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Risk Management and Accounting Standards Event Updates Business Process Learning Series

December 13, 2019, @ 9:25 AM

LVAIC hosted Baker Tilly on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at DeSales University. This program hosted finance and accounting professionals from across the LVAIC community.

The program began with an overview of today’s students. These students have different ages, socioeconomic, and lifestyle situations than the traditional college students of the past. Specifically, the presentation offered an overview of students from the Gates Foundation regarding the demographics of college students.

Based on the demographics of today’s college students, campuses must be aware of changes in risk and responsibilities around risk management. For instance, today’s students have higher rates of mental health concerns and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act requires campuses to report suicide rates on campus. High schools offer more accommodations for these students, and campuses must adapt to these changes in student needs. One way to mitigate these challenges is tabletop exercises regarding emergency response plans on an annual basis.

Further, Title IX remains a prominent challenge for college campuses and requires campuses to understand responsibilities around mandatory reporting and response plans. Campuses should work with internal auditors to better understand their own policies and procedures and how well they are prepared for these situations.

The presentation also addressed two Pennsylvania-specific acts of legislation: anti-hazing and background checks. The Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law requires Pennsylvania institutions to have policies and reporting lines in place that comply with state regulations. In light of this, each campus must publish hazing reports over a five-year period. It also criminalizes hazing. PA Act 153 requires background checks for child abuse clearance for any person on campus who interacts or volunteers with children.

Compliance with all of these risk management obligations requires campus resources. Accounting and finance professionals must properly budget for these kinds of situations.

The presentation then transitioned to the new non-profit reporting standard and revenue recognition standards from this past year. Part of these standards required liquidity disclosure with a two-year comparative in financial statements. Part of the challenge around this tracking restricted and non-restricted donations in endowments. Further, campuses also have the chance to change functional expense disclosure categories and combine some categories. Another change came in presenting net assets on the face of the balance sheet to outline with and without donor contributions. Changes in revenue recognition came from ASC 606 and campuses should disclose their own revenue recognition processes regarding due date versus billing date regardless of when the service takes place. Another change to which campus accounting and finance staff must adjust is disclosure requirements.

Upcoming changes for these departments for future years include the accounting standard for leases. This must begin with starting an inventory of leases across campus. This is more challenging in decentralized campuses, but repetitive payments on a general ledger are one way to determine what leases take place across campus.

The full presentation for this event is available here. This event served as part of the LVAIC Business Process Learning Series in the interest of enhancing capabilities of faculty and staff across the LVAIC community. Future events in this series will be posted on the LVAIC website.

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