Finance Institute

Finance Institute
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, Bonita Springs
Friday, July 26, 2019

9:00AM - 3:30PM



Palmer Ball
Palmer Ball Consulting, LLC

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Palmer formed Palmer Ball Consulting, LLC (, in January, 2016, as she embarked on a new career as a consultant specializing in project work for independent school financial operations. In addition to her consulting work, during Winter / Spring, 2016, along with NBOA, she was an adjunct faculty member of the independent school finance graduate class at the Klingenstein Institute at Columbia University in New York City. In 2017, she became the part time Executive Director of the Palmetto Association of Independent Schools, representing many of the top independent schools in SC. Before starting her consulting career, Palmer served as Business Manager at Spartanburg Day School (Spartanburg, SC) for 21 years, from 1995 to 2016. Prior to that, she was Vice President for Business and Finance at Converse College, her alma mater, for four years, following three years in the College’s Development Office. Before joining Converse, she was in the tax department at Price Waterhouse for two years.

Palmer was the recipient of NBOA’s prestigious Ken White Award in 2015, served two terms on the NBOA Board of Directors, and was elected to the Association of Business Officers of Independent Schools (ABOIS) in 2008. She served on the faculty of the NBOA Business Officer Institute (BOI) multiple times. She has presented NBOA’s long range financial model via deep dives, online classes, webinars, and presentations at a number of national and regional conferences, as well as presentations on data management and long range financial tools and data trustees and heads should have in preparation for strategic plan or accreditation visits, etc.

Who should attend?
Heads of School, Chief Financial Officers, Prospective Heads, and Senior Administrators
Consider sharing this experience as a team.

In accordance with the standards of the National Registry of CPE sponsors, CPE credits will be granted based on a 50-minute hour. In order to be awarded the full credit hours, you must be present, registering your attendance and departure on the attendance sheets at the registration desk for each session.


8:30-9:00 | Meeting Room: Sanibel
Pastries and Coffee

9:00-10:15 | Independent School Finance (or Why Independent Schools are Bad Business Models)
This overview of independent school finance will address budgets, financial aid, net tuition revenue, general financial and miscellaneous information, tips and recommendations, benchmarking, and more.  We will try to avoid getting too much in the weeds in order to focus on the big picture of schools and explain all the things you haven't understood or have wondered why it was done that way!

10:30-11:45 | Changing Admissions and Financial Aid Focus from Student Headcount to Net Tuition Revenue (NTR)
As financial aid is becoming a larger and larger portion of school budgets, and thus a larger and larger component of student recruitment and retention, schools need to change their budget focus and Admissions goal setting from student headcount to Net Tuition Revenue (NTR).  Participants will receive and review templates that allow a school to annually monitor and track their NTR, NTR per student, and NTR per grade.  This session will also identify important financial aid metrics that schools should be tracking and monitoring year by year, with recommendations on how to identify and slow down or turn around negative trends.

12:00-1:00 | Lunch

1:00-2:15 | Long Range Planning Tools each School should have (especially in preparation for Accreditation or Strategic Planning)
Accreditation and strategic planning are important processes (some might say necessary evils!) that require the school’s leadership to focus on the long term future and financial equilibrium of the school.  In this session, we will identify questions school leaders should ask, and the corresponding data each school should have, in relation to the school's financial health, its recent history, and its future projections.  Participants will review tools and sample presentation formats and will receive templates they can implement at their school, including net tuition revenue analysis, 5 year NAIS DASL stats comparison, 5 year DASL stats comparison with benchmark schools, faculty salary analysis with public schools and benchmark schools, 1 page financial dashboard, and more.  Participants will leave with tools in hand that will assist their schools in obtaining the necessary data to make informed decisions as well as analyze, project, and present the future impact of those decisions to the leadership of the school.

2:30-3:30 | How to Manage the Mountains of Data 
The amount of data schools produce each year can be overwhelming, yet school leaders want to be able to get to important information quickly.  Participants will discover techniques used to gather and track data over the years, including creating an annual notebook for the Head and Business Officer of important enrollment, financial and faculty salary data, as well as charts updated annually that show 5 – 10 years’ worth of history on everything from NAIS DASL information to medical insurance rates.  Participants will review sample schedules prepared annually, including financial aid models, cost effectiveness by division, net tuition revenue by grade, dashboards, benchmarking, and more.

3:30 | Departure

Feedback from last year's participants:
What did you find most valuable?

"Valuable insight to finance operations and great access to innovative thinking"
"Different ideas and operating structures that other schools use"
"Loved the business modeling exercise"

"I enjoyed the challenge to think outside of the box."

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point is located at: 5001 Coconut Road, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

Registration: $249 (Members) | $349 (Non-Members)
* includes workshop, morning pastries and coffee, and lunch

Register for both the Finance Institute and the Fundraising Institute for a reduced cost:
$450 (Members) |
$650 (Non-Members)
* Please note: The bundled option is available to one registrant only and cannot be divided between two registrants.

Hotel Room: $159 (plus resort fee and applicable taxes)
Participants are expected to make their own hotel reservations. Registration fee does not include the price of the guest room. To make a reservation, click here to go to the hotel's website: Hyatt Regency Coconut Point reservations. By phone, call 877-803-7534 and identify yourself as part FCIS for the group rate. Once the room block is sold out, there may not be rooms available at this rate.

In case this hotel sells out, below are possible overflow hotel options nearby. Please note that FCIS does not have a room block or group rate at these hotels.

Hyatt Place
Hyatt Residence Club

Registration and Hotel Deadline: June 24, 2019
To receive the FCIS group rate at the resort, reservations must be made on or before this date.

Parking is included in resort fee for any guests staying at the hotel. There is a daily parking fee for drive-in attendees. 

Cancellation & Refunds: All hotel cancellations must be made directly through the hotel and in accordance with hotel policy. Workshop refund requests must be made in writing and emailed to There is a $50 per person processing fee through June 17, 2019, with no refunds after this date.

View Complaint Resolution Policy

For any questions or more information regarding refund, complaint and program cancellation policies, please contact Alison Carlson in the FCIS office at 813-287-2820 or


FCIS is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

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