All the organizations are run with finances. An organization that has not paralyzed or folded up swims in the pool of financial sufficiency. Also, such an organization may have financial experts.
The same is at the aspect of the school system. In every school setting, funds are required to purchase instructional materials, minor repairs procurement of first aid kits, purchase of sporting facilities, repair broken furniture, and maintenance.
School funds do not belong to the individual, they belong to the school and great care needs to be taken to ensure they are kept securely, spent wisely, and properly recorded and accounted for.
School financial matters are to be handled carefully to eliminate any doubts about the misappropriation of funds.
The provision of basic education is not associated with or dependent on an amount to be paid by the pupils.
Even though public primary schools are non-profit organizations, they become profitable in terms of manpower that will be useful in various sectors of the economy. Therefore, we are not running unprofitable ventures.
What a school management/administrator should do
School managers and administrators have many things to do in the aspects of school finance issues. The funds of the schools must not be spent anyhow. Money coming into the school will have to be managed wisely so that the school will not run into problems.
The schools will be successful if only the money and funds coming to school are being used for the progress and development of the school. The management of the schools must understand the responsibility of keeping financial records.
Keep financial records
The school manager should make sure that accurate up-to-date financial records are kept. Each school should maintain a single cash book which is used to record all money coming into the school and all money going out and the dates on which these transactions take place.
Recording income and expenditure in a cashbook is a simple operation if it is made on the day that the transactions occur. Delays in making entries in the cashbook can lead to confusion and mistakes.
As a result, it may be difficult for school managers and administrators to retire funds and report back to the appropriate authorities.
Reasons for keeping financial records
Financial records are kept for accountability, transparency, planning purposes, and auditing.
Other responsibilities are as follows:
- work in line with the accounting terms of the state
- be familiar with accounting and reporting procedures
- check the school account book, vouchers, bills, etc before signing.
- keep relevant financial documents e.g. cash book
Basic principles of financial management in schools
Below are the guiding principles for managing school finances
Be a good steward
A steward manages another’s property, finances, or other affairs. Authority to handle funds brings with it special responsibilities.
The school manager should make a distinction between their finances and school funds. There is no what is good in life than to be a good steward in all things committed to your hands.
The principals, Vice- principals, Directors of the schools, and all other management and administrators of the schools must have it in mind to give an account of financial commitment and be good stewards.
We should know that school money is not personal money. We must use it for what is meant for.
Research has it that what makes people fall quickly is money. Money entices and deceives people too many. School administrators or management should be accountable.
Accountability simply means being answerable for your actions or rendering an account of your actions. When a person handles funds that do not belong to him, he is accountable for that money to the body which made the funds available.
It is the responsibility of the school managers and administrators to account for given funds in a systematic and prescribed manner. School managers and administrators should also remain abreast of the assets and funds of the school.
Be efficient and have value for money
It is the responsibility of the school managers and administrators to make the best use of the available funds.
You should learn how to make a profit out of the money on you. Don’t waste the school money committed to you. Spend on what can bring value to the school.
A school manager or administrator who is not transparent in money spending or in handling funds cannot be a good school administrator.
The school managers and administrators should maintain unambiguous financial records. School financial information should be made openly available. Transparency in the management of school finances also contributes to quality education for children.
Be timeline and accurate in financial reporting
Accuracy in all things is a good quality of a good school manager and administrator. If the school manager and administrator are accurate in spending money, the school will move forward rapidly.
Transactions should be recorded at the time they occur and how they occur and in what way they occur to avoid mix-ups and inaccuracies.
Whenever possible, more than one person should be involved in any financial transaction so that there should be a proper handling and accounting system to use the money obtained from the government.
Funds allocated for a specific purpose have to be spent for that purpose. The requirement can only be waived in exceptional cases with proper justification from which it is evident that the envisaged alternative would be in the interest of students and school improvement.
Inventory, Financial Reporting, and Auditing
It is a method of recording materials/goods such as furniture, equipment, etc for accounting, tracking, and auditing purposes.
It is important that you, as a school administrator or school manager know the inventory.
This is the process of giving information on the way funds came in and how they were used. All school administrators and school managers should know financial analysis and reporting.
Auditing is the checking of financial records. It involves showing with documentary evidence how money has been spent.
What can make you a great school manager and administrator is to be free from embezzlement and money-wasting when the accounts of the school you head to are audited.