Indirect Costs When Revenue is not Fixed

I wrote about the so called magic formula for budgeting indirect costs on a fixed amount grant.  This calculation uses the grant revenue amount to determine how much of the grant you can budget to spend and how much needs to be set aside for indirect costs. However it is important to remember – actual indirect

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Carryover Complications

Say a school is allotted $20,000 (with carryover allowed) and they only spent $15,000.  The carryover amount is: a) $5,000 b) something else Often the answer is b) “something else” This is because the central office will usually give the school site the net award amount – i.e. the award minus the indirect cost on the

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What’s Your Sign?

How might you introduce a new accounting employee to an unfamiliar financial system?  First of all, you might want to warn them about any quirks in how the system shows signs. There are two ways to display signs:  Normal and Debit /Credit. Currently I am working with a system that mixes both in the same report.  I know!  I know!  You

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Three Monkeys and the Question of Evil

When we were in Bali in February we purchased a set of “Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil” figurines.  When we got home we realized we had been given two “Speak’s” and no “See’s”. This led me to ponder – should we really endeavor to see no evil?  I suppose in the Buddhist tradition one would

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Devices in Meetings

The superintendent checks his emails under the table.  As if we can’t all see that. Now others doing the same thing. Before devices: Participant says (out loud) “Excuse me, Bill, I think we are getting a bit off topic here. I’d like to suggest that we redirect our focus back to XYZ and have this discussion later.” After

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Grants, Entitlements, and Carryover

When I started working at a California school district one of the first things I had to learn was the difference between a grant and an entitlement. A few years ago the state accounting manual was revised to refer to funding sources (resources) as either those with a fund balance or those with unearned revenue and no fund balance.

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Grant Carryover: An Ounce of Prevention

I have a short term assignment at a new district.  When working with grants that carry over year after year it is a great idea to check that the “carryover” amount is correct.  I did a quick check yesterday on two grants and found in fact the carryover was not correct on either of them. For the

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Three Different Things

Originally posted on InspGuilfoyle:
I almost called this blog post ‘Spot the Difference 2’ because it follows on from this old post. The reason for revisiting the arguments in that blog is because since the advent of our little friend Stick Child, the need to simplify some performance management arguments to a level even the…

Gift Cards Anyone?

The short answer – just say no! Here’s a thought experiment.  Imagine I want to give you a bonus of $100 as appreciation for your hard work and dedication to education.  I cannot just do it because: You are in a union.  This payment has to be bargained. The board of education has adopted a salary schedule.  If

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When Communication is a Problem

We all believe that communication is the key to all good relationships, whether these are of a personal or business nature. Lately, when I’ve been told that “there’s a memo on that” or asked “have you read the manual,” I am reminded that there is also the type of communication that signals that something dysfunctional is going

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