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The academies programme has expanded rapidly giving schools significant freedoms in excess of those given to maintained schools.
Whilst this presents exciting opportunities for schools looking to convert to Academy status, there are also a number of challenges ahead, including a new accounting and financial reporting regime as well as dealing with the requirements of the Education Funding Agency and other regulatory bodies. It is therefore important that academies consult early in the process and choose advisers who have the experience and expertise to help meet these challenges.
Having an audit is a requirement for an Academy as set out in the Funding Agreement. However at James Cowper Kreston we see our engagement as more than just a statutory necessity, with a real desire to add value to our clients. James Cowper Kreston provide a range of specialist services, advice and support for established Academies and those schools looking at converting to Academy status.
James Cowper Kreston has a long history of involvement with charities, schools, academies and other not-for-profit organisations. We have more than 160 clients in this sector. Our specialist team keeps fully up-to-date with all the changes in accounting, tax and other legislation which affect charities and educational organisations. We will carry out an audit in accordance with all the relevant charity audit requirements.
The benefits of our service extend beyond a signature on the audit report. We will carry out a robust audit focusing on key issues, and we will provide a high quality report to trustees and management covering potential internal control improvements and efficiency gains. This report will also cover forthcoming challenges which will affect you as well as offering an insight into how our other charities’ experiences may be relevant to your own circumstances.
An Independent Examination is required for most charities who fall below the audit threshold – broadly income of £500,000. In an audit report we state a positive opinion that in our opinion the accounts show a true and fair view. An Independent Examination has a more negative opinion.
The work carried out for an Independent Examination is less than an audit. The work is largely based on review of the figures and agreeing key balance sheet balances such as the bank balance. In a audit we will select sample transactions and agree these to supporting documentation.
Consequently the Independent Examiation is cheaper than an audit and may be seen as sufficient by the trustees.
We are able to undertake both forms of the report and if relevant would discuss the pros and cons of each with you.
We are highly experienced in conducting audits of subsidiaries in the UK and group audits of UK companies with overseas subsidiaries.
Many of our clients require our services in the US, Asia, Pacific and Europe, giving us international capability in cross border businesses. James Cowper Kreston's membership of Kreston International means we're well placed to help both UK companies expanding overseas, and overseas companies looking to move into the UK and Europe. Currently ranked as the 13th largest accounting association in the world, Kreston now covers 105 countries with 700 offices providing a resource to over 21,000 professionals and support staff. We have expertise in IFRS and reporting under US GAAP and understand the specific needs of international businesses.
James Cowper Kreston’s specialist Listed Company audit team are expert in the specific financial reporting and audit requirements associated with listed companies.
Unlike other regional firms, we have a wealth of experience of listed company audits. We count a number of ISDX, AIM and fully listed companies amongst our client base. In the most recent PCAOB figures we rank in the top ten UK firms for number of listed company audit clients, placing us well above similar firms. This experience, coupled with our personal service and our commitment to provide added value to our clients, presents a unique audit offering to the directors and shareholders of listed companies.
At James Cowper Kreston we build close working relationships with our owner-managed business clients, to help them achieve their objectives.
The range of owner-managed business clients we represent includes sole traders, partnerships and limited companies for whom we deliver individually tailored support and solutions.
Because we offer such an extensive range of services, an owner-managed business can select exactly the services required.
As professional practice ourselves, we understand your needs and can provide the depth and breadth of audit, accounts and advisory services required.
Our clients span the full spectrum of professional services and our breadth of knowledge adds value for our clients, enabling us to offer greater insight into best practice and the latest developments within and across sectors.
Our substantial portfolio of technology clients ranges from small entrepreneurial start-ups to established brands.
These include businesses involved in biotech and pharmaceuticals, physical sciences, IT, internet-related activities and telecommunications. Using our vast experience in this highly specialised sector, we can help guide your business towards a prosperous future.