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Programming and personnel changes add to International School bookkeeping costs

In the past month, the International School of Louisiana has paid thousands of dollars to a consulting firm for assistance with the school’s financial affairs.

At the school’s board meeting on Wednesday, chief executive officer Sean Wilson said that what began as a one-time payment to help meet financial reporting deadlines has turned into an ongoing contract with the firm.

The International School of Louisiana paid Academic Resource Solutions an initial $6,200 to assist with the school’s quarterly financial reports. The school hired the firm to ensure that the school would meet the extended reporting deadlines set by the Louisiana Department of Education and Jefferson Parish Public School System.

Wilson said the financial report problems began in October, when the school changed payroll systems. The International School of Louisiana had been processing its payroll internally through the Blackbaud service, but began outsourcing the work to Paychex.

“It was not a smooth transition,” Wilson said.

This transition was during Bruce Frommeyer’s first months as the school’s director of finance. At Wednesday’s meeting, Wilson reported to board members that Frommeyer had left the organization on Feb. 5. In his resignation, Frommeyer cited the Blackbaud system’s complexity, board committee structure and the school’s overall structure.

With the director of finance position vacant, the school began paying Academic Resource Solutions on a regular basis, Wilson said. The school paid the firm at a rate of $14,000 per 10-day period for two full-time employees and one supervisor.

The consultants helped the school catch up on its internal financial activity reports, such as those prepared for monthly finance committee meetings, Wilson said.

Later, the school switched to paying the firm for just one full-time employee and one supervisor, at a cost of $10,000 per 10-day period.

The school is now paying Academic Resource Solutions $1,000 per week for a supervisor to check the school’s financial affairs on a weekly basis. The school will be up to date on all financial reports by the end of this week, Wilson said, but the contract will continue until the school hires a chief operating officer.

The school is still searching for a new director of development as well. Mark Huber, the former director of development, left on Jan. 24, according to Wilson’s report to the board.

Board president Matt Amoss said he and board member Andrew Yon will leave the board in August, when they both reach their term limits. Board members are allowed to serve two consecutive three-year terms before they are required to step down. They must wait one year to rejoin the board, but can remain on committees immediately after leaving.

The board members and Wilson ended Wednesday’s meeting with an executive session to discuss Wilson’s employment contract. The session was scheduled for 45 minutes, but lasted for 55 minutes. This was the third consecutive board meeting in which there was an executive session to discuss either Wilson’s performance or his contract.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at 1400 Camp St.

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