The PAISBOA Annual Data Survey subcommittee (Larry Capuzzi, Gail Crane, Tom Devine, Erin Donnelly, Jayme Karolyi) recently met with our colleagues from Measuring Success and Cal-ISBOA (California Independent School Business Officer Association) to review our survey questions for 2017 and prepare for the July 24 launch of this year's survey. The PAISBOA Annual Data Survey is a widely known and respected benchmarking tool created by business officers for business officers. For over 30 years, PAISBOA has been providing participating member schools with relevant, comprehensive data for administrators and boards to utilize, creating financial dashboards and other data reports that are imperative for the tough decisions our independent school administrators and boards face every day.
"How does our 403(b) match compare to other schools? Who can I call with a question about swimming pools? How do our faculty salaries compare to other schools? Which law firms should we consider for employment advice? These are just four of the hundreds of questions I can answer using the PAISBOA Annual Data Survey!" Carolyn Hapeman, CFO, Westtown School.
Last year, 70 member schools participated in the survey and our participation goal for 2017 is 80 schools. Besides being a "good citizen" in the PAISBOA community, here are some other great reasons to share your school's data this year:
Timely, Relevant Data Results that are Easy to Use - With results available at the end of October, the PAISBOA Annual Data Survey provides a wide range of data allowing for a detailed analysis of relevant financial indicators and metrics related to independent school management, operations and compensation. While some charts and graphs are provided, the results are easy to export, providing a customized look at your school's data and that of your peer schools. This is particularly helpful in preparing dashboards and presentations to your Finance Committee and Board of Trustees. In Stacey Freed's "Picture This" from NetAssets magazine, she affirms that financial dashboards have become vital tools as a succinct way to show various stakeholders how an entity is doing at a moment in time or over a period of time.
Tom Devine, Business Manager, Merion Mercy Academy concurs. "I am able to answer live questions during meetings from Finance Committee and Board members as to how we compare with other schools on a wide variety of topics," he said. "I also can compare vendors, review tuition and enrollment year to year, and it helps me document key performance indicators throughout the year as I need them for internal reporting as well as for survey completion."
Confidence and Confidentiality - The PAISBOA Annual Data Survey is administered by Measuring Success, an independent third party. Measuring Success is an expert in survey administration and benchmarking, and they are committed to analyzing the independent school marketplace to understand strengths and weaknesses to create a roadmap to financial and academic success. They report results you can trust and present with confidence to your constituents. Measuring Success, Cal-ISBOA and PAISBOA are all committed to the confidentiality of your data and have created an extensive confidentiality policy to assure survey participants that their school's data will be used with respect and understanding within a limited group of decision-makers at other schools.
Gail Crane, Assistant Head for Finance and Operations, The Quaker School at Horsham adds, "As a small Friends school which serves children with complicated learning needs, it is hard to find peer schools for all of our key points because we are so unique. The Quaker School at Horsham uses the PAISBOA stats to compare salaries/benefits and staffing using a mixture of schools - small schools not affiliated with a religious organization, small Quaker Schools, and schools that serve children with learning differences. We have an array of options to choose from! Our Board has found the information and graphs very helpful!"
Benchmarking for operational and compensation data is critical for member schools in this competitive educational environment. The 70 schools that participate in the PAISBOA Annual Data Survey continue to find new and interesting ways to present the data to make important decisions that affect more than just the "bottom line" for their schools. The 2017 PAISBOA Annual Data Survey opens on July 24, and we hope to see your school's data reflected in the results!
Take advantage of the power of the flock!!!