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Higher education

Specialized expertise for colleges and universities

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Mission-critical organizational intelligence for higher education

BerryDunn’s dedicated higher education team brings deep experience to both public and private colleges and universities, with a keen ability to analyze complex organizations and develop actionable strategies to better fulfill your mission.

Our team is comprised of a diverse group of consultants with a deep understanding of industry trends, a thorough awareness of best practices, and an independent perspective that informs clear, objective recommendations tailored to each client’s circumstances. 

Areas of expertise

Our higher education teams work collaboratively and cross-functionally to provide services tailored to your institution’s unique challenges and opportunities.

Audit and assurance services

We offer a wide range of audit and assurance services to meet the specific needs of higher education institutions. We focus on building strong client relationships that stand the test of time, helping colleges and universities minimize risk and maximize efficiencies.

NCAA agreed-upon procedures
We advise on internal controls and reporting requirements and help your institution avoid risk and remain NCAA-compliant.
Uniform Guidance audits
We are experienced at Uniform Guidance audits related to federal awards compliance, including student financial aid and R&D clusters.
Employee benefit plan audits
Our benefits experts bring deep experience to employee benefit plan audits, and work collaboratively with you to add value, meet regulatory requirements, and encourage employee engagement.

Business advisory services

Our team is here to assist colleges and universities in business advisory services including outsourced accounting and employee benefit plan services. Consider our team an extension of your own for support when you need it most.

Employee benefit plan design
We guide you through available alternatives to design a plan structure that meets and balances goals, while ensuring compliance with the vast array of evolving tax rules.

Digital transformation

Our experienced higher education technology team helps guide colleges and universities through intentional organizational, cultural, and process changes to effectively leverage technology, improve outcomes, and reduce institutional risk.

SIS consulting
We provide system assessment, evaluation, and implementation services for Student Information Systems (SIS), supporting clients at every stage of the system life cycle.
IT assessments and planning
We help you assess existing IT services and operations and provide insights on your performance relative to peers.
Software assessment and selection
We can help you develop an RFP, evaluate proposals, compare products, coordinate vendor demonstrations, facilitate scoring, and lead contract negotiations.

IT governance, risk, and compliance

BerryDunn draws on industry frameworks to perform security and risk assessments for colleges and universities. We can help you establish IT governance policies, comply with data security and privacy rules, and plan for remediation.

Cybersecurity assessment
Our customized cybersecurity assessments will give you a clear picture of your current strengths and weaknesses.
Risk management
We help you understand your risk maturity level and develop actionable plans to mitigate risks and strengthen your risk management program.

Human capital management

Our human capital management consultants help you empower your employees to achieve their full potential, adapt to change, and thrive at work. From strategic planning to well-being consulting and culture and organizational assessments, our team focuses on holistic organizational transformation. 

Organizational development
We invest the time to hear your vision, goals, and preferences to help you develop your workforce, improve performance, and strengthen the health of your organization.
Strategic planning
Our team can conduct planning workshops, develop your objectives and vision, and design a strategic plan that improves employee satisfaction and engagement.

Data governance and strategy

Data has the transformative power to drive decision-making, foster innovation, and contribute to operational excellence. Our consultants have deep expertise in empowering higher education institutions to navigate complex challenges to fulfill the potential of data.  

Data assessment
We work with you to understand the current state of your institution’s systems, processes, policies, and personnel that support and maintain the data landscape.
Data strategy development
Our team provides a clear view of strategic improvements for maturing your data governance program through actionable data enablement plans.
Data literacy training
Our experience and people-focused methodology for improving knowledge and understanding of data can support your institutional objectives for advancing data literacy.
Data enablement implementation support
We work with you to help implement your institution’s goals for data enablement, providing project management and support services to help operationalize committees, implement tools, and manage institutional change for enabling data.
Data governance
We help you establish a clear data governance policy, integrating change management best practices and paving the way for successful adoption.

Who we serve

Our experienced higher education consulting team partners with a wide variety of institutions and systems, including:

Private colleges and universities
Community colleges
State systems
Research universities
Institutional foundations


"After working with larger CPA firms in the past, I am impressed at how we see the same staff from BerryDunn return year after year, how well they understand the higher education audit requirements and the time they take to really understand Hartwick College. Their knowledge of the College and its financial statements and their willingness to consult with us during the year is invaluable. Working with BerryDunn has been a pleasure."
Karen V. Zuill
Vice President of Finance
Hartwick College
"Colby-Sawyer has used a number of audit firms in the 22 years I've been here. BerryDunn is far and away the best. You take for granted that CPA firms will be knowledgeable and familiar with Education, and can complete the audit compliance requirements. However, BerryDunn goes beyond that. Their staff has become trusted advisors in all the financial aspects of the College and has helped us become more efficient in each phase of our operations. We seek their advice throughout the year on debt issues, compliance issues and in designing systems and procedures for new programs or services. They have taken the time to thoroughly understand Colby-Sawyer and have certainly contributed to our success."
Doug Lyon (retired)
Colby-Sawyer College
"BerryDunn has been a trusted advisor to WPU for several years. We know we can pick up the phone, or send an email, and they will respond promptly and thoughtfully to our question or request. It's great to know they're in our corner."
Doug Wade
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Warner Pacific University
"The audit team, led by Mark LaPrade and Ryan Gough, has maintained the highest standard of professionalism while providing the utmost level of expertise during each engagement. Throughout the course of the year, the audit team is readily available to consult with the University on various tax, accounting and regulation questions in a timely and assiduous manner. The audit team has established a collegial relationship with both the Finance Committee and the Board of Trustees; their service has been nothing short of outstanding."
John Parker, DBA, CFO
Former Vice President for Finance and Administration
Rivier University

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