CPAs with Education Expertise
AAFCPAs’ Education Practice serves diverse academic and education services clients spanning independent schools, colleges/universities, special education schools, education services, charter schools and charter management organizations (CMOs).
Our extensive experience within the education industry makes us uniquely qualified to serve you. We fully understand the nuances of the education industry and its particular business and operational challenges, including funding and regulatory issues.
Primary Reasons Education Clients Appreciate AAFCPAs
Capital Campaign Debt Structure – AAFCPAs has helped many schools develop financial plans for their capital campaign. We bring expertise in operating forecasts in connection with bond-financed projects. We have evaluated the costs and accounting requirements associated with such financings, including interest rate swap agreements, letters of credit, and other matters.
Fundraising Support – AAFCPAs has extensive experience advising organization’s executing capital campaigns, including guidance on: establishing appropriate accounting and reporting policies & procedures, evaluating fundraising effectiveness ratios, and dispersing funds in accordance with the fundraising intent. We can also provide guidance on the wording of your fundraising collateral so you may avoid common pitfalls, and ensure your appeal language does not have unintended implications on your accounting for the fundraising intent. Further, AAFCPAs appreciates the importance of financial statements to benefactors and donors, and we help clients relay financial information in a way that showcases your best attributes, accurately explains your organization’s work, and demonstrates sound governance.
Alternative Investments – We advise clients who have highly diversified invested assets to establish best practice internal controls over investments, including procedures for due diligence and valuation of alternative investments. We have clients that work with investment advisers that support the due diligence process. We understand the complexities of alternative investments and methods used for valuation of these funds. We also keep abreast of applicable foreign reporting requirements and unrelated business income considerations. In addition, we audit reconciliation procedures for investment and custodian statements, structuring investment spending policies, and valuation due diligence.
Tax Credits – We are instrumental in helping schools fund new capital initiatives with various tax credit programs. Our comprehensive knowledge of all new, existing, and changing applicable tax credits includes: New Markets tax credits, Low Income Housing tax credits, federal and state Historic Rehabilitation tax credits, tax credit exchange, tax credit assistance programs, and credits for use of alternative energy sources. We provide advisory services to limited partnerships/limited liability companies from cost certifications at the project’s inception, to exiting at the end of tax credit compliance periods.
Complex Endowments – We assist in developing and evaluating investment and spending policies, designing reporting and unitization structures, and evaluating and improving internal controls over investment activities in line with the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA).
Benchmarking – AAFCPAs can demonstrate to clients how they compare to industry averages and other select nonprofits. We analyze and present ratios and benchmarking, comparing revenues per student, return on fundraising expenses, occupancy costs, net assets, working capital, and other measures.
Accreditation – We have helped clients improve their accreditation scores through strategic initiatives designed to improve a school’s balance sheet, financial statements and credit picture.
Regulations – Intimately familiar with all policies, procedures, and regulations related to independent school reporting, accounting, auditing, and tax filing.
In addition to best-value assurance and exceptional tax expertise, AAFCPAs provides proactive guidance on areas critical to the success of education organizations, including:
- Consult on new initiatives being structured to identify accounting and tax considerations
- Guidance on real estate development projects
- Advise about tax-exempt bonds and other tax credit financing programs to assist with campus expansion
- Review of best practices around ancillary services, such as:
- After school programs
- Summer camps
- Food service
- Guidance on understanding and preparing the Federal Form 990 to best represent your organization to donors and the public
- Unrelated business income tax (UBIT) compliance, and comprehensive cost allocation plans that minimize tax
- Charitable trust returns
- Managed Accounting Solutions: Right-sized, outsourced accounting solutions, from cloud-based bookkeeping to high level CFO oversight oversight
- Business Performance, Internal Controls & IT Advisory
- Institutional investment advice, money management, financial planning & consulting, executive deferred compensation & retirement plan consulting, and succession planning solutions
- Fiduciary guidance and investment advisory solutions for employee benefit plan sponsors
- Technical Accounting Advisory: Implementation of new accounting standards, assistance with complex operational and financial transactions, audit preparation
“In a world filled with economic uncertainty, there is no better partner to have than AAFCPAs. AAFCPAs’ personal and professional attention to our long- term fiscal health and sustainability has allowed us to thrive at a time when others are struggling. AAFCPAs is truly in a class of its own.”
Eagle Hill School | Peter J. McDonald, Ed.D., Headmaster