Audit, Tax & Consulting for Private Schools
Independent schools face many challenges in maintaining financial stability, and school leaders and board members must develop strategies and focus to deal with these issues effectively.
AAF’s independent school clients keep their core educational mission at the forefront, with a focus on serving students in the best way possible. However, we understand the limitations on tuition and the need to establish other revenue generating programs. Many of our clients have instituted successful non-tuition revenue streams, such as: real estate holdings, facility rentals, overseas sister schools, expanded summer programs, adult education, tutorial centers, teacher institutes, and online curriculum.
Our extensive experience within the education industry makes us uniquely qualified to serve you. We understand the unique accounting and operational aspects of independent schools, including seasonal cash flow, financial aid, student loans, facilities management, and more.
In addition to assurance and tax, AAF provides proactive guidance on areas critical to the success of our independent school clients, including:
- Guidance on accounting issues relevant to independent schools
- Revenue recognition for tuition and fees
- Allocation of costs between functions/programs
- Endowment income allocation
- Guidance on reducing operating costs and streamlining the overhead structure
- Assists with facility acquisition and debt financing
- Strategies for non-tuition revenue generators, (such as camps, extended-day programs, facility rentals) including allocation of costs to reduce potential tax obligations.
- Education of board and trustees
- Internal control recommendations for ancillary programs including summer and after-school programs
- Guidance on marketing collateral for capital campaigns to ensure “ask” and the accounting treatment coincide with management’s desire
- Guidance on endowments and alternative investment vehicles
- Managed Accounting Solutions: Right-size, 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
AAF serves diverse education clients spanning independent schools, higher education, charter schools and charter management organizations, and chapter 766 schools. AAF understands the education industry and its particular business and operational challenges, including funding and regulatory issues. AAF will provide pragmatic recommendations beyond compliance, guided by you and the strategic interests of your institution.
“The first thing I think about when I hear the word AAFCPAs is sound advice. Their advice has proven to be very helpful to us over the years.”
Beaver Country Day School | Joanne McDaniel, Chief Financial Officer