Tips for academies in the immediate post-audit period

12 January 2018

The statutory audit process is over for another year but are there any action points to take forward to 2018?

Here are some tips for the immediate post-audit period:

  • Ask your auditors for the opening balance adjustments for the period to 31 August 2017. The adjustments should be made on your accounting software so that the closing balances agree exactly to the accounts submitted to the Education and Skills Funding Agency in December. This means that the starting balances for the current year’s transactions will be correct. If you need any help processing these adjustments you should ask for assistance now rather than wait until next year’s audit visit.
  • Put a plan in place to address the points raised in the auditor’s management letter. Some points are easily cleared but other recommendations may take more time to implement and involve input from other personnel in the trust. The steps taken to clear any points should be reported to the finance committee so that they can monitor progress.
  • Load the 2017 audited financial statements on to the trust website where they can be easily accessed (deadline 31 January 2018).
  • Check whether the trust is required to complete a Corporation Tax return in respect of the year ended 31 August 2017 and confirm with your advisers that they will deal with it for you in good time.
  • Benchmarking data with regard to the 2017 figures will become available over the next few weeks (including our own UHY academies benchmarking report). Benchmarking against financial and non-financial data in the education sector is not always easy but it can be an invaluable exercise. Also, it is interesting to read the insights of sector experts on the latest hot topics.
  • Finally, and importantly, provide feedback to your auditors. At UHY we ask clients for their comments on the audit process because we are constantly looking to improve our client service each year. We are not complacent and want your honest feedback (good and bad!) It is important to get this feedback whilst the experience is fresh in everybody’s memories.

If you need assistance with any of the above points, please contact your usual UHY adviser or nearest academy schools specialist.