Did you know that Internal Audits can be done remotely?
As an Academy or Trust, you are considered an independent institution and are therefore responsible for the results you accomplish and how public funds are used. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has therefore made it a requirement in their latest handbook that internal scrutiny must take place at your school on a yearly cycle. This is to assure your governing body that your financial controls and risk management procedures are operating effectively.
Internal scrutiny provides assurance that:
- The financial responsibilities of the governing body are discharged appropriately.
- Resources are managed in an efficient, economical and effective manner.
- Sound systems of internal financial control are being maintained.
- Financial considerations are fully taken into account in reaching decisions.
A report from the external auditors should then be submitted to the ESFA by 31st December each year summarising the work done and conclusions reached. The requirement to submit this annual external audit report will first apply in December 2020. To support this external audit, the internal audit enables academies to keep on track for the deadline with enough time to focus on the areas highlighted.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, much of the work we would usually carry out on site has shifted online. SBS can assist with your internal audit requirements in this way as well. Although in-person reviews are preferable, the ESFA sent out a letter on 21st April 2020 stating that these can be completed remotely during the current situation. SBS can use Microsoft Teams, which is free for educational institutions, to remote into systems to perform checks and ensure that important discussions take place when needed.
Following our review, we will present the governing body with a report of the findings. This will provide them with the assurance that the above areas are being tested and operating in an acceptable manner and identify those areas that require further attention in order to meet the requirements of the ESFA and general good practice.
If you have any questions, please contact the service desk on 0345 222 1551 • Option 2, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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