Who would believe that a year beginning with the Omicron variant and ongoing COVID disruptions could have so many highlights? We began 2022 weighing a belabored “Will we or won’t we?” decision regarding a face-to-face NBOA Annual Meeting, and then within a matter of months were working through one of the busiest years on record, as our schools transitioned their business, finance and operations back to a new version of “normal.” Your resiliency and the vitality of the independent school community shined bright, and once again, we performed at our very best.
Here’s what I will remember most as we conclude this calendar year and prepare for 2023:
A comeback for face-to-face NBOA signature programs! I recall a week of consternation when, in coordination with NBOA Board leadership, I made the decision to move forward with the 2022 NBOA Annual Meeting in Chicago this past February. There wasn’t a moment when the safety and well-being of attendees wasn’t top of mind. Ultimately, we made the decision to move forward with the understanding that many colleagues and peers needed to come together to re-ignite the invaluable relationships and collegiality that may have been muted during the previous two years but were vibrant as ever. Thank you to the over 700 attendees that followed safety protocols and joined us.
Once again it became clear that that the magic of this essential program would not be extinguished by a virus.
A few months later we once again met face to face, at a robust 2022 Business Officer Institute in Washington, DC, where many of our newest colleagues in the business officer community took a week-long deep dive into all things independent school business. Once again it became clear that that the magic of this essential program would not be extinguished by a virus.
New go-to guidance for tax compliance and cyber insurance for members. One of the most important roles NBOA fulfilled this year was continuing to help you manage the myriad compliance issues facing an independent school business office. Through a partnership with CliftonLarsonAllen as well as input from NBOA’s Controllers Council and NBOA staff, we released “Tax Compliance Considerations for Not-for-Profit Independent Schools.” This is your definitive resource on tax issues, helping business leaders identify potential risk areas for your school and maintain your school’s tax-exempt status.
But we didn’t stop there. Thanks to a partnership with the Association for Technology Leaders of Independent Schools (ATLIS), and our friends at Fred C. Church, Ankura, Bolton and Company, and Partlow Insurance, NBOA co-issued “Guidance on Cyber Insurance for Independent Schools,” one of the biggest and most discussed topics of the year. The guidance outlines how business officers and technology leaders can work together at the enterprise level to identify key controls, navigate third-party contracts, and answers to frequently asked pressing questions. This publication outlines how a strong partnership between the business officer and technology leader can help protect your school from this growing threat.
In 2022, with more than 700 schools participating in data collection, NBOA shifted its focus to make BIIS the best possible financial data reporting tool for independent school business officers.
A Better BIIS. In 2021, we launched the data collection partnership with NAIS’s DASL. In 2022, with more than 700 schools participating in data collection, NBOA shifted its focus to make BIIS the best possible financial data reporting tool for independent school business officers. There was significant work on the backend to improve existing platform functions. And we’ve been working diligently on our newest tool, the Financial Sustainability Heat Map. Based on the tool developed by Chad Stacy of Dunn School and shared in one of the most read articles from Net Assets magazine, the heat map will be available to all NBOA member schools when BIIS reporting opens next year. Simply put, a dashboard tells you where you have been, but the Financial Sustainability Heat Map reveals the progress toward your destination. It's a highly visual tool that makes communicating about finances with stakeholders easier. The heat map will be added to BIIS’s already robust reporting tools that include customizable benchmarking, the NBOA Financial Dashboard, and the Composite Financial Index (CFI) calculator.
It's hard to believe 2022 is ending. And yet we are already looking ahead and preparing to celebrate NBOA’s 25th anniversary as an association in Los Angeles, February 19-22, 2023. No matter what comes throughout next year and beyond, we will be there by your side, anticipating the issues, connecting you with your colleagues, and providing you the tools and resources you need to succeed and advance your school’s mission.
With all its twists and turns, 2022 surely has delivered particular highlights to you as well. Take the time to reflect on those with your colleagues and staff at your school, re-energize over break, and get ready for an exciting 2023. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Follow NBOA President and CEO Jeff Shields @shieldsNBOA.