Why CFO Colleague?


I. The Turnaround

Why has CFO Colleague been so successful in turning around smaller, Private colleges?

We begin by listening to your narrative. What strategies have been used over the past five years and how effective have they been? Where are you strong and what evidence supports that? Where are you not so strong and how is that affecting your performance?

We then want to know about your team – both past and present. What does each one think should be done to right the ship? Are there conflicts or incongruity?

What is your key data set? We look at some of the more telling measures within the CFO Colleague thirty benchmarks for the resource constrained. (see our “Downloads” tab.)

Where do you need to be with respect to resources consumed versus those generated? We can give you a good idea of that.

What resources are available to fund a turnaround?

How do we accomplish the needed task? This is where we are at our best. We have a highly respected forecasting tool, along with marginal revenue analyses and a solid way to reduce headcount without declaring exigency or relying primarily on wholesale lay-offs.

We also make sure that the plan includes investment in initiatives that are dedicated toward improving performance. You can’t cut your way to health but you can cut only enough to ensure that you have no resources to do anything else. Don’t be that institution.

This entire process involves some pre-work and data gathering by your team and includes the better part of one week on-site. The price is a fraction of other providers but the results are impressive. The deployment is up to you but we are happy to offer advice as you embark on this important initiative.

Do we have any references? We do. In fact, I would recommend contacting Dr. Ivan Filby who serves as President of Greenville University (presidentfilby@greenville.edu). He will be pleased to share with you what we were able to accomplish together at GU.

Please don’t go another year pining for growth when net revenues have been falling consistently for so long. Give us a call. You will be added to the list of others who have been able to align expenses with revenues, giving hope and opportunity to those who were running out of options.

Call our Founder and Principal, Jeff Spear at 740-507-9180

II. Why we were formed

Change has always been an integral part of financial management in higher education. The difference of late is the rate of change. Boards, accreditors, auditors, faculty, staff and state and federal regulators are all clamoring for more information, greater transparency and evidence of longer term planning. Added to this is a sea of vendors who promise the world but, when it comes to delivery, you are at their mercy.

Alone, the CFO is tasked with satisfying various stakeholders, saving money and performing more effectively using whatever resources he or she can muster. Most have been effective in meeting a good deal of these needs but, truth be told, all would welcome a little help here and there as the pace quickens. This is particularly true of the institution that is in need of an operating turnaround. When the need is significant and time is short, you need the best partner you can find to accomplish the task.

CFO Colleague was created first as a resource for financial leadership in higher education but also as a valued adviser and strategist to navigate the challenging issues of today. Our decades of experience is specific to private higher education and we exist to assist you in meeting immediate cost saving needs, along with creating a roadmap for achieving strategic goals and aspirations. And, for those who wonder where to turn when operations are not sustainable, we can apply proven strategies to get you back on track. Together, we implement best practices that will move your institution forward while at the same time streamlining operational cost structures and improving service to your many constituencies. We also partner with best-in-class vendors; ones we have successfully used ourselves. Each will save significant dollars while improving performance in the areas that really count.

III. Besides turnaround, what else are we doing?

A particular area of expertise is in forecasting for both traditional and non-traditional programs. Clients have found our models invaluable in projecting enrollments and net tuition revenues (please see the testimonials). In fact, we are not aware of any other program that is as comprehensive, especially for those who operate a residential campus and offer adult and graduate learning opportunities. Each forecasting worksheet has an owner and the entire process rolls up into Income Statements, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow Statements and CFI ratios. Banks and boards alike have found the COMP4cast product invaluable as a reliable predictive tool, especially with its incorporated accountability structure.

We also have performed a number of analyses of program contributions. Our methodology is defensible and provides the information needed to understand those programs that are hardly worth the classrooms they occupy and those that you can’t afford to starve.

IV. The Interim CFO

We believe that, whenever a CFO leaves a college or university, a highly qualified interim needs to be named, This allows for practices that might not have been optimal to be weeded out, based on the needs that the rest of the leadership team shares with our professional. It also affords the needed time for the best candidate to be identified and recruited as a replacement. Finally, the new person gets to important matters faster because less than ideal practices have been replaced with what is best in class at this time.

Our interim assignments are cost effective and have been universally successful. We are sold on the benefits – and so are our satisfied clients.

V. Our desire …

… is always for the institution to be self-sufficient. Our approach begins with assessment and moves to recommended best practices, backed up by staff training so that the work can continue in future years without the need for constant involvement by our team. We also can recommend and refer you to vendors that can make a significant difference for you fiscally and operationally. Our work pays for itself over and over again. We want you to look good!

Why not give us a call or email to see what we can do for you?

Together, achieving more