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Internal Scrutiny & Financial Health Checks

Our internal scrutiny and financial health checks ensure your school or academy is running as efficiently as possible.

Internal Audits & Financial Health Checks

Internal Audits

Internal audits provide an important service to all businesses, both large and small. They assure the company that their control processes and organisation’s risk management work effectively whilst also detecting and preventing fraud.

Our internal audits for academies, multi-academy trusts and free schools, include an on-site visit from one of our finance consultants to review your processes and systems. They will then produce a written report with their findings. The report will be written offsite and will be emailed to you within 5 working days.

Whilst the recommendation would be to have termly internal audits, this will be determined by your finance policy.

Our consultants can either carry out a standard check (listed below) or they can tailor the service to meet your needs. Our standard check includes:

  • Month End Reconciliation

  • Payroll

  • Employee Expenses

  • Purchases

  • Capital Contracts

  • Income

  • Charge Card

  • Bank and cash

  • Fixed Assets

  • Control Account

  • Financial Reporting

  • Submission of EFSA Returns

  • Other compliance matters (e.g other related parties)

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Financial Health Checks

Financial Health Checks are a valuable service for both schools and academies. Health checks allow headteachers and the governing body to evaluate their expenditure and help them produce a plan-of-action for the future so that they can use their budget more efficiently.

Initial financial checks include a minimum 2-day on-site visit, plus a written report which will be produced offsite and are available to maintained schools, academies, multi-academy trusts and free schools.  Our consultants will check your financial systems and processes to advise on efficient procedures and identify if any finance training is required.
This would include a review of:
  • Financial strategy
  • Levels of spend on different areas of the curriculum
  • Workforce planning & financial systems (Including forecasting, compliance, reporting and governance)
  • Current and 3-5 year budget position and multi-year planning to ensure revenue & capital funding are utilised correctly.
  • The leadership team and governing body's understanding of the budget, funding streams, financial process & reporting.
For Multi-academy trusts we can review additional areas, for example:
  • Use of top-slice revenue
  • Assessment of the efficiency of central office functions
  • Evaluation of any proposed growth trajectory
All reviews & reports can be tailored to a customers' specific needs. Our report based on the initial review will address specific budget pressures and include recommendations to maintain or improve standards.
We can provide a further 3-5 days’ consultancy to carry out action planning sessions to identify appropriate ways to address specific financial budget pressures, highlighted in our report.
This can include, but is not limited to:
  • Financial pressures (e.g. deficit, pupil numbers, restructuring)
  • Review of budget management/strategy
  • Reporting and governance
  • Capacity building
  • Curriculum led financial planning
  • 3-5-year budget planning
  • Forecasting
  • Staffing structures & workforce efficiencies
Following the strategy & action planning sessions, we can provide in-depth operational support to deliver any changes that have been identified. 
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The best thing about SAAF is that somebody will always get back to you. I’ve never waited longer than an hour, which is far superior to our previous supplier
Claire McAlonan, CFO | Raleigh Learning Trust
Overall, SAAF are a great partner to work with. Their staff are friend and competent and they always resolve our queries in full with great telephone and email support.
Warren Porter, Management Accountant | Transform Trust