Baker Tilly has worked with some of the nation’s leading higher education and research institutions to develop strategies and financial processes to support complex operations encountered in the academic environment.
We have assisted institutions with matters relating to organizational structure, business processes, staffing, internal controls, funding, and indirect cost rate structures. Additionally, we help institutions to reduce expenses, identify opportunities for new revenue sources, and streamline operations. Our subject matter knowledge in strategic process reviews, research operations, and financial management is extensive.
Client experience: Containing costs and enhancing critical operations
Institutional challenge A nursing school affiliated with a prominent university wanted to refine student management strategy and contain or reduce costs in an environment of budgetary and financial pressures.
Capabilities provided Baker Tilly facilitated strategy development with school management and faculty administration to address key issues relative to student recruitment, retention, and relationship management. Our team then aligned operations with that strategy by first conducting a benchmarking study to compare the school’s cost structure to internal and external peers. Baker Tilly then interviewed and surveyed key personnel in the organization (e.g., students, staff, faculty, administrators) to understand service levels, existing processes, and bottlenecks. By understanding the attributes of the existing cost structure and delivery model, Baker Tilly developed a road map to guide the organization in implementing cost containing measures, including organizational changes and enabling the use of information technology to increase efficiency. This process also allowed the school to enhance student service functions by addressing key issues relative to efficiency, and effectiveness of admissions, academic recordkeeping, registration and clinical placement activities.
Results The university achieved cost containment and process redesign that were aligned with the school's refined strategy and unique organizational culture. This enabled the school to focus on the highest potential cost containment and streamlining opportunities for immediate and long term results, and to significantly enhance student relationship management.