Our Services

Primary Roles and Purpose

Charter Solutions staff assists the board and administration (Admin) with most non-instructional operations of the school. In this role, the Business Office ensures that all school administration and instructional staff have the financial and physical resources to accomplish the school’s mission. We know our job is to clear the way for others when possible!

Financial Management

We help schools develop and adopt budgets that meet the goals of their charters, the board and school Admin. Our budget philosophy is centered around student and teacher needs (providing financial resources for effective instruction) as well as sound fiscal performance. We know the importance of fiscal performance as it relates to financiers (typically bond financing), and keeping financial covenants of bonds and/or loans. Throughout the year, we provide timely finance reports, dashboards and scorecards to ensure the school stays within its budget. We provide and implement sound board-adopted finance policies and procedures (implementing "internal controls"). We accurately process payments for purchased goods and services, and report the school’s financial health to the board and Admin.

Typical duties may include:

  • Establish, maintain, analyze and evaluate accounting practices, systems, and controls.
  • Perform bookkeeping duties, including handling money, accounts payable, etc.
  • Coordinate required state and federal periodic audits, working with the school's accounting firm and government agencies.
  • Prepare required reports including USBE reports, state reports (Transparency, etc.) federal reports (federal Personnel Activity Reports (PARs), etc.), payroll and year-end tax reports, and other accounting reports as needed. 
  • Process all purchase orders, reimbursements and check requests. 
  • Manage the budget by certifying available funds; establish proper authorization for expenditure according to school policy.
  • Reconcile school accounts, including bank and purchase card accounts.
  • Collaborate with Admin each spring (and throughout the year as required) to allocate appropriate resources.  
  • Budget for needed staffing, instructional materials, staff development, facilities needs (including long-term planning for maintenance and replacement of major fixed assets), energy, capital equipment and other needs.  
  • Assist Admin with monitoring the overall school budget and see that programs are funded adequately, and that funds are managed effectively.
  • Negotiate favorable purchasing agreements for materials and supplies; follow state Procurement Code, Administrative Rules and school purchasing policies.
  • Track local, state and federal revenue, establish internal controls over cash receipts. 
  • Report monthly to the Board of Trustees regarding all financial matters of the school and meet as requested with the director, board chair or treasurer.


Human Resource Management

Charter Solutions is the HR department for our clients, assisting Admin with all of HR's administrative functions. While directors and boards decide whom to hire and retain, we ensure that employees are properly on-boarded and paid. We also provide advice along the way with all HR-related matters. We administer payroll and benefit programs, remitting payments timely for payroll taxes and employee benefit obligations. When disciplinary action or termination of employment is required, we consult and advise Admin in the process (or the board when appropriate) to help protect against costly, avoidable unemployment or discrimination claims. We provide sound HR advice to protect the school’s assets and good name.

Typical HR & payroll duties include:

  • Establishing and maintaining accurate employment records of all school employees.
  • Orienting new employees to the school’s HR policies.
  • Ensure employees and/or their supervisors complete necessary New-Hire or Status Change paperwork.
  • Assist Admin with applicant reference checks as requested.
  • Establish pay-periods and process payroll, including time cards, calculation of deductions, paid time off (PTO), etc.
  • Ensure timely remittance of withholdings to benefit providers and tax authorities.
  • Ensure all employee information, including assignments, pay rates and benefit data is entered into payroll systems (and updated as needed).  
  • Assist Admin with the administration of employee benefit plans and coordinate with benefit providers. Work with Admin to propose benefit plan offerings for board approval.  
  • Assist administration with unemployment and workers' compensation claims, including training on sound practices to avoid these types of claims in the future.  

Facilities Management Assistance

Charter Solutions can coordinate the work of your maintenance staff or outside service providers so you can spend your time with students and teachers in the classroom. We work with them to make sure your lawn is mowed, your snow is plowed, your building is clean, and that your maintenance budget isn’t a drain on your education dollars.

Typical facilities management duties may include:

  • Track the school’s assets and work with Admin to inventory and maintain the school’s property and supplies.
  • Prepare depreciation schedules of fixed assets for inclusion in the audited financial statements.
  • Maintain and direct the sale or disposal of surplus equipment.
  • Oversee maintenance of records for replacement cost-asset inventory for insurance purposes.
  • Assist Admin with the drafting of bids and bid specifications for new equipment purchases.
  • Assist Admin by coordinating with school custodial and maintenance staff to ensure adequate resources are provided to maintain the facility.
  • Assist Admin in budget development for capital improvements related to the operation of the facility.

Legal Compliance

Charter Solutions assists the board and Admin with most non-instructional operations of the school. In this role, we advise schools on the caveats of legally-mandated reports and government "compliance". Through our years of experience, we help schools navigate potentially treacherous waters. While we are not attorneys, we have vast experience with laws and legislation applicable to schools- experience that helps keep schools out of trouble.    

Typical legal compliance duties may include:

  • Ensure applicable federal and state laws are followed and that local board policy is followed, as applicable to business operations.
  • Manage all hardcopy and computerized reports, records, and other required documents related to business operations, including appropriate archiving of records.
  • Compile, review and submit required monthly and annual financial statements and budget reports to appropriate agencies.
  • Act as liaison with the board’s chosen insurer(s). While we are not an insurance broker, we can work with your qualified broker (or recommend one who has essential experience with charter schools) to ensure the school has coverage appropriate for a K-12 educational institution. 
  • Coordinate governmental fiscal audits and work with the school's accounting firm to prepare annual non-profit tax returns. 
  • Report periodically (generally monthly) to the board chair.
  • Meet as needed with the director, board chair or treasurer to assist with legal compliance.

Reporting

Ask any charter school director, and he or she will tell you that filing reports takes too much valuable time. Charter Solutions takes care of filing non-instructional reports so Admin won't have to! The director will never have to file a financial, benefits, fire drill or other business-related report ever again. They can spend that time in the classroom, observing and training teachers, and refining your school's program.

Typical reports may include:

  • Board Finance Reports
  • USBE Finance Reports
  • The Utah Consolidated Application (UCA)
  • The Annual Finance Report (AFR- UPEFS)
  • The Annual Program Report (APR- UPEFS)
  • School LAND Trust Financial Reports
  • Utah Transparency Uploads
  • Negotiations Report
  • Title I Comparability Report
  • YEWS (S3) Report
  • Retirement Census
  • IRS Form 990 (coordinated with your school's auditor, complete the school's annual non-profit tax return)
  • IRS Form 5500 (coordinated with your Plan Administrator, complete the retirement plan annual tax return)
  • Fire Drill Compliance
  • Utah Money Management Council Bi-annual Reports
  • Bond Fiscal Reports (including helping schools with "bond compliance").   
  • … and on, and on, and on.

Policy Development

With more than 20 client schools in Utah, Charter Solutions has developed policies for almost any circumstance. These policies are available to all of our client schools. Good policies help protect schools from liability and save time figuring out how to address problems when implemented effectively. When a new policy is needed, Charter Solutions will work to create policies consistent with your charter, the law and/or administrative rules. Our clients have access to the several-hundred page Charter Solutions Policy Manual template. This template can be tailored to fit your needs.

Ongoing Training

Charter Solutions helps make sure that your board and Admin get started on the right foot. We also provide ongoing training and development, using tools such as our 7 part training series, The Everlasting Board Culture. You grow in your role as the school does, using many tools provided to you during that series. 

When new board members or administrators are hired, they will benefit from the same training. With Charter Solutions, you’ll be prepared when difficult situations arise, and you’ll learn how a board governs the school and Admin manages the school- effectively and in compliance with the law. When new regulations are introduced, we proactively do necessary research and take a lead within the charter community. We often pioneer within the charter community, developing solutions and resources to meet the compliance the new law demands.   

A few examples of Charter Solutions pioneering work includes:

  • Transparency Reporting Process- we provided to the state a documented, state-wide procedure for meeting Transparency requirements in K-12 public schools.  
  • Utah Public Education Finance System (UPEFS)- we worked with the state during the implementation of UPEFS, developing procedures and protocols to help ensure all charter schools submitted data with integrity.  

High-Level Support

Charter Solutions has relationships and/or agreements with additional education experts, law, finance and accounting, human resource management, insurance, employee benefits, governance, and all aspects of school operations. We mediate disputes and negotiate on your behalf when requested. Your school can save thousands by having and implementing sound policies, addressing problems early- before attorneys need to become involved.

Consulting

With in-house experts in charter law, teaching methods, education programs, school administration, school finance, HR, board governance, facilities management, insurance, and more, we can help your school with just about any issue. With Charter Solutions, you’ll have an on-site professional and access to our entire team of experts.