ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES

PR-9-1

PROCEDURAL DOCUMENT

Effective Date: 4 September 2012

Board Responsibilities

Within the powers and obligations established by legislation it is the Board of Trustee’s responsibility to have in place procedures governing:

  1. The collection, expenditure and safe keeping of all monies by the School
  2. The incurring of any financial liabilities and commitments on behalf of the School
  3. The safe custody, maintenance, protection and proper use of the School’s resources. 

Within the legislation and Board Policy, it is the responsibility of the Principal to manage the school’s operations. 

Internal Control

Wherever practicable procedures will be in place, which ensure that the risk of error or misappropriation of the School’s resources are minimised. The Board Chairperson, Principal and the individual responsible for Finance will monitor the transactions and may from time to time undertake internal control checks to ensure that procedures are being properly followed.  All staff are required to co-operate in any checks undertaken. 

Budget Approval

Formal approval by the Board of Trustees of the Annual Plan and Financial Budget, constitutes authorisation to the Principal to collect and expend monies consistent with the Plan and Budget. 

Any expenditure over $1,000.00 within the provisions of the Plan or Budget requires agreement of Bursar and Principal prior to payment and Board notification. 

Any expenditure under $1,000.00 outside the provisions of the Plan or Budget requires agreement of Bursar and Principal prior to payment.  

Any expenditure over $1,000.00 outside the provisions of the Plan or Budget requires agreement of Bursar, Principal and at least two other Board members prior to payment.  

The Board Chairperson, or designate, is to review the month end print out of invoices and sign to acknowledge that the expenditure looks reasonable and appropriate for the school. 

School Bank Accounts

Only bank accounts formally authorised by the Board will be used for School purposes.  The school will operate only one current account which will be used for all school operational transactions.  All monies received or paid on behalf of the School will be deposited into and paid from the School’s Operating Bank Account. 

The Board may approve the use of investment accounts from time to time. 

Only those formally authorised by the Board will have authority to sign cheques or otherwise authorise payments from School Bank Accounts. The Bursar, the Principal and Deputy Principal are authorised to sign cheques, and the Principal and Bursar are authorised to make payments through internet banking.

Those authorised to make payments can obtain receipt books, cheque books and deposit books as required.  These will be kept in a locked cupboard or drawer when not in use. 

Investments

School funds will be invested only in investments authorised generally or specifically by the Board.  Any investments must be low risk, e.g bank term deposit.  All investments will be managed with Board approval. 

Bank Reconciliations and Monitoring

The current bank account will be reconciled at least fortnightly, and the call account and investments will be reconciled at least monthly with the School records by the School’s bursar. 

The Bursar, in conjunction with the Principal or the Board Chairperson will monitor the position of the bank accounts and ensure that they are kept in funds. 

Mail

Preferably the mail is to be opened by the Office Assistant (or another staff member not in charge of paying accounts) except envelopes addressed to specific staff/BOT members or marked Confidential. In the absence of the Office Assistant (e.g. school holidays) the Bursar may open and record incoming mail. The Office Assistant will record all incoming mail and record to whom it is issued to.  All monies received must be handled as detailed below.  Sensitive financial information must not be removed from the premises. 

Receipts of Monies

All monies received on behalf of the School will be forwarded as soon as possible to the School Office together with full details of the payer and the purpose of the payment. 

The Office Assistant (or in their absence the Bursar) will:

  1. Enter money into the till under the appropriate department.
  2. Immediately cross and mark NOT TRANSFERABLE all cheques received on behalf of the school if applicable.
  3. Each week a “Z” total is printed off the till, which shows exactly how much money should be in the till. Individual deposits are recorded in the Office Assistant’s banking book, and subsequently reconciled against the actual cash, then entered into the accounting package.  A copy of the batch report is given to the Bursar. The batch report should match the till report, this is checked by the Bursar. The Bursar is to recount the money and process it for the bank. Later the Bursar is to reconcile the bank statements with the batch reports.  The Chairperson or Principal carries out random checks of batch reports against bank statements and signs to confirm acceptance.
  4. Ensure all monies received are recorded and banked as soon as possible.  The bank lodgement form or an accompanying schedule must detail all receipts including levy receipts. 
  5. Best practice is to not have $1,500 or more on School premises overnight, large amounts of money should be transferred to the bank as soon as is practicable.  All money on the school premises is kept in the safe overnight.
  6. Prepare a summary each month showing the dates and the amounts of bankings made.  This summary should form part of the Report for the Board for its meeting.
  7. Ensure all receipts are entered into MUSAC system and printed receipts are sent home. If parents request a receipt at the time of passing money to the school a hand written receipt will be issued and when entering the data into the accounting package it will be recorded that a hand written receipt was issued or that a duplicate has been issued. 

NOTE:   Care must be taken to ensure that any private or Student Support Association monies held within the School are clearly distinguished from School monies. 

Under no circumstances are monies received to be used to make payments rather than being banked.  All payments should be made by cheque, electronic means (this may include direct debit, automatic payment etc) or petty cash. 

Internet Banking

  1. The Bursar and Principal will have access to internet banking.
  2. Internet banking will be used to check account balances, transfer funds between accounts, and pay creditors.
  3. If creditors provide bank account details, invoices will be paid via electronic means.
  4. Invoices will be processed in the same manor as manual cheques, ie stamped “PAID” with reference number and date paid.
  5. Bursar will code to the appropriate ledger and write this on the invoice.  Principal to approve as per manual cheques.
  6. Direct credits received will be receipted at time of the bank reconciliation.  Families who pay via automatic payment or regular internet payments will be recorded in separate ledgers to track income and expenditure.  These accounts will be reconciled at the end of each month, and a copy of the reconciliation sent to the parent concerned.

Payments of School Monies

The Principal or their formally appointed nominee(s) will authorise all payments.  The Bursar will determine the accounting classification. This authorisation will take the form of an endorsement on the supplier’s invoice or equivalent, which clearly identifies the person authorising the payment, the date of authorisation and the accounting classification. 

In general, payments should be made only on original invoices. Payments will generally be made at least monthly. 

The Office Manager and/or Bursar will:

  1. Check that all invoices are properly authorised for payment.
  2. Prepare the cheques and envelopes for payments and enter the cheque number and amount paid on each invoice (this avoids the risk of double payment of an invoice).
  3. Reconcile monthly Supplier Statements and advise the supplier of any incorrect items shown.
  4. Ensure all payments are entered into MUSAC system.
  5. Prepare summary of payments for Board Meeting. 

Payroll 

The monthly SUE (Staffing Utilisation Entitlement) report is to be reviewed by both the Principal and Board Chairperson and signed. The Principal is responsible for ensuring that that all payments are correct. The Board Chairperson responsibility is to acknowledge that the payments looks reasonable and appropriate for the school. The Office Manager / Bursar is responsible for managing staff payroll and leave entries (except the Principal's and her own payroll) via the Novopay Online system.  The Principal is responsible for entering all the Office Manager / Bursar's payroll and leave entries into Novopay Online.  All entries with regard to the Principal's pay and leave will be sent to Novopay via a manual form completed by the Bursar and signed by the Chairperson or a nominated Board of Trustee representative.

Reporting

The Bursar will prepare a report for the Board each month.  This will be circulated to Board members together with any appropriate narrative comments.  

Taxation

The Bursar will be responsible for preparing tax returns as required, with the assistance of the financial advisor as necessary. The major tax returns currently completed by the School are GST returns which are done 2-monthly on an invoice basis, and the monthly PAYE schedule for the Out of School Care wages. 

A designated Ministry contractor will provide the School’s payroll accounting including salary deductions, PAYE tax reconciliations and ACC levy returns.  The Bursar is responsible for supplying the contractor with details relating to employees and arranging for the completion of IR330 certificates by staff.  The Bursar is responsible for Afterschool Care wages, PAYE and ACC. 

Financial Records

All financial records will be kept for the periods required for taxation purposes (usually 7 years).  Arrangements may be made to archive records with a reputable records storage organisation for security and space reasons. 

The Bursar, in conjunction with the Principal, will be responsible for the custody of these records. 

Donations

Parents will be advised of the voluntary donation early each year.  This will be followed up by reminders in newsletters.  New parents will be given a specific letter giving them information on the donation payable. 

The Office staff will maintain a list of those parents who have and have not paid the donation.  This will be confidential to the Principal and Office staff and will be kept securely by the Office staff. 

Fundraising Ventures

  1. Any members of the school community, ie children, parents, teachers, board members who wish to fundraise for the school, must do so in the name of Plateau School.
  2. Permission must be sought from the Principal or Board Chair. 
  3. All transactions must be recorded and persons running the operation are accountable to the BOT.
  4. The Board has the right to ask for accounts, and other financial details.
  5. The Board has the right to require the accounts/books audited.
  6. All profits from any such venture will be returned to the school.