International accountancy firm Mazars has seen a further jump in the number of academies it represents in the Midlands.
It now has a total of nearly 30 schools comprising both single and multi academy trusts across its offices in the East and West Midlands.
And it is looking to further wins as more and more schools seek to switch status.
Typically, academies are turning to the accountancy profession for support as the running of such schools moves out with local authority control which represents a major challenge for governors.
Ian Holder, partner in Mazars’ Birmingham office, said: “We are talking about substantial businesses ranging from a turnover of perhaps £1 million through to £20 million-plus,” said Ian Holder, partner in Mazars’ Birmingham office.
Conversion requires legal advice, human resource advice, TUPE process costs, software licences, data transfer, signage, re-branding, Company House registration and a host of other matters. For uncomplicated applications, it is anticipated that the whole process should take three months to complete and at significant cost.
Annual challenges include preparation of annual financial statements, statutory audit requirements, valuation of local government pension schemes, teachers’ pensions audit, compliance with charity and company law, EFA guidance and VAT.
Mr Holder said: “Members of the Academy Trust are responsible for running the school, controlling land and other assets and appointing governors.
“The governing body manages the academy on behalf of the members of the Academy Trust. Its key responsibilities include ensuring the quality of educational provision; challenging and monitoring the performance of the academy; managing finances and property; employing staff; complying with both charity and company law; ensuring corporate governance is maintained; and monitoring risks.
“It is a formidable task but increasing numbers of schools believe it is worth it.”
Meanwhile, administrators from the Birmingham office of Mazars have managed to rescue a number of jobs following the sale of Cross Services Engineering to Boulting Group.
The St Helens-based mechanical and electrical engineering specialist went into administration on June 11 when Mazars partners Simon Chandler and Philip Lyon were appointed.
Cross Services Engineering was established in 1988 and built up to an annual turnover of circa £13 million at its peak, employing around 150 people.
Simon Chandler said: “The industry in which the company operated has suffered because of the economic downturn and as suppliers of electrical and mechanical engineering they were inextricably linked to the slump in building and development work.
“Nevertheless we believed there was sufficient work in progress and value in the business and we are delighted we have been able to achieve a sale to Boulting Group which has saved the jobs of 83 long serving employees.