BESA director Caroline Wright gives an update on schools’ budgets and spending patterns, with research showing an increase in expenditure in a number of key areas

What should schools, and particularly academies, do to ensure they are securing the right suppliers for their specific needs? Simon Hill, managing director of YPO, shares some advice

The run up to Christmas can be a very stressful time for academy business managers, with accounts needing to be filed and financial statements finalised. Now is a good time to look at some of the common pitfalls in academy audits, and how they can be avoided, writes Tina Allison

Geoff Jones, director at ParentMail, explores why it is important to carefully consider the flexibility and applicability of investments when purchasing, and provides tips on how to ensure you can make the most of it.

Who should be the Chief Financial Officer in an academy and where should the role fit within the overall governance structure? Kerry Ace, finance and policy manager, CIPFA,
examines this crucial position

Improving school performance through academy and free schools status is important, but it will not be enough to close the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils in England’s schools, according to a new collection of essays published by the think tank IPPR.

Clarity of financial policies which are well thought out and adhered to are essential for sound financial management in academies, writes Kerry Ace, Finance and Policy Manager, CIPFA

Payroll providers come in all shapes and sizes, with varying solutions, so where do you begin when selecting one? Samantha Mann, CIPP’s senior policy & research officer, shares some advice

The recent leasing scam that affected several schools has delivered a costly word of warning to others. BESA director Caroline Wright summarises the advantages and potential pitfalls of leasing and how BESA is working with members to stop this mis-selling controversy from happening again.

The autonomous nature of academies brings increased risks to value for money and the proper use of public funds. In the second article for Education Business, Lesley Lodge of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy details where the sector can look for guidance.

Diana Bruce, senior policy liaison officer, Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals, explains what employers need to know about recent changes to payroll processing - Real Time Information and Automatic Enrolment

Regardless of whether you work in the private or public sector, are a large employer or a small one, all employers will by law have to submit Real Time Information (RTI) to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by October 2013. Diana Bruce, senior policy liaison officer for the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals, explains

The huge rise in the number of academies will change how schools do business. How can these new kids on the (procurement) block avoid the bullies? asks Lesley Lodge, finance and policy manager, local government, CIPFA

Ray Barker, recently retired director of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), provides EB with some insight into what changes to Pupil Premium funding and a revised Early Years Foundation Stage framework changes mean to the sector.

Fundraising policy will be pushed to the top of the agenda as cash strapped schools look at alternative ways of raising finance. Kathy Roddy outlines what to look for when developing an ethical fundraising policy.

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