Financial auditing can be an incredibly stressful process, but with the right guidance and preparation it can be an easy, efficient and stress-free process. SAAF have been completing internal audits and external audit preparation support for academies and MAT’s for over 7 years, so we thought it was time to share our expertise!
Planning ahead is always essential when it comes to auditing, this ensures there are no surprises during the audit. Ensuring all the relevant information is accessible and filed appropriately throughout the year is crucial for a smooth audit; it is always useful to find out exactly what information your auditor requires which should then influence your filing system to maximise efficiency.
Here are some key tips to help you prepare for an audit throughout the year:
- File all governor meeting minutes together
- Keep quotes and tender documents together
- Decide on a filing system for invoices/orders/payments and be consistent
- Ensure all financial records are authorised appropriately and filed.
Here is a checklist of the main pieces of information your auditor could ask for, it’s important to be able to access these documents quickly to make the audit process as smooth as possible for you and your auditor:
- Minutes of governing body meetings for last 12 months
- Minutes for Sub-committees for the last 12 months
- Remit for committees
- Bank statements and invoice remittances
- Transaction listing from finance system
- Payroll reports and payroll returns- overtime authorisation, absence returns, supply teacher timesheets etc
- Management accounts, budget forecasts and cash flow statement
- Benchmarking data
- CFR return
- Latest improvement/development plan
- Annual budget and medium term financial plan
- Latest headteacher report to governors
- Pecuniary interest forms
- Quotations/tenders, orders, delivery notes and invoices
- Monthly bank reconciliations and control account (including salary) reconciliation
- Staffing structure and HR files
- School fund records - ledger, invoices, receipts, income sheets, bank statements
- Petty cash records
- The current school inventory and Fixed Asset Register
If you still need more guidance regarding the auditing process and how to effectively prepare for either your internal or external audit, please contact us to find out how our finance consultants can support you with audit preparation and our internal audit service and financial health checks will give you peace of mind that your school, academy or MAT is running as efficiently as possible.