Consider this scenario:
After a few years of declining enrollments and escalating discounts, a bank, board, accreditors or the DOE determine that something significant has to happen in the immediate term. There have been a series of cuts and reductions here and there along the way but now it just seems as though there are no further possibilities. What we know is this; no longer can we kick the can down the road. Cash is tight and the prospects for further lending slim. We need help right away. Where do we turn?
Higher education is full of bright people but few have turnaround experience and most can only point to a handful of institutions where they have served in a leadership capacity. An analogy may be found in those who used to do their own tax returns. Eventually it becomes apparent that life is too complicated to comply with complex laws while paying the least amount of tax possible. Most who move to a professional tax preparer wind up wishing they had done so years ago. The same applies to institutions who are dealing with serious financial distress. Advisers who have been there and seen a variety of situations can provide the kind of assistance that ensures success, versus but another ineffective iteration of random cost cutting.
CFO Colleague uses a unique set of metrics, with the areas of drag and promise identified. Some activities or programs are reduced materially or eliminated entirely while others receive funding to support a demonstrated potential for growth. There is no one factor that turns years of distress into success. Rather, a number of areas are substantially adjusted so that a sustainable business structure can be the result.
A successful project results in a new experience for all the leadership team. With a solid plan and a year or two of material surpluses, attention can be turned toward initiatives that will build on success. That is a much preferred position to be in. We’ve been a part of those experiences and are prepared to extend the benefit of our experience.
Call us and see if we can help you through this process.