--- Decommissioned Procedure ---

Financial Practices in Schools and Other Education Centres

Version Number

4.0

Implementation Date

9/07/2012

Scope

All state schools

Purpose

​This procedure applies to all Queensland state schools, environmental education centres, outdoor education centres, regional hubs and other education centres and is to ensure all financial information produced by schools and other education centres is accurate, timely, relevant and complete.  This procedure defines effective systems of internal control that ensures sound financial accounting operations and compliance with all generally accepted accounting practices.

Overview

​Schools are to ensure they operate in an efficient and sustainable manner to deliver financial services to their stakeholders.  To achieve this, schools are to have effective, efficient and economical financial practices and ensure their governance arrangements support effective decision making, planning and communication with the community. 

Responsibilities

Officers-In-Charge (Principals or authorised delegates):

  • maintain their currency of knowledge in relation to financial practices
  • adopt and apply procedures set out in the School Accounting Manual (DET employees only) ensure financial transactions give an accurate picture of school activities and the school’s financial position to ensure accurate data is available to assist in decision making
  • provide reports to stakeholders at times prescribed in the School Planning, Reviewing and Reporting Framework, the School Accounting Manual (DET employees only) and other legislative and policy documents
  • ensure the school has access to sufficient staff trained in various financial procedures to allow the school to operate in the absence of a key person or persons.  Such procedures include purchasing, making payments, receipting, performing bank reconciliations and preparing business activity statements
  • ensure that all appropriate staff members have a sound understanding of financial systems in the school
  • ensure systems of financial management are followed, maintained, reviewed and revised
  • ensure systems of internal control are developed, maintained, reviewed, revised and reported.  It is strongly recommended that reporting is done via the control self-assessment modules (DET employees only) on an annual basis. 
  • use the government banking service provider for school banking activities
  • follow established procedures in opening, closing and changing bank accounts
  • ensure officers authorised to receive and expend money have been appropriately trained and their names recorded in a register
  • ensure grants are expended according to any guidelines provided in the grant profile
  • ensure funds are expended in accordance with departmental goals and objectives as detailed in the Strategic Plan, following the State Procurement Procedure and other legislative requirements
  • reporting unaccountable cash shortages, unlawful expenditure, damage or any action that may result in offences under the Criminal Code or any other Act to the Principal Internal Auditor
  • ensure adequate security is provided for cash and officers in charge of cash.

Accounting officers:  

  • adopt and apply procedures set out in School Accounting Manual (DET employees only) have an understanding of stakeholder reporting requirements and the link to accurate financial recording
  • provide the principal with data to assist in the planning, budgeting, reviewing and reporting process
  • maintain currency of knowledge of financial practices and implement that knowledge on a timely basis
  • ensure systems to manage financial activities are documented and understood by relevant staff
  • ensure systems of control are followed and assist in the maintenance, review and updating of internal controls
  • ensure collections and banking procedures and process are followed
  • ensure all purchasing follows the State Procurement Procedure, Goods and Services Tax (DET employees only), Fringe Benefits Tax (DET employees only) and other legislative requirements
  • report any instances of fraud, misappropriation, theft or loss to the Officer-in-Charge
  • ensure safety procedures for handling cash are followed.

Financial delegates:

Checking officers:

  • perform an independent check of financial transactions to ensure compliance with procedures and to check accuracy of financial records.

Regional Verifying/Authorising officers:

  • identify cheque signatories for all Department of Education and Training (DET) bank accounts in accordance with Financial Transactions Reports Act 1988 (Cth).
    Principal Internal Auditor
  • report all unaccountable cash shortages, unlawful expenditure, damage or any action that may result in offences under the Criminal Code Act or any other Act to the Director, Internal Audit and determine the need to report the matter to the Police.

Regional Finance Manager:

  • provide information, advice and training to assist schools to improve their planning, budgeting, reviewing and reporting, internal control and other financial management practices and knowledge.
    Director, Internal Audit
  • report unaccountable cash shortages, unlawful expenditure, damage or any action that may result in offences under Criminal Code or any other act to the Auditor-General.

Assistant Director-General and Chief Finance Officer:

  • ensure the School Accounting Manual (DET employees only) is maintained to reflect current requirements
  • approve the establishment of new bank accounts
  • maintain this procedure.

Process

  • Principals and officers-in-charge follow  this procedure before making financial management decisions
  • Further detail is provided in the School Accounting Manual (DET employees only)

Online Resources

Forms

Supporting documents

Online materials

Review Date

1/05/2013
Attribution CC BY

Accounting Officers
Person/s undertaking transactional and recording operations associated with the accounting and financial practices in schools and other centres.

Checking Officers
Person/s undertaking checking responsibilities, overseeing transactions and recording carried out by accounting officer/s.

Control Self Assessment
A number of self-assessment modules have been developed for use by schools to conduct a ’health check‘ on internal controls across finance, human resources, assets and a number of other administrative areas. The content of each module is focused on the key controls which should be present in each area, and is based on Internal Audit's standard school audit programme.

Financial Delegate
Person/s authorised to approve expenditure within the levels established in the Financial and Administration Delegations (DET employees only) manual.

School Accounting Manual
The school accounting manual (DET employees only) is for the use by schools and other education centres. It contains guidelines based on legislative and other requirements. Schools and centres following the guidelines as detailed in the manual may be certain they are performing the required financial management functions in a 'best practice' manner.