About Us

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Area Finance Office

High quality finance advice and guidance, delivered by a dedicated and experienced school finance team.

Introduction

Our aim is always to provide you with quality financial advice, tailored to your individual school, as well as support and guidance to head teachers, governors, bursars and school administrators.
We offer a range of options, at two levels of expertise from day to day support to strategic advice. We listen to what each school needs and provide appropriate face to face, telephone and email advice as required, supporting schools and academies that use the FMS finance package.

Benefits

A service tailored to your needs
  • Dedicated support provided by named team members
  • Flexible support options
  • Clear pricing policy with no hidden costs
  • Assistance in understanding LA financial info enabling your school to plan in an effective and timely manner
  • Access to Area Finance costing spreadsheets and monitoring reports.
  • Remote access to your schools FMS system via our helpline if required
  • Training on finance software
  • Supply of backfill finance resource – subject to availability
  • Support to complete LA/EFA returns to enable schools to meet DFE/LA and EFA financial deadlines

More Details

LA Maintained schools support

We offer flexible support options, at two levels of expertise from day to day support to strategic planning

  • The FSO (Financial Support Officer) can help your schools’ finance staff in all the day to day routine finance procedures, such as print reconciliation, petty cash and contract procedures in the SIMS module. FSO visits can be used for budget input to the FMS system and year end preparation. Any number of support visits can be purchased ranging from 2 to 38 a year.(subject to availability, if large packages are required please contact the team to discuss before purchasing)
  • The PAA (Principal Accounting Advisor and Trainer) to assist on a more strategic level, with such tasks as Medium Term Planning including staff cost projections, budget monitoring, LA returns and year end closedowns.

Our support covers the following areas:

  • Regular site visits from experienced staff at a time convenient to your school
  • Telephone helpline manned by experienced staff, providing assistance with operation of FMS6, school finance and budgeting matters
  • Access to relevant flyers and newsletters issued periodically by the team
  • Remote access support for schools that use the SWGFL. This service will soon be extended to schools not using SWGFL
  • Access to AFO team web pages via GCC schoolsnet
  • Advice on financial procedures and good practice as outlined by GCC Audit department
  • Assistance and guidance on monthly and daily financial tasks
  • Budget preparation assistance and guidance
  • Assistance on monitoring the schools budget throughout the year
  • Assistance with the production and update of salary projections to aid budget setting and monitoring with the aid of our Staff costings spreadsheets (including annual updates)
  • Discounted rates for finance training courses for new staff and new FMS features for existing staff
  • Assistance with implementing instructions and understanding information issued by the LA-such as pupil premium, sports grant and universal infant free school meals
  • Optional LA returns completion service for LA schools e.g. CFR return and Governors’ Budget Plan
  • A “supply finance officer” service who can deal with the day to day processing required within the FMS6 system– subject to availability

Academies Support

Transition to academy - we continue to support schools that move from LA maintained status to academies if they continue to use the FMS6 Finance package. Our support starts from the transition period through to the yearly closedown of accounts. This includes the initial preparation prior to conversion, the installation of the new FMS finance database, closedown of the maintained school accounts, and on going support when an academy.

We offer flexible support options, at two levels of expertise from day to day support to strategic

  • The FSO (Financial Support Officer) can help your schools’ finance staff in all the day to day routine finance procedures, such as print reconciliation, petty cash and contract procedures in the SIMS module. FSO visits can be used for budget input to the FMS system and year end preparation. Any number of support visits can be purchased ranging from 2 to 38 a year.(subject to availability, if large packages are required please contact the team to discuss before purchasing)
  • The PAA (Principal Accounting Advisor and Trainer) to assist on a more strategic level, with such tasks as Medium Term Planning including staff cost projections, budget monitoring, EFA returns, year end closedowns and accountants adjustments.

Our support covers the following areas:

  • Preparation of a new accounts structure on conversion
  • Closedown of LA accounts on conversion
  • Budget preparation assistance and guidance
  • Staff costings spreadsheets including annual updates in Academy periods aid budget setting and monitoring
  • Monthly Payroll reconciliation files converted into Academy periods
  • Regular site visits from experienced staff at a time convenient to your school
  • Telephone helpline manned by experienced staff, providing assistance with operation of FMS6, school finance and budgeting matters
  • Access to relevant flyers and newsletters issued periodically by the team
  • Remote access support for schools that use the SWGFL. This service will soon be extended to schools not using SWGFL
  • Access to AFO team web pages via GCC schoolsnet
  • Advice on financial procedures and good practice
  • Assistance and guidance on monthly and daily financial tasks
  • Assistance on monitoring the schools budget throughout the year
  • A “supply finance officer” service who can deal with the day to day processing required within the FMS6 system– subject to availability
  • Discounted rates for finance training courses, for new staff, central school to cheque training, and new FMS features including BACS and Equipment Register for existing staff
  • Year-end assistance including the interpretation and recording of accountants journals into the accounts.
  • Assistance with other EFA returns.

Contact Details

To talk to us about the finance service:
Phone: 01452 425123
or
Email: afo@gloucestershire.gov.uk

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