Mapping PCS Financial Future

#4When it comes time for Charter Renewal, authorizers are tasked with evaluating Fiscal performance and sustainability along with Program performance.  Fiscal performance is largely a numbers game, with enrollment driving cash flows, and requires sound financial management.  All too often schools fail because of poor financial management.

Authorizers need to manage the collection of sound analytical data, and there has been a concerted effort by authorizers to develop Financial Dashboards for measuring and reporting PCS fiscal performance.  While dashboards serve transparency and accountability objectives, the question becomes how to turn the information into concrete guidance that is straightforward and practical for decision-making?  Authorizers’ oversight practices have to consider the diverse organizational and financial structures that have evolved around public charter schools.

Analytics have become more sophisticated as technology has evolved, and today authorizers can benefit from software tools to help extract and analyze data from their dashboard systems.  The CHARM Customer Cloud, including the CHARM Score, an aggregate measure of PCS financial health, was introduced by bearsolutions to meet that need.

An integrated framework for measures of financial performance, liquidity, debt burden, and sustainability is necessary to fully assess Financial Dashboard information. Results from the annual independent Audit matter, and of course there is always the judgment factor. Having a reliable guide and the proper map can mean the difference between becoming lost and finding lasting results.

Dennis Keilholtz

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