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Charter Schools and Career Colleges

Charter Schools and Career Colleges

Let's start with this assertion: Nobody in Michigan has more experience than Croskey Lanni when it comes to charter schools and career colleges.

What matters to you is the proof of that statement and how we balance the purpose inspiring your school or college with the reality of operating in a fiscally responsible manner every single day. Overseeing assurance is the biggest factor in our practice and the foundation of our expertise.

Fulfilling your responsibilities as an educator requires verification on several levels. We understand these complexities and handle the requirements on your behalf. This allows you more and better time to focus on your “charter” to educate people and prepare them for careers and life. Let's look at what's involved.

To start, you must constantly prove that you're meeting the terms of your charter or accreditation. That means satisfying your Authorizer that students are learning in accordance with state and national curriculum regulations. Colleges must adhere to standards established by the Michigan Department of Education and other oversight entities.

That brings us to another essential fact of the compliance equation — fiscal responsibility. As an educational institution, you must prove that you're using funds wisely, without waste or fraud. Suffice it to say, detailed documentation is required and an absolute must!

Partnering with Croskey Lanni has several advantages, starting with the cooperative shared knowledge surrounding the details of bookkeeping, cash flow and payments. More importantly, we're experts at managing the bigger picture. Preparing reports in ways that answer questions without generating new ones is a skill at which we excel.

Do you know about 990s, 1120s, Title I planning and Title IV financial aid reporting? We do, because documentation is fundamental to charter school and career college management. Depending on the type of entity, you must file multiple forms and returns in federal, state and local jurisdictions. Failure to do so in a timely, accurate manner can threaten your very existence, which will never happen on our watch.

What happens if your finances are not well managed? Your school may receive audit findings, management comment letters, Office of Field Services notices or have grant funds withheld due to questionable costs. Our experience auditing and managing the financial operations of schools can help you improve your processes in compliance with grant requirements to ensure funding is not interrupted. This also improves relationships with your Authorizer, Intermediate School District and the Michigan Department of Education.

Many charter schools and in some cases, career colleges, as well as CPA firms competing with ours, are not aware that fundraising may be permitted. Think about how much more you could do for students with additional money. We work with you to identify funding sources, approach them with your mission and message, and assist with administration of funds, all the while in full compliance with rules and regulations.

The field of charter schools and career colleges is very specialized, requiring highly-trained experts who are qualified to act as your advisor. In that capacity, Croskey Lanni has more knowledge to share about things that are involved:

  • Are you eligible for E-Rate assistance? This federally-funded program has helped thousands of schools and libraries obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access and maintain internal connectivity. We'll do everything possible to make sure one of those schools is yours.
  • If you're considering a start-up venture, you'll want to study feasibility from multiple angles, including demand for the skills being taught, availability of resources (faculty, facilities, and funding, for starters) and capacity to function within a highly regulated environment. Once you're operational, our proprietary diagnostic services ensure everyone is aligned and working toward the same goals.
  • An often overlooked facet of charter school and career college management is the need to educate and inform constituents, especially volunteer boards, legislators, the public and media. Communicating your purpose and plan has everything to do with generating agreement and momentum. Croskey Lanni advocates and provides training or improves communication for your betterment.
  • And because we know that kids, parents, banks, legislators, reporters and sponsors are unpredictable, we're here to troubleshoot anywhere, every time.

What's involved? Croskey Lanni, in proactive ways to support your commitment to improved education. Combined with your dedication, our involvement aligns the many aspects of charter school and career colleges to make your project and your students a success.