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Charter Schools & CMOs

Our proven advice improves the business & operational performance of charter schools and CMOs regardless of what stage of development they are in: start-up, growth, or replication.

Charter Schools & CMOs

Audit, Tax & Consulting For Charter Schools & Charter Management Organizations

AAFCPAs’ Education Practice serves diverse academic and education services clients spanning K-12 charter schools and charter management organizations (CMOs), private schools, special education schools, education services, and higher education. We serve start-up charter schools, mature multi-site proven providers, schools that are expanding, as well as the leading Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) in the country. Many clients began their trusted relationship with us at the time they were granted their charters and remain proponents of AAFCPAs’ exceptional value.

Our valuable expertise has been earned through years of auditing and operational consulting in this industry. The longevity and depth of our attention and impact on this industry makes us unique. We are intimately familiar with best practices in how charter schools and CMOs operate at every stage of development, including experience with diverse private, federal, and state funders of these schools. We are involved and passionate supporters of the charter school movement!

In addition to best-value assurance and exceptional tax expertise, AAFCPAs provides guidance on areas critical to the success of our charter school/CMO clients.

Primary Reasons Charter School/CMO Clients Appreciate AAFCPAs

Guidance on Regulatory Oversight – AAFCPAs is known and respected, and has professional relationships with state regulators, including the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and we are frequently called upon for advisement. This familiarity has been helpful to clients, and positively impacts their credibility with these regulatory bodies. We advise clients as they attain or renew their charter, comply with the state audit guides, and provide narratives in annual reports that resonate well with authorities.

Debt Financing – We have a deep knowledge of all new, existing, and changing debt financing options and tax credits, including: Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs) and Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs), new markets tax credits, federal and state Historic Rehabilitation tax credits, as well as exit strategies for expiring tax credits. We have proven expertise with the accounting and reporting requirements for all financing vehicles, and provide valued guidance for school’s investing in infrastructure fundamental to their long-term viability and success.

Fundraising Support – AAFCPAs has extensive experience advising schools executing capital campaigns, including guidance on: establishing appropriate accounting and reporting policies and 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 school’s work, and demonstrates sound governance.

Facility Financing Strategies – We are a trusted technical resource, providing guidance to clients so they may better understand the financial impact of various building finance strategies marketed to them. Additionally, we collaborate with consultants to optimize their implementation. Many of these complex strategies involve establishing separate real estate holding companies.

Accounting Standards – We have extensive experience auditing schools in accordance with both the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and with Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) regulations, and we are able to clearly communicate the difference between FASB and GASB standards. This allows clients to analyze and interpret financial information in a meaningful way, accurately track their financial positions, and make informed decisions.

Benchmarking – Our depth of experience in the charter school industry allows us to provide unique industry averages and peer comparisons. We provide insight to clients on where they stand competitively on financial benchmarks, such as: revenues per student, return on fundraising expenses, occupancy costs, net assets, working capital, and other measures. Further, AAFCPAs helps clients interpret and derive more meaning from these key performance indicators so they are better positioned to reach budgeting and revenue expansion goals.

Involved and Passionate Supporters – AAFCPAs is an active participant with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association. Our Education Practice leaders have presented interactive workshops for the past two years at the annual National Charter Schools Conference. We host semi-annual Charter School Roundtables so clients may meet with peers to discuss challenges and share solutions to business office issues.

PROACTIVE SOLUTIONS FOR CHARTER SCHOOL/CMO CLIENTS:

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