Running a school is no easy business. Managing any organization with a diverse set of operating units (class administration, staffing, children safety assurance, employee payroll, etc.) is simply quite tough. Add to it the strain of regulatory compliance on district, state, and federal levels and the job becomes that much more difficult.
As that time of year arrives when you’re supposed to submit your school for the next audit, try and follow our guidelines for what you can do to get through it smoothly without getting rattled.
Understand the System
By that, we mean you should sincerely try to accept the importance of financial audits.
It may sound like obvious advice, but most school managers can only be vigilant in doing all that hard work required for successful financial audits when they understand why they need to do it.
The first thing to do would be for you to empathize with the education system and learn what’s expected of you and why. Proactively learn what each of the required procedures in your audit stands for and half of your worries about preparing for it will go away.
Review Previous Audit Suggestions
One of the key purposes of financial audits in schools is to recommend improvements in the financial governance and management in the institution. So, your next step should be to go through the recommendations you received in your last audit. Make sure you’ve adopted the suggestions your last audit report presented to you.
Delegate Charge of the Audit
If you’re the captain of the ship, you already have a number of daily and other periodic duties to attend to. You shouldn’t take on the responsibility of taking care of the audit process, too. Delegate it to a member of your administrative team with expertise in legal or financial matters. Let them be the auditor’s go-to person during the audit.
Assemble the Data Neatly
Here’s another simple step of audit preparation people usually muddle up. Make sure all the required data is compiled in neatly presented files for the audit. This will allow your auditor to go through the data with convenience. You’ll be making the auditor’s job that much easier and they’ll appreciate it.
Sign Those Statements
Your auditor will communicate what things and documents they will need for your audit beforehand. Use the time you have to make sure all your financial documents and bank statements are signed and ready for the auditor’s consideration before they arrive.
Present Updated Records
When your auditor arrives and sets down to work, make sure all your registers and records are up-to-date. Whether it’s your School Development Plan and its budget, your governance committee’s meetings minutes, or your external income receipt books, file them all and file them neatly.
All these steps can make your school’s financial audit just another bureaucratic process you have to bear with. After all, your audits don’t need to be scary, as long as you’re prepared for them.