Company Background and Summary
The school has been in continuous operation for more than 100 years, providing free economics education throughout the Northeast area. The school is based in New York and Philadelphia, has approximately 10 full-time employees, and approximately 45 volunteer educators and serves thousands of students every year.
Operations are funded by a complex portfolio of investments which generate various gains and are transferred and sold as based on a board-approved disbursement schedule.
When MBS was first employed by this school, our primary goal was to discard all the old policies that had been in place since time immemorial that no longer had value for a modern finance department. This was difficult work at first, but we were able to communicate the value of the MBS approach to the board of directors. Now that we have gained their confidence, they look to us for advice about the best ways to maximize the efficiency of their finance protocols, and are receptive to new ideas.
We completely re-wrote the book on payable protocols to maximize the company’s capital from a cash flow perspective. Payments are authored on a predictable basis now, where they were once paid out with little predictive oversight. We uncovered significant deficiencies in their revenue recognition protocols from their investment accounts, and deployed our custom workflow to reconcile their accounts on a monthly basis, whereas the accounts used to only be reconciled once per year by their auditors.
Our approach is to build a strong professional relationship with not-for-profit operations management as well as their board of directors. When anyone at the school has a question about finance, they know who the responsible party is, and know who they can rely upon to perform the important tasks to ensure various parties are paid in a timely manner, the books are kept up-to-date, and the reporting is presented in such a way that it provides valuable insight into the operations of the organization.
Current Company Summary and Outcome Based on MBS’ Approach
Prior to their engagement with MBS, this client utilized the services of a full-time employee that ran the finance department. After maximizing efficiency through technological modernization and the implementation of MBS standard finance protocols, we have been able to service the client at a pace of one day per week, effectively cutting the cost of their finance department budget in half.
We’ve also streamlined the annual audit process by bringing significant clarity to the investment workflow by reconciling each account on both cost and market value bases each month. This accurate investment analysis allows for greater insight on a board budgeting level.
By implementing a regular schedule for disbursements, we have brought much greater clarity to their cash flow workflow. Vendors now know when they get paid, and the not-for-profit board understand monthly expense forecasts before the money is spent.