Recently I was undertaking one of the most pleasant activities I ever do for trusts. I was presenting their financial statements at their AGM. It’s great to meet a wide range of the people our clients deal with and help them to really understand their numbers.
For many Trusts the AGM is the window for members to question the annual reports published by the Trust. The time when you are most likely to get questions that you don’t normally deal with, perhaps don’t have the time or expertise to with and probably don’t like dealing with.
Your financial statements and your AGM
However, presenting the financial statements clearly at the AGM can save time across the year and help you to appear more professional in the eyes of your trust members and more generally to your stakeholders (including parents). The opposite is also true, dealing with questions poorly or rushing the presentation can lead to appearing as if there’s something to hide and lead to more questions (and hassle) throughout the year.
Having an external body present your financial results
As many small MAT’s and SAT’s do not have the financial and accounting expertise in house and may not have Trustees with that particular skillset there can be a number of advantages to having a qualified accountant present this information to the members at the AGM.
A qualified accountant has the skills, expertise and experience of analysing complex financial statements and presenting them to stakeholders and speaking confidently about the activities behind the numbers that have happened in the period. A qualified accountant can highlight any areas that may be of concern to the Trust or are worthy of note rather than members having to ascertain what has happened in that period by themselves or not having professional guidance.
Qualified accountants are also used to answering questions about the financial statements that Trust personnel or Trustees may not be used to answering. Overall this can take away some of the work of the CFO, Accounting Officers or Trustees in the AGM while showing confidence in the annual reports.
I don’t want you to present my results, but how else could you help?
Although we are Accountants, we don’t deliver numbers, we spend time turning them into information and assist you with taking actions based on that information. So, we could help you:
- Understand the financial statements, so you can present them more confidently
- Understand the results of your audit
- Manage your financial information throughout the year, so you save time to focus on teaching
If you have a specific question on the finances in your Academy and would appreciate a third-party viewpoint, give us a call, we are always happy to talk.