Nichole Schmidt


Nichole has 19 years of experience in nonprofit and government accounting. She started her career working with charter schools at an outsourced accounting firm. She began as a staff accountant and worked her way through all the positions while learning the details involved with the way Minnesota School Districts are required to report to the state and federal government.

She has spent the last 19 years learning all areas of school finance that are crucial for a school to survive the ever changing rules and regulations brought on by the state and federal government. Her passion is finding how to streamline processes within a charter school to function more effectively and efficiently. She has developed an expertise in long-range budget model forecasting and strategic planning, and finding areas for financial improvement.

  • Provided 4 charter schools with financial information to successfully start affiliated building companies as well as securing bonds ranging from $7 million to $24 million in project costs.
  • Assisted 8 brand new charter schools in Minnesota to open successfully, utilize startup funds as efficiently and effectively for the school and education program as possible, and execute leases in the best interest of the schools while maximizing lease aid.
  • Provide performance coaching for 6 outsourcing staff (growth opportunities, on the job training, technical and soft skills)
  • Solicit and market CLA BizOps along with audit, tax, payroll, software, information security, executive search, employee benefits, and wealth management services to current and potential clients
  • Lead new client and potential client financial department assessments to scope the most efficient and effective financial department model
  • Provide CFO services (dashboards, trend analysis, forecasting, key indicators)
  • Prepare and execute financial policies and procedures, operations policies, and board policies. Communicate and train executive management and board of directors on their fiduciary responsibilities related to financial policies and reporting


B.A. Business Management and Marketing from Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN

In the community

  • Member of Minnesota Association of School Business Officials
  • Member National Association of Charter School Authorizers
  • Treasurer, Northfield Hockey Association, Northfield, Minnesota
  • Treasurer, Project Friendship, Northfield, Minnesota