Skip to Content

Higher Education

Meet enrollment targets, control costs, maximize technology, optimize investments, stay competitive — higher education leaders face a daunting “to-do” list. For more than 50 years, we’ve served as a trusted advisor to public and private colleges and universities, community colleges, and foundations. We understand the pressures you face, and our experts work with you to provide strategic direction, benchmarking, and analysis to support your success.

We work with you and your board to explore new funding sources, manage risk, and protect your institution from cybersecurity threats. We help you plan and implement new technology, assess your current technology environment, extract added value from your current technology systems and uncover new opportunities for optimization and cost savings. Our team can assist with fraud investigations and implement controls to minimize risk. We provide independent advice on facility utilization, and our project management professionals can advise you on every aspect of your construction and campus improvement projects.

 We are the second largest provider of single audits, serving higher education, school districts, government, not-for-profit, and healthcare. The annual expenditures for government programs audited range from $750,000 to $1 billion.

Up Next

Managing risk in higher education

Managing risk in higher education image
3 min read
Five steps to effectively manage risk
Shared understanding of the particular risks to your higher education institution and its operations is critical among campus leadership and decision makers. These five steps can help you get to consensus and create a risk management plan.
Donna Freddolino
Article June 01, 2017 3 min read
Enterprise risk management: Lessons for higher education
Vicki VanDenBerg
Article June 01, 2017 12 min read
SOC for cybersecurity
Raj Patel
Article May 31, 2017 1 min read
Cybersecurity in the cloud
Judy Wright
Podcast April 26, 2017 14 minute listen

Higher Education Podcast Series
Learn trends, background, and recommendations for how to make the best use of cloud solutions and infrastructure.

Technology strategies for higher education

How technology can transform higher education
6 min read
Implementing an ERP system? Strengthen controls to prevent fraud
Baking in controls that properly align with your organization's needs should go hand in hand with the five phases of your ERP implementation.
Scott Eiler
Article September 01, 2017 6 min read

Enterprise risk management
Lessons for higher education

How changing regulations affect higher education

Stay on top of higher education industry standards image
60 min watch
GASB 74 and 75: Implementing the new GASB OPEB standards
Struggling to implement GASB 74 and 75 amid OPEB complexities? Join us for a complimentary webinar, as we share best practices for the successful and timely implementation of these standards.
Webinar Thursday, November 30, 2017; 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EST 60 min watch Upcoming
GASB 87, Leases: What you need to know
Danny Sklenicka
Article September 27, 2017 5 min read
GASB 80: To blend or not to blend?
Katie Thornton
Article July 31, 2017 2 min read
Uniform guidance procurement standards delay: One more year
Manju Patnaik
Article June 01, 2017 1 min read

Related Events

  • GASB 74 and 75: Implementing the new GASB OPEB standards
    Struggling to implement GASB 74 and 75 amid OPEB complexities? Join us for a complimentary webinar, as we share best practices for the successful and timely implementation of these standards.
    Webinar Thursday, November 30, 2017; 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EST 60 min watch Upcoming
    Two businessmen sitting at a table talking.

Higher Education Thought Leadership

  • The business of higher education
    Nationwide, higher education leaders are forging new relationships built upon deeper collaboration, improved service, and closer alignment of business initiatives with institutional missions.
    Whitepaper July 10, 2015 38 minute read
    Image of women in a classroom
  • GASB 74 and 75: Examining the new GASB OPEB standards
    GASB standards 74 and 75 will make significant revisions to the current accounting and reporting for OPEB, both from an employer perspective as well as from a plan perspective.
    Webinar March 08, 2017 60 min watch
    Image of person working
  • Protect your institution by managing risk
    There are ongoing threats specific to your higher education institution. Explore the world of risk management and the risk factors you should be mitigating now.
    Webinar May 07, 2015 75 min watch
    diverse group of people working on a project
  • Key responsibilities nonprofit board members should master
    Charged with providing direction, guidance, and oversight, nonprofit boards keep an eye toward the future and help ensure that the organization is poised to reach its goals. This webinar will discuss the key responsibilities nonprofit board members should master.
    Webinar December 08, 2015 60 min watch
    warm photo of a team working on technology
  • Is your 403(b) or 401(k) retirement plan on autopilot?
    An investment advisory's disaster recovery plan couldn't weather the realities of Hurricane Sandy – but it provided valuable insights into portfolio performance and how to best plan for adversity and risk.
    Susan Shoemaker Brett Reardon Wealth Management
    Article October 12, 2016 3 min read
    clear scene of road and vibrant blue sky
  • Let’s all agree on what’s fair: GASB 72 fair value explained
    With GASB 72 in effect, are you wondering what other investments are now subject to the fair value measurement? In this webinar, we’ll look at the changes GASB 72 brings and discuss some sample disclosures. 
    Katie Thornton Michelle Watterworth
    Webinar January 28, 2016 120 min watch
    woman working on her laptop
  • Hidden consequences of alternative investments for not-for-profits
    If you lead a not-for-profit or serve on the board of one, you need to know that some investments trigger reporting and/or tax payment obligations that might not otherwise exist. Here are a few commonly-missed forms and penalties.
    Article November 29, 2016 4 min read
    boardrooom with wood table and white office chairs
  • New FASB standard for nonprofits' presentation of financial statements
    With proposed changes to the FASB standards for nonprofits’ financial statements, are you worried about being in compliance with the new rules? Join our webinar to understand the proposed regulations and how they could affect you. 
    Webinar October 05, 2016 60 min watch
    ominous scene of man silhouette of walking toward a sunset
  • Five steps to effectively manage risk
    Shared understanding of the particular risks to your higher education institution and its operations is critical among campus leadership and decision makers. These five steps can help you get to consensus and create a risk management plan.
    Donna Freddolino Jeff Wright
    Article June 01, 2017 3 min read
    staff member reporting info with a chart

Up Next

Our clients say

Plante Moran has the expertise in higher education that has proved invaluable to Hope. They are definitely a leader in higher education audit preparation. They continually keep Hope abreast of current and new audit regulation that will impact higher education. Their webinars and seminars offered are very helpful and informative. This is a great added resource to having them serve as our auditors.

Douglas VanDyken Director of Finance & Business Services, Hope College

Image of people meeting
1 min read
IT risk assessment and technical review
A public university improves data security across campus through comprehensive IT assessment and technical review.
Case Study April 23, 2017 1 min read
Image of people meeting
3 min read
Operational review for large community college
Oakland Community College successfully streamlines their operations and increases operational effectiveness following review and restructuring of three departments.
Case Study April 13, 2017 3 min read

Our Team

Our team of higher education experts includes CPAs, technology professionals, management consultants, forensic accountants, and facilities/construction advisors, and our professionals can complement the expertise and capabilities of your in-house staff. As trusted advisors to the education sector, our audit and compliance specialists stay on top of changing regulations and trends impacting higher education and your institution. We share analysis and insights to help you anticipate challenges and plan for the future.