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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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Enquire now

Meet the team

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Jon Higginbottom

Audit Director

Jon is an audit director who joined MHA MacIntyre Hudson LLP in April 2017.

He joined MHA MacIntyre Hudson LLP having being with his previous firm for over 16 years he brings with him an excellent depth of knowledge as a result of working with various companies and organisations across various sectors which includes the charity / Not-for-profit, and education sectors as well as various commercial sectors including OMBs and UK subsidiaries of overseas parent companies, which gives him a rounded view of the economy and helps him understand his clients business.

Outside of work Jon regularly goes to the theatre and is an avid cyclist.

Get in touch with Jon Higginbottom
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Mandy MacKinnon

Business Solutions Manager

Mandy is an experienced chartered accountant and business strategist who excels at advising clients to overcome growth and profitability issues. As a founder member of the Firm’s Business Strategy Group, formed in 2001, Mandy has worked with a wide variety of SMEs from a range of sectors over the years. Business owners and management teams have benefitted from her help with developing robust strategic plans that have improved the value of their businesses.

Building on her experience and understanding of the needs of SMEs, Mandy has developed a successful “Understanding Finance” workshop which focusses on delivering personalised one to one or team training sessions to SMEs. These bespoke workshops offer clients a greater understanding of their own accounts and help them both in planning the strategic direction and in making the right commercial decisions for their business. The training is particularly popular with the second generation in family businesses or with new directors who are not fully confident in their ability to review financial information. Mandy believes it is not enough to just write a plan; to succeed it must be lived as well. The support she provides is geared to bridge that implementation gap.

As a member of Mindshop, a strategic leadership training organisation which operates globally, Mandy has access to a vast array of business tools and planning techniques that compliment her own training programmes. She is also an accredited growth coach with the Growth Accelerator service.

Get in touch with Mandy MacKinnon
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Alicia Crisp

Partner

Alicia is a partner in the London office, managing a portfolio of clients. Alicia joined the firm as a graduate trainee at the North London office in 2007, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 2010. Alicia’s key focus is working with owner managed businesses across London and south Hertfordshire, from new start-ups to long standing companies. 

Alicia’s clients are a range of shapes and sizes from sole traders to £10m turnover groups, spanning a number of industries – including technology, construction and financial services. She ensures that compliance needs are efficiently dealt with to allow time to identify opportunities to support clients as they grow. Recent special projects include providing a detailed support service to a client selling a division of their business, creating forecasts and reporting systems for clients looking to grow their business and assisting clients with transitions to cloud based software. In addition to working with owner managed businesses, Alicia looks after a portfolio of Academy Schools in the area.

As well as her client facing work, Alicia takes a keen interest in internal staff recruitment and development, including supporting school leavers and graduates with advice on applying for roles within accountancy and putting together CVs. Outside of work Alicia enjoys being active – skiing, climbing and hiking all feature regularly, depending on the season.

Get in touch with Alicia Crisp
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Gordon Thrower

Senior Tax Manager

An employment tax specialist, Gordon started his tax career with HMRC spending 8 years as part of a special investigation unit before moving across the divide to PwC in 1997. He later moved into mid-tier, picking up a “Best Tax Team Award” in 2010 working alongside Chris Blundell at Mazars.

More recently, Gordon has acted as an in-house consultant for a number of businesses, thus gaining experience from all three sides of the HMRC-Advisor-Business triangle. He has worked across a number of sectors, including education, property, IT, retail, banking, public sector and not-for-profit and has extensive experience of handling negotiations with HMRC.

Outside the office, Gordon is a season-ticket holder at West Ham United and is deputy editor of the popular West Ham website kumb.com, in which capacity he is often invited on to podcasts, tv and radio programmes, usually when the producers cannot find anyone famous to talk to.

Get in touch with Gordon Thrower

What they say about us

SilverLining UK very highly recommends MHA MacIntyre Hudson for all your company’s financial accounting needs.Our corporation has worked with MHA MacIntyre Hudson for the last 4 years. They are truly the best at what they do.They continually provide timely and excellent service and go ‘above and beyond' for their client. Their knowledge, communication skills and professional qualifications are of the highest quality and standards. SilverLining UK - Construction Sector

What they say about us

With MHA MacIntyre Hudson’s support, our business has been successfully since we started three years ago. Simon Burke - Dalbergia Group