Academies consultancy: how can we help?

CIPFA's consultancy and advisory help for academies is provided by a team of experts and we can work with you and your staff to achieve your organisation's goals.

CIPFA can help you in the following ways.

1. Improve your financial management and financial security

With the aid of comparative data and metrics – including processes and performances metrics – and our understanding of developments in the sector, we identify practical options for improving value for money across the trust. 

We work with academy trusts of all sizes in order to improve their financial forecasting and assist executives in understanding their cost base. We also help to ensure resources are protected by rigorous and proportionate controls and processes.  

We can develop scenarios based on a range of potential strategies for the future and we work with management to evaluate and implement the chosen options. We also offer a specialised service addressing fraud risk. 

2. Help with multi-academy trust structures, expansion and collaboration    

Academies need relevant structures in place to facilitate growth and collaboration, which in turn underpin their ability to increase value for money. Likewise, possessing the skills and experience available is crucial to a trust's capacity to change.  

CIPFA can support trusts in preparing their organisational structures and work alongside trust staff through potentially stressful and complex projects. We will provide the skills and additional capacity needed to reassure management and ensure successful outcomes. 

3. Instigate recovery planning

Academies that do not practice good financial management are at risk of running into serious financial difficulties. In extreme cases this only becomes obvious to academy leadership when there is insufficient cash to pay staff and emergency support is required from the Education Funding Agency (EFA). When the situation has become this serious, drastic and disruptive action will be necessary. Academies that are unable to set balanced budgets and go into deficit are required by the EFA to prepare a recovery plan. 

CIPFA’s team of experienced consultants can assist academy leaders in constructing robust financial plans that will not only recover a deficit position but will also ensure that the multi-academy trust or institution maintains a balanced budget moving forward.

Jane Durkin, Associate Practitioner with NASBM and with 20 years’ experience in school business management, worked with CIPFA to produce this help and guidance on recovery planning:

Contact

We can help with a wide range of issues currently experienced by academies, so if you want to talk to one of our academies consultancy team email us or phone T: 020 7543 5600.

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