Academy Year End Audit

year-end-checklist

The Academy Year has arrived! To help you to prepare for your audit School Business Services have produced a checklist to ensure you have everything covered.

If you need any further assistance in preparing for your audit, then give the Finance & Business Team a call on 0345 222 1551 • Option 2.

No Task By Whom Date Completed
1 Agree a timetable for the audit process, including the following: an audit planning meeting with your auditors; dates for draft management accounts and an auditor’s documents file to be available to your auditors; interim audit visit; final audit visit; date for draft trustees’ report to be prepared; draft audited accounts to be circulated, draft management letter circulated; discussion meeting with the finance team and Accounting Officer; audit or finance committee and board completion meetings.    
2 Obtain from the auditors a list of documents required for the audit and prepare an auditor’s documents file. The academy should obtain this list before the year end so there is adequate time to prepare for the audit. If the finance team has any queries on the list, they should discuss it with the auditors as soon as possible.    
3 Take into account the new requirements in the EFA’s 2015/16 Accounts Direction when preparing the year end accounts (see page 7 – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academies-accounts-direction)    
4 Arrange an audit planning meeting with your auditors to discuss the audit process, timing, identified audit risks, audit team and documents required for the audit.    
5 Obtain the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) valuation report from your pension provider. This should be requested before the trust’s year end and the valuation should include the information required to be disclosed in the notes to the accounts.    
6 Obtain any required land and building valuations. This should be requested as soon as possible to avoid any delays in obtaining the valuation holding up the audit.    
7 Ensure copies of all minutes of the meetings of governors/trustees and all committees are available.    
8 Copies of all policies and procedures, the risk register and all governance documents should be available for your auditor’s review.    
9 Details of all changes to directors/trustees, members and the trust should be provided to the auditors.    
10 If your academy has stock (such as catering stock, books for sale, uniforms) year end stock counts should be arranged. Your auditors should be told the dates of the stock counts so they can decide whether they wish to attend.    
11 The prior year’s audit adjustments should have been correctly included in the management accounts with the current year opening fund balances agreeing to the audited accounts for previous year.    
12 Year-end accruals and prepayments and ensure at year end that they are all correctly recorded in your accounts.    
13 Ensure that the trust’s finance manual and its policies and procedures have all been updated and are available for your auditors.    
14 Supporting documents for grant income and expenditure should be available for your auditors.    
15 Payroll and employee records should be available and reconciled to the payroll figures in the accounts.    
16 Agree responsibilities for preparing the draft trustees’ report for inclusion in the audited accounts. This should include the strategic report and discussions on objectives, educational achievements, future plans and KPIs.    
17 Arrange for the preparation of the draft governance statement for inclusion in the audited accounts, including the governance structure, internal controls, risk management, control issues arising during the year and outcomes of governance reviews.    
18 Prepare a list of related parties and any transactions carried out with related parties during the year. Related party transactions need to be disclosed in the notes to the audited accounts. Ensure that any goods or services provided by related parties were provided at ‘no more than cost’ and that the supporting ‘statements of assurance’ are available.    
19 A schedule of counter-party transactions during the year should be prepared as soon as possible. This information needs to be included in the Academy Accounts Return which is best prepared at the same time as the year end accounts.    
20 Check that the trust has properly accounted for its funds (unrestricted, restricted, designated, fixed assets funds) with the various income and expenditures of each type of fund adequately separated and included in the appropriate accounts.    
21 Ensure that government grants, such as pupil premium and summer school grants, are correctly accounted for and in the correct financial period with any deferred income which relates to the next year being carried forward in your balance sheet.    
22 If the trust has a subsidiary company, the audit of the company should be arranged and carried out at the same time as group accounts of the trust will be required to be audited.    
23 At the year-end check whether monies have been received for future events in the next accounting period. Such funds should be carried forward as deferred income and any event expenses paid by the year end carried forward as prepayments. For example – Universal Infant Free School Meals and Rates Relief.    
24 Details of any of the following should be available as they need to be disclosed in the accounts: ex-gratia, compensation, gifts, losses, severance payments, heritage assets and indemnities.    
25 Details of any new bank accounts should be provided to your auditors as soon as possible so that they can request bank confirmation letters.    
26 Details of any claims, legal cases, litigation or contingencies should be discussed with your auditors as soon as possible so that the auditors can consider the accounting treatments and obtain any legal letters from the trust’s solicitors.    
27 Details of any property or asset leases in place during the year should be provided to the auditors along with any required EFA approvals.    
28 A review of capital expenditure should be done to ensure its completeness and that additions to fixed assets have been made in accordance with the trust’s agreed accounting policies.    
29 A review of fixed assets depreciation and useful lives should be made to ensure that a full year’s depreciation has been included.    
30 Check that the trust’s fixed assets register is up-to-date and agrees to the management accounts for costs, depreciation and net book values.    
31 Review the prior year auditor’s management letter and ensure that all weaknesses and recommendations for improvement have been adequately addressed and resolved in the current year.    
32 Review the internal audit recommendations during the year and check that all issues arising have been adequately addressed and resolved.    
33 Obtain a copy of the board approved budget for the financial year starting on 1 September.    
34 Where any novel or contentious payments or severance payments have been made during the year, ensure the details and required EFA approvals are available.    

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