt with available resources

In this seminar you will:

  • Gain understanding of the CFI as an analytic tool

  • Interpret the results of your CFI and understand related implications

  • Learn how to leverage your CFI results as a succinct, yet powerful communications tool for complex financial information to be shared with senior leadership at your school

  • Understand how fellow CFOs have used the their CFI scores to provide their Boards with a more long-term view of your school's financial performance

Please note: Attendees should complete a minimum of 2 fiscal years’ data entry into NBOA’s data collection tool BIIS during BIIS data collection, September 19 - October 11, 2019, if registering prior to the end of the data collection period. All registrants will be sent a template for the CFI calculation and should complete it prior to arriving a the session. Having copies of previous audits with you, including footnotes and disclosures, may be helpful if you have questions during the session.

Used for decades in higher education and endorsed by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the CFI has significant practical application to independent schools. This version of the CFI is the result of an important partnership between NBOA and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Learning Objective: Participants will learn about the CFI as an analytic tool and interpret the results of their CFI and understand related implications.

Featured Speakers

Phil Tahey

Phil Tahey, CPA

Owner, P Tahey CPA

Phil Tahey is an independent consultant with over 35 years of experience in the not-for-profit community, especially serving higher education institutions. He has served this community in various roles, including consultant, auditor, and Controller at Johns Hopkins University. Phil is also co-author of several editions of Strategic Financial Analysis in Higher Education, which is the source publication for the Composite Financial Index (CFI). Phil has also served Pre-K to 12 private schools as Board Member, Finance Committee member or Financial Advisor.

Alex Heiberger

Alex Heiberger

Chief Financial Officer, The Madeira School

Alex Heiberger joined Madeira as CFO in spring of 2014. He earned his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Albany and holds a master's degree in health services administration from The George Washington University. Prior to Madeira he spent 17 years with Georgetown University, where he served most recently as associate dean of administration and finance for the School of Nursing & Health Studies. Alex has leadership experience in higher education, health care management and medical center operations. In addition, he has more than a decade of service on the board of directors of Hoya Federal Credit Union.

Nancy Greene

Nancy Greene, CPA

Vice President of Finance and Operations/Chief Financial Officer, Pine Crest School

Nancy Greene joined Pine Crest School in June 2018 as vice president of finance and operations and chief financial officer. Prior to Pine Crest, Greene was the chief finance and operations officer for The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida. She is involved in a number of state and national associations, including the Florida Council of Independent Schools, Florida Independent School Business Officers, Florida Independent College and Universities Risk Management Association and Association of Business Officers of Independent Schools. She is a current board member of the National Business Officers Association, where she is the immediate past chair of the Strategic Initiatives Committee. Greene is a CPA and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida.

Additional Speakers

  • Jennifer Hillen, CPA, CGMA, Vice President, Professional Development and Business Affairs, NBOA
  • Mary Kay Markunas, Director, Member Resources and Programs, NBOA

Continuing Education Credit


CPE Credit

Field of Study: Finance
Delivery Method: Group Live
Advanced Preparation: Become familiarized with CFI components and complete the data template that will be provided. Complete 2 or more years of data entry into the BIIS data collection platform if registering for the program prior to October 11, 2019. Have access to several years’ of audited financial statements and footnotes.

Program Level: Basic
Prerequisites: None
Recommended CPE Credits: 3.0

NBOA is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:


HRCI Credit

Recommended HRCI Credits: 3.0

HRCI Category: Business

NBOA is a recognized provider of recertification credits. This program has met the HR Certification Institute's criteria to be pre-approved for credit towards aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification.


SHRM Credit

SHRM PDC Credit: 3.0

SHRM BoCK: Leadership and Navigation

NBOA is recognized by SHRM to offer SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP professional development credits (PDCs). This program has met SHRM's criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit