The abrupt departure of their school business administrator left a northern New Jersey School District in need of a replacement. After going through the interview process, the district decided on an applicant with excellent skills but no prior experience working in a Board of Education setting. At the start of his tenure, the new school business administrator quickly realized that the type of accounting he had done previously differed significantly from New Jersey’s board of education accounting. While he was confident that he had the necessary skills and ability to do the job; he quickly realized that he would need assistance from someone with more intimate knowledge of district finances to accelerate his learning curve and make him fully effective in his new role. That was when he recalled that during his first week on the job, the district’s auditor, Andrew Kucinski from Nisivoccia, had stopped by to introduce himself and said, “If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to reach out any time.”
The business administrator’s first few weeks went smoothly and he was able to handle the initial daily tasks at the district with little difficulty. The time came, however, for him to gain a more in-depth understanding of district financials, He spent time reviewing the prior years’ audits, talking with his peers, and questioning district staff about reporting and control functions within the district. He had amassed several questions and was finally ready to reach out to someone for the answers he needed to become as effective as possible in his new role. He was aware that his predecessor and others in the district had a close relationship with their Nisivoccia auditor and of the firm’s consultative approach with its clients. He decided to take Andrew up on his offer.
Andrew Kucinski CPA, RMA, PSA, CFE, is an expert in the auditing and reporting standards for boards of education in New Jersey. He also had several years’ experience working with this particular district and a base of historical knowledge that would prove useful in guiding the new business administrator with respect to finances and internal controls.
On the first phone call, they spent nearly two hours covering a wide range of topics providing the new business administrator insight into the district’s financials. The discussion spanned from purchasing procedures within the district and how improve internal controls, to how to account for accumulated absences liabilities, to how to analyze the balance of the fiduciary funds held by the district.
At the end of the initial call, with much to digest and more to learn, the business administrator asked when Andrew would be available to talk again about some other items. Andrew once again invited him to reach out anytime he had questions and gave him his cell phone to ensure he could be reached whenever needed.
Over the course of the next several months, Andrew and the new business administrator spent several hours on the phone talking through issues or just discussing the appropriate accounting treatment for transactions. Andrew had become a trusted advisor to the new business administrator, a relationship that remained intact even after the business administrator moved on to another district. In a testament to Nisivoccia’s culture of nurturing lasting relationships with clients and going “above and beyond” for the people they serve, Andrew still hears from his former client from time to time, and is still happy to answer his questions.