The idea of the audit can invite stress, and it’s understandable to feel daunted by the need to address compliance and other issues while you’re focused on the day-to-day aspects of growing a school. The Charter School Audits Guide Preparing Your School for the Annual Audit offers month-by-month breakdowns schools can use to stave off overwhelm. The key is preparing a little bit at a time.
Here’s what the plan looks like:
As seen in the chart above, month one is dedicated to the fiscal audit overall. That’s because month one is when schools have just completed the previous year’s audit, so first steps are about how to move forward from there.
For a detailed look at previous months, click the links below:
Month 5 is dedicated to operations. School leaders know full well how important it is to stay organized and efficient. That’s why it’s crucial to conduct an operations audit as you prepare for your annual audit, ensuring that your school continues to run smoothly. Involving staff members in the process means you’ll gain their input and buy-in.
Here are some tips for conducting an effective operations audit during Month 5:
1. Address Communication Issues and Operating Procedures Across School Channels
- Review how information is communicated within your school, including emails, memos, and meetings
- Identify any communication issues or breakdowns that are hindering productivity
- Make suggestions for improving communication, such as implementing a communication protocol or providing training for staff members
2. Review Individual Departments in Terms of Process, Organization, and Communication
- Take a close look at each department and evaluate its processes, organization, and communication methods
- Identify areas for improvement, such as streamlining processes, clarifying roles and responsibilities, or improving communication channels
- Make specific recommendations for each department to help them improve their operations
3. Review How Different Departments Work Together and How Communication Between Departments Can Be Streamlined
- Evaluate how different departments interact with each other and whether the communication is effective and efficient
- Look for opportunities to streamline communication and collaboration between departments, such as implementing cross-departmental projects or regular check-ins
- Make suggestions for improving communication and collaboration between departments to help them work together more seamlessly
By conducting a thorough operations audit during month 5, you can improve the overall efficiency of your school. After you’re done, you’ll want to follow up on any recommendations you make to ensure that they are implemented effectively.
Want to take a closer look at the month-by-month audit prep plan? Download The Charter School Audits Guide Preparing Your School for the Annual Audit, a free guide for charter leaders.