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Education

Our national education team has guided schools and institutes, advised national bodies, and input into the direction of the UK’s education sector for more than three decades. The team provides comprehensive support and solutions, plus acts as a sounding board, understanding future plans and identifying areas before they become an issue. 

We work across the education spectrum, including time spent with independent schools, academies, MATs (Multi-Academy Trusts), maintained schools, free schools, UTCs (University Technical Colleges) colleges, sixth form colleges and universities.

We are one of the largest providers of audit services to the sector, and team members have had significant technical input into legislative changes - for example, through helping to compile an early version of the Academies Accounts Direction, and through serving on the national charity Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) Committee. We are also part of a working party regularly meeting with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (EFA).  

With this commitment and sector exposure, we draw upon our collective in-depth knowledge and experience to guide clients effectively.

Independent Schools

We can provide you with a full range of client-driven, specialist services specific to independent schools including:

  • Internal audit and external audit
  • Employment tax issues and the engagement of workers
  • VAT (including minimising VAT in development projects)
  • Due diligence and mergers
  • Corporation tax
  • Capital projects
  • Interim finance management and secondments
  • Governor training
  • Audit Committee training

Academies

We invest significant time and resources to ensure that our specialist expertise makes a tangible difference for our clients, and have been appointed as auditors and advisers to around 200 academy schools. We provide comprehensive support and solutions in areas such as:

  • What to keep in mind during the academy conversion process
  • Audit, accounting and reporting requirements
  • Setting-up systems and procedures for the new academy
  • Budgets, cash flow and financial plans
  • Internal audit, extended external audit and other assurance services
  • A VAT review and advice on the best method for academies to reclaim VAT
  • Employment tax issues and engagement of workers
  • Advice on the best structure for any commercial trading activities
  • Corporation tax and funding
  • Review and advice on the chart of accounts
  • Advice on year-end accounting and running the year-end procedure
  • Due diligence for potential mergers into a multi-academy trust
  • Trustee responsibilities and governance to comply with the Academies Financial Handbook

Further & Higher Education

Our specialist accounting, business advisory and tax services for the further education and higher education sector include:

  • Strategy and funding reviews
  • Capital project review and appraisal
  • Internal and external audit
  • Corporation tax & VAT compliance
  • Mergers & acquisitions advice
  • Assistance with OJEU
  • Interim management and secondments
  • Governor training
  • Audit Committee training

Our education sector team also regularly produces sector benchmarks based on our database, which, along with good practice comparatives, can help you measure your progress.

We host regular workshops and training sessions for finance staff and trustees, and also produce publications and insights highlighting important topical issues.

Click here to find out more about how we can help your Further and Higher Education institution.

Get in touch with our experts

If you want to discuss a specific issue, ask us for a quote, or simply find out what we have to offer, please complete the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Alternatively, please email us at webenquiries@mhllp.co.uk

 

Meet the team

Photo of Rakesh Shaunak

Rakesh Shaunak

Partner and Group Chairman

Rakesh is the Managing Partner and Group Chairman of MHA MacIntyre Hudson and MHA, as well as Chairman of the firm’s London Head Office and the Southern Region. In addition to his governance role, much of his time is devoted to business advisory work with a diverse portfolio of clients.

He is head of the firm’s Financial Services and lead Partner of Baker Tilly’s global financial sector team. Rakesh also leads on the firms work in the Natural Resources arena and with Listed Companies and Public Interest Entities.

Rakesh is the Reporting and Relationship Partner for two listed companies, a number of other Public Interest Entities, seven UK banks and the European arm of one of the largest banks in the world.

As a senior director of Baker Tilly International, Rakesh is proactively leading collaborative working between Baker Tilly International global offices.

Rakesh is a non-executive director of a listed Real Estate Investment Trust and Chairman of the Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee. Until recently he was also Chairman of the Risk and Audit Committee of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. 

His all-round experience helps Rakesh advise clients from a wide perspective such as

  • Listed Companies and Public Interest Entities
  • Banks and Financial Institutions
  • International businesses
  • Education & Higher Education
  • Mineral extraction and refining
Get in touch with Rakesh Shaunak
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Rebecca Hughes

Partner

Rebecca has a wide ranging portfolio of clients and enjoys advising on a variety of matters affecting businesses. 

She works with both foreign and UK owned companies, from start-up businesses to large groups. 

As well as working with commercial clients, she is a member of the Not for Profit team and works with many academies and other charitable organisations.

Outside of work, Rebecca spends most of her time with her young family.

Get in touch with Rebecca Hughes
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Alicia Crisp

Partner

Alicia has been a partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson leading a mixed portfolio of audit and advisory work since 2017, having joined the firm in 2007.

While Alicia works across a range of sectors including leisure, fashion and design, her core sectors are real estate and technology where she enjoys supporting developing businesses with both compliance and their longer term plans.

The majority of Alicia’s clients are owner managed businesses – from early stage entrepreneurs finding their feet, to scale up businesses with external funders, right through to well established groups thinking about succession planning. Alicia has a passion for working with business owners and managers that are keen to drive and grow their business. While supporting her client base Alicia has had the opportunity to work with our BTI counterparts around the world and is well used to the challenges of expanding overseas and remote working across differing cultures and time zones.

In addition to corporate clients, Alicia works with a portfolio of Academy Schools across the North London and Hertfordshire region, assisting with reporting and looking to provide support in managing the complex financial issues currently presented to academies.

Alicia is a Staff Engagement Partner for the Southern Region and liaises with various teams to maximise retention and recruitment of staff. This includes participating in events outside the firm to support school leavers and graduates looking to explore a career in finance.

Get in touch with Alicia Crisp
Photo of Elaine Olson-Williams

Elaine Olson-Williams

Partner

Elaine gets most satisfaction from working closely with her clients, gaining a real understanding of them and their businesses before helping them move towards their goals. She's rightly proud of a reputation based on her reliability and professionalism, which wins the respect of her colleagues and many recommendations. She is always on the look-out for new projects. She is keen on all sports and is an avid skier.

Get in touch with Elaine Olson-Williams

What they say about us

My favourite benefit of working with MHA MacIntyre Hudson is having access to a huge network of knowledge but still having the direct personal feel when dealing with the local office team. Callum Bates -
J Bates & Son

What they say about us

A team who fully understood our business, our objectives and ultimately a team who we felt we could trust and enjoy working with. Excellent advice throughout the negotiations. Would not hesitate to recommend them. Neil Hollingworth - SRBE Holdings Limited