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 3 is a significant month for schools as it is the perfect time to conduct a thorough examination of your HR department. While it doesn’t necessarily have to be done in Month 3, it is ideal to do it in the spring when teachers are making plans for the next year and can inform you whether they will be returning. There are several parts to the internal review this month, so, if possible, divide the work between several people.
Step 1: Review Employee Policies and Procedures
- Go over contracts and agreements for the upcoming school year. Include arrangements for management, teachers, and other staff.
Step 2: Standardize Roles and Create Employee Pay Schedules
- Completing this together with revising your contracts will save time, provide continuity, and prevent discrimination.
Step 3: Have Your Attorney or Insurance Carrier Review Your Documents for Compliance
- Look into employee recruiting and hiring software to streamline your hiring process.
- Tip: Some full-service Back Office Providers (BOPs) even offer fingerprinting management.
Step 4: Organize Personnel and Confidential files
- Ensure that you have both physical and digital copies of these files to be easily accessible.
Step 5: Update your HR Handbook
- Attend an HR law update meeting. These are a great way to brush up your HR policies.
- Tip: Some are free and usually occur at the beginning of the calendar year.
- Check with local law firms, insurance organizations, or your Charter Association to see when the law update meeting takes place in your area.
- Review, redraft, and add new laws to your HR Handbook, and send it to your insurance provider for review and updating.
- Tip: Many insurance companies offer a once-yearly update for free, and they can look it over for compliance.
- Share your updated handbook with your governing board for approval.
- Roll it out! You can begin to distribute your new handbook immediately for new hires, or you can utilize it at the start of your new fiscal year for returning employees.
Step 6: Draw up or revise your volunteer agreement.
- Make sure you have both physical and digital copies of the volunteer agreements, TB testing, fingerprinting, LiveScan, and any necessary COVID vaccines.
- Organizing these now will make your annual audit run more smoothly.
Want tips on types of files and how to organize them? Take a deeper dive into this plan by downloading The Charter School Audits Guide Preparing Your School for the Annual Audit, a free guide for charter leaders.
What do you find especially challenging during your audits? What else would you add to the audit guide? Let us know in the comments.