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Higher Education

Plante Moran

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.

Digital transformation in higher education

How technology can transform higher education
3 min read
How the public sector is waking up to the power of data analytics

As governments are forced to do more with less, they're waking up to the huge potential of data analytics to improve efficiency, make better spending decisions, and predict future trends. Here's how to build a data-driven culture in your organization.

Tim Deskin
Article July 28, 2021 3 min read

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

How changing regulations affect higher education

Stay on top of higher education industry standards image
1 min read
Plante Moran provides public testimony to GASB

Plante Moran’s Michelle Watterworth, Katie Thornton, and Marie Stiegel recently provided public testimony to GASB regarding new standards affecting governments. GASB involvement is just one way we stay on top of new legislation for our clients.

Michelle Watterworth
In The News April 6, 2021 1 min read
Higher education: COVID-19/CARES Act guidance
Vicki VanDenBerg
White Paper October 30, 2020 15 min read
2021 Compliance Supplement and Single Audit Update
Amanda Ward
Webinar August 24, 2021 60 min watch Upcoming

Enterprise risk management
Lessons for higher education

Managing risk in higher education

Managing risk in higher education image
5 min read
Preparing for disruption: Strategic planning for higher education
Every college and university in the country has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Your institution’s survival may depend on how well it’s prepared for the next unexpected calamity. Is your strategic plan up to the task?
Ivy Anderson
Article November 25, 2020 5 min read
Five steps to effectively manage risk
Judy Wright
Article June 1, 2017 3 min read
Enterprise risk management: Lessons for higher education
Vicki VanDenBerg
Article June 1, 2017 12 min read
Cybersecurity for the public sector: You've been hacked — now what?
Judy Wright
Webinar February 19, 2018 70 min watch

Related Events

Higher Education Thought Leadership

  • Higher education: COVID-19/CARES Act guidance

    Accounting and reporting requirements for COVID-19-related federal funding are constantly changing for higher education institutions, raising many questions. Our resource-rich guide provides answers for PPP, CARES Act, HEERF, 18004(a)(1) grants, and more.

    Vicki VanDenBerg Katie Thornton Brian Greko Sadie Mayle
    White Paper October 30, 2020 15 min read
    View of an empty parking lot with business buildings nearby.
  • 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 8, 2017 60 min watch
    Image of person working
  • 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 5, 2016 60 min watch
    ominous scene of man silhouette of walking toward a sunset

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

Exterior entrance to Northwestern Michigan College West Hall Innovation Center in Traverse City, MI
2 min read
College innovation center offers transformative learning environments for students
Northwestern Michigan College builds new, state-of-the-art innovation center with help from owner’s representative Plante Moran Cresa.
Pat Podges Plante Moran Cresa
Case Study 2018–2020 2 min read
Graphs and charts depicting data analytics information and insights.
3 min read
Analytics framework improves efficiencies and provides valuable insights

A new analytics framework helps a medical research university improve their ePHI user access security and analysis and create operational efficiencies to focus on value-add risk mitigation activities.

Chris Moshier
Case Study April 2, 2019 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.