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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Millen

Trail of a Charter PO/Voucher


Something many don't understand and charters don't seem to attempt to explain is the process by which your charter voucher or purchase order turns into legal tender. People often assume that the charter cuts a check to the vendor when the family requests a voucher or purchase order. Even though that money disappears instantly from your spendable funds at your charter, it doesn't actually get to the vendor until after your child receives all services the voucher covers. The vendor has to invoice the charter for each voucher or PO received. With some charters, that is a fairly automated process, and for others, it isn't. We invoice PCI and Visions monthly. South Sutter is invoiced once in the middle of the semester and once at the end. All other schools are invoiced when our semester is over. We receive a check within 30 days of submitting the invoice. The first checks will be received in mid to late October, but most of the tuition for this semester won't be received until mid-January. One of our charters reported that $250,000 a year in issued vouchers were never cashed by vendors. That money came out of a student account and went into the charter's general fund since vouchers were issued but either lost or just never invoiced. Clerical errors will result in lost revenue to vendors each year and NHA is no exception. Our computer system is not ideally suited to our needs as we use commercially available software that isn't designed for a two step process of voucher/PO followed by invoice/payment. Instead, your vouchers and POs are entered as payments even though no money is received for them until much later when they are invoiced. If those vouchers are never invoiced, your NHA account will still show as paid, and the money becomes lost revenue for the vendor and found revenue for the charter. That is the trail of a charter PO/voucher from the time you request it until it becomes the spendable currency that NHA uses to pay instructors and rent, and buy curriculum and supplies. Now you know.

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