2022 Higher Education Hybrid Learning Summit Recap

The higher education team was thrilled to be back in person for their annual learning summit and they broke ground with the firm’s first-ever hybrid event! More than 100 attendees, from up the street to as far as Texas, had the opportunity to learn from professionals both in-person and online.

The summit kicked off with the keynote presentation from Bridgewater College President, Dr. David W. Bushman. He discussed the business model used by most higher education institutions, which generates the majority of revenue from students’ tuition and room and board, and the challenges caused when the pandemic hit and institutions had to go fully remote. Now that we’re coming out of the impacts of the pandemic, institutions are faced with new, interesting opportunities and challenges for where higher education goes next.

Below is a summary of some of the other presentations from the summit including hot topics such as getting the most from your financial advisor, ratio analysis, A&A update, and ethics.


How CFOs can Engage with their Financial Advisor

Presenters: Josh Lassiter and Rob Ketner, Directors for First Tryon Advisors

They brought insights to the summit on the role of financial advisors and how institutions can maximize the value of their relationships.

Institutions should partner with professionals who

  • understand the demands of your role
  • offer holistic advice and support beyond specific transactions or projects
  • take work off your plate


Ratio Analysis in Higher Education

Presenters: Mark Woolwine and John Hash, Higher Ed practice leaders for Brown Edwards

In their session, they dove into the details of ratio analysis in higher education.

When used properly, ratios can aid in understanding

  • the strengths and challenges of your organization
  • where to direct limited resources
  • what message your financial statements are sending

Watch their full presentation for deeper insights into resource sufficiency and flexibility, debt management, asset performance and management, operating results, composite financial index (CFI), and net tuition and educational expenses.


A&A Update from FASB

Presenter: Jeff Gabello, Supervising Project Manager at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

In his session, he provided an A&A update reviewing key developments, recently issued standards, environmental monitoring, and the implementation of recent standards.

Key developments and recently issued standards

  • ASU 2021-03 Accounting Alternative for Evaluating Triggering Events
  • ASU 2021-09 Discount Rate for Lessees That Are Not Public Business Entities
  • ASU 2021-10 Government

Environmental monitoring

  • Overview of COVID-19 Federal Assistance

Implementation of recent standards

  • ASU 2020-07
  • Leases, Topic 842
  • CECL, Topic 326

Ethics – Tales of Corruption

Presenter: Clare Levison, CPA, CGMA owner of Inspired Responsibility

In her session on ethical misdeeds, she uses ethics case studies “ripped from the headlines” and shows you how to choose the right decision-making model to address necessary issues.

After her course, participants were able to:

  • Evaluate small ethical breaches and their potential to escalate
  • Recall the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Code of Professional Conduct when faced with ethical dilemmas
  • Categorize the elements of pressure, opportunity, and rationalization in relation to fraud
  • Define an ethical problem, identify and evaluate solutions, and determine the best course of action
  • Recognize the building blocks of a strong ethical culture

In addition to these topics, sessions on investments, cryptocurrency, cybersecurity, and legal updates were presented.
All presentation recordings are available on the Brown Edwards YouTube channel.


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