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Internal assurance

The Academies Financial Handbook continues to stress the importance of the audit committee (or equivalent) playing an active role in assessing and managing the risks facing the Trust. Internal assurance plays an important part in assessing and devising a plan to respond to any risks and to ensure that the academy has sufficient, robust and appropriate controls.

To respond to the varying risks faced across the sector we have expanded our internal assurance offering. This will allow for the audit committee (or equivalent) to direct the testing to those areas they perceive to be of most importance or highest risk.

The list below sets out some of the key areas of work that we can undertake:

  • Regularity and Compliance
  • Month end procedures
  • Budgeting and Financial management
  • Procurement  
  • Bank payments
  • Income
  • Risk management and insurance
  • Vehicles
  • Capital and contract management
  • Payroll
  • VAT, Corporation tax and other taxes

This is not an exhaustive list, but is a starting point to help trustees consider the effectiveness of the academy’s internal controls and the risks faced.

Other possible topics include:

  • Census production and accuracy;
  • Consideration of the readiness of the MAT to expand;
  • The induction process for new trustees and senior staff;
  • The MAT process for senior leadership recruitment;
  • Allocation of central costs;
  • Review of the strategic plan;
  • Financial controls surrounding overseas trips.

If you have any queries, or would like further information on any of the above, please do not hesitate to speak to your usual contact at James Cowper Kreston or contact one of our Academy team.