Regular and consistent financial reviews are key to maintaining fiscal health. In this blog post, Kate Kotaska, former budget director for Denver Public Schools will share tips to end the school year with financial peace of mind.
The end of the school year brings a flurry of activity to tie up loose ends before summer break. One important to-do that is often overlooked is planning for end of year financial activities. In February, we posted a blog about conducting mid year financial reviews, and we introduced a Source and Pace Analysis as one way to monitor spending. Monitoring financial activity at the end of the year is equally important as throughout the year to ensure last minute spending remains strategic.
Know your Deadlines
Districts create spending deadlines to ensure the fiscal year can close efficiently. Take stock of those upcoming cutoff dates and mark your calendar to ensure you can get those last minute purchases in on time. Keep in mind that spending deadlines sometimes vary by the funding source.
Additionally, be sure to work with your finance office to understand the cutoff dates to make corrections. Have you been holding off on processing that journal entry or submitting that receipt for your procurement card? Now is the time to get that paperwork in order to ensure your end of year balances are accurately reflected.
Budget Health Check
Take a few moments to review your account health and make an assessment of funds remaining with the following questions in mind:
How much do I have remaining in total?
Do any of my available funds carry forward to the next year?
Have I overspent in any of my accounts?
Make a Plan
Making a spending plan for these last few weeks of school ensures your spending remains strategic. Create a list of the end of year activities happening in the school (continuation ceremonies, parent nights, field days, etc.) to ensure you have the right resources in place to carry out those activities.
Also think forward to the next school year to understand any purchases that may require longer lead times (furniture, technology). While we always hope that this year’s funds are spent on this year’s kids, the need to get a purchase in early is inevitable. Plan for those purchases to ensure the materials arrive while staff can be in the building to receive the orders.
By taking the time to do a bit of planning at the end of the year, you’ll be able to close the books with peace of mind ready to start the new year off right after a much needed summer break.
About the Author
Kate Kotaska is a Senior District Partner for Allovue, Inc. Before joining Allovue, Kate spent the majority of her career in Denver Public Schools shaping the district’s resource allocation model and building a backbone of financial support known as the Financial Partner Network. As DPS’ Executive Director of Budget and Finance, Kate was responsible for streamlining the district’s budget process to maximize stakeholder engagement and transparency. Kate earned her undergraduate degree from Pace University in Pleasantville, NY.