Category: Accounting

Calculating Indirect Costs – The “Magic” Formula

Question: Your district has received a grant for $100,000.  The indirect cost rate is 5%.  What is the indirect cost amount for this grant? Answer: a) $5,000 b) Something else And, the answer is ….. b) Something else Explanation: The real question here is, how much of this grant can you spend on items other

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Start Here: The California School Accounting Manual

This is Lesson One in Basics 101.  Read the California School Accounting Manual and refer to it daily.  If you are not in California I am sure that there is an equivalent accounting manual for your state, too. If you find this manual as dry as dust, then maybe this job it not for you. 

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Excel Mastery is What Exactly?

I used to think that the more Excel formulas you knew and the more adept you were at macros, the more you could claim Excel mastery. I have changed my mind.  Those who create complex spreadsheets that are beyond the skill and understanding of their users are pushing the program beyond it’s useful limits. Spreadsheets

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The Giant Account Coding Monster

“Here’s your process. It satisfies all my needs.” Even when there is lots of customer input, the more powerful party will resolve disagreements in its own favor. Even though California’s Standardized Account Code Structure (SACS) is far superior the previous system and was a done deal fifteen years ago, whenever I take an assignment in

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Annotated Timeline for School Funding (California)

When I first started out in California school business, I was a bit confused by the state’s revenue certifications and re-certifications.  I wished I had an overview of the entire process. So – here’s one I put together: Annotated Principal Apportionment Timeline This does not contain enough detail to be used instead of your complete annual calendar,

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Peeking Behind the Curtain

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!  Most of us have seen the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”  The mighty Oz is a fearful sight until Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal an ordinary man pulling levers and talking into a microphone. The lesson is that sometimes the awesome and magical turn out to be an

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Your Tax Dollars at Work! Headlines to Avoid

Mrs. Smith came into my office.  She was angry, but controlled.  Her practiced smile was plastered on top of gritted teeth. “Teachers just don’t get paid enough.  Every now and then we have to do something nice for them.” What was this all about? My staff had rejected Principal Smith’s expense report where she was seeking

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Excel Solver for Expense Transfers

Thank you Pronger for your post about the Excel solver function.  Follow this link to view his explanation and instructions. The solver function is especially useful if you deal with a multitude of funding sources such as state and local grants, federal awards and bond funds.  Each restricted funding source has very particular spending rules and most have

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Governmental Cost Recovery

I have heard the mantra again and again “we don’t make a profit” meaning, if we charge for services it’s only on a cost recovery basis. Yet I just read that Inyo COE charges a flat 7% to its charter schools for providing business services.  If a charter school now receives significantly more funding under the Local Control Funding Formula,

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