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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.

Get in touch with our Education sector group to find out more.

Key contact

Head of Education, Partner
Bianca Silva
+44 (0)1494 441226

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Meet the team

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Cara Miller

Partner

Cara is a qualified accountant with over 20 years experience and a Gold Medal winner for the ACCA Examinations achieving the highest exam results in the world for the professional stage exams.

Cara has a corporate portfolio providing compliance services to a broad range of owner managed businesses and groups which span across many sectors including retail, construction and motor.

In addition to her corporate client portfolio, Cara specialises in working with the Not for Profit sector including local and national Charities, Independent Schools, Academies and community interest companies, supplying audit, assurance, governance and taxation advisory services to local and national organisations.

Audit is meant to be so much more than a number crunching exercise and Cara strives to ensure that the audit process is adding value through a risk-based approach with open communication and feedback.

Cara’s client base extends across East Anglia, where she has a strong reputation for providing excellent hands on service to local businesses and charities. She was crowned the East Anglian Daily Times - Young Business Person of the Year in 2013.

Get in touch with Cara Miller
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Helen Blundell

Director

Helen joined MHA MacIntyre Hudson in July 2015 following the merger with Birmingham based MHA Bloomer Heaven.  She has more than twenty years experience in the Not for Profit sector, including charities, academies, schools and other not for profit bodies and holds the ICAEW Diploma in Charity Accounting as well as a post graduate certificate in Charity Accounting and Financial Management. 

Helen works across our Birmingham and Leicester offices and acts as engagement principal on audit and independent examination assignments as well as advising on special assignments across a range of issues.  Helen is also involved in delivering training on a regular basis for clients and staff but also for bodies such as Charity Finance Group serving the not for profit sector.

Helen has extensive experience in advising charities across a range of issues and served as a trustee of Birmingham Cathedral for more than six years. She has had experience of auditing grants made to aid agencies on behalf of the European Commission and has held an appointment as an Interim Manager appointed by the Charity Commission. She is passionate about delivering advisory support to the sector to help them fulfil their charitable objectives. 

Get in touch with Helen Blundell
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Alicia Crisp

Partner

Alicia joined MHA MacIntyre Hudson as a graduate trainee, qualifying in 2010. She has been a Partner leading a mixed portfolio of audit and advisory work since 2017.

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 businesses looking for funding to well established groups companies thinking about succession planning. This includes a number of international companies who have expanded their operations to the UK.

In addition to corporate clients, Alicia works with a number 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 an Engagement Partner for the London Office 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
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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

What they say about us

The continuity with their core specialist sector team and ability to give advice across several areas of support has been key to us working together. - Feefo Holdings Ltd

What they say about us

The team at MHA MacIntyre Hudson have taken away the burden of the day to day bookkeeping, payroll and CIS work off me. This has enabled me to spend more time working on my business, finding new work, new ideas and ways to be more profitable. Thanks to the help I’ve received, I can see a bright future for me and my company. Luke Day - Complete Wiring Solutions