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Working in Finance

In his sixth blog, Ethan continues to write about experiences from his Business Officer Apprenticeship at Leeds East Academy:

Jobs in finance often require you to work all year round. Although I work in a school, this is still necessary as it is essential to ensure all processes and tasks are completed within the time frame expected. As the last week of term began, I realised that there were several tasks I had to complete as teaching staff would not be required in school. I then had to prioritise my tasks accordingly. Half-term holidays also affect the speed at which my work is completed as I will not have any purchase orders to process from members of staff.

Occasionally, a member of staff will submit a purchase order and the supplier will not be a listed supplier on the accounting system. My role is to contact the supplier for a copy of their company and bank details on company letter headed paper; this is to ensure that we are adhering to Money Laundry Regulations 2018 and the Fraud Act 2006.

"My list of learning during this first half term is endless."

Why is this necessary? The information provided from the supplier serves as a control to ensure the supplier is legitimate and a Bona Fide transaction will take place. In my last blog, I talked about the financial audit process. This ‘vetting’ of suppliers is paramount in all financial processes and supports the audit process in ensuring that we are adhering to legislation. It also shows the layered control process in place with multiple colleagues checking the information we are providing and inputting into our financial system.

When we create a supplier, namely a creditor, we do this to pay for the services or products we are purchasing. Similarly, we can monitor the turnover of expenditure we have with any one creditor at any given point in time. This also supports us with adhering to the Academies Financial Handbook. We can also market test creditors to ensure we are achieving Value for Money and Best Value. It is extremely important that we ‘stretch our resources’ to capitalise on the limited funding we have as an educational institute.

Other controls within finances include reviewing the aged creditors and aged debtors lists. My first term at college gave me an insight into the financial transactions and recordings involving Creditors and Debtors. An example of this includes the correct posting in the VAT, purchases and purchase control ledgers for every credit transaction. The purchases ledger has an account for every supplier. From running a report on this ledger we are able to identify outstanding payments. This report is called the aged creditors report. The report enables us to manage our cash flow and allows us to monitor payment terms of creditors and payments that are due within the next day, week and month - every step allows the organisation to remain in liquidity.

The extensive work completed during this half term has given me the ability to ‘learn on the job’ enriching and supporting the work I am undertaking at College.

My list of learning during this first half term is endless:

  • Processed all outstanding orders

  • Processed all outstanding invoices

  • Learning how to allocate payments to Invoices

  • Changing orders to ensure they match to invoice amounts

  • How to file by supplier to create efficiencies

  • Resolving disputed items

  • Chasing Suppliers

  • Looking at why Statements are so important

  • New Supplier management

This half term has strengthened my knowledge of accounting processes, indeed my confidence has increased in using them correctly. I have a greater understanding of the foundations of accounting which will inevitably help me to individually resolve financial issues and build my knowledge.



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