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Christian School Services - Copyright © 2017
HEALTHY FINANCE Consultant: Wayne P. Baker
During one school consultation, we took a survey in which school leadership was asked to rate various aspects of their school. We rated organization, instructional programs, staffing, and several other areas. Interestingly, all of the ratings were high except one. In fact, if we had looked only at all of these areas on the surface we would've said this is a great school. However, in the end, the leaders ended up rating the school as only fair! The one weak area? School finance. What was happening here? Even though there were many really good things about that school, sadly, the lack of financial support and financial management colored the whole school in a negative light. Such is the power of school finance. Even If your school is just “solid” in its academics, if it has strong financial backing and good financial management, more than likely your school family will probably consider it a terrific school! However, you could have a great school, but if it's failing financially most people will probably perceive it as weak. There are two aspects that need to be handled well in order to have a strong school financially. First, there has to be sufficient income. Now of course this would include several different sources – namely tuition, donations, perhaps grants, and in denominational schools, church support. Usually, these sources of income are identified as part of your annual fund giving program.  The second aspect of healthy school finance is quality financial management. Our RrPM workshops are available to help you develop strong, confident, financial school management skills. RrPM is an acrostic for: Record, Report, Plan, and Manage. Our goal is that your school's financial program will hum along smoothly and effectively! In the RrPM workshops we address all four of these aspects of good financial management. We'll talk about the best way to properly record all financial transactions and other information. We'll show you how to do that. Also, we'll talk about the importance of clear, targeted reporting. The goal is to make sure that your school board has the information it needs to make good decisions. After all, poor information makes for poor decisions – good information allows for good decisions. Good planning is also extremely important. Making a budget that accurately expresses not only your desires and priorities, but also the realities of your income and expenses, is critical. What should be in a good budget? What kind of information do you need to make a good budget? How do you know when you have a good budget? These are all questions we will answer in these workshops. Finally, the best of plans and complete information are useless unless you act on them. That's what good management is all about. One of most valuable aspects of the RrPM workshops is the set of practices we give you to manage your finances. These tools come from years of working with CPAs and are a compendium of the most common critiques they have given to schools that they have audited over the years. When you sign up for our financial management improvement programs, we will provide you with: An evaluation of your financial standing, based on your financial documents A review of your recording practices, your reporting format, and your budget An evaluation of your current management practices A complete set of recommendations for improving your RrPM
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