The Coalition Government’s Academy policy, which allows schools to opt out of Local Authority control, requires the new Academies to be significantly more involved with their own financial management. This creates exciting times for those wishing to make the change, allowing more freedom to set policies and bring in innovative ways to raise the standard of education for pupils. However, Academy status presents a number of challenges including new financial reporting and accounting requirements. This is where Clear & Lane can help.
Commercial experience - Company Law - Annual accounts and audit of the Academy - Accounting systems - Budgeting and strategic planning - VAT complexities - Grant applications - Contracting and tendering decisions - Investment advice - Payroll Services For Academy & LEA Schools
Luke Turner, our Partner who specialises in this sector is also a School Governor. Leading our Academy work, supported by a team of staff with experience in the ‘not for profit’ sector is one of his passions. He is available to talk to you on 0116 261 0061 or by email email@example.com
Clear & Lane Chartered Accountants are an independent Leicestershire based practice offering a wide range of accountancy, audit and consultancy work to both businesses and to the ‘not for profit’ sector. Our clients describe us as being available and approachable and being “big enough to know and small enough to care”.
Our considerable knowledge of the charity sector and experience of schools, colleges and training organisations in the commercial sector, enables us to understand the legal and regulatory framework of your specific sector. This means we can deliver sensitive and practical advice that doesn’t just fulfil your statutory obligations.
We act for businesses and organisations with turnovers ranging from £100,000 to £30,000,000. All staff involved in Academies’ work attend regular courses on the sector to keep up to date so that we can offer the best possible support and advice in this specialist area. Our experience includes working for organisations involved in:-
We provide a full service for Academy Schools...read more
Commercial experience - although we have a specialism in education and the ‘not for profit’ sector, much of our time is spent dealing with profit making businesses, so we can offer insights and advice from this perspective.
We can help especially in relation to trading and other income generating activities, whether it be in relation to sport facilities, car park use, conference facilities, function hire or specialist education services. You may want to investigate the advantages of setting up a trading company for these types of activities. We also have the experience to offer on VAT, tax, charity and company law. This will help ensure that you do not fall foul of either charity or tax law.
Company Law - compliance is a new area for converting schools. We have a specialist team member who will be your contact for Companies House paperwork.
Annual accounts and audit of the Academy - each Academy will need to appoint external independent auditors, to provide annual audit assurance to the members of the charitable company running the Academy. This can be a challenging and perplexing experience for schools used to being ‘under the wing’ of the Local Authority. We aim to keep you thoroughly informed and to avoid jargon wherever we can to make the process as painless as possible.
Accounting systems - many Academies will decide that their current systems are inadequate in the light of the new requirements they face for financial reporting and control. We have substantial experience in helping clients improve their accounting systems. We are also resellers of Sage accounting software so we can offer excellent deals on software and we have plenty of experience of training and trouble shooting for clients once systems are implemented and in use.
Budgeting and strategic planning - there are significant opportunities and risks out there for newly independent Academies. We can help you draft budgets and cash flows and for longer term planning we can help you draft a 5-10 year strategic plan if required. (Too many Academies have found themselves in deficit.)
VAT complexities - often relate to additional trading and income generation such as sports hall rental or conference facilities provision.
If ignored VAT issues can lead to expensive penalties being levied by HMRC. We have the experience to identify issues and to help you find a way through.
Grant applications - these can be complex and often require financial information to be provided. We can help in this area if needed.
Contracting and tendering decisions - we have the commercial experience to help you put procedures in place to make decisions on the awarding of contracts and to help you compare ‘in house’ to ‘out sourced’ costs such as maintenance, cleaning and IT services.
Investment advice - to make the most of any surplus funds (even where spare cash may only be available for part of the year) is something that we offer through Clear & Lane Financial Services which is led by Mike Simms IFA.
Payroll - our experienced payroll department offer a full, reliable and friendly service to our clients. Visit our payroll services page here.