The idea of a financial audit can be frightening, but don’t fear it just yet. We are here to provide you with useful information that will help you prepare for audits and manage your accounting and reporting in a more efficient manner.
The differences for schools and academies
Maintained schools are not obliged to publish their accounts, but are required to submit a return to their local authority (LA).
The LA uses this information to consolidate their accounts for submission to Central Government. The Department of Education (DfE) then use this information to populate the schools’ benchmarking website and publish a copy of all schools’ financial data online as part of the coalition government’s data transparency agenda.
Academies and trusts on the other hand, are required to submit an audited annual financial statement to Companies House and report to a 31st August financial year-end.
So, how do you prepare for an audit?
Here are some tips that will help you when preparing for an audit:
If the idea of a financial audit is too frightening, then SAAF can help. Click here to find out how SAAF can help you prepare.
Academies account management
Where schools present a simple income and expenditure accounts system, academies have a slightly different, more complex way of dealing with theirs.
Academies must follow the “Academies Financial Handbook”, which outlines the financial management and control requirements for academy trusts.
The requirements are as follows:
If an academy has a separate company as a subsidiary to carry out activities to make extra profit - such as renting out their sports hall after hours – then they will also have to produce a consolidated account outlining their subsidiary results.
Steps of the annual report and financial statements
The Academies Act 2010 states that to qualify as an academy, the proprietor has to be a charity and a limited liability company registered under the Companies Act 2006.
This means that academies must provide the following in order to comply with the company law requirements:
So, hopefully now you are feeling a bit more confident about preparing for your financial audit, but, if not, don’t panic. SAAF can provide the advice and support you need, just click the link below to learn more about our external audit preparation service.