Higher Education Services

PRIMARY CONTACTS: John C. Null CPAPatrick F. Kerns CPA

The Schneider Downs Higher Education industry group is a dedicated team of experienced professionals specializing in serving institutions from high schools to universities.

As one of the largest premier regional accounting and advisory firms serving public and private K-12, colleges and universities, our integrated service delivery ensures that our professionals can offer timely and practical solutions to help institutions meet their operational and compliance needs.

Our professionals know that financial and operational challenges are among the top concerns for higher education institutions. They face demands from all levels, while possibly dealing with reduced funding, pressures from the community and Board of Trustees and the challenge of remaining accountable to all parties. By staying abreast of the latest trends, developments and challenges within the education sector, we offer timely and practical solutions to our clients.

We work with a variety of unique educational institutions in the sector, including public colleges and universities, liberal arts schools and faith-based entities, and we always take the time to understand the history, mission, people and stakeholders of each institution we serve.

Higher Education Services


Services include OMB Uniform Guidance Audit (student financial aid, research and development, USDA loans and other major programs), 403(b) and 401(a) plan audits and compliance assistance, NCAA agreed-upon procedures, compliance audits (RACP, DCED), review of financial reports and tax compliance matters related to endowments and investment portfolios, program profitability studies and bond offering services (taxable and tax-exempt). Learn more


  • Tax Compliance – Services include Form 990 and 990-T preparation and review, State and local tax exemption and compliance, charitable solicitation registration, Federal tax audits, FBAR filing analysis, international tax issues association with study abroad programs and compensation and benefits design review.
  • Tax Governance and Policy – Services include conflict-of-interest policy and management, fringe benefits and compensation matters, board education and intermediate sanctions.
  • Auxiliary and Investment Activities – Services include unrelated business income activities, alternative investment compliance, joint ventures, transaction analysis and for-profit subsidiaries. 


Services include software implementation and support focused on higher education solutions (experience with Banner, Datatel, Jenzabar, Oracle, J.D. Edwards, Lawson, Ellucian, Great Plains and more), disaster recovery and business continuity planning, cybersecurity assessments (penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, social engineering, infrastructure assessments and firewall vulnerability assessments) and more. Learn more

Additional Higher Education Services

About Schneider Downs Industry Groups

Schneider Downs recognizes that every industry is different, often presenting unique challenges that require individualized insight, innovation and experience. Our experience in these industries is enhanced through participation in focus groups, which address the characteristics that make these industries unique. 

For more information on additional industries we serve please visit Industries or contact us at contactsd@schneiderdowns.com.  

Learn how we’ve Solved Big Problems For our clients

Big Problem: Company Impacted By Ransomware.

Big Thinking: Restore System On-site And Avoid Six-figure Ransom.

Read Case Study

Big Problem: Inefficient Tax Credit Realization.

Big Thinking: Identified A $900,000 Tax Credit, Nearly Twice As Much As Prior Years.

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