Academy Financial Compliance

11th April 2014

Academies – 2013 Audit Outcomes

There were 2,248 sets of audited accounts submitted to the EFA for the year ended 31st August 2013. Of these 25 (1.1%) had a qualified audit opinion and 73 (3.2%) had a qualified regularity opinion. Of the 25 qualified audit opinions, 21 of these resulted from failure to disclose trustee’s salaries.  Other failures included land and buildings valuations and insufficient actuarial information on pension schemes.

There were also qualified opinions on regularity reports for a range of reasons which included:

  • Lack of a risk register
  • Absence of approval for leases
  • Lack of independent checking e.g. Responsible Officer / Internal Reviews
  • No audit committee in place
  • Weak internal controls and lack of authorisation over expenditure
  • No register of interests

This really does show how important it is to ensure that the academy’s internal controls are strong and that these controls are evidenced. The EFA have stressed that every set of accounts and management letter submitted to them is reviewed.  They have made it clear that they would like all issues to be included on the management letter, even if considered by the auditors to be minor.  Only the most serious issues will be followed up with the academy.  Going forward the EFA would like an academy response to be included on the management letter and for the points raised to be graded in terms of degree of importance.

The main areas identified from the management letters are as follows:

  • Poor governance
  • Lack of financial management
  • Issues with accounting policies
  • Poor internal controls
  • Related party transactions and declaration of interests
  • Payroll and HR issues
  • Control accounts not being reconciled e.g. bank and payroll reconciliations.

It is expected that the EFA will cover these points in a general letter to all academies later this year.



 
Other items in Blogs
 
Lucy Bayliss
8th January 2020 It’s the final countdown!

There are only 23 days until the self-assessment tax return deadline of 31 January 2020. If your return is not filed electronically by this date, an automatic £100 penalty will be applied. Please note that the deadline for filing a paper tax return was 31 October 2019 and therefore all returns are required to be…

Read More »

Vanessa Pearson
13th December 2019 April 2020 Proposed IR35 changes: Status appeals process

As the planned changes to who determines IR35 status are fast approaching, contractors would be well advised to review their contracts on HMRC’s updated CEST (Check Employment Status for Tax) tool. Having provided answers to questions regarding substitution, control and nature of the work, the updated tool will give HMRC’s view of the workers employment…

Read More »

Ben Kilby
12th December 2019 VAT Surcharge

Have you or your business received one between 23 April 2018 and 31 January 2019?   If so, you may want to check if it has been dated. If it has not been dated you may be in for a refund. Any surcharge liability notice or surcharge liability notice extensions are invalid if they have…

Read More »

Lucy Bayliss
25th November 2019 Don’t let your tax bill affect your festive joy. Instead, spread your tax payments throughout the year!

With the festive period fast approaching, it is easy to lose sight of your self-assessment tax return!   If you are employed or receiving a pension and you file your return before 30 December 2019, you can elect to have your tax collected through ‘Pay As You Earn’ (PAYE) rather than paying one lump sum…

Read More »

Ian Piper
22nd November 2019 2019 Growth: Missing in action?

(Data Source) As another year draws to a close, local SME businesses will be forgiven for looking forward to drawing a line under it. With 2019 sales growth barely nudging 1%, it has been a year of focusing on not slipping backwards, rather than the usual mantra of continually signing up new accounts.  When commentators…

Read More »

Mark Burrows
21st November 2019 Avoiding Self Assessment Tax Scams

HM Revenue & Customs have reminded Self Assessment taxpayers to watch out for fraudsters as the tax return filing deadline of 31 January approaches.   HMRC say they have received nearly 900,000 reports of suspicious phone calls, texts or e-mails from scammers pretending to be the tax authority.  Most of these messages were about fake…

Read More »