Accounting and Business Operations Workshop - May 5-8, 2024 in Des Moines, IA



The details below are subject to change.

 Monday, May 6, 2024


Higher Ed 101 (part 1)
Marty Mickey, National Louis University
9:00am - 9:50am  |  Savory I  |  PowerPoint Slides
General Accounting and Financial Reporting Overview: Learn about the foundation of accounting for higher education, from fund accounting, chart of accounts, FASB vs GASB, financial statements, etc.


Bridging the Communication Gap with Financial Statements
Amy Shreck, FORVIS; Jessica Richter, FORVIS
9:00am - 9:50am |  Savory II
Do you ever struggle to communicate important financial information to stakeholders outside of the business and finance office? Do you wish you had a better way to engage faculty, staff, and other departments in the financial story of your organization? This sessions is for you! We will discuss practical tips and tricks to make your message clear, concise, and engaging.


Higher Ed 101 (part 2)
Marty Mickey, National Louis University
9:55am - 10:45am  |  Savory I  |  PowerPoint Slides
Budget Office, Fixed Assets, Bursar, Treasury and Payroll Overview: In this session we'll dive into some departments found in institutions and their role/function they play as part of the larger institution.


A Blockchain Success Story - MSU's Digital Bond Issuance (CANCELLED)
Jeff Rayis, Michigan State University
9:55am - 10:45am  |  Savory II
Michigan State University is expected to issue the first blockchain-based digital public bond offering in the United States in 2024. The project started in 2021 and has been an amazing adventure including investment banks, technology firms, MSU faculty, staff and alumni.


Higher Ed 101 (part 3)
Marty Mickey, National Louis University
10:55am - 11:45am  |  Savory I  |  PowerPoint Slides
Endowment, Grants Accounting, Accounts Payable and Purchasing Overview: In this session you'll learn about external funding and policies and procesures that key departments follow and the importance that has in higher education.


Strategic Expense Analysis for Higher Education
Rachel Pauletti, FORVIS; Chris Cynkar, Expense Reduction Analysts 
10:55am - 11:45am |  Savory II |  PowerPoint Slides
Higher education has a unique business model, and various aspects of the higher education landscape make it difficult to make quick, nimble decisions around reducing the costs for certain overhead expenses. This session will focus on best practices for reviewing costs and identifying opportunities for cost savings. It will also explore tactics for engaging vendors in a good-faith effort to manage costs, including with case studies and examples to orient the audience to successful strategies.


Recruiting Talent Through Values & Culture
Dan Prater, FORVIS
12:45pm - 1:35pm  |  Savory I
One of the most critical and widespread challenges facing most organizations is an inability to recruit and retain quality staff. The combination of the pandemic, baby boomer retirements, and changing employee expectations, organizations are scrambling to create an environment that draws top talent. Thriving organizations understand that clearly-defined values and culture are the keys to recruiting employees and achieving mission success. Employees whose skills and passion align with the organization’s are happier, more productive and stay longer. This session reviews how your organization can develop a mission-first culture, one that will help you stand out in the crowded landscape and foster long-term organizational success.


The Role of Shared Governance in Financial Management
Rachel Pauletti, FORVIS
12:45pm - 1:35pm |  Savory II  |  PowerPoint Slides
As more and more institutions compete for students and resources, leaders are faced with external demands and internal pressure to navigate faculty and staff expectations. These cultural factors, unique to each institution, can make sound financial management difficult or severely slow the process. This session will explore the relationship between shared governance and sound financial management. Emphasis will be placed on history, models, and case studies of shared governance as it relates to developing and sustaining institutional financial health.


Exploring Ethics
Jessica Richter, FORVIS
1:40pm - 3:00pm |  Savory |  PowerPoint Slides
Summary: In this session we will discuss why we need to consider ethics, where our ethics come from and how does this translate into a code of ethics. We will also spend some time discussing various scenarios using interactive surveys and talk through navigating the decision-making process that goes along with them.


2024 State of Not-For-Profit Sector
Dan Prater, FORVIS
3:10pm - 4:00pm  |  Savory
Over the past year, organizations of all sizes and types have dealt with soaring inflation and expenses while trying to meet increased demands for programs & services. This session reveals findings from the FORVIS 2024 State of the Nonprofit Sector Report, showing important revenue/donation trends, how organizations are using technology, and the impact of the workforce crisis. After this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the changing landscape of nonprofit giving
  • Identify major industry issues and challenges
  • Implement actionable steps to attract and retain top talent


CABOW Table Talk
All Presenters
4:10pm - 5:10pm |  Savory
Now that you have heard from so many great speakers and taken in tons of ideas, let’s get together and talk about it! In this session, participants will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with other participants and event speakers by rotating through various tables to have “table talks” with the presenter and other attendees about the specific topics presented earlier in the conference. Participants will spend several minutes at a table and then move on to another table and topic that they are interested in discussing further. This will be a great way to recap ideas, hear new perspectives and ideas and bring the event full circle. Let’s talk!

 Tuesday, May 7, 2024


Efficiency & Effectiveness in the Business Office
Jessica Richter, FORVIS; Amy Shreck, FORVIS; Rachel Pauletti, FORVIS
8:00am - 8:50am  |  Savory I
Are you trying to juggle a thousand things and wondering how to make it all fit? Ever wonder how some people seem to have it all together but “the list” overwhelms you? Is your calendar out of control and you find it tough to prioritize tasks? Join us for this panel discussion as we dive into ways to get organized and reduce stress. By accomplishing those goals you can also increase the efficiency and effectiveness of not only you, but your team.


GLBA Compliance
8:00am - 8:50am  |  Savory II
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) has directly impacted Title IV colleges and universities since 2018. In particular, the GLBA Safeguards Rule is included in the Federal Single Audit and the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) agreement and is regulated by The Department of Education and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). All higher education institutions that handle financial student aid data must implement information security safeguards as prescribed in the Final Rule (CFR 314), which took effect on June 9, 2023. This presentation will give you an overview of the key items to consider so you can comply with these requirement.


Innovation Workshop on Workforce Issues
Dan Prater, FORVIS
9:00am - 10:30am |  Savory I
People are one of the most important resources of any organization and the challenges to recruitment and retention are present everywhere. This session will let you collaborate with your peers to brainstorm ideas to help attract and retain a strong workforce. Bring your thinking cap, an open mind and passion for people as we innovate and collaborate.


2024 Cybersecurity Threat Update and Predictions
9:00am - 10:30am |  Savory II
Cybersecurity risks remain a top board/executive concern for universities of all sizes. This session will cover what it takes to maintain a secure program, remain engaged, and maintain a creditable challenge to help your institution remain aware of the growing risk and challenges of a variety of cybersecurity threats. We’ll also discuss some key predictions for 2024 and beyond and what you should do to stay ahead of the curve.


GASB Update
Amy Shreck, FORVIS
11:05am - 12:05pm  |  Savory I |  PowerPoint Slides
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board has issued a number of statements and implementation guides over the last year. This session will help you recognize the upcoming accounting changes that will affect your organization to develop a plan for implementation. Attendees will be able to evaluate the potential impact of various accounting Statements that could affect their organization.


FASB Update
Jessica Richter, FORVIS
11:05am - 12:05pm  |  Savory II |  PowerPoint Slides
This course delivers an overview of Accounting Standards Updates (ASU) recently released and addresses proposed ASUs issued and the deadline for comments. Attendees will be able to evaluate the potential impact of various accounting standards that could affect their organization.


Using AI Effectively in University Processes
Rachel Pauletti, FORVIS
1:15pm - 2:45pm  |  Savory I  |  PowerPoint Slides
Many colleges and universities around the world are contending with disruption to their academic model in the face of generative AI. Most of these efforts to date have focused on academic policies. However, we argue that higher education business offices should explore ways to creatively and effectively use generative AI to save time, reduce errors, and keep pace with a rapidly evolving environment. This session will examine the most promising use cases for higher ed finance, IT, and HR professionals, drawing on research, concrete examples, and industry insights. Special attention will be paid to emerging trends and internal controls that will minimize risk associated with AI implementation.


Power of Leadership Communication: Change the Mindset - Change the Outcome
Dan Prater, FORVIS
1:15pm - 2:45pm |  Savory II
Leadership and communication go hand in hand. Whether it’s giving a speech in the boardroom, facilitating a staff meeting, or presenting at civic club, leaders must have the ability to communicate with clarity and passion in all settings. This interactive session explores various communication methods and styles, showing how leaders can equip their teams to properly identify and deal with stress and disruption to achieve positive outcomes. The session provides leaders with ideas and tools to help them develop problem-solving and decision-making skills to improve work culture and individual satisfaction.