Academies – are you prepared?

The end of the 2017/18 Academy accounting year is nearly upon us. With just over two months to go, a large amount of time will now be spent planning for the year-end audit, scheduling in visits and ensuring  that all records are easily accessible. 
Not many people enjoy being audited and so we are often asked what can be done to make this process easier. There are a number of easy steps that can be taken to reduce the stress involved in the year end audit process. 
1 – plan ahead
Make sure that you have had contact with the auditors and agreed when the majority of work will be undertaken. This is likely to be an onsite visit with the number of onsite days and size of the audit team dependent upon the size of the Academy. 

Agreeing the date months in advance will give you a timetable to work towards ensuring that your team can set and meet internal deadlines for certain tasks to be completed. The last thing you and the auditors want is not being prepared when the audit team arrive on day 1. 
2 – agree a list of deliverable information
If this is your first audit, or even your 10th, you should always agree in advance what information the auditors will require. Obtaining this list and ensuring all information is available will reduce the time spent finding information that the auditors require once on site. 
Inevitably further information would be required during the audit outside of this deliverables list, however, this would be significantly reduced. 
3 – Interim reviews
A mid year review by the auditors can assist in reducing the work required shortly after the year end. A significant amount of the testing can be undertaken in advance of the year end, allowing the auditors to focus time on the year end processes.
This can also assist in correcting any errors that may have arisen during the year. Processes can be reviewed and any improvement in efficiencies then can recommended at an early stage. 
This is a topic that could be discussed for hours, however the above just includes a few possible areas that can help in improving. 
If you would like to discuss the Academy year end process or requirements further, please contact your local Perrys office. 
Article written by Jamie Russell