How to interrogate a finance report

Read our step-by-step guide to monitoring the finance report so you're clear on what the numbers mean, what to look out for and what questions to ask in your finance committee meeting.

Last reviewed on 9 February 2023
School types: Maintained, Special, Academy · School phases: Primary, Secondary
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  1. What's a finance report and what should it include?
  2. What to look for
  3. Example finance report: budget overview
  4. How to interrogate
  5. Approving budget amendments (virements)
  6. Approving invoices and orders
  7. Forward projection
  8. Next: scrutinise the budget

What's a finance report and what should it include?

As a governor or trustee, it's your job to keep a close eye on your finances, including monitoring the school/trust budget during the year.

You'll likely receive a finance report from either your SBM or CFO (depending on whether you're in a maintained school or an academy) before finance committee meetings.

Management accounts: requirements for trustees Your trust's internal control framework includes the preparation of monthly budget monitoring reports, called management accounts. These are very similar to the finance report we describe in this article. Depending on your trust, you may receive more general finance reports too (for example, at local governing body level), but the management accounts are a requirement. These must include:  The financial performance and position of the trust Budget variance reports An income and expenditure account A