Becoming an academy can be a daunting process, particularly in the first year, with new financial responsibilities and a rigorous timetable for submitting reports.
We provide specialist expertise in the schools sector and have helped many local schools to navigate this new landscape with confidence.
There are now over 4,700 academies in England and hundreds more are going through the process of converting. They have more control over their curriculum and their finances, with funding coming direct from Government rather than the local authority. As the support from the local authority has fallen away, a new academy relies more upon its accounting and legal advisers.
The initial change to an academy is complex and we are on hand to guide converting schools through the process, whether by phone, email or in person. Our clients find that our friendly and helpful approach provides a useful tool to ensuring that their reports and year end requirements are easier to complete.
All school academies are required to have their financial results to 31 August audited and the outcome reported to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) by 31 December. This restricts the time available for the accounts to be prepared, audited and discussed and this is where our structured approach assists.
Taking single academy trusts as an example, we would meet the business manager, head teacher and a member of the governing board in the summer term before the academy closes and agree a formal timetable for the audit and other work required. This is essential because it ensures that the work of both of the academy and ourselves can be completed in time for the governing board to review and approval the accounts before submitting them.
Our support doesn't stop there. Academies are also required to submit a variety of reports throughout the year and we provide clients with guidance on the deadlines as well as help, advice and accountancy services to ensure that all their needs are met.
With Government plans to reduce its per pupil funding, the option to form a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) is becoming more attractive to existing academies and schoolst. Forming a MAT enables greater buying power for the academies, but also creates much more work and responsibility for the Trustees and finance team. Wise & Co is able to provide active advice and support to help MAT Academies through the conversion process and beyond.
Becoming an academy can be a daunting process, particularly in the first year after conversion. Wise & Co can help throughout, making everything as straightforward as possible. Our clients have access to a partner and manager who are available all year round to provide a level of support that can make a real difference.