Finance and accounts audits are critical for ensuring that independent schools meet financial standards. Since they are non-government schools, it’s important to confirm that accounts are in order and the school is running within necessary legislation.
Often, preparing for an independent school audit can seem like a time-consuming and challenging task for the school finance department. However, it doesn’t need to be. There are also key benefits of independent financial audits like this for school accountants.
Audits are an opportunity to take a deeper look into your accounts and understand just how well they’re performing. This can help you to identify areas for improvement and learn more about your cash flow management or identify any concerns or risks.
However, it’s still important to make this audit process as seamless and stress-free as possible. School finance departments are already busy throughout the school year, so minimising disruption is key.
Our bespoke financial management solution for independent schools, iFinance, offers a variety of features to help make your school audits as efficient as possible for both you and auditors. Chris Pomfret, our resident iFinance expert, discussed iFinance and how it supports schools in the ISBA Bursarcast recently. For more iFinance information, listen here: https://www.theisba.org.uk/cpd/isba-podcast/
Top features for school audits
More and more of our favourite services are moving online and relying on cloud technology. iFinance and iSAMS have made the most of cloud computing since their inception. While security is one of the top benefits of cloud hosting, it also offers a host of benefits for the school finance team’s daily operations and the auditing process.
The accessibility of cloud is important, but it’s worth noting that more and more auditors are asking schools to move towards cloud technology, too. Your school will need to meet the demands of auditors in the future, if you’re not already. iFinance provides a system that meets industry expectations.
So, aside from being 100% cloud-hosted, what are the key iFinance features that support auditors?
- Cloud storage: Paperless storage on cloud servers ensures that necessary documents are stored in appropriate parts of the system and are accessible anywhere they’re required. Wherever there’s a transaction in iFinance, whether in the fixed asset ledger or purchase register, your documents are secure and on hand for both you and your auditors.
- AP Inbox: The automated inbox in iFinance automatically forwards any purchase invoices into the system with a copy of the relevant document attached, keeping your accounts and paperwork up to date with minimal fuss.
- Web-based access: Provide your auditors with access to your system and relevant data no matter where they are. This means less hassle and disruption for both you and your independent auditors.
- Audit trail: iFinance generates an electronic audit trail on all transactions. This includes the workflow approval route, approver, time, and date stamp along with any approval notes, ensuring that your school accounts can be verified as efficiently as possible.
Benefits of iFinance
The iFinance solution is made to help school finance departments to get the most out of their time. Many accounting tasks are repetitive and time consuming. iFinance uses automation, paperless technology, and BI dashboards to ensure that your team can optimise every moment of their workday.
These benefits extend to the audit period too, including:
- Cost: Audits can be costly, especially when the auditor has to be on site for a number of days. Fees, transport, and accommodation costs can quickly get out of hand, the longer the auditor needs to attend the school. Our cloud technology ensures that auditors have the same level of access remotely as they would on site.
- Time management: The web-based financial solution ensures that your data is accessible anywhere. Audits now take less time and are far less hassle, without the need for managing and organising piles of paper-based records to complete a full audit.
- Automation: Features like the AP Inbox were created to reduce unnecessarily repetitive tasks like invoice management. You can set up your automation to suit your team and help to maximise your departments available time.
- Security: In a paper-based system, it’s easy to lose track of invoices or records, and this increases risk of a security breach. By managing all documents in one finance system, and storing that data on cloud servers, you can be sure that all of your accounts are protected against fraud and phishing.
iFinance for independent schools
iFinance was made to streamline independent school finance departments and help them to make the most out of their available resources. The solution supports multi-currency, offers power BI dashboards, and provides automation features to help you speed up your invoice and payment management.
Watch a demo to learn more about how iFinance performs every day for our international and independent schools.