Do you audit your approach to income?
The Academy Trust Handbook requires all trusts to have a programme of internal scrutiny to provide independent assurance to the board that its financial and non-financial controls and risk management procedures are operating effectively.
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that internal assurance in a trust needs to focus mainly on expenditure. That's understandable; its public money and it needs paying out properly after all.
But what about income? As a leader, you need to know your schools are receiving all the money they are entitled to. The more money you have, the more of your vision you can achieve. That makes managing income an essential aspect of delivering high-quality education.
You are going to want assurance that the trust receives every penny it's entitled to. Can you be certain your internal processes work properly and result in accurate census information? After all, your funding depends on it. To maximise the money available to your pupils, do you want to check that other sources of funding haven't been overlooked?
At Keystone we would recommend investigating the following as part of a comprehensive income audit:
- Prior year recommendations
- Financial Governance
- Income Budgeting and Monitoring
- Restricted Income
- Self-Generated Income
- Analysis of Income
- Income owed (Debtors)
- Income Foregone
- Training & Development
Our comprehensive income assurance module delivers assurance across all 9 areas above. It's an essential tool for multi-academy trusts, helping you identify areas for improvement and to strengthen your financial management practices.
Income audit is just one of the modules available from Keystone Knowledge when you sign up to our internal scrutiny service.
About the author
Matthew Clements-Wheeler is an experienced school business leader with more than 20 years in the education sector. He has played a significant role in supporting some of the best schools and trusts in the country as well as being instrumental in turning around challenging settings.
Matthew is part of Keystone Knowledge's Internal Scrutiny Team
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