Essentials of the Business Office

NBOA's Essentials of the Business Office is a four-week online course designed for both business officers new to independent schools as well as the more experienced business administrator who wants to gain new insights. Participants share experiences of the ever-changing role of the business officer, from the day-do-day responsibilities to the strategic leadership role.

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of independent school business operations through interacting with the class facilitator and sharing information about your school with online colleagues on an asynchronous learning platform. Discover resources for ongoing operational support and establish a national learning community of peers with whom you can continue to explore the issues of business administration and leadership within independent schools throughout your career.

Each week, a different area of business operations will be covered asynchronously, so that while participants should plan to work three to five hours each week on the class, the timing of that work can be flexible. This class uses a variety of resources including articles, videos, recorded webinars and discussion boards. Topics covered include accounting and tax issues, financial planning and budgeting, tuition management strategies, accounting and audits, human resources, facilities operations and risk management.

This course is being offered in partnership between NBOA and One Schoolhouse.

Course Schedule

Week 1

Business Operations

Survey the business officer's areas of responsibility (either direct or indirect) from an enterprise perspective. Understand how your school's mission is implemented and how it translates financially, which are fundamental keys to institutional success. Explore the characteristics and behaviors that lead to greater mission alignment and financial sustainability.

Week 2

Faculty/Staff and Facilities

An independent school's biggest assets are its faculty members and the buildings they occupy. These also represent the major proportion of expenses. Creating a culture where employees feel valued and honored for the work they do, and providing and maintaining an inviting space in which students can learn is the business officer's responsibility. Learn how those costs relate to overall school finances.

Week 3

Students and Families

The partnerships between the business office and the admissions and the development offices are core to the school fulfilling its mission. Understand how these two departments interface with your families and your office to promote the school's overall financial health.

Week 4

Additional Resources

The independent school business officer community is one of great collegiality and resourcefulness. This week will survey a number of additional business officer responsibilities and describe the resources, from NBOA and others, that can help you fulfill them.


SHRM Information

Credit Hours: 12

Category: Business Acumen

NBOA is recognized by SHRM to offer SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP professional development credits (PDCs). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit


HRCI Information

Credit Hours: 12

Category: HR (Business)

NBOA is a recognized provider of recertification credits. HR Certification Institute® pre-approved this program for credits towards aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification.


Email or call 202-407-7140


Sep 27 - Oct 22, 2021


Cancellation and refund policies




Group discount available

Time Commitment

3-5 hours per week for 4 weeks

Learn more about the platform and coursework

Class Size

Up to 40 participants

Recommended Audience

  • Business officers
  • Controllers
  • Business office staff