Scaling Financial Operations in Multi-Academy Trusts

Oct 07, 2022
Education IndustryFinancial Services Industry
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The education sector in the UK is seeing incredible transformation with the expansion of multi-academy trusts (MATs) and the government’s requirement to have all schools in MATs by 2030. This brings unprecedented challenges, but also an enormous opportunity for positive education reform.

Core to this challenge for MAT’s is the management of financial operations, budgets and funding across large numbers of schools Their ability to grow has been impeded by legacy accounting solutions, making it an expensive and lengthy process to setup, onboard and report on new schools as they are brought into the trust.

Sage, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner, is a world leader in financial technology. Sage Intacct is next-generation accounting software, that enables the transformation and scaling of financial operations, which MATs will need to perform.

Trusts need to consider four key topics when transforming their complex accounting and reporting operations -scale and expansion, automation, integration and reporting.

Trusts need to grow, scale and expand.  Having a system that can support the simple and fast addition of new schools, or other entities, is critical to successful expansion. Modern systems like Sage Intacct allow this to be done in minutes, removing the need for expensive setup costs and waiting on consultants to deliver.

Next up is automation, probably the greatest tool in your arsenal to mitigate the time and cost of financial operations. Leveraging automation, Sage Intacct can help reduce the day-to-day admin of your finance team, alleviating manual jobs and using technology such as optical character recognition (OCR) to accurately read and import financial documents.

The arrival of cloud accounting opened the gate to integrated systems and harmonising of processes and data. External applications such as forecasting tools, accounts payable (AP) processing and approval management all allow for huge savings in time and offer improved technology solutions. It’s possible to integrate bank accounts and have daily transaction feeds, saving your team yet another job of importing and matching bank data.

Finally, powerful, fast and accurate reporting is the pièce de resistance of your new accounting platform. Out of-the-box education and Skills Funding Agency and Department of Education reports ensure you have all the right data required for government reporting. And multi-entity consolidation allows you to have complete oversight of the trust’s financials.

Sage Intacct is built to support growing Trusts who need to minimise complexity and maximise impact.

Trusts who want to reduce the cost of financial operations and unlock the challenges of scale and growth need to start by reviewing their accounting infrastructure with expert help. Sage works closely with their education partner, ION, to help deliver the smartest and most intelligent financial solutions to schools. ION has delivered Sage Intacct for education to multiple MATs, implementing the game-changing software, training staff on how to use it, and providing world class support.  This partnership sets the trust up for success allowing the focus to be on education and growth, not losing time managing finances.

To find out more about the benefits of cloud accounting software for multi-academy trusts, click here.