School Financial Benchmarking
by Tim Williams, SCSBC Director of Finance ◊
SCSBC has for many years attempted to provide schools with various financial and staffing benchmarks to assist administrators and boards as they prepare their staffing plans and budgets. Last year SCSBC began a pilot project with some of our largest schools to develop an individualized benchmarking report that would allow for better comparisons with similar sized schools. This summer, SCSBC has been working to develop an online portal so that we can automate the processes of creating individual school reports. Our goal is to provide each SCSBC member school with a comprehensive report of their financial and staffing benchmarks and how each school compares with similar SCSBC schools.
We have worked hard to ensure that every school’s individual information is protected and remains confidential. Information will only be released as averages of several schools, for example, average of schools with greater than 850 students, or K-12 schools with less than 150 students. Every school is different and there are dangers when comparing apples with oranges. Nevertheless, the ability for your school to have comparison data of the similar types of schools will highlight areas for further research and discussion during the school’s budget process. It is just one more tool that SCSBC trusts will serve our members schools and their leadership teams.
We anticipate that the site will go live in September. We anticipate that individualized reports will be sent to schools in February 2014 for those schools that choose to participate.
The report will provide benchmarks and comparison data in the followings areas:
- Operating Revenue and Enrolment
- Operating Expenditure
- Assets and Debt
- Staffing Efficiency
- Special Needs Department
- Marketing and Development
- International Department
- Preschool Department
SCSBC will be conducting training in early November for school accountants and bookkeepers. We appreciate those school principals and superintendents that assisted us in the pilot project and we are looking forward to providing each school with their benchmark report in February.