Colleges and Universities

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Effective management of public and private colleges and universities in America has received increased attention during the past decade. Greater competition for scarce resources demands institutional effectiveness and those expected to survive have recognized the need to strengthen controls as they tightened their belts. Banks, Finley, White & Co. with its many years of experience with institutions of higher education understands the challenging business and financial issues those in charge of governance face. In response to those challenges Banks, Finley, White & Co. offers an array of services to its clients in higher education, including:

Audit and tax services

Financial statements and disclosures that give a clear picture of your financial condition;
Detailed but concise information on identified risk, and guidance in developing policies, procedures and practices to mitigate or eliminate those risks;
Assurance of compliance with appropriate accounting practices and regulations;
Guidance on the implementation of new accounting standards;
Guidance on tax compliance

Budgeting services

The budget is an annual strategic plan presented in dollars and cents that serves an important internal control function. It is a key link between the programs and services to its available resources.

Our professionals at Banks, Finley, White & Co. have the knowledge, resources, and budget management experience to assist college and university management in improving the budget process and development of entity wide as well as program or project specific budgets. We can offer budget strategies to maximize the realization and use of available financial and human resources.

An effective budget has three basic qualities: Realistic, Consistent and Flexible. It should reflect the values and priorities of the institution relative to its mission, programs and resources. Our professionals will conduct an on-site visit, meet with appropriate management personnel, and perform a thorough evaluation of your current budgeting process. Based upon that evaluation we will propose a budgeting process which will allow the institution to meet it budgetary expectations.

Financial and Strategic Planning and Analysis Services

Our professionals can help your college or university assess your financial management, understand your current resource allocations, and target your financial resources to help you effectively implement your plans.

Financial planning and analysis. We can help model and project the full financial implications of current and proposed strategies.

Budget process improvement. We can evaluate, reshape, and simplify the resource allocation process to involve key constituencies and align budgeting with strategy.

Financial reporting improvement. We can help develop tools and analysis for informed planning, decision-making, and control.

Financial assessment. We can help evaluate your overall financial condition, analyze investment strategy and performance, and assess the quality of financial management.

Fraud program development. We can assist with identifying your risk of fraud and propose ways to prevent fraud or ensure timely detection of fraud. This process could include the mitigating or compensating controls.

Cost analysis/activity-based costing. We can provide you with the tools to understand the full and incremental revenues and costs associated with your programs and activities.

Strategic planning evolves management’s ability to make collective and informed decisions that lead to essential changes in the way an institution is positioned, managed, and operated.

We can help those in charge of governance at your institution and related affiliates to clarify your institution’s mission, identify key objectives and market opportunities, and develop operating plans to effectively achieve that mission.

Our experienced higher education professionals can work with you to:

  • Objectively estimate where your institution stands today.
  • Assess the strategic market environment in which you operate.
  • Evaluate how you can gain or maintain an edge in that environment.
  • Facilitate planning sessions to create a plan that is viable. (Realistic, Concise and Flexible)

Our Commitment to HBCU’s

Because of our past audit experience with non-profit organizations, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (“HBCUs), and our background in audits of federally sponsored and funded programs, we have the qualifications required to provide you with the highest quality service.

HBCUs perform a vital role in the higher education of Black Americans. HBCUs enroll less than 20% of Black American undergraduates, but award one-third of all bachelor’s degrees and a significant number of the advanced degrees earned by Black Americans.

Our commitment to higher education also extends to our support of your mission to train young minds and prepare them to take their place in the world. BFW&Co. hires the bulk of its staff from HBCUs. The majority of our partners are graduates of HBCUs. Our commitment in the area of offering real world exposure to interns and hiring graduates are a high priority, and we are committed to participating in your institution’s internship program.