Moving to academy status or establishing a free school is a major decision, with long-term implications, so it requires thorough research and careful assessment before the decision is made to go ahead.
When schools are considering moving to academy status, an essential step is to explore in detail all aspects of their financial position, systems and controls and to assess how the impact on these issues from conversion.
As well as demonstrating that there is a genuine need for their school in the community, teams behind new free schools must also have in place robust financial plans and financial controls, enabling them to make effective use of funding and ensure that the school will be viable and well managed when it opens.
Haslers’ education experts can provide independent, objective advice to ensure those responsible for academy conversions or establishing free schools are able to make informed decisions about the way forward.
We also provide a range of services designed to enhance the school’s capacity to make a successful transition to academy status or start life as a free school in the strongest position. Our services include:
- advice on and assistance with reporting and returns to the Education Funding Agency
- establishing the financial position of a school prior to conversion, including valuation of land and buildings on transfer and the position of pension schemes
- advising on monitoring cash flow, budgeting and financial projections
- advising on governance policies and processes relating to reserves, internal controls, risk management, investment and accounting
- advising on the roles and responsibilities of governors, finance committees and audit committees
- advice on accounting system compliant with the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) and the Companies Act or improvements to strengthen and improve existing systems
- advice on VAT issues, including registration and reclaiming VAT
- advice on corporation tax issues arising from commercial and community activities
- audits and year end accounts
- Accounting for Academies workshops and other financial training
- HR compliance advice.
To find out more about Haslers’ East London and Essex-based accountancy and tax services for academies, free schools and independent schools, please contact us.