Grounded in a knowledge of finance and nonprofit organizations, bearsolutions LLC helps charter school authorizers understand the financial health of the schools they hold accountable. Like all nonprofit organizations, there are many charter schools run by passionate and visionary educators that provide a quality education but suffer from poor financial management. We work with the authorizer to identify the schools that are having financial difficulties and educate charter school managers and their boards on the strengths and weaknesses of their organizations. With this information, financially-troubled charter schools are encouraged to reform or have their charter revoked by the authorizer. We also review auditor performance and assist the authorizer to clarify reporting expectations.
The CHARM (Charter Audit Resource Management) is an application we built on a salesforce cloud platform to warehouse key elements of a school’s annual financial audit and analyze the the data. It provides historical trends and enables the authorizer to understand a school’s finances and provide effective financial oversight. The CHARM Score combines key indicators of financial health to produce a grade, with 75% or less indicating a school that necessitates attention. Reports are provided to the the school and its board summarizing the school’s financial health, and aggregate information enables assessment of the sector’s financial health.
We’re quite proud that the National Association of Charter School Authorizers stated in an evaluation report of the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board:
PCSB’s financial monitoring tools, particularly the CHARM score, are truly exceptional. These tools strive to create a robust and comprehensive picture of each school’s financial health and communicate findings in a clear and straightforward manner. The process of developing the CHARM score metrics has helped schools better understand expectations for financial management and has resulted in stronger financial performance in the portfolio.
While our focus is on charter school authorizers, we’re well aware that the CHARM is also a useful application for other oversight authorities such as national associations that have local chapters, foundations, united ways, governmental agencies who subcontract with nonprofit service providers, property management firms providing funding for facilities and construction management.
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