By Hayes Knight – 7 December 2010

Remember, there is no need to feel lost and unsure about your school’s annual accounts preparation process. The most important rule of thumb to remember is: If in doubt… ask!

Here are some tricky areas to look out for:

Cyclical Maintenance

This continues to be a challenging area in our audits. We found that in many cases the cyclical maintenance plans were not up to date and often did not cover the required ten year period. If your plans have not been reviewed during 2010 we recommend that this occur before your 2010 financial statements are finalised and any necessary adjustments made accordingly.

Capital Works Projects

A friendly reminder that your school should be maintaining a separate ledger account for each of your capital work projects and that your annual financial statements are required to disclose the details of each project separately in the format recommended by the Kiwi Park model financial statements.

MoE Portion of Teachers Laptop Leases

There were a high number of schools that did not disclose the MoE potion of the laptop leases in their last annual financial statements.  We remind you that this should be included and be appropriately disclosed. The MoE portion should be included as income and expenditure in the income statement and the year end commitment should include both the school portion and the MoE portion.

Impairment Testing

Your board should be conducting annual reviews to ensure there is no value impairment of assets the board owns. Ideally this review should occur prior to the end of the year. Remember that there is a requirement to disclose the fact that the board has done this, and that they consider that there are no assets have been impaired.

Related Party Transactions

Accounts preparers should canvas the members of the school board of trustees for confirmation that there have been no transactions with either themselves or parties related  them. If there have been such transactions they are required to be disclosed in the notes to the financial statements in accordance with the Kiwi Park model.

Remember, there is no need to feel lost and unsure about your school’s annual accounts preparation process.  The most important rule of thumb to remember is: … If in doubt… ask!!  The main sources of helpful advice are:

  • Your accountant or accounting service centre
  • The Ministry of Education Financial Help desk team
  • …and of course your auditor

If you have any queries please feel free to contact us.   We like hearing from you!  Our audit teams truly want to help your school be successful.  If you have an accounting or financial administration question please don’t hesitate to ask.  If the team don’t know the answer on the spot they guarantee to research it promptly and get back to you.  So don’t be shy; Ask!

We can help and we enjoy the opportunity to be of added service.