Documenting the agreed manner in which a school processes transactions through its accounting systems. The procedures will take into account the resources of the school but will be based on the best practice guidelines published by the Audit Commission and the IPF. Procedures should be designed to minimise financial risk in a cost effective manner.
The new funding arrangements will allow schools to move away from a single year funding and budgeting process. Proper budgeting means that a school is able to make informed choices about expenditure in line with its plans and strategies. A zero based budgeting approach demonstrates a prudent best value approach.
In financial terms these are the 'what-if'calculations. Changes of curriculum strategy, improvement plans, pupil numbers etc. all have impact on resources. Financial modelling seeks to establish the inter-relationship of the variables and to forecast the outcomes.
Quarterly budget variance reporting to Governors
Depending on the makeup of the Governing Body some schools value a report either in person or written form that provides assistance in interpreting the figures. The skills of the Governors may be in areas outside finance and they may be keen to ensure that the school finances are properly managed in line with the budget.
Quarterly healthchecks and reporting
Our experience is that many schools value a quarterly visit to check that the figures reconcile and to deal with any more complex issues that have arisen in the period. The process gives additional confidence in the build up of the figures towards the year end.
Training and support
New staff may not be fully conversant with school procedures and may need additional targeted training to hone their accounting skills.