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Supporting Ash Field Academy with accountancy and auditing services

| | Duncan & Toplis | 10 September 2022

Duncan & Toplis works closely with Ash Field Academy in Leicester, supporting the school with internal audit reports, end of year reporting and providing ongoing financial advice to the trustees and leadership team.

Jennifer Eshelby, principal at Ash Field Academy, said:

“I really couldn’t recommend Duncan & Toplis enough. As a principal new to academies, I wanted a thorough understanding of the financial elements of my role. Duncan & Toplis were happy to provide me with training and a high level of availability and support.

The team took on board how I work best in order to get results and have been happy to provide additional support whenever we have felt it beneficial. They have helped us get to the bottom of any problem and work out how we can move forward to put Ash Field Academy in a much better position in the future.”

We have provided training for Ash Field Academy’s principal and governors on effective monitoring as an accounting officer as well as end of year accounting, to help them better understand the financial elements of their school. The school has greatly benefited from this holistic and hands on approach to their financial needs.

Recently, Ash Field Academy implemented a new finance system, and the team supported them to ensure that the implementation was done in the way that will best support and develop the school’s financial reporting in the future.

Jennifer continued:

“Our relationship with Duncan & Toplis has been outstanding. The team has been beyond professional at all times, and I feel as though I can approach them with any concerns I have. They are very reliable, friendly, easy to get hold of and are ready and eager to help.

On one occasion, I had support from the team at 11:30pm because they wanted to make sure a key submission went in on time while the school business manager was away. It was entirely the school’s issue and yet they were incredibly helpful and ensured we had everything we needed in time for our deadline.

From a trustee perspective, Duncan & Toplis have built an excellent relationship with them. The trustees generally ask me to raise queries with the team and this has been very simple and straightforward. Training for trustees has been well received and we will also be receiving training and support in developing a risk management approach from the team in a few months’ time.”

As well as internal audit reports and end of year reporting, Duncan & Toplis have supported a temporary school business manager in the production of Ash Field Academy’s governors’ management reports for compliance purposes, plus additional reporting, and submissions.

Jennifer added:

“The internal audit reports have been particularly useful to me and the wider school leadership team. The reports we receive from Duncan & Toplis are clear and meetings with team members have really helped me understand any problems and solutions.

Duncan & Toplis continue to ensure that we have a good understanding of the Academy Trust Handbook and the changing expectations, as well as any other important information from ESFA.

The Duncan & Toplis team will often suggest a solution before you even ask!

The Trustees and I would be reluctant to change our accountancy company. The value we get from Duncan & Toplis is second to none and we have built a truly excellent relationship with the team.”


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