Higher Education

Supporting Your Mission

Personal, partner-level attention. A consistent team working with you year after year. And the advantages only a firm big enough to tackle your most complex challenges yet nimble enough to respond quickly to your changing needs can provide.

With Moss Adams, you get much more than just tax, assurance, and consulting services—you get strategic and timely business solutions. It’s a crucial distinction, especially at a time when heightened budgetary pressures and the disruptive impacts of globalization and new technology make managing a college or university increasingly complex.

Moss Adams is a leader in conducting audits in accordance with the Uniform Guidance, and our professionals participate on standard-setting committees at both the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Government Accounting Standards Board. When an audit is necessary, we go beyond simply complying with a requirement. We treat it as an opportunity to view your organization globally, putting our experience and acumen to work to understand your institution and the keys to your success.

Whether you’re looking to expand internationally or need help with IT security, you won’t have to face your challenges alone. You can rely on a trusted advisor with deep experience serving a wide range of institutions of higher education.

Who We Serve

  • Private and public colleges and universities
  • Bookstores, auxiliaries, and other supporting organizations
  • Public television and radio
  • College athletics
  • College and university foundations
  • For-profit institutions and ventures
  • International affiliates
  • Medical centers
  • Research organizations

Supporting the Future of Higher Education

The Moss Adams Foundation, created in 2004, provides funding and endowments to a variety of colleges and universities. Funding comes directly from our firm, our partners and our employees, and provides some measure of assurance that educational programs at these schools will continue to attract talented faculty and students—students we hope to hire when they graduate. Between 2004 and 2017 the foundation donated $8.3 million to institutions of higher education and humanitarian causes.

Specialized Tax Services

From compliance challenges to complex planning opportunities, we have a keen understanding of your needs and the strategies available to help meet them.

Our specialized services include:

  • Alternative investment issues
  • Fellowship or scholarship versus compensation tax treatment for services rendered
  • For-profit organization formation and operation
  • Formation of new entities, including preparation of Form 1023 and associated state filings
  • Independent contractor versus employee determinations
  • Joint venture formation and operation consulting
  • Preparation of Form 990, 990-T, and relevant state forms
  • Tax-exempt bond consultation, including private business use and post-issuance bond compliance procedures
  • Technology transfer and associated royalty arrangements
  • Unrelated business taxable income, including bookstores, sponsorships, and exclusivity agreements


The new data collection form changes how information from single audits is gathered and reported to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse.

On May 30, 2019, the FASB issued ASU 2019-06, extending the scope of the goodwill and intangible asset accounting alternatives for not-for-profits.

Understanding what’s happening at the regulatory level is fundamental to any not-for-profit’s ability to increase its impact and maintain tax-exempt status. Join us for an on-demand webcast addressing critical developments in auditing and accounting standards as well as potential effects on your organization.

Some colleges, universities and government entities won’t be subject to a new excise tax on excess compensation. Learn if your organization qualifies.

Review new IRS guidance on tax law that imposes an excise tax on executive compensation so your organization can plan for tax liabilities.

Fringe benefits are an important part of your company’s benefits package—helping recruit and retain employees and contributing to overall job satisfaction. But these benefits can lead to complex tax and compliance issues. In this webcast, we discuss the tax treatment of key benefits, such as scholarships and employee loan programs, employer-provided vehicles, and spousal travel.

National Practice Leader

Industry Professionals