Essentials of the Business Office: Course Details


The complete course is six weeks, from October 2 through November 10, 2017.

The class is conducted on the Haiku Learning Management platform, and requires a willingness to experiment with new applications of technology. Classes are conducted asynchronously, so there is no single time each week when participants are required to be online. However, participants should commit to spending at least 3-5 hours each week the class is in session. In addition, for participants wanting CPE credit, four one-hour webinars will be broadcast live. You can receive up to four CPE credits for attending the webinars.

Coursework and assignments for each week open on Monday morning, and should be completed by the following Sunday evening. Grace periods are given, but interaction is more effective when the entire class is working on the same topic. Participants will connect and collaborate with each other through several forms of interactive media, including short videos, surveys and discussion boards.

Certificate of Completion

A registrant interested in obtaining a Certificate of Completion for a course must complete the program and earn the Course Completion badge in the Haiku Learning Platform. A certificate will only be issued to a registrant who has earned this badge.

Course Description

Week 1: Financial Planning and Budgeting

Review the detailed components of establishing a budget and building transparency around financial performance. Participants will be given the Long-Range Day School Budget Model and begin inputting their own data and explore ways to use the model to create a 10-year future lens at their institution. This is the balancing act that the business officer needs to manage between delivering short-term performance and ensuring long-term financial sustainability.

Participants will also work on their own key ratios using the Financial Position Survey. One of the responsibilities of the board of trustees is to plan effectively for the long-term financial viability of the school. Using the combination of the Long-Range Financial Model and the strategic key ratios from the Financial Position Survey, begin the process of creating a financial plan and sound financial-management practices in support of the strategic plan of the school.

Week 2: The Tuition Management Continuum: Issues Surrounding Enrollment/Re-Enrollment, Financial Aid, Accounts Receivables, and Collections

The business office is either directly or indirectly involved in the establishment and administration of policies regarding financial aid and tuition assistance. Explore the current issues affecting these areas including; online enrollment agreements and their enforcement, financial aid and tuition remission, effective accounts receivable management, as well as options for collection of delinquencies.

Week 3: Accounting and Audit

Take a closer look at financial-management policies and processes, including assessing the 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 ways to establish a better collaboration with the auditor as well as reducing the last minute preparations for this yearly engagement.

Week 4: Human Resources and Employment Law

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. Discuss case studies based on likely scenarios.

Week 5: Facilities and Auxiliary Services

Evaluate the span of responsibilities that fall under the operations function at a school. Facilities, transportation, and food service 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. How should an RFP be developed? What are the risks and rewards of renting out the school's facilities? Do you outsource or provide these functions in house? Should these functions be done in-house or outsourced?

Week 6: Risk Management

Risk management is a key component of sustaining the long-term viability of the school. Creating a culture where everyone feels they are a ‘risk manager’ can be challenging. Explore the areas of schools which historically are the greatest areas of risk both from the number of claims to the dollar value of claims. One way to accomplish this is the creation and review of the comprehensive risk-management practices and policies aimed at protecting and safeguarding the assets of the school, including employees, board of trustees, and facilities. Review and discuss the findings of the NBOA/United Educators report on risk management in independent schools.. Focusing on these areas provides a critical look at where resources should be allocated.


CPE Credit

Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge and Applications
Delivery Method: Group Internet-Based
Program Level: Basic

Prerequisites: None
Advanced Preparation: None
Recommended CPE Credits: 4

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:

Registration Open for HR Compliance for Independent Schools Online Course

Online Courses

HR Compliance is a 6-week online course designed for both human resources professionals and business officers who oversee and manage human resources. Participants will develop an understanding in key areas of federal human resources compliance and be empowered to address day-to-day human resources challenges and improve their policies and practices.