The Education Rate or E-Rate program introduced to help select schools and libraries access affordable telecommunications and internet services is a great initiative; however, it can be confusing to navigate.
Any library or school that has applied for this service knows how painfully time-consuming and tedious and challenging it can be. Moreover, a new application must be submitted annually; even then, funding is not guaranteed.
Thankfully,E-Rate complianceservices exist to make the process more streamlined. This guide will discuss the top reasons to avail of such services.
E-Rate Consultants Will Make the Crooked Places Straight
The E-rate spending for the fiscal year 2022 is expected to be $82.8 million. Does your institution qualify for availing of this program? Then, seeking the help of expert E-rate consultants is a must. Here’s how –
Understanding the Program
Simply meeting the eligibility criteria is not enough. The program involves several complex regulations that must be understood and followed to qualify for assistance.
Many schools and libraries need help with understanding the program properly. E-rate consultants will streamline the process by helping you understand the program thoroughly.
Completing the Application Process on Your Behalf
From start to finish, the E-rate program’s application process is a rather tedious and time-consuming one. Your regular staff may not have the time and energy to invest in completing the process.
E-rate compliance service consultants will do the heavy lifting on your behalf. As the experts are familiar with the process, it will go much faster.
Proper Filling of the Necessary Forms
Once you get into the form-filling process, you understand that the application process was just the trailer. Form-filling is a daunting process involving applying, appealing, and reimbursing many forms.
There are several letters to be drafted, such as the Receipt of Acknowledgement (RAL), the Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL), etc. A qualified E-rate consultant will smooth the process, helping you complete all correspondence on time.
Ensuring All Rules are Followed
Another crucial thing to remember is that non-compliance with E-rate regulations while application filling, appealing, etc., carries penalties. So, if you’re selected for a compliance audit, you must ensure everything is in its proper place.
An experienced E-rate consultant will oversee the entire process, ensuring you follow all regulations.
Assisting You with an Audit
If your application is taken up for an audit, you enter another nerve-racking process wherein several questions may be asked.
An E-rate consultant, having a thorough knowledge of the auditing process, will be able to answer all questions on your behalf.
E-Rate Funding Filing Deadlines
E-rate filing windows are not the same each year. They usually change every fiscal year. For instance – For the year 2022, E-rate filing deadlines were extended from January 12th to March 22nd till 11:59 PM.
You need to keep an eye on that fiscal year’s filing window, primarily because such filings need to be made annually.
Tough and complex as the process may seem, it is also your right to avail of the program’s benefits if you qualify.
Ensure you get the E-rate compliance done with the help of a reliable consultant service, and every year, E-rate filing will be a process you look forward to. So, find out everything and pick the best professional for your filling process!