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14 Jul 2009 00:00
What strategies are in place to prevent or limit the fraudulent use of school monies?
Although one would like to think of schools as places of integrity and trust, they are not immune to the risk of theft and fraud. What can schools do to prevent the loss or fraudulent use of school funds?
School finance is primarily a school governing body (SGB) responsibility.
It is up to the SGB to establish a system of sound policies that clearly sets out who is responsible for handling school money and how financial transactions are managed and recorded.
The SGB must establish a monitoring system to ensure that those responsible for handling the school’s finances adhere strictly to the policies and procedures that are in place.
An example of a policy for handling school money:
Documentary evidence of expenses (till slips and so on) must be attached to the claims requisition form. Refunds for small amounts will be paid in cash. Larger refunds will be paid either by cheque or by direct deposit into the staff member’s bank account.
Teachers will be required to sign an acknowledgement slip as confirmation that the money or cheque was received by them.
Policies of this kind help to limit the likelihood of fraud, provided they are strictly adhered to.
The following checklist of internal controls, based on the publication Keeping Your Balance, provides some guidelines for those responsible for monitoring the management of the school’s finances:
Keeping Your Balances: Standards for Financial Management In Schools, jointly produced by the Audit Commission and the Office for Standards in Education, Crown Â
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