This program has reached capacity. Program dates for 2013 will be announced in the fall.
Focus on the distinguishing factors of an independent-school culture. This class will discuss schools and the manner in which business is conducted. Learn how to employ a successful collaborative, decision-making model that includes input from faculty and staff, parents, the board, and the senior leadership team.
Examine the unique role business officers play in an independent school. The business officer is a member of the senior leadership team with direct responsibility for overseeing financial reporting, accounts receivable and payables, human resources, payroll, facilities, purchasing, risk management, and often more. Business officers need to bring technical skills to the job while possessing the interpersonal acumen needed to work with the many constituents they serve on a daily basis. Given the breadth of responsibilities that the business officer oversees, understanding the resources and support available to assist in carrying out their varied responsibilities is critical to their success.
Explore the rhythm and calendar of a school year. Every school operates according to a calendar of events. There are important events and dates throughout the school year that the business office needs to anticipate and execute against, including the cycle of financial planning and budgeting, enrollment management and financial aid, employee evaluations and contracts, and audit planning and field work.
Review the detailed components of establishing a budget and building transparency around financial performance. Explore the balancing act that the business officer needs to manage between delivering short-term performance and ensuring long-term financial sustainability.
One of the responsibilities of the board of trustees is to plan effectively for the long-term financial viability of the school. This involves creating a financial plan and sound financial-management practices in support of the strategic plan of the school. The business officer, in conjunction with the leadership team, provides metrics and data, reviews spending and maintenance policies, and details financial assumptions and goals for all revenue and expense components.
Discuss the importance of collecting tuition dollars to maintain cash flow according to forecast. The investment in an independent-school education represents a significant commitment by families. The business office is either directly or indirectly involved in the establishment and administration of policies regarding financial aid and tuition assistance. In addition to overseeing enrollment contracts and analyzing need-based financial aid, the business office is responsible for collection of tuition through the practices of managing accounts receivable.
Take a closer look at financial-management policies and processes, including assessing your school’s internal controls and procedures relating to purchasing activities, advancement gifts, and cash receipts. The preparation for the annual audit conducted by independent accountants represents a significant annual process led by the business office.
Discuss the substantial work involved in preparing for the auditor’s site visit, and how the business office needs to establish monthly practices and routines regarding the creation and review of internal accounts and financial statements.
Cover the breadth of responsibilities that fall under the human resource umbrella. No matter the size of a school, the human resource function is a critical component in creating a culture where employees feel valued and honored for the work they do. Human resource responsibilities include compensation and benefits administration, performance management, personnel practices related to hiring and training, safety and wellness programs, and applicable regulatory compliance. The efficiency and productivity of the employees in achieving the school’s mission is the goal of the practices and policies of a human resource department.
Evaluate the span of responsibilities that fall under the operations function at a school. Facilities management encompasses ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements and developing processes for planning and maintaining the facilities to deliver programs in support of the school's mission. Risk management is a key component of sustaining the long-term viability of the school. This is accomplished through creation and review of the comprehensive risk-management practices and policies aimed at protecting and safeguarding the assets of the school, including its employees, board of trustees, and facilities.
Topics that may be covered:
Health care reform
Blended and online learning
Merit-based compensation plans
Enrollment management – net tuition model