Finance

Meet Abdul - EduFin's Junior Consultant

Better late than never to introduce another of our fantastic Junior Consultants – Abdul Juned. Having joined EduFin just over a year ago, Abdul has enjoyed working with an array of different schools and trusts.

Before joining EduFin, Abdul was a finance assistant for a seven-school trust and was quickly promoted to Finance Manager within a year. His passion for school finance swiftly led him to consulting for a large range of schools with diverse needs alongside EduFin. From covering for Finance Managers to providing one-on-one training for PS Financials, Abdul has assisted numerous academies with essential support.

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Business Manager at Weald of Kent Grammar School saidAbdul has worked with the Finance Team at Weald for a number of months.  Not only has his knowledge and experience added value to the Team but his delivery of training and guidance has been given in an exceptionally sensitive and supportive manner.” She went on to say Abdul has “introduced new and more efficient practices whilst fully supporting the Team through this transition.”

Moving forward with just one final exam before completing his AAT, Abdul is now gearing up to start his ACCA qualification. Having now prepared Management Accounts, processed Year End and completed internal audits for a range of clients, Abdul has become skilled in meeting each academies bespoke needs.  Speaking about his greatest objective, Abdul says “It really is all about supporting clients everyday with a guarantee that they’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

Abdul’s knowledge and experience of school finance ensures that we have total confidence in his work with the Trust.
— Business Manager, OAT

Happy client, Michelle Smith,  Business Manager at OAT said “Abdul is extremely patient especially when training staff on the use of both PSF and accounting procedures relating to education processes. His knowledge and experience of school finance ensures that we have total confidence in his work with the Trust.” She says “On a personal note he is always smiling and happy –nothing is ever too much trouble.” 

If Abdul sounds like the kind of consultant that could suit your current needs then please do get in touch to learn more about what he can do for your school. 

Time to Start your 18/19 Budget

If you haven’t already started, now is the time to begin.

I’ve always been a big advocate of a decent three-year budget plan and of the importance of completing revised budgets once or twice a year but completing your new year’s budget early gives time to review and revise where necessary.

You may be asking: why to go to the effort of completing my 18/19 budget early,  if I already have a 3 year budget plan? But the truth is, most schools and academies have some form of budget tool that automatically extrapolates the data across 3 years, unfortunately, in many cases, the subsequent years may get some cursory attention that is focused on the bottom line but not much more. Many academies don’t start looking to complete the next year’s budget until they must - often because there is a looming ESFA deadline.
 

So, A quick and dirty guide to completing your 18/19 budget:

  1. Roll forward your 1718 data

  2. Update your pupil numbers with your October Census data

  3. If you do not have a budget tool that does it for you, update your funding streams to reflect the October Census data (assuming you’re lagged funded)

  4. Update your staffing with your current structure – ensure you’ve done a full payroll reconciliation by staff member

  5. Include all potential increments

  6. Go through all non-staff expenditure line by line

  7. Add or remove the cost of one off expenditure/projects

  8. Review all additional income streams

  9. Update your pension rates (if they’ve changed)

  10. Try not to go into shock in the middle of the office when you see the bottom line! 

  11. Book time with the Principal and relevant stakeholders to go through your initial draft budget

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Getting the foundations right are critical in having a strong and financially stable organisation and this is never more prevalent than in a Trust. With so many financial challenges facing the Education Sector and many Trusts pooling reserves or looking to do so, having next year’s budget much earlier, provides plenty of time to review both the individual budgets and the collated position. It gives time to direct the resources to support those schools where they have been unable to complete a balanced in year budget, to review why and put measures in place, if necessary, to ensure they do. It allows the Trust to strategically plan where reserves may be required and best utilised.

A Trust that doesn’t start looking at the 1819 budgets until the Summer term is left with little to no time to make an impact and can quickly find that their reserves dwindle to nothing or worse. In short, it forces them to be proactive rather than reactive.

So, once you have year end in your rearview mirror and the auditors are no more than a memory, dust off your budgeting skills and get to it, a new year awaits.

 

Author: Director, Tracy Dawson

 

Meet EduFin's Junior Consultant

Here at EduFin, we are proud to announce the arrival of our first Junior Consultant - Lawrence Brooks. Lawrence joined EduFin in September 2016 after working at two multi-academy trusts using both PS Financials and FMS. 

Since joining, Lawrence has worked for many different Schools and Trusts covering for absence and also data-entry training on the use of PS Financials. In addition to this, he has taken on the mantle of HCSS Accounting; having set-up the security structure, entered all opening balances and supported with bank reconciliations and payment runs.

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On working for EduFin thus far, Lawrence said “The environment has refuelled my hunger for accounting and working alongside fun and informative directors has enhanced my knowledge in all aspects of the academy sector.”

Lawrence, who is working towards his full AAT qualification, is available to support your academy finance team when resources on the ground are caught short. Knowing three pieces of academy accounting software and possessing the ability to hit the ground running makes his skills highly sought after.

Director of Finance and Business Services, Edenham High School said: "Lawrence’s support and expertise on using PSF to its full advantage has been so helpful to our school and the learning we have gained from him is immense on dealing with day to day financial transactions. I would recommend Lawrence to any school that needs support on understanding how to use PSF effectively." 

With depth in ability and a can-do attitude, Lawrence says his main aim is to "support your every requirement without difficulty or the traditional finance jargon”.

Contact us now if you’re interested in hearing more about what our shiny new Junior Consultant can do for you!