CEO Notebook |
‘Tis the season of many things, including making lists that reflect on the year and celebrate its high points. It can be difficult to find the time to reflect on your team’s accomplishments, but it’s also important. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my personal reflections on how NBOA strived to serve you better in 2018.
NBOA began in 1998, when 23 business officers asked their schools to support the creation of a national association serving independent school business officers. That idea became history, of course, and today many independent school business officers and business operations staff probably can’t remember a time before the NBOA Annual Meeting, Net Assets magazine or being able to post a question and get helpful answers from a nationwide brain trust on NBOA Connect. I loved celebrating 20 years of NBOA with many of you at our 2018 Annual Meeting in Nashville — fittingly, our largest meeting to date. And, we will not rest on our laurels for a second. We look forward to the next 20 years of serving U.S. member schools (1,400 and counting) plus another 250 (so far!) schools, companies and nonprofits around the globe.
See Jeff Shields’ previous years in review: 2017 2016 2015 2014
In this plan, the NBOA Board of Directors affirmed NBOA’s mission ("NBOA develops, delivers and promotes best business practices to advance independent schools") and vision ("NBOA members support excellence in education through thought leadership and world-class business operations"). Beyond that, the plan reinvigorated the association’s strategy to strengthen the NBOA community, advance our core programs, products and services, and maximize our impact as the definitive voice for independent school business, finance and operations. This plan isn’t just rhetoric or a document that sits on a shelf. The NBOA Board and staff are partnering throughout the year to continue to deliver value to your school and to help you be the best professionals you can be. I look forward to updating you on our progress during the 2019 NBOA Annual Meeting in San Diego in March.
In 2018, more than twice as many schools discovered something I have known for a while — that BIIS provides the best and most accurate independent school data in the areas of business, finance and operations. In our second year with this customized data collection platform, we have made many enhancements to ensure this tool best reflects the data business officers need in the ways they need it. Not only does it combine into a single survey the best of the research NBOA previously conducted for years (including the Business Office Survey, the Compensation and Staffing Study, and the Financial Position Survey), but it augments this data set in meaningful ways and provides an interactive benchmarking and reporting experience. We are working to deliver even more value to your school in 2019. Look for exciting enhancements including reporting modules for the Composite Financial Indicator (CFI) and the NBOA Financial Dashboard.
In response to member needs, we developed a first-of-its-kind human resources tool (printed book, online eBook, and fillable worksheets and charts) to help you conduct a top-to-bottom assessment of your school’s HR program for best practices and compliance with a growing list of federal requirements. Whether you are an HR professional or a business officer with HR responsibilities, this tool — authored by NBOA’s own Grace Lee (VP of Legal Affairs) and Heather Broadwater from the Potomac Law Firm — will help you remain in compliance, manage risk and develop faculty, staff and administrators.
If you are a CPA or credentialed human resources professional, NBOA remained your go-to resource for continuing education in 2018. Whether your certification is from NASBA, SHRM or HRCI, our programs, webinars and online courses helped you maintain or achieve these important distinctions within your profession and better serve your independent school. If you haven’t already, plan to take full advantage of this valuable aspect of your school’s NBOA membership in 2019. (And look for expanded professional development and continuing education opportunities in the months ahead.)
If you have thoughts about how NBOA helped you and your school in 2018 that I missed, please feel free to share them. Ideas for how we can better serve you in 2019? I want to hear those too! Until then, please take some time for yourself, and enjoy friends and family during the winter break. And on behalf of the entire staff at NBOA, we look forward to serving you in 2019.
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