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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The Basics

I am looking forward to training a new employee who “ticks all the boxes” as we Aussies say.  One thing he lacks, though, is experience in nearly all of the actual duties of the job. That was me some 20 years ago when I first started working at a school district.  I had to learn

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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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I Never Want to Talk to You Again

The county where I am currently working has one of the most wretched computer systems in creation.  Everything is messy: it is just workaround on top of workaround.  There are so many places where you can do real damage.  For example, how do you handle a new salary schedule?  Just overwrite the old one. And

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You are Worth my Time

Much has been written about disengaged employees. Right now they could even make up the majority of your company’s workforce and they are impacting your productivity and your bottom line. Some employers simply blame the employee.  They approach this problem by hiring slowly and firing fast. All well and good, and I support it.  But

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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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The Mystery of the Black Box

The black box is usually associated with tragedy.  However, this post is not about airplane accidents.  It is about wasted opportunities and undefined steps. There is a cartoon that shows a blackboard full of calculations.  The calculations on the left hand side are, presumably, Step One and those on the right hand side must be Step Three.  Between

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The Case Against Books

Textbooks, that is.  I’d like to make the case that textbooks and memorization of content are at the heart of much of what is wrong with primary and secondary education in the US. I came to the United States at the age of 21.  Of course my elementary and secondary schooling is now decades old and things have surely

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