Management Letters are Your Friend

By Christopher Piedici on February 10, 2016
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Christopher Piedici

abc-chalkboard.jpgCharter schools are part of a broad movement in public education toward results based accountability, and began operating in New York through the New York Charter School Act of 1998. Although charter schools have been in operation across the U.S. for nearly 15 years, much of the current knowledge base is about the financing of charter schools (including state charter school finance systems, funding streams, and facilities funding) rather than the financial management within them.

Auditor comments within a management letter help address deficiencies with financial reporting so that board members and management can make proper business decisions - with the ultimate goal being to strengthen the collection of data for financial reporting.

Children’s education and the strengthening of the educational system is important, so it should be a primary focus to be able to provide the best tools and resources for students to succeed. With the understanding that charter school boards vary in size and qualifications, the average board comprises ten people and at least one person with a background in financial management. Charter boards have primary responsibility over budgeting and financial reporting, but are less likely to have final control over human resources, staffing ratios, and purchasing.

These challenges can make it difficult to obtain the right staffing to reduce severe deficiencies. Incorrect reporting of financial data can impede the progress of the future success of the educational system. With the use of state aid, it’s doubly important that schools are being fiscally responsible. The benefits of an auditing consultant can help reduce the burden of meeting the fiscal recommendations of management letters.

Our consulting firm focuses primarily on:

  • Quarterly reviews of the financial data,
  • Being an intermediate level of oversight between the auditor and the board,
  • Analyzing contract costs,
  • Performing assessment reviews and recommendations of internal operations and,
  • Assisting with financial projections.

We understand the challenges that charter schools face with staffing limitations and can help provide remediation. If you would like help with your next audit or management letter consulting please contact us.

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