Internal Audit services to Academies

Description of service

We will undertake systems checks, in accordance with the Academies Financial Handbook, to provide independent assurance to the governing body that:

  • the financial responsibilities of the governing body are being properly discharged

  • resources are managed in an efficient, economical and effective manner

  • sound systems of internal financial control are being maintained; and

  • financial considerations are fully taken into account in making decisions

Why choose us?

We are a team of professional public sector internal auditors based locally in Bury. We provide audit services to all Bury schools. We are experienced in the systems and needs of your Academy Trust. We can provide specialist computer, contract and VFM auditors providing you with access to best practice policies and procedures.

We will review the efficiency of key functions within your Academy Trust and have a track record of recommending measures that do not reduce control and governance assurance but do provide improved value for money. We have experience of completing audits on a wide range of topics for schools and other Local Authority services in a timely and cost effective manner.

Recommendations made and assurances provided have proved invaluable to management and governors in all the areas we have supported. We are constantly developing our services in partnership with the schools we work with and therefore the list of areas covered is not intended to be exhaustive. We will also adapt in the light of any changing guidance.

Benefits

We make a positive contribution to the achievement of control systems by:

  • reviewing risk management arrangements

  • securing the relevance, reliability and integrity of information

  • providing reassurance that an anti-fraud and corruption culture exists; and

  • providing advice and assistance and sharing best practice

What clients say

"The audit was carried out in a professional and supportive manner" - Park View Primary School (Before and After School Club review of financial systems).

"The auditor was excellent - very professional" - Tottington High School.

"We would like to thank the auditor for his professional input and advice throughout the audit process. Very thorough. Responded very quickly to any questions that we had" - Woodbank Primary School.

"Thank you for all your fantastic support in helping identify our areas for development and giving us the tools to make our systems and procedures more robust for the future. We look forward to working with Internal Audit in the future" - Elton High School.

"The auditor conducted the audit in a professional manner and provided us with precise and valuable information throughout. The audit process was supportive and a positive experience" - Park View Primary School.

Service offer

In consultation with the Academy Trust's management we will prepare an audit plan for reviews, to meet the requirements of the Academies Financial Handbook. This plan will be reviewed annually with management in light of the current risks facing the Academy Trust.

The plan will be presented to the Governing Board in advance of the commencement of the academic year to ensure the Governing Board is fully informed of our plan and has the opportunity to comment.

The number of days will be detailed in the quotation to be supplied to the academy.

The extensive range of topics we support you with include:

  • financial planning and budget setting, monitoring and reporting arrangements, treasury management procedures, management of overall cash flow and reconciliations of all key control and bank accounts

  • strategic planning

  • payroll including: starters and leavers, variations to pay and standing data

  • collection of income and debtor control

  • purchasing including assurances of a robust procurement strategy

  • risk management

  • governance arrangements

  • personnel procedures: safer recruitment procedures including criminal records check bureau procedures

  • VAT procedures

  • compliance with Safeguarding Policies

  • internal communications

  • management of assets

  • Data Protection and Freedom of Information

  • whistleblowing procedures plus other anti-fraud and corruption measures

We can also offer a suite of IT audits:

  • IT acquisitions

  • IT security

  • compliance with the ICT strategy

  • software licensing

  • business continuity planning

  • disaster recovery

Service Level Agreement (SLA) explanations

This service offer is available from September 2017, by negotiation with individual academies.

We charge on the basis of a competitive daily rate which will be agreed with you. This rate includes all expenses and costs of managing the contract. There is no  minimum  /  maximum level of service although we will suggest audit coverage and an estimate of days needed for topic areas selected.

  • A client engagement letter (terms of reference) will be issued for each visit detailing coverage and specific risks areas to be examined

  • A checklist will be issued at least one week prior to the visit detailing documentation/information which will need to be accessed for the audit

  • The days quoted for an audit assignment will comprise time for planning and preparation, site visit time and time to collate results and prepare a report for the consideration of the Academy Trust, therefore, the Auditors may not be present on site for the entirety of the time listed in the plan

  • To maximize on the value from our visit to you, we ask that you act as liaison with staff to ensure they are free on the dates of audit and to ensure they make themselves available to the auditors. This is essential to ensure the Auditor completes their work in a timely manner. If an audit is postponed or cancelled by the Academy Trust after the appointment has been agreed, we reserve the right to make a charge.

Terms and conditions

We will invoice for our services once the final audit report has been issued, in accordance with the jointly agreed SLA.