A look into how finance management for schools, academies and multi-academy trusts (MAT’s) will be effected by the recent proposed education legislation taken from the Conservative Parties’ pre-election manifesto and the recent Queens Speech.
On the 18th May 2015, David Cameron and the Conservative Party won the right to be summoned as the country’s parliament for another five years. From the get-go there was significant focus on education demonstrated by the proposed legislations shown within the conservative manifesto 2015. One of the parties’ key objectives was to improve underachieving and ‘coasting’ schools by converting them into academies.
The proposed changes in education was reaffirmed in the Queens Speech, the education bill announced in the Queens Speech wanted to speed up the process of turning underachieving schools into academies. This announcement will see more schools become academies, but such changes may prove difficult for the financial management of the academies in control.
Many schools and academies work with an array of systems when recording and managing their finances, often these different systems have been introduced organically as the school has grown. The imminent increase in academies joining MAT’s will add even more unconnected systems and spreadsheets for the central finance staff to manage. This will put the MAT in a precarious position as there will be a spiralling overload of data, data which could be inconsistent, duplicated and exposed to errors. As a result, these shortfalls could invalidate any reports using the data and loosen the grip on financial control and visibility within the MAT. A disjointed system can also have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the finance function, time spent duplicating entry, consolidating and reconciling reports is time lost that could be spent on value adding activities such as income generation and cost reduction.
Implementing a standardised central Financial Management System will eliminate any potential mishaps in these areas for Academies and MAT’s. By using a Financial Management System with a centralised unified ledger, MAT’s can instantly consolidate their data from each academy into a centralised, live and drillable reporting database.
PS Financials is the Financial Management System of choice for the majority of Multi Academy Trusts. For more information on how PS Financials is solving the Accounting, Budgeting and Reporting requirements for over 1,700 Academies: