Academies and Schools

Stephenson Smart have been providing a complete range of specialist services to the education sector for several years.

As experienced academy accountants based in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, we have provided services to nurseries and independent, state and academy schools for many years. Our experienced team are able to provide a complete service, including advice on all financial matters, accounts preparation, audit (statutory and Teachers' Pension Scheme) and payroll.

An increasing number of schools are converting to Academies. Conversion to Academy status brings new governance and financial responsibilities. We understand that this can be daunting for governors, head teachers and finance staff.

As an established firm of Chartered Accountants, with many years' experience in the education and charitable sector, we can help - whether you are considering conversion or have already converted and require on-going support. Our services are specifically tailored to the requirements of your Academy or school, taking into account its size and the skills and experience of your finance staff.

We have a number of staff trained to assist our Academy clients, some of whom are school governors or charity trustees. All clients are allocated a senior member of our team, which allows relationships to develop with Academy staff. We encourage Academy staff to contact us to discuss any problems or queries as they arise and like to pride ourselves on our hands-on approach.

How Can Stephenson Smart Help You?

Before conversion to Academy status we can provide assistance by:

  • Providing a free presentation to explain:
    • The roles and responsibilities of Trustees/Governors and the Accounting Officer,
    • The significance of restricted and unrestricted funds,
    • The financial returns required by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), including the Financial Management and Governance Self-assessment (FMGS).

During the conversion to Academy status we can provide assistance with:

  • Calculation of surplus or deficit at conversion date,
  • Advice on accounting software systems,
  • Implementation of financial systems and controls,
  • Training finance staff,
  • Financial management and reporting procedures,
  • Setting up a fixed asset register,
  • Reviewing and updating the Finance Policy,
  • Considering VAT and Corporation Tax implications,
  • Review of trading activities and consideration of the need for a trading subsidiary.

During the immediate post-conversion period we can provide assistance with:

  • FMGS (due to be filed with the EFA within 4 months of opening),
  • Budget Forecast Return (due to be filed with the EFA within 6 weeks of receiving the final funding letter),
  • Accounts Return (if required by the EFA),
  • Queries that may arise in connection with day-to-day transaction processing.

We can also provide the following on-going services:

  • Preparation of the annual Financial Statements, ensuring full compliance with legislation (including assistance with the Trustees' Report if required),
  • Statutory audit of the Financial Statements,
  • Assurance Report on Regularity,
  • Assistance with the Annual Accounts Return,
  • Assistance with the Budget Forecast, including establishing the actual position at 31st March,
  • Payroll processing,
  • VAT and Corporation tax,
  • Teachers' Pension Scheme Audit,
  • Assistance with management accounts and reports to Governors,
  • Attendance at AGM and Governors meetings as required to provide information and explanations and assist with the interpretation of financial information,
  • Ad-hoc reports and investigations.

Education Accountants In Norfolk and Cambridgeshire

If you're looking for an education accountant in Norfolk or Cambridgeshire, you've come to the right place. From our offices in King's Lynn, Fakenham, March, Downham Market, and Wisbech, Stephenson Smart can provide all the accountancy services you require. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

Contact Stephenson Smart