Higher Education2021-04-22T15:54:34-04:00

Higher Education CPAs

We Know the Business of Higher Education

“…By understanding our industry thoroughly, they’re able to help us with the issues that impact us the most. They are honest, reliable, and thorough and have become a valuable partner.”

– Milagros Garcia, Controller, Florida International University Foundation

We are CPAs and consultants who help higher education organizations across the country with their accounting and business advisory needs.

The needs of higher education institutions may vary from small colleges to large universities, but the mission remains universal—to foster, enlighten and develop tomorrow’s success stories.

It’s a goal that requires commitment to excellence in everything you do, and one with significant challenges:

  • The “arms race” of attracting high-caliber students and providing modern amenities is more competitive than ever before.
  • Competition for fundraising dollars has increased dramatically.
  • Money is running short for the long-term maintenance needs of aging buildings, amenities, grounds and systems.

Having a trusted financial partner that understands your budgeting process and the caveats of restricted funds is a key to your success.

At James Moore & Co., your industry is such a cornerstone of our practice that we have established a Higher Education Services Team devoted to your needs. Our higher education CPAs and consultants have worked with over 50 college- and university-related organizations nationwide, making us the CPA and consulting firm of choice for your industry.

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We have served:

College and University related entities nationwide
NCAA DI Athletic Departments across the country
College and University Foundations

James Moore – Knowledge and Service at the Top of its Class

Higher Education Accounting and Consulting Solutions

Your institution’s financial statements are a testament to its stability and outlook, and they play a critical role when making important business decisions. So it’s important to ensure that your accounting practices are in line with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Audits and other assurance services provide comfort to your board and other outside parties that your financial records are compliant and your procedures are sound. The key is to have them performed by accountants who know your industry.

Our higher education CPAs work extensively on college- and university-related audit engagements across the country. We’re also actively involved in the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and the College Athletic Business Management Association (CABMA) to stay abreast of current developments and the highest standards in the higher education industry.

We bring this expertise to your audit to make sure it’s conducted with the efficiency, professionalism and attention that you deserve.

In an NCAA agreed-upon procedures engagement, we’ll evaluate your Statement of Revenues and Expenses, and your control environment, to make sure they’re in compliance with NCAA bylaws. We can also spot the red flags that catch the NCAA’s attention—a critical aspect in this age of compliance.

Our collegiate athletics accountants focus exclusively on clients like you. They also regularly brush up their industry knowledge and maintain relationships with the NCAA and other organizations. From entrance conference to the presentation of our findings, put our expertise to work for you.

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Your Form 990 provides donors and grantors important information about your programs, expenditures and compensation. It also needs to demonstrate your compliance with IRS regulations.

You also have unrelated business income tax to consider. Merchandise sales, membership benefits, alternative investment income, sponsorships and more can have unrelated business tax consequences, and constant changes in tax laws require your situation to be monitored throughout the year.

Our higher education tax professionals have extensive expertise with 990s, UBIT regulations and the many wrinkles of nonprofit accounting and tax planning. And our dedicated Nonprofit Tax Director regularly attends and presents at National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and other national nonprofit tax events.

We’ll time the preparation of your 990 so the form can be presented along with your audit results. We’ll keep communication open throughout the process via face-to-face meetings, phone calls, technology and other methods. And we’ll make sure you meet the extensive UBIT tax filing requirements facing your industry.

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The environment in higher education is rapidly changing, and those changes come with great opportunity and greater risk. Institutional leaders may be lagging when it comes to incorporating these risks into strategic plans and campus culture. How can you minimize the impact of risk and protect your institution, students and faculty from becoming a negative headline?

The key is to proactively identify the risks that impact your college or university, address them and monitor them for changes. By remaining vigilant and building awareness, you can stay ahead of the issues. This is where robust risk management procedures will make a difference. By developing a culture of regularly identifying and evaluating risks at multiple levels, the most critical issues will emerge.

Our enterprise risk management team will collaborate with your institution’s key stakeholders to evaluate and prioritize your unique risks compared to our knowledge of the industry. We will help you align your resources to effectively manage high-risk areas that need the most attention while remaining flexible to respond to new risks as they come to light. Our approach increases collaboration among your top decision makers so that they can share the responsibility for ensuring stability and success.

While the primary mission of higher education is to educate students and further research, there’s also another side to your efforts: providing valuable auxiliary services to government agencies, healthcare networks, insurance companies and more.

Putting your knowledge to work for these entities greatly helps people who rely on them. However, it also puts their data in your hands—data that often includes sensitive personal or financial information.

A system and organization controls (SOC) report serves as a testament to the integrity of your processes and IT general controls, validating the security of your clients’ data.

James Moore’s seasoned and CISA-certified auditors have the expertise and experience needed to provide SOC reports that your clients can count on. We’ll go beyond a basic check-the-box approach and provide you with valuable feedback on your internal control framework.

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Your institution’s performance depends on more than the funds you raise. You also need to attract and retain top students, comply with regulations, and maintain housing, amenities and other student and employee facilities.

Tackling these responsibilities is a challenge unto itself. When you couple that with redundant processes, wasted efforts and lack of quality control, it can cost you time and money.

Streamlining and properly managing your university’s operations allows you to better utilize your resources so you can successfully serve your students, alumni, employees and donors.

As higher education CPAs, we understand your operations and challenges. Our Operational Excellence team applies Lean Six Sigma principles to analyze your processes and develop sustainable solutions that work for you. Find and fix the inefficiencies in your procedures so you can do more with less.

Many efforts contribute to the success of your institution, from managing your funding sources to improving student recruitment and retention. What are your long-term goals for these efforts, and how will you make them a reality?

Simply put, success doesn’t just happen; it requires a plan that includes objectives, goals, implementation steps and methods to track your progress. A strategic plan helps you proactively manage whatever the future holds for your organization.

We’ll put our expertise to work for you so you can create a solid plan. Having worked with colleges and universities across the country, we can provide you with an experienced perspective on your future.

We’ll help you refine your goals, establish priorities and develop clear steps so your team can move forward with clarity and confidence. With James Moore, you’ll have the information you need to make sound decisions and ensure the long-term success of your institution.

Do you have an up-and-coming staffer that you envision as a future department head? Have you recently taken such a position yourself and wonder what to do next? And how do you handle the transition when one leader steps aside for the next?

To guide your institution in the years to come, your future leaders need skills in operations, finance, leadership, communication, strategy and process improvement.

Our training and development programs gives people the tools they need to ultimately take the reins. We also help our higher education clients analyze and fill knowledge gaps between leadership and immediate successors and provide coaching to these individuals throughout the transition.

By teaming with partners like Velocity Advisory Group and area business and community leaders, we provide the most thorough and practical instruction for you and your organization. Where do you need help?

Want to See What We Can Do for Your Organization?

Our approach to higher education accounting and consulting is unique. Contact us today.

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See What Our Clients Have To Say

We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with the professionals at James Moore. By understanding our industry thoroughly, they’re able to help us with the issues that impact us the most. They are honest, reliable, and thorough and have become a valuable partner in our work.

Milagros Garcia, Controller, Florida International University Foundation

We wanted a partnership, people, and a company with higher education expertise, even if it meant looking out of state for help. James Moore exceeded our expectations—they asked all the right questions and quickly understood our operations and needs. Their industry expertise has eased any concern we might have had about distance and relationship. And because they’re a regional firm (instead of a big national one), we still get exceptional service and personal attention. It’s a win-win all around, and we’d gladly recommend them.

Randae Davis, Director of Development, Darton State College Foundation

James Moore serves as the primary tax advisor for the University of Florida, and the level of expertise they’ve demonstrated over the years has been exceptional. Not only do they handle our tax compliance concerns, they also train our key financial staff members to quickly identify additional UBIT sources that we might not find otherwise. In addition, their thorough approach gives us more than check-the-box compliance—it gives us real confidence that we haven’t missed any UBIT exposure that needs to be reported. Their work and knowledge stands up to that of any national firm I’ve seen that handles tax compliance for universities.

Alan West, Assistant Vice President and University Controller, University of Florida
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Helping a Major University Capitalize on Process Improvement

A major university in the southeastern United States was still using a part-manual, part-antiquated electronic system for its housing department’s operations, from student move in/move out activities to collection of rent to repairs and maintenance of resident halls. They made the decision to create their own IT system to remedy the situation, but they needed to adjust their real-world processes to make the most of the efficiency the new system introduced. The university hired James Moore to assist in this important project.

We analyzed the old processes using Lean Six Sigma methodologies with a team of the university’s people to improve customer service while maximizing the technology used by both the students and employees. As auditors, we understood the importance of internal controls; this allowed us to avoid cutting any corners that would improve efficiency but sacrifice quality. Finally, our experience with the real estate and construction industries helped us relate to the seasonal turn constraints and facilities construction and maintenance processes that we facilitated – providing the university with an additional perspective outside of the higher education realm. The initial rollout of the new system was a success, and we continue to work with the university today to further improve each phase of the project.

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