Customer Testimonials - Schools and Academies

Schools, January 2019

“The auditor was able to make suggestions for best practice and spent time showing us where to find relevant information online. It has been a positive experience the aim is to assist us in improving our processes and highlight any areas for improvement. Very professional and informative.”

Academies, January 2019

“The report was clear, concise and we had the opportunity to challenge and add our comments.  The audit added value in that it enabled us to have an external review of a new system and processes giving us the confidence in our methods and processes. The audit service is of a high standard and our experience is very positive.”

Academies, January 2019

“The Auditor was friendly and helpful. They kept us very informed and made suggestions to improve practices.”

Schools, January 2019

“The audit was well conducted and we had a good rapport with the auditor which facilitated the audit. The audit added value to the operation. The audit added to our knowledge of good practice elsewhere and being able to discuss this with the auditor was helpful.”

Schools, January 2019

“The planning ensured it was very clear and easy to know what was expected. The Auditor was very knowledgeable and sign posted us to lots of information that is sometimes hard to find. Felt the  report was very good with clear recommendations. The audit added value, particularly in that we received  new ideas and suggestions as to how to do things in a different way.”

Schools, January 2019

“The audit provided valuable guidance and discussion about the financial systems in place and how to improve the audit trail. Discussion about alternative financial systems was particulalry helpful.”

Schools, January 2019

“The audit was conducted with the school and not to the school. Lots of conversation and discussion to understand context and processes. Opportunity given to ask questions and seek to improve key personnel knowledge and understanding. The audit added value in that it gave staff validation that they are doing things correctly but also highlighting areas where things can be improved and tightened.”

Schools, August 2018

“The Auditor was very professional during the audit and provided constructive help in the areas where she felt things could be improved and her assistance enabled us to put these improvements in quickly and effectively. Overall a very positive experience.  All the ideas/suggestions are in place and will help school be more effective in the future.”

Schools, August 2018

“The pre audit paperwork was very useful in preparing for the audit and to know that everything was in place. The auditor was very professional and helpful. All recommendations were very fair. The Chair of governors was very impressed by the de brief feedback. The audit report recommendations were very fair. We found all aspects helpful. It is good to know we are following procedures correctly and to improve on some areas. We were very happy with the audit process and the report.”

Schools, August 2018

“The auditor was extremely helpful and approachable, she guided me as this was my first audit and explained the processes thoroughly. The Auditor was very helpful and explained reasons behind things to help me understand processes better and improve my working practice. I found all of the process helpful, as a relatively new administrator she reassured me that processes were being followed correctly.  The Auditor showed me some new methods of working to help improve things as well as reassurance that I was following correct procedures etc. Generally a positive experience which I was a little anxious about beforehand but the manner in which the information was provided by the Auditor before and during the audit process helped to make it a less stressful experience. Thank you.”

Schools, July 2018

“I was very satisfied with the audit planning which enabled me to cover specific areas that I felt were at risk of being overlooked.  The Auditor has been extremely approachable and informative.  I actually find the whole process helpful because it identifies any gaps in procedures. It has added value in the sense that we have a tighter control over the premises equipment.”

Academies, June 2018

“The auditor is always happy to help answer any questions I may have in connection with the audit. I also email her through out the year to check on anything I’m not sure about and I always have a reply which is helpful.”

Schools, June 2018

“The auditor was polite and professional throughout and happily answered any questions we had and disseminated useful information. Report is clear and easily understood. It is useful to know that our processes are robust or if not, then the recommendations as to how to improve were invaluable. It helped identify some areas were additional training is needed.”

Schools, June 2018

“Everything was made really clear and easy to understand.  The audit was very well organised, professional and really useful. The audit added value in that it also gave an opportunity to ask questions and to gain further understanding.”

Schools, June 2018

“The auditor was flexible in giving a range of dates to suit the school and staff needs. During the audit useful pointers and information were given.”

Schools, June 2018

“Thank you for striking the correct balance of professionalism and approachability during the audit. We were pleased with how thorough you were so that we can identify next steps for us.”

Schools, May 2018

“The audit was very professional and has helped us move forward.”

Schools, April 2018

“The auditor is always very approachable.  I believe the value added is in reporting to the trustees that the finance team have policies and procedures in place to ensure a tight control of the academies finances which is reassuring to them. Overall – completely satisfied with the audit process.”

Schools, February 2018

“We will be able to make some savings in time as a result of information that has come from our audit. It was also particularly helpful to have confirmation that we are able to reduce some of the paperwork we were doing. We were very happy with the way the Auditor conducted the audit and how clear and easy to understand the feedback session was.”

Schools, January 2018

“The auditor is experienced at working in schools and works with us to ensure that all areas are covered across the federation. The audit is always a positive experience for us….The Auditor is always professional and polite. She works with us to ensure that the process is positive.”

Schools, January 2018

“Excellent service and support once again. The auditor was helpful throughout and had a wealth of knowledge. The service was professional and well delivered.”

Schools, January 2018

“I was well informed prior to our visit and I would like to say a huge thank you to the auditor for his understanding with moving our dates around due to the absence of the SBM. He was very informative, helpful and it is great to learn of better systems we could use for the future. Keep up the good work. The Auditor is very professional and works well with us.”

Schools, October 2017

“All very organised and helpful. The audit added value in that I will now amend the way I process a few aspects of my job…”

Schools, October 2017

“A very positive experience – fully aware of issues of small schools. Suggestions of how we may do things more efficiently were particularly welcomed and added value.”

Schools, October 2017

“We found the process to be supportive, incisive and professional- our auditor was super and gave useful advice as well as analysing our performance across the criteria, a week after an Ofsted, this was appreciated!”

Schools, August 2017

“The audit was particularly helpful in that suggestions regarding maximising efficiencies via our online payments system were made.  The audit added value in that we were able to further strengthen our systems. It was a very fair and informative audit process.”

Schools, August 2017

“All aspects of the audit are helpful – ensures that relevant checks and controls are in place.  The audit enabled discussions to take place and seek advice on current practice and best ways forward.”

Schools , August 2017

“The auditor was very professional and helpful at all times. Being new to the role I found the audit an excellent tool to ensure I was completing correct practices. The audit was able to add value in that suggestions were made and discussions had over practice, and we were able to amend the way in which we account for Extended School payments.”

Schools, June 2017

“I always find the audit process very helpful and supportive. I find it re-assuring having an independent person come into school to check through processes and make recommendations for improvement as necessary.”

Schools, May 2017

“I was very happy with the timing and date of the audit.  The Auditor was informative and co-operative with office during his visit.  An excellent service as always. It was particularly helpful to clarify VAT treatment especially in respect of petty cash. The audit added value in that we were able to finely tune process already in place.”

Schools, March 2017

“The auditors were very professional and completed the audit in a very fair and supportive way. The audit added value as it was the first undertaken with our new Accounts Manager who, although she found this a detailed experience, will have benefitted from the reassurance that the Accounts Office is being well run.”

Schools, March 2017

“The opportunity to discuss the identified actions for development, the reasons behind their significance and how they could be addressed was particularly helpful.”

Schools, March 2017

“Brilliant, a really useful process.  We know what to do next and what we are doing well which has given our admin team a real boost. A really quick turn around on report allowed us to get to FGB within the time frame allowed.  It was really helpful to get on site advice – chance to ‘pick the brains’ of our auditor to find better ways of working. The audit added value in that we know what to do next.  Areas for improvement were supported by practical advice.  We had saved up some questions over the previous months about the niggles that we weren’t happy with and wanted to improve.  Our auditor was happy to support these and make suggestions about best practice.  Really helpful to have had an external view on our processes to help us to improve. Thank you.”

Schools, March 2017

“The audit was able to add value in that I have only just started my role as administrator and gave me opportunity to question existing processes and gather support around changes I wishes to make to these processes.”

Academies, March 2017

“I was very pleased with the way the audit was carried out, I always feel able to ask questions and always welcome any advise and suggestions.”

Schools, March 2017

“As a new finance administrator I found the audit very beneficial. I was able to ask advice on best practices. The audit was able to add value as subsequently we have modified some of our procedures making operations more efficient.”

Schools, March 2017

“All aspects of the audit were extremely useful and actions required were clear and information /help was given to allow actions to be completed quickly. We were very satisfied will all areas of the audit. Many thanks.

It was particularly helpful working through for example the finance policy with the auditor as it allowed it to be updated accurately and on the day and actions arising from that were clear so that I was able to complete the actions whilst the auditor was at the school.

Very professional and informative. The audit was developmental and has made a big difference to the confidence we feel operationally.”

Schools, February 2017

“The planning process was very clear and supportive. The auditor was professional and friendly and was happy to give extra advice. He kept me up to speed on the whole audit as we went through. The audit was fair and factual and we were happy with the outcome. The visit itself was particularly helpful. If I had questions, the auditor was happy to answer and help. The audit added value in that it came across a couple of areas where we were not up to scratch and this has helped us. Overall, a great service and experience.”

Schools, February 2017

“The auditor was very accessible and helpful.”

Schools, January 2017

“The auditor was very helpful with advice on areas which we had already identified as not working as they should”.

Schools, January 2017

“The audits add value in that we are able to liaise with the auditor around areas of weaknesses that we may have within the schools within our trust so that when they undertake the visits to the individual schools this provides an external observation and recommendation that we can use in future development”.

Schools, December 2016

“The auditor was very approachable and gave Julie and I very good advice. Thank you for all your help”.

Academies, December 2016

“The auditor is always very helpful and offers suggestions on how to improve systems. The audit is well delivered with plenty of time to have the relevant work ready. The report is helpful as it contains all suggested improvements. I find it very useful to be able to ask the Auditor for advise on various issues and also for advice given which adds value. I find the audit process very useful as its good to know that we are following all correct procedures”.

Academies, November 2016

“The auditor was thorough, professional and helpful. He also had a very good understanding of CAST systems and what more could be done to support its development. As a federation too, the auditor identified where practice could be improved by replication. The admin team felt very positive about the experience.  It was particularly helpful that the auditor understood schools and academies.  The audit added value in that it confirmed where we are and also acted as a prompt to get a few things completed or systems refined”.

Schools, November 2016

“The auditors were very professional and we are pleased with their conduct and the final report. The auditors view on the areas that we had worked hard to improve since the last audit in 2013 were particularly helpful.  The audit added value in that it provides assurance to Governors that the college finances and processes are being well managed. As a customer experience the audit was entirely positive”.

Schools, October 2016

“The feedback as the audit was progressing was particularly helpful and the audit was able to add value by confirming some of the things I am now doing are correct. The Auditor was as helpful and pleasant, but thorough as always”.

Academies, September 2016

“The Auditor is always very helpful and offers suggestions on how to improve systems. The audit is well delivered with plenty of time to have the relevant work ready. The final report is helpful as it contains all suggested improvements. I find it very useful to be able to ask the Auditor for advise on various issues and also for advice given. I find the audit process very useful as its good to know that we are following all correct procedures”.

Schools, July 2016

“A very informative and worthwhile process that offers further prove of our improved performance across the whole school”.

Academies, June 2016

“The auditor will always give a constructive appraisal of systems currently in place and assists in future developments/process.  We have a good working relationship with the auditor who is always very helpful and not only gives us assurance but also helps to form policy and procedures which will assist us in being compliant with all aspects of audit review”.

Academies, June 2016

“We found the constructive dialogue which enabled us to manage risks appropriately particularly helpful. he audit was able to add value to us by offering alternative approaches and examples of best practice.  It was a very positive customer experience with thorough reviews of the areas identified accompanied by constructive dialogue to improve our processes”.

Schools, June 2016

“It was particular helpful and added value that during the audit that we were able to ask advice on proposed process changes from an audit perspective”.

Schools, May 2016

“It was particularly helpful that the Auditor showed a high level of awareness of the other pressures in the school. The audit added value in that it helps validate strengths and raises questions for discussion”.

Schools, May 2016

“All dates and timetables were given with plenty of notice. The whole process went smoothly and the Auditor was very mindful and understanding when on occasion I was called away to tend to day to day issues as they arose. Everything was discussed thoroughly at the feedback session”.

Schools, April 2016

“The whole process was a positive experience for all staff concerned.

Due to staffing changes our original audit date was changed to accommodate which was gratefully appreciated. There was excellent communication from the auditor throughout the audit, she was very approachable and friendly. The school benefitted from the process.

The audit was able to add value in that it was a great experience and a tool to make improvement with regard to the schools financial and governance arrangements”.

Academies, April 2016

“The auditor was extremely helpful and supportive and provides an effective critical friend role. The audit added value in that it provided us with assurance regarding our financial systems”.

Schools, March 2016

“The auditor was very helpful and personable. The process was easily followed and understood”.

Schools, March 2016

“The audit added value in that it is helped us consolidate our working together as a team. The auditors were professional and helpful throughout the process”.

Schools, March 2016

“Very happy. With regards to planning there was flexibility in the scope to support areas the Leadership raised queries about. Audit delivery took the form of a supportive and collaborative in approach. It was particularly helpful getting regular constructive and supportive feedback through out the audit. The audit added value in that the audit observations support continuous drive for improvement and compliance. All of the audit staff were fantastic and very supportive”.

Schools, February 2016

“The auditor was a pleasure to have on site and very accommodating to the school needs and timings. It is always good to have fresh eyes look at what you do to ensure still on the right lines and not missed any new procedures. The audit added value in that “good advice given on role and responsibilities to try to ease pressure on Head Teacher and use Admin Assistants more effectively”.

Schools, December 2015

“Pre-planning notes were readily available and given to the school in ample time prior to the audit taking place.  The notes were comprehensive and clear. The auditor was professional at all times and was happy to enter in to discussions with myself and my team.   The de-brief was very useful for all concerned.  The auditor issued our draft and final reports very quickly following the audit. His report was balanced and fair and easy for all concerned to understand”.

“It was really useful to tap in to the auditors knowledge, especially when talking about future developments. The knowledge your team bring to audit is invaluable and gives assurance to all staff involved in the process. We are also able to access your expertise throughout the year”.

Schools, November 2015

“Preparatory documentation requirement lists were very useful in ensuring that all information was readily to hand when required during the visit. Disruption was therefore minimal.

As a new SBM, the whole process was helpful as it confirmed that practices in place are working well to ensure smooth running of the school. Many of the recommendations were useful as a focus to tighten procedures in some areas, as well as to confirm to colleagues the rationale behind the systems in place so that everyone understands the importance of them”.

“Also to feel more secure in our knowledge of procedures and statutory requirements – knowing that what we are doing is right, but also the reasons behind it. Overall, a very positive experience”.

Schools, October 2015

“May I express my appreciation to you for your excellent professional contribution to the recent very successful conference held in Torquay on the in October.

An analysis of the evaluations from the delegates who attended your session show you had a very good rating – they have clearly enjoyed your very good presentation”.

Schools, October 2015

“A very thorough and professionally delivered audit, including excellent planning and preparation. The aspects relating to the Governors really helped the new Clerk to Governors.

The audit did ‘add value’ because all the information about the Governors meetings has been taken on board and actioned. It was reassuring to confirm that our processes and systems were effective and compliant”.

Schools, July 2015

“The de-brief was helpful in that it gave us the chance to ask questions about areas not necessarily covered in the audit and to receive some helpful advice.

The general advice given during the audit was particularly helpful”.

Schools, July 2015

“It was positive being able to discuss any issues/concerns throughout the process with the auditor. Also the feedback received throughout the day and at the de-brief was particularly helpful.

The audit added value in that as the new Clerk to Governors at the school this gave me the opportunity to go through all files in detail before the audit and again with the auditor and I am now confident that we have everything in place”.

Schools, June 2015

“The report has helped us to strengthen and consolidate our financial procedures. The auditor was helpful in keeping us updated with any new procedures. The audit added value in that we improved our treatment of VAT. The auditor was delightful and made it a positive experience”.

Schools, June 2015

“Extremely pleased with the delivery element of the process. Dialogue was important and was well managed throughout. No surprises entering the feedback meant that we could have a conversation about improvements. We are able to improve our practice but also feel confident that we have good procedures already in place”.

Schools, May 2015

“It was useful to have the opportunity to discuss areas for development and have confirmation that standards are being met through the use of our new income management software.

In some small areas, workload has been reduced because there was unnecessary duplication of tasks that were highlighted by the auditor.

The auditor provided regular, appropriate feedback throughout the time here, making the experience as positive as possible”.

Schools, May 2015

“The auditor was knowledgeable, helpful and professional and made the process as straightforward as possible”.

Schools, April 2015

“The auditor was very professional and balanced in her observations which made the process very useful and feedback was personal to the school. As a first experience of the process it was very informative and useful especially as a newly appointed Head Teacher”.

Schools, April 2015

“Can I just say a huge ‘Thank you’ again for your time here – it did me the power of good. I now feel so much more confident!!”

Schools,  March 2015

“A great RO visit and report…. we are very grateful for the auditor’s keen eye and steady advice”.

Schools, February 2015

“Very impressed with auditors who carried out the audit in challenging circumstances but really helped us to get a grip on the state of play and how things could be moved on, including prioritising”.

Schools, January 2015

“Advice given around some procedures was very helpful and provided good information, particularly relating to the way we deal with our income and paying of individuals.

The audit increased my confidence as it showed that much of what I do is being done in the correct way.

The process was carried out very professionally and was a very positive experience”.

Schools, November 2014

“The schedule of the visit was discussed at the outset and there was a great deal of flexibility throughout, which was very much appreciated by all staff involved in the process.

The report was extremely fair and, on the whole, positive and complimentary. Governors have a greater understanding of the depth and breadth of the work carried out by those involved in the areas covered by the audit.

On a personal level, it was good to be told that much of what I do is of a high standard, and where weaknesses were identified, the suggestions for improvement were helpful and achievable.

Overall, the audit was a very positive experience. The auditor was thorough and diligent but fair and constructive. Having the same auditor as for the previous visit made the exercise much more straightforward as I knew what would be expected of me and how the auditor likes to work”.

Schools, October 2014

“We have a high level of confidence in inviting this auditor into the normal working environment to conduct her research since she is respectful and sensitive to the demands she makes on staff time.

Value was added by highlighting areas for improvement which will increase our efficiency and reduce reputational and financial risks.

Overall, this school has a very positive view of Devon Audit Partnership”.

Schools, October 2014

“Prior to the audit the auditor advised as to what areas would be reviewed in order for us to prepare adequately.

The auditor was very aware of the demands on our time and was able to work her schedule around this and still deliver her report in time for our Directors meeting.

We have built up a good working relationship with the auditor so that she is aware of how our Federation/Trust operates and we feel this aids the audit process. Additional advice and support is provided should we require it”.

Schools, October 2014

“We were very pleased with the efficiency and professionalism shown whilst the audit was conducted.

The auditor was very approachable and forthcoming with advice and guidance. All the paperwork and files were kept tidy and in good order and she had a good, fair approach when investigating or checking our accounts

Advice offered throughout the audit on various matters. It was reassurance following a rather difficult time since becoming an academy”.

Schools, September 2014

“The audit team are helpful and friendly. They are supportive in looking critically at systems with a view to improvement and development.

The audit added value in that the recommendations are helpful in improving our systems and procedures”.

Schools, September 2014

“This audit was excellent in that it not only measured our success but the auditor offered invaluable advice to help us improve further.

Aspects that we found useful included the depth of the audit, targeted questioning and advice for improvement. The auditor’s manner was exemplary”.

Schools, July 2014

“The auditor is a credit to your service and his approachable nature and attention to detail ensured that we found the process extremely informative and useful to moving forward as an organisation.

We felt very involved in this process and it has therefore been very empowering and will contribute to us being even better in the future. Regular feedback and dialogue throughout ensures that the process is rigorous, productive and supportive”.

Schools, July 2014

“The planning process was handled in a very professional manner and the way the audit was delivered made it feel more like a “partnership” and not that we were just “being done”.

The audit report was fair and accurate and it was good to be given the opportunity to provide further evidence where needed, before conclusions were made.

The whole process was very thorough yet the auditor was friendly and professional throughout and made the whole process worthwhile”.

Schools, June 2014

“Very professional. Feedback regularly given, with opportunities to seek advice and answer any queries about the processes used.

All aspects of the audit were helpful and positive. It ensured that the procedures and processes were up to date (or latest sources identified) and provided valuable feedback for the management team and governors”.

Schools, June 2014

“The auditor was extremely professional and courteous as always. A pleasure to welcome to the School.

The report and recommendations was succinct and helpful and the auditor pointed to current guidance and resources for further consideration.

The auditor was constructive in moving us forward and highlighting with praise the many strengths of the school’s financial management”.

Academies, May 2014

“This was our first audit as an Academy. The auditor answered all our concerns and questions and helped us form some of our policies which we were not sure about. We have also booked a training session with the auditor regarding risk management”.

Schools, March 2014

“We welcomed recommendations made for improving our reporting in terms of the School Improvement Plan and a new format for the purchase order form.

The process enables the school to ensure it follows the correct procedures/policies and highlights areas where improvements can be made for even better management of the school budget”.

Schools, March 2014

“Extremely happy with how the audit was conducted. The auditor was professional, knowledgeable and kept us informed of progress by providing feedback throughout the audit”.

Schools, January 2014

“Both I and my administrator found the whole process extremely useful – The auditor was excellent and very helpful”.

Schools, January 2014

“Reassurance that the systems we have in place are appropriate and effective. Advice regarding cash handling was particularly useful”.

Schools, December 2013

“Thank you for the draft audit report for our School. We found the whole experience with the auditor a very positive one”.

Schools, November 2013

“The whole process was very straight forward and informative. Being able to email the vast majority of documentation to the auditor ahead of the audit made the ‘in school’ disruption much less. I feel that the personality of the auditor was also very important, it is a very serious visit and does put pressure on school staff, but when the auditor presents himself as ‘human’ and not going out of their way to make the visit uncomfortable it makes a huge difference, many thanks to him”.

Schools, November 2013

“The auditor was extremely pleasant, professional and easy to work with. She kept us informed and was very approachable. It made the audit a learning process rather than an ordeal”.

Schools, October 2013

“Grateful for adequate notice period of audit in the preparation and extraction of relevant paperwork. This assisted in the smooth running of the whole procedure”.

Schools, May 2013

“The audit was undertaken with the school not done to the school which was very important. This is especially true for small schools. The auditor ensured the administrators were well briefed and not over burdened or made over anxious which can happen. Open discussions were held and the school had the opportunity to challenge assumptions/findings when appropriate and produce extra evidence. This was also helpful. A personable approach in a climate of cooperative working allows for a far more professional discussion and the school will happily put actions in place to improve for the future”.

Schools, March 2013

“The auditor showed professionalism and patience, putting us as ease through what we had expected to be a stressful situation”.

Schools, November 2012

“The auditor was very approachable and easy to talk to so I was able to raise some concerns feeling that she would understand and help me deal with them”.

Schools, October 2012

“The manner in which the audit was conducted was very good and the feedback given was very clear and will help with improving systems at school”.

Schools, June 2012

“My colleague and I would like to thank you for a very positive and worthwhile audit. Thanks to you the whole experience wasn’t daunting and has had a positive effect on morale throughout the school”.

Schools, June 2012

“The audit work was carried out in a professional manner, having a positive impact on the School’s processes”.

Schools, May 2012

“The audit provided confirmation that we have sound processes in place overall. Positive discussions took place with the auditor about areas that need to be addressed. We received a well presented report that we can take to Governors”.

Schools, March 2012

“Regular feedback was provided during the audit and the auditor was very approachable”.

Schools, March 2012

“The auditor was very professional and had a good eye for detail. We were particularly happy with recommendations which were appropriate for improving our standards further”.

Schools, October 2011

“The help and guidance on the Schools Financial Value Standard is the most useful as it covers the spectrum of financial governance and practices”.