Academy Cloud Accounting System:
AccountsIQ and iSAMS: The ideal cloud solution for schools and academies:
|accountsIQ and iSAMS provide a unique cloud accounting solution ideal for schools and colleges.
Download the brochure accountsIQ – Cloud Accounting for the Education Sector
The ideal Cloud solution for Schools, Academies & Universities
AccountsIQ is an ideal Cloud Accounting Solution for Academies:
AccountsIQ is an ideal accounting solution for Academies and Multi Academy Trusts. The UK Government continues to increase the number of Academies in existence and this is expected to grow exponentially over the next 5 years. Many of the schools being converted into Academies will be placed with Multi Academy Trusts to achieve Economies of Scale in their management. As a result of being both a registered Charity and a Company, Academies and Multi-Academy Trusts must comply with both SORP and the Company Act 2006. AccountsIQ can effectively help you overcome these requirements and greatly improve the accounting efficiency and reporting capability of your finance function.
Highlights of AccountsIQ for Academies:
EFA Annual Accounts Direction:
The architecture of the accountsIQ system is based on an SQL system meaning that every single entity on the system has their own unique database. This is unusual in the world of Cloud Accounting whereby older legacy systems tend to have co-mingled data. Having your own unique database (for every single academy within a MAT if relevant) reduces the risk of data protection.In addition our data servers are hosted by FTSE 100 datacentres with the highest level of risk controls.The system allows user profiling to ensure that the right people have the right access to the functionality they require. This ensures that everyone knows what they are responsible for and can ensure workflows are completed with minimum risk.There is also workflow approval for PO’s, PI’s and Payments to ensure that fraud is minimised.
Additionally, bank account details of clients cannot be altered by those who are not authorised to do so (a recent fraud case in the UK).The Budget module allows budgets to be set for every GL code within the system. You can additionally set revised budgets and all YTD/Period data can be viewed against budgets.
The Commitment Accounting module allows you to view how much of a budget has been spent, how much has been committed to through approved PO’s and PI’s, how much in unapproved PO’s you have and finally how much of the budget is left. These are real-time figures and can be reviewed in management reports or as a dashboard.
Internal Control, Risk Management and Assurance:
The Budget and Commitment Accounting modules ensure that you have the latest real-time data available for management to review. This data can be viewed at a group level and drilled down to transaction level. Similarly all the data can be presented against budgets for management report packs. Indeed, the reporting within the system is so customisable that you can create a report that will show any dataset in any format that you wish.
User Profiling and Workflow approval ensures you minimise the risk of fraud and theft. Indeed, there is a full and strict audit trail within the system that tracks any changes to transactions and a workflow process that easily enables auditors or management to quickly find and review suspicious activity. Additionally, being a Cloud solution your auditors can easily get access to the system to review transactions and the accounts. The audit process (whereby the point to which a transaction can be altered) is in full adherence with best practice as the system has been designed and built by accountants for accountants.
The dashboard and reporting capabilities will ensure that management and trustees will have access to the information in real-time so that oversight of budgets, cash-flow and projects can be reviewed with ease and in real-time.
SORP and the Statement of Financial Activity (SoFA)
The guidance given on the SOFA is quite restrictive and almost dictates how your Chart of Accounts should be set up. It also creates an exhaustive CoA which will make data entry time consuming and subject to errors. Additionally there will be difficulty in solving the Separation of Funds requirement of SORP. Finally, for MAT’s there will be issues when adding new academies to the group as the Charts of Accounts may be different for the new addition to the existing group.
Using our Extended Business Analytics to solve these issues will offer much greater flexibility in your ability to manage any single academy and a group of academies.
Extended Business Analysis allows you to monitor and report on your business activities and enables you to look at the performance of your Academy in many different ways apart from just Company-Wide Profit and Loss, Sales and Balance Sheet Reporting. It is an extremely powerful tool that will enable you to report any statistic required, set-up unique Key Performance Indicators and capture all the required data. In fact, as long as the data is captured, accountsIQ can report on it. In addition it will also enable you to handle the Separation of Funds requirement.
The advantage of using Extended Business Analytics to handle the SOFA requirements are numerous and include:
- Ability to handle numerous academies at once
- Ability to easily consolidate accounts and results
- Ability to add new academies as you take them on
- Each academy can have its own unique Chart of Accounts
- Ability to create consolidated reports with drilldown capabilities to individual Academies
- Ability to add new Funds/Analysis codes as and when required
- Ability to restructure reports easily in line with the Annual Direction from EFA
- Unlimited reporting capabilities for Management Reports and Dashboards
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It is very easy to view any transaction by size. You can also review aggregate figures for GL Category, Sub-Category, GL Code and even down to the individual transaction. These transactions can be easily summarised and downloaded to Excel for further review. Any transaction on the system has a full audit trail of who entered the transaction and who approved the transaction. Additionally you can add notes and documents to every transaction (or customer). Indeed, the system is a full Document Management System and documents and notes can be stored wherever required.
AccountsIQ allows you to store ‘Statements of Assurance’ and other documents against suppliers. You can also set-up custom fields to ensure that annual statements have renewal dates and that risk assessments and method statements are up to date. Indeed, custom fields allows you to set-up any type of field that you wish.
The document Management System will allow you to store numerous quotes against every PO or PI so that you have a record of your attempts to achieve ‘Value for Money’ for every single purchase made.
For MAT that procure centrally, intercompany transactions will allow you to spread the cost of the purchase throughout your academy network easily with a full audit trail of the transactions and the documentation.
Finally, workflow approval can ensure that every purchase order is approved by a privileged user. The approver can also review any documentation to ensure that ‘Value for Money procedures have been followed before approving any PO, PI or Payment.
Managing the General Annual Grant (GAG):
The system can handle separation of funds (see below) and in addition to this we can provide key statistics such as spending per-pupil and other KPI’s which can help you justify the level of reserves you have built up. You can define your own KPI’s and have as many as you want. Reporting will include amalgamated GAG funds with the possibility to report on spending per-academy.
There is a full Budget module within the system that allows you to upload Budgets and Revised Budgets against every single GL Code and against Extended Business Analytic Codes. These can then be consolidated at group level and analysed. In addition, the budget can be downloaded to Excel and manipulated either in Excel (and re-uploaded) or managed within the system.
Balance Sheet and Cashflow Statements:
There is the ability to create a Balance Sheet Statement within the system in the format desired. This can be produced at Group MAT level and at individual academy level. In addition, at the group level you will have the ability to drill down to view individual academy components for the statement.
There is the ability to create a Cash Flow Statement within the system in the format desired. This can be produced at Group MAT level and at individual academy level. In addition, at the group level you will have the ability to drill down to view individual academy components for the statement.
There is also Automatic Bank Reconciliation functionality that allows you to easily reconcile bank accounts and ensure you are not going overdrawn. You can manage numerous bank accounts easily and the system also has a “learning” ability to gradually reduce un-matched transactions (such as Direct Debits).
Key Performance Indicators:
Academy Trusts are required to include an analysis of their Key Performance Indicators within their strategic report and measure how they have performed against these indicators. The KPI’s chosen are at the discretion of the trust but some examples are:
Net incoming and outgoing resources for the year to be positive, prior to any depreciation charge and other recognised gains and losses.
- Funds carried forward at the end of the year to be in surplus.
- Unrestricted funds to be in surplus.
- Restricted DfE funds to be in surplus.
- Net current assets/liabilities to be in surplus.
- Cash at bank and in hand to be maximised.
- Pupil numbers.
- Percentage of income received from the EFA spent on staff costs.
- Staff performance reviews.
The accountsIQ Statistics module allows you to et-up and define your own Key Performance Indicators. It will store results and allow you to report on them. You can also view performance in real-time on dashboards and easily see historical performances charted on these dashboards. The KPI’s can be centrally managed by a MAT and forced down throughout the group network, with results being consolidated at parent level with the ability to drill down into individual academy performance.
Dashboards and Reporting:
The accountsIQ dashboards are completely customisable and indeed we can even give you the ability to create your own dashboards should you wish. You can have as many dashboards as you wish and you also have the control to grant or restrict access to every single dashboard based on user profile. Additionally you can also create any number of Key Performance Indicators to assess how your business is reporting and show these on an interactive dashboard. All dashboards and reported statistics can be drilled into, down to transaction level. Dashboards can also be used to drive workflow whereby you can have a dashboard that will show unallocated transactions or unapproved invoices/payments.
There is a full and strict audit trail for every transaction within the system. The system will only allow transactions to be edited when it is reasonable to do so (e.g. if they are part of a prior period, a VAT return or have been bank reconciled then you cannot edit them). All edits are fully logged with the user and the change recorded. Additionally all edited transactions are flagged so you can easily sort and view flagged transactions. The audit trail is of such a standard as to be acceptable to an auditor.
The Cloud is perfect for auditing as your auditor can log into the system from their office (or anywhere) at any time and review the accounts. They can easily see the workflows and have a range of tools designed to help them have an overview of the accounts and the ability to drill down o transaction level.
Multi Academy Trusts – Consolidated Accounts:
The term ‘multi-academy trust’ refers simply to the inclusion of more than one academy within the same charitable trust company. They are sometimes referred to as MATs, federations or chains. MATs must produce a single set of accounts combining the results of all the academies within the trust.Consolidated ‘group’ accounts are prepared by a parent entity and include all of the resources controlled by the parent entity, where ‘control’ is the power to direct the financial and operating policies of an entity in order to obtain economic benefits from its activities. This may include subsidiary undertakings, special purpose entities and other controlled entities and the following should be considered with all of these types of entities in mind.
Where an academy has a subsidiary and prepares consolidated financial statements:
- the academy trust’s accounts must include a consolidated SOFA for the group (parent plus subsidiaries)
- the academy trust’s accounts must include a consolidated balance sheet for the group (parent plus subsidiaries) in addition to a balance sheet for the parent
- the notes to the accounts should give the position of the group as well as the parent
- the trustees’ report must be expanded to include relevant information about each material subsidiary undertaking (for example its trading performance)
- the notes to the accounts (unless the subsidiary is not material) must specify: the name of the subsidiary, particulars of the academy trust’s shareholding, how the activities of the subsidiary relate to those of the academy trust, the aggregate amount of capital and reserves, aggregate assets and liabilities, a summary of turnover, expenditure and profit or loss of the subsidiary
The Consolidation module of accountsIQ is one of its strongest functionality features. It can handle partial ownership structures, multi-currency subsidiaries and groups within groups. You can consolidate the General Ledger, Sales and Purchase Statistics and Statistical Data all independently of each other. Additionally you can centrally control exchange rates or Analytical Codes and force these down throughout the group. You can also add new academies at any stage as your MAT grows and takes on more and more. Each academy can have its own unique Chart of Accounts, making the takeover/addition easier to handle.
In addition to this there is the ability to create intercompany transactions so that you can share parent group charges throughout the subsidiary network or charge subsidiaries for group managed purchases. When you enter in a Sales Invoice in the parent group a Purchase Invoice (unapproved) will then be automatically created in the subsidiary network for the relevant person to accept. You can then easily view and report on all intercompany transactions.
Introduce e-Procurement to your Academy:
Part of the SORP requirements is to prove you get “value for money” from your procurement process. Why not introduce an e-Procurement package that will automate this and provide the necessary reporting! AccountsIQ has a full integration with SourceDogg – the leading e-procurement Cloud system.
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Software with a Service:
Built for the Cloud: Our software was built specifically for the Cloud and has a unique architecture where every entity on the system has its own individual SQL Database.
We focus on Customer Satisfaction: In the world of Software as a Service (SaaS) we understand that our clients pay a monthly fee for both the use of our product AND ongoing support.
We offer more for less: we ensure that our clients only pay for the functionality they require and yet can grow the system in line with their business growth. Chose a system that you will never outgrow.
Have your say: Our product is constantly evolving based on the feedback from our clients. Every client has an Account Manager and every client’s opinion and feedback matters.
Trust: Some of the largest accountancy practices in the world (including PWC and BDO) use our product to service their clients
Unique architecture: of by being built on an SQL platform with every entity on the system having its own SQL database. This is truly unique to the Cloud accounting market and enables us to customise the database enormously to a user’s requirements. It also enables enhanced reporting capabilities, user profiling and custom database fields for Customers and Suppliers.
Consolidation software: that can handle any type of group structure (groups within groups, partial ownership and multi-currency) that produces a true set of accounting consolidated results (as opposed to amalgamated results) with full inter-company posting facilities. There is also a great deal of reporting capability at the parent company level with drilldown into the subsidiaries.
Enhanced Business Analytics: which is possible due to our unique SQL database architecture means that we can query the database in any manner you wish and produce reports on any data captured. We can also produce custom reports (there are 250 pre-written reports in the system) and dashboards for clients. There is also an ability to set up KPI’s and report on Statistics (at a Company or Group level).
Workflow Approval with Budget Holders: There is a detailed and comprehensive workflow approval process for PO’s, PI’s and Payments. Budget Holders can be assigned and required to approve spending taking into account previous expenditure, and orders in progress against budget. There are also comprehensive Commitment Reports for each Budget Holder.
Some of our Clients:
accountsIQ in the Education Sector:
Academies and MATs:
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Cloud Accounting for Schools
Cloud Accounting for Academies
Cloud Accounting for Charities
Budget Holder Approval Processes
Cloud Accounting for Groups