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Education update: EFA Feedback

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12 April 2013

Some academies have had the pleasure of an FMGE validation visit from the EFA.

We thought it would therefore be helpful to share some of their comments with you.

Whilst the reviews were very helpful, with the aim being to share ideas on best practise and ensure compliance with the Financial Handbook, some of the requirements could prove to be onerous.
Primary schools in particular may be affected as their resources are often limited due to their size of operation.

The main areas commented upon were as follows:

  • Accounts not being prepared on an annual basis
  • Lack of self-assessment process for the effectiveness of the governing body and committees
  • Lack of a formal assessment process on the performance of auditors
  • No audit committee established
  • Relevant KPI's not being presented with financial information to governors
  • Suggested enhancement of budget/financial reports to cover projected balance sheets, capital budgets and staffing structures/budgets
  • Weak risk management procedures
  • RO/Internal Assurance procedures not agreed in advance by governors (although as our academy clients will know, we always give finance teams and governors the opportunity to suggest areas to be covered at each review)
  • Suggested widening of the scope of RO/Internal Assurance programme beyond the testing laid down in the old Financial Handbook (again, we have been doing this for some time)
  • Suggested enhancements to medium and longer term financial plans including sensitivity analysis

If you have concerns about any of these areas at your academy and would like our thoughts on enhancing your own process, please get in touch.