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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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Belinda Borwick

Audit & Accounts Senior Manager

Belinda joined MHA Macintyre Hudson in 1988 as a trainee and has progressed through to her current role as Audit and Accounts Senior Manager since 1998.

Over the years Belinda has built up considerable experience working with owner managed businesses across many industry sectors, UK subsidiaries of overseas parent companies and also within the education sector.

In her spare time, Belinda likes to keep fit and healthy, her other interests include cooking.

Get in touch with Belinda Borwick
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Sarah Donnelly

Audit & Accounts Manager

Sarah joined the Bedford office in 2011 as part of the school leaver programme.  Since joining, Sarah has gained her AAT and ACCA qualifications and was promoted to manager in October 2019
 
During her time at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, Sarah has worked on a variety of assignments and sectors. In addition to statutory audit and accounts, Sarah has worked with many companies supporting, and often running the finance function. Client projects include,  streamlining and improving  monthly management reporting, acting as quasi-financial controller, and advising and  implementing new financial software and cloud accounting packages. 
 
Sarah acts for numerous clients in both the  corporate and not-for-profit entities assisting with their business needs.
Get in touch with Sarah Donnelly
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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
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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

What they say about us

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

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