drb Schools and Academies Services has developed a detailed Internal Control Review service to guide, support and ensure that academies and their trustees meet and maintain the requirements of the new Academies Financial Handbook (AFH).
Accountability is a fundamental part of the academies and free schools programme and in September 2014, the DfE published its revised AFH. This details the expectations that all academies will establish a control framework that recognises public expectations for governance, standards and openness. It also sets out the key areas of control, risk management and assurance processes that all academies must comply with.
Delivered on a termly basis by a specialist drb academy accountant, this service will ensure that all internal assurance processes are reviewed. This review will be supported by the production of a comprehensive report which will summarise the findings of these reviews, together with appropriate recommendations.
The drb Internal Control Review service covers the following:
- The co-ordination of the planning and budgeting processes
- Discipline relating to financial management, including managing banking, debt and cash flow with appropriate segregation of duties
- To certify that delegated Financial Authorities are respected
- The effective planning and oversight for capital projects
- The management and oversight of assets
- The propriety and regularity of financial transactions
- The reduction of the risk for fraud and theft
- The efficiency and ‘value for money’ in the organisation’s activities
- The establishing and maintenance of a process for the independent checking of financial controls, systems, transactions and risks
- Whistle blowing procedures and management of concerns
- That the Board of Trustees understands their statutory duties as company directors as set out in the Companies Act 2006
- That the Board of Trustees provides details of the academy trust’s governance arrangements in the Governance Statement published within its annual accounts
- Advice on the ESFA intervention powers should they ever express concerns about the financial management and / or governance of your academy
- Advice on the role and the requirements of the Accounting Officer