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Congress’s multi-phase response to the coronavirus crisis has resulted in many new federal programs that are meant to assist college students and institutions of higher education. As with any federal program with funds provided to colleges and universities, there are compliance, recognition, and accounting and reporting considerations to address. You can explore NACUBO’s COVID-19 general guidance resources here

This library of accounting tutorials has been created for NACUBO members only to address frequently asked questions that have been brought to our attention. Each tutorial below cites relevant FASB and GASB guidance and also provides reference points to NACUBO’s Financial Accounting and Reporting Manual (FARM), the searchable, web-based, and free accounting guidance and advice manual for NACUBO members.

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Employee Retention Credit and Employer Tax Deferral Programs

May 22, 2020 - This tutorial provides an overview of tax credit and deferral programs available to employers under the CARES Act. Revenue and liability recognition are discussed and sample journal entries are provided to illustrate the concepts.

CARES Act: Institutional Aid Expenditures

May 14, 2020 - Funds received under the institutional portion of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) can be spent only on those costs for which there is a clear nexus to instruction delivery changes due to the coronavirus. This tutorial discusses qualifying expenditures and considerations for analyzing and substantiating allowable costs.

CARES Act: Grant Accounting

April 30, 2020 - Both student and institutional portions of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grants are conditional contributions with revenue recognition considerations. This tutorial explores revenue recognition criteria, examines barriers to entitlement and at-risk considerations, eligibility, restrictions, and more.

Student Refunds

April 30, 2020 - Campus closures resulted in student account credits or refunds for residential services. Through examples, this tutorial provides analysis and approaches with sample accounting entries.

Functional Classification of HEERF Student Aid

April 30, 2020 - This tutorial addresses how to report student emergency aid distributions. Emergency aid distributed is not a discount, but a student grant expense that should be functionalized in the scholarship category for financial reporting and the IPEDS Finance Survey.       

PPP Loans

April 30, 2020
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides budgetary relief to businesses and higher education institutions through numerous provisions, including Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. This tutorial examines not-for-profit revenue recognition after the eight-week compliance period, subsequent events, and balance sheet categorization.

Financial Reporting Considerations

April 30, 2020 - Expenses to convert to full online instruction, closing facilities, deep cleaning, and grants to students are just some of the costs colleges and universities incurred in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Institutions have also forgone revenue when unearned room and board fees were returned to students. Further, some of the expenses and forgone revenue expenditures may be offset by grants provided under the Coronavirus Aid. This tutorial examines operating and nonoperating financial reporting considerations.

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