Federal Student Aid - IFAP
   

Publication Date: September 15, 2003

Author: General Manager: FSA Schools Channel

Summary: eZ-Audit Update for Not-For-Profit Schools


Posted on 09-15-2003


 


eZ-Audit Update for Not-For-Profit Schools

 

September 9, 2003

 

We are happy to report that the transition to eZ-Audit is going smoothly.   During our first peak period, hundreds of schools successfully used the eZ-Audit website to electronically submit their reports for the first time.  As you might expect with any new process, we experienced a few challenges in making this transition.  The good news is that we have heard from many of our recent users and are quickly learning where we need to make improvements in eZ-Audit!  

 

Our goal is to ensure that eZ-Audit provides the best possible outcomes for all parties, and feedback is our best source to that end.  As such, we met with members of the not-for-profit community to listen to their concerns about eZ-Audit. They acknowledge that the Department needs to ensure the process will yield the information necessary for regulatory purposes. Accordingly, they want to ensure auditors and institutional personnel fully understand what information is being requested and how to fill out the web-based submission form. Â

Based on the feedback to date, the Department is taking the following actions:

 

  • Form a focus group of Federal Student Aid staff, accountants with higher education and appropriate community expertise to recommend changes. The tentative date for the first meeting will be in Washington, DC on November 12 or 13, 2003. Anyone wishing to take part or be on distribution for correspondence should notify us by one of the contact methods below.
  • Update the Step-by-Step Guide. There are a number of areas in the instructions that need clarification. It is important that the instructions be specific and accurately reflect the standards and technical requirements of "not-for-profit" accounting and reporting. New updates will available on IFAP by September 30, 2003.
  • Revise the web forms in eZ-Audit. Based on the feedback, we need to correct some inaccuracies in the not-for-profit institutions input screens. Since this will require changes to software code, the timeframe will be dependent on the availability of resources and funding. Until then, we plan to revise to the guide to clarify these areas.
  • Include the business office in addition to the financial aid office on all communications regarding the e-Z Audit process. Since input data for eZ-Audit comes from both the face of the financial statement and notes to the financial statement, staff with financial reporting expertise should perform the data entry function, which is more apt to reside in the business office.
  • Hospital Schools. In some instances, the financial statement for a hospital may use different terminology that is difficult to crosswalk to the not-for-profit input screens in the eZ-Audit application. In these cases, the hospital school may request an exemption to submit a paper report by emailing eZ-Audit.

To learn more, please stay posted to IFAP. If you have questions, please send an email to fsaezaudit@ed.gov or contact the eZ-Audit hotline at 1-877-263-0780