Financial Services

Financial Services for Schools (FSS) offers a range of financial services, which can be tailored to meet the individual needs of a school or an academy. FSS is an established team with many years of experience, helping schools and academies meet their financial management and planning responsibilities. FSS offers both regular support contracts and pay-as-you-use services, and can either deliver a full bursar service or work with a school’s finance staff to ensure that reporting and management responsibilities are met. FSS has also established support services for schools considering becoming an academy. FSS provides a range of financial management and reporting services, which can be tailored to the needs of an individual academy.

Schools' accounting service (for schools maintained by Hertfordshire County Council)

FSS offers an accountancy support and financial management advisory service that can be tailored accordingly. There are three levels of contract support on offer:

  • Full bursary service (shown as Plan A)
  • Enhanced support service (shown as Plan B)
  • Termly contracts

Please note that FSS recommends that, when the financial management system titled FMS6 is chosen, schools should carry out their own routine financial processes.

Full Bursary Service (Plan A)
This service is for schools that want regular half‑day or full‑day support, weekly, fortnightly or monthly, depending on requirements. The service includes the provision of routine financial processing, financial reporting and budget monitoring services, in addition to the provision of either RM Finance or FMS6 including access to the FSS helpline. A named adviser is provided as lead support to an individual school. This service can include support on governors’ capital accounts and fund accounts. Fund account audits are also available as a pay‑as‑you‑use service.

Enhanced Support Service (Plan B)
This service is for schools that wish to and are able to take responsibility for routine financial processing, but desire additional support in meeting reporting and budget monitoring requirements for submission to Hertfordshire County Council. A school may purchase a block of time, based on individual requirements, and will be provided with a named adviser. Most schools seeking this service purchase a monthly visit from a member of the FSS team. Schools selecting this service will also need to purchase the financial management software support package relevant to the financial management system. Information on this package is provided in the Financial Management Systems Support package section.

Termly Contracts
Termly contracts are suitable for schools that are confident in the operation of their financial management system and processes, but would welcome support and advice on a termly basis in managing systems and ensuring compliance with Hertfordshire County Council’s termly forecasts and production of year-end financial statements. Many schools using this plan purchase three full‑day visits. Schools purchasing this service will need to purchase the financial management software support package relevant to the financial management system. Information on this package is provided on the next page.

FSS is able to offer bespoke service plans, based on individual school needs.

Financial management systems support package

FSS supplies and manages software that is compliant with Hertfordshire County Council’s requirements, the software used is RM Finance and FMS6. In addition to the software, this package includes regular bulletins to guide staff on financial management issues arising and routine tasks to be completed, as well as access to the FSS helpline to respond to any financial queries staff have about accounting procedures and use of FSS supported software.

Budget planning

A budget financial planning service using FSS supported software, called HCSS budgeting is also available. This service includes the preparation of the three‑year budget plan and advice on developments and issues to think about when setting school budgets. The budget planning service also includes “what if” scenarios.

Financial training

Herts for Learning offers regular training courses at the Hertfordshire Development Centre and can also deliver training in a school setting to both staff and governors. Training is also offered in areas such as using RM Finance and FMS6, office procedures, and financial management for governors.

Pay‑as‑you‑use school visits

In addition to regular service options, FSS offer a number of pay-as-you-use services, including:

  • emergency bursar cover
  • training for staff and governors
  • audit and independent examination of school fund accounts
  • set-up of financial management systems
  • financial management system health checks, to ensure that the system is working correctly and reconciles

Outside Hertfordshire?

Services can be tailored to ensure that a school is compliant with local authority requirements.

Prices on application, depending on individual needs.

For further details, contact fssadmin@hertsforlearning.co.uk
Tel: to 01438 843299


Services for Academies

Converting from a school to an academy?

FSS also offers a complete financial management service to academies, from a full bursar service to completion of academy financial returns and company accounts in preparation for the annual audit visit. FSS offers services to schools converting to academy both pre‑ and post‑ conversion, including accounting system set‑up, determination of old school balances and internal audit function (via Hertfordshire County Council’s internal audit function). For further details, contact fssadmin@hertsforlearning.co.uk

Academy accounting support service

Price on application – based on an assessment of academy needs
FSS can deliver a complete book keeping and budget monitoring support service to meet the needs of individual academies, including support with the completion of financial returns such as full accounts preparation and audit working papers. Please note that we would recommend that schools undertake some postings to the general ledger to make best use of SIMS FMS6.

Pay-as-you-use academy visits

FSS offers visits to academies, which can be used to support any aspect of individual financial reporting and management responsibilities including year-end support, supporting a financial management system and internal control procedures, on-site training, and financial health checks.

Planning for the future – budget planning

FSS offers support and advice with the calculation of an academy’s annual budget using HCSS Budgeting for Academies, and the preparation of the budget forecast return. As budgets come under pressure, the service also provides support in the modelling of longer‑term financial plans. FSS offers extensive experience in advising academies on their budgets and helps form strong links with other services provided by Herts for Learning, for example the Schools’ HR advisory service provides practical support to an academy when making decisions about resources. FSS also provides a budget planning service including in-depth knowledge of Hertfordshire’s funding arrangements for early years, high needs and schools block, and can therefore support an academy in understanding the budget.

Support for financial management – financial advisory helpline

Financial services for schools provides a helpline service for academies using SIMS FMS6 and HCSS Budgeting for Academies. The helpline is able to answer any queries relating to the use of the system for financial management and financial queries including supporting academies in understanding requests from their external accountants. As part of this service, regular systems bulletins are provided, offering to guidance on addressing issues facing academies using SIMS FMS6. Resources are also provided for academies as a response to changing academy responsibilities for financial reporting.

Training

Herts for Learning offers a wide range of training for staff and governors on financial management, in addition to financial training for academy finance staff. The FSS training programme is published on a termly basis as part of the Herts for Learning training brochure. Bespoke on-site training is also offered for more specific needs.

Prices on application, depending on individual needs.

For further details, contact fssadmin@hertsforlearning.co.uk
Tel: to 01438 843299

 

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Financial Services
Phone: to 01438 843299

Who we are

Head of Financial Services for Schools

Courses

View current Financial Services training courses