Pamela W. Baker CPA Managing Partner

Back to school!! Everyone that I have come into contact with recently has mentioned the dread/excitement/anticipation/uneasiness/fear of this annual ritual that happens every August/September depending on where you live and when schools start. But why does it matter if you are not in school or have children in school? I have long ago passed the time of having to prepare for the start of another school year – but I continue to get wrapped up in the hype that surrounds that momentous first day of school. Who doesn’t love seeing that first grader all dressed up in their new school clothes, new backpack and lunchbox, getting on the school bus? It always gives me pause to think there goes our future – I hope that every one of those starting out finds their path to the excitement of life -long learning.

For our firm, back to school means school audits are gearing up. Remember fire drills the first week of school? Our staff are regular participants in the annual fire drills that indicate schools are back in session and everyone needs to know the rules! We will be traveling across Delaware and Pennsylvania for the next three months, conducting audits of a number of public schools. In addition, several of our nonprofit clients have June fiscal year ends. We will be visiting a number of them as well to ensure they are able to have timely and reliable audited financial statements – just in time for grant applications.

What did we do on our summer vacation you might ask? For the past three months we have been conducting the audits of numerous housing authorities. Our Manager, Edmund Fosu-Laryea has been particularly focused on the issues that surround these governmental entities. He attended the Maryland Association of Housing Authorities (MAHRA) conference, is working on initiatives to incorporate accounting/auditing education for low income residents, and recently joined the Board of Ingleside Homes, Inc., whose mission “is to ensure that every senior, regardless of their level of income, has an opportunity to live the fullest possible life at his or her highest level of independence.”

Several of our other staff have been pursuing advanced knowledge in data analytics and how the tools that we use can enhance our effectiveness and lend increased value for our clients. Stay tuned for updates on the technology front!

Our management team took time this summer for a retreat to reflect on our past year and to plan for the future. We spent considerable time challenging ourselves to define our WHY. The culmination of our work was our new WHY statement:

ADVOCATING TRUE ACCOUNTABILITY SO OUR CLIENTS CAN BETTER SERVE THEIR COMMUNITIES. It is our goal to continue to partner with our government and nonprofit clients to ensure good internal controls and sound financial reporting – our contribution toward the mission of each individual entity. Please mark your calendars for October 31st when we plan to host our second annual nonprofit conference – we have some tremendous content lined up – you won’t want to miss out on this treat!