FISH (Finance in Schools Handbook)

A guide to the financial management and related administrative activities of all NSW public schools.

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The Finance in School Handbook (FISH) is currently under review, including whether:

  • SAP is the most appropriate system to meet the department's equipment management requirements (including stocktakes)
  • modifications to SAP are required or if an alternate system would be more suitable.

In the interim, schools can continue to maintain equipment registers in SAP or use an alternative fit-for-purpose equipment register.

For the latest guidance on financial management and related administrative activities of all NSW public schools, please refer to the following sources of information:

If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, please raise a request via Remedy. If you would like to update hyperlinks in FISH, please email fish@det.nsw.edu.au.

Section 1 - Introduction

This handbook covers the financial management and related administrative activities of all NSW public schools.

1.1 Purpose and scope of handbook

All businesses, government bodies and departments have to function under strict legislation relating to financial management processes. Schools are part of NSW government and as such have to understand and follow the financial framework within which they operate.

The handbook has been prepared for principals, teachers, school administrative and support staff and all those connected with school financial management. It has been designed to provide practical and sound guidance for all school staff.

Understanding financial implications of decisions, the expected outcomes of programs, setting clear balanced budgets and constantly monitoring the school’s financial position are vital for the principal to be able to manage the school effectively, react to unforeseen circumstances efficiently, target funds appropriately and improve the overall performance of the school.

Strengthening the understanding of financial roles and budgeting with school staff can also lead to improved succession planning and underpin strong financial management at all levels of the organisation.

While schools have the ability to spend money on innovative projects and programs, the framework surrounding these decisions and expenditure must follow the supporting processes outlined in the handbook.

Every effort has been made to provide the flexibility needed for the widely varying circumstances of schools, while at the same time recognising that appropriate internal controls are required to ensure the:

  • accuracy, reliability and integrity of accounting and administrative transactions
  • safeguarding of assets
  • efficient and effective operation of accounting and related administrative systems.

The relevant legislation for school financial management is the Government Sector Finance Act 2018. The policies, procedures and best practices outlined in this handbook are derived from the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983. Under this Act, the principal is the accounting officer responsible for school financial management.

The principal is accountable to the Secretary, through the Executive Director, Public Schools NSW, and to the local community for the management of school funds (public money). Public monies include State and Commonwealth grants, school and community income and revenue from other bodies. The responsibility for financial management cannot be delegated and remains with the principal.

This handbook does not apply to the financial and administrative operations of school parent bodies, although it can be useful as a guide for developing appropriate financial management procedures for these bodies.

1.2 The integrated administration system

The Schools Finance system provides an integrated administration system made up of several distinct programs that include:

  • Student Administrative and Learning Management (SALM) incorporating:
    • Student wellbeing
    • Student management
  • Schools Finance system
  • Interim Enterprise Financial Planning Tool (eFPT)
  • Schools HR/payroll.

The focus of this handbook is to provide guidance on the control structures and procedures that are necessary for sound financial management in schools. This handbook does not provide detailed descriptions of the computer processes or procedures related to the Schools Finance system, but where appropriate, reference is made to the relevant training materials. Updates and information on financial issues are communicated to schools via: Schools Finance, SALM/finance schools support and EDConnect websites.

Specific finance administration areas and their functions

School Finance System Finance Function
SAP Finance

vendor management
purchasing, including procurement,
purchase order and confirmation processing
asset and project management
vendor invoices (accounts payable)
customer management, invoices, collections and dispute management (accounts receivable)
general ledger accounts
cash allocation, petty cash
monitor revenue and expenditure
internal orders
work breakdown structure (WBS)
tax management including fuel tax credits, business activity statements (BAS) and fringe benefits tax (FBT)
financial and management reporting

ebs

contribution schedules
student statements of account
receipting and banking
refunds

Interim Enterprise Financial Planning Tool (eFPT) budgeting and financial planning
SAP - Business Intelligence transforms large amounts of data from SAP into a reportable format that is easy to access and interpret

Other systems that interact with the Schools Finance system and their relationship are outlined below:

Description of systems interface

Interface Description
HR/Payroll Accounting entries for gross salaries and liabilities for payment as well as any payroll costs adjustments will be automatically uploaded into SAP.
Resource Allocation Model (RAM)

The model used to allocate funding to each school and is communicated to schools through the School Budget Allocation Report (SBAR).

The SBAR provides the total school budget allocation – there are three components:

  1. Base (this includes operation funds and the staffing budget)
  2. Equity
  3. Targeted

1.3 The Schools Finance system

The integrated finance system for schools encompasses activities such as financial management, planning, reporting and performance of schools.

In particular SAP finance functions include developing, monitoring and analysis tools and processes to ensure correct and reliable accounting processes in schools. The system will provide for an integrated finance, HR/payroll and Student Administration and Learning Management (SALM) solution for NSW public schools.

The SAP Finance system interfaces with the school’s cash desk and financial control system, ebs.

1.4 Accounting master data

Transactions are recorded in SAP using the Schools Finance system and applying the school’s master data to each transaction. Master data is managed by EDConnect.

The school’s master data comprise:

School master data elements and their descriptions

Element or Object Description
Company code The company code represents the legal entity. All NSW public schools are managed through one company code which is 1060.
Operational entity code (school code) Each school has its own four digit school code, referred to as an operational entity code.
Profit centres Each school has at least one profit centre and may have additional profit centres for each Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Fund it maintains. Profit centres enable schools to keep track of both their revenue and expenditure.
Cost centres Cost centres sit within a profit centre and relate to expenditure. Cost centres enable budget accountability and allow visibility of transactions for reporting in a particular area, eg English, maths, science, Stage 1 KLA’s etc.
General ledger (GL) accounts The GL accounts represent the type and nature of transactions. The GL accounts are used to record transactions relating to a school’s assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses. Each GL account has a unique 6 digit code. Some GL accounts are restricted for Corporate use only. The same GL accounts are used by every school throughout the state for the recording of transactions in SAP. The complete list of codes is called the chart of accounts.
Funds A fund code identifies the source of funds eg consolidated funds (via a budget allocation), school and community. Fund codes allow schools to report on each source of funding.
Internal orders
(where applicable)
Internal orders are used for managing costs and income within a cost centre where further reporting of a specific initiative/activity is required, such as: excursions, charities and activities on behalf of a third party.
WBS elements
(where applicable)
Work breakdown structure (WBS) element is used to plan and collect costs for a funded program or project, where expenditure needs to be completed within a defined time period and or budget. These can be linked to funded programs.
Vendors Supplier of goods/service. This term is used interchangeably with supplier.
Customers People or organisations/businesses that purchase or lease products or services from a school eg a dance association, football club, canteen catering company.

To add or change details for existing vendors and customers in SAP Finance please contact EDConnect, Master Data Management team.

The General ledger accounts (Chart of accounts) are categorised according to the following types:

Account type Number ranges
Assets 100000 to 199999
Liabilities 200000 to 299999
Equity 300000 to 399999
Revenue 400000 to 499999
Expenses 500000 to 599999

Every transaction recorded in the Schools Finance system must be assigned to a current and authorised General ledger account.

1.5 EDConnect

Schools are supported by a central team called EDConnect. This team is responsible for providing finance services, including bank reconciliations, paying suppliers, BAS etc to all schools. They also provide a single contact point for all finance queries. Enquiries can be lodged with EDConnect or by telephone 1300 32 32 32.

1.5.1 Centralised bank account

All school funds must be deposited into the centralised bank account. Schools are not permitted to open their own bank accounts. The bank account is managed by EDConnect on behalf of all NSW public schools. School funds are identified by a unique operational entity code (the 4 digit school code), which forms part of the overall profit centre identifier for the school. The operational entity code is electronically imprinted on personalised school deposit slips.

Schools do not receive a bank statement. The bank statement is loaded into the schools’ finance system by the contracted bank overnight. Schools can run financial management reports from the system to monitor their transactions and financial position.

Schools can only view their own profit centre transactions.

When the ‘End of Day’ function is selected in the cash desk and the banking has been processed, the transactions are uploaded into SAP Finance. Transactions are automatically matched and reconciled in the School Finance system. Schools are to ensure accuracy in all banking to prevent unreconciled transactions occurring.

Note: Schools are not to divulge the bank account details to any parties for direct credit as these payments are unable to be matched to the school’s operational entity code.

1.6 Access and security

The schools finance system including SAP Finance and ebs are accessed via the NSW DEC insight portal. School employees are automatically given access to the Schools Finance system once their appointment is confirmed in the payroll system. There is no need to apply for access, unless the current access requires modification.

This is to ensure that only authorised personnel have access to the system and that each operator is allocated a security level in the system appropriate to their duties. Log in user names and/or passwords must never be shared, given out or written down in accordance with the Code of Conduct Section 16.4. This guards against misuse and maintains the integrity of the system’s inbuilt controls. Users must never access the system via another person’s login or password.

All activities must operate within the Corporate IT policies and procedures.


Section 2 - The finance framework

Schools record financial transactions on an accrual accounting basis.

2.1 General accounting framework

Schools record financial transactions on an accrual accounting basis. Accrual accounting recognises income in the period it is earned and expenses in the period they are incurred. This method of accounting focuses on resource flows and allows for more accurate management reporting and better budgeting and planning for the future.

Financial activity is characterised by a continuous stream of transactions or events which take place throughout the normal business day. Transactions are entered into the Schools Finance system so that a permanent record is maintained for reporting purposes.

2.2 Authority to perform administrative and financial actions

The authority to perform administrative and financial functions that arise from various Acts, including but not limited to the Education Act 1990, the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, the Government Sector Employment Act 2013, the Public Works and Procurement Act 1912 and regulations and directions issued under such Acts. Authority under these Acts may be delegated by the Minister or Secretary to departmental officers to support operational efficiency.

2.2.1 Procurement framework and controls

There are three overarching procurement delegations that principals need to be aware of and act within:

  • PWP001 - The authority to approve a procurement method.
    There are 4 categories of authority under this delegation, based on specific financial limits. Principals have a delegated authority under Category 4 to approve the procurement method for purchases valued up to their financial delegation limits, for items on contract or available via catalogue. Principals must however seek approval from their local Asset Management Unit Director for any work that requires development or council approval before any work is agreed to.
  • PWP002 - The authority to approve the disposal of surplus or unserviceable goods, subject to certain conditions as noted within the delegation. This must be read in conjunction with M025 – Financial Management – Loss – Write-off.
  • PWP003 - The authority to award, execute, vary and extend contracts. There are also 4 categories of authority under this delegation, based on specific financial limits. Principals have a delegated under Category 4 to approve contracts valued up to their financial delegation limits, subject to certain conditions as noted within the delegation noting that:
    • School canteen licences need to be approved by Schools Finance.
    • Uniform shop licenses and OOSH matters are to be referred to School Infrastructure NSW.
    • Consultancy Services contracts require approval by a Deputy Secretary or the Chief Executive, School Infrastructure NSW.

Principals must act within their procurement delegations and also refer any new/referral/variance/ extension of any contract to Legal Services or the relevant directorate if listed above.

Refer to:

Note: there is a provision within the Department’s Procurement Manual which enables schools to purchase goods or services outside of departmental or state contracts in certain circumstances.

  • Purchases up to $10,000 – except for mandated contracts.
  • Alternate Supply Request – where an equivalent product to an on-contract item (including from mandated contracts) can be purchased at less overall cost with Procurement Directorate approval in certain circumstances – see details in the Procurement Manual.
  • Emergency purchases – Principals may approve purchase outside of procurement policy in emergency situations up to a sufficient value to meet the particular emergency. Under no circumstances are individual financial delegations to be exceeded, and details of what constitutes an acceptable emergency purchase are detailed in the Procurement Manual (see further information in 8.11).

2.2.2 Delegation of authority

Financial requests requiring approval to incur expenditure will workflow electronically to specified roles through SAP. Roles are assigned in SAP based on organisational structure, department business rules and the total value of the request (including GST) in accordance with approved financial delegations. Certain processes and requests completed in the Schools Finance system by school staff will be approved following an automated online workflow.

Refer to:

Section 12 of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 allows delegated officers to approve the commitment of expenditure up to specified approval levels within the department’s budget.

Section 13 allows officers to authorise payments that have been duly approved by an appropriate delegate and in accordance with the Treasurer’s Directions.

The principal is the accountable officer for the management of school finances.

Refer to:

2.2.3 Authority to incur expenditure

The Minister has approved financial delegations for classifications of staff, including principal’s and other officers in schools to ‘incur expenditure’ for the purchase of goods and services required for school operations. This authority is limited by the funds available to the school and any restrictions imposed under the conditions of any specific funding arrangements.

The M023 – Financial Management – Authorisation – Expenditure provides the most current information on delegation limits. These delegations limits are GST inclusive and cannot be sub-delegated by the principal.

Note: A member of staff approved to relieve or act in a higher position has the same delegation as the substantive officer for the duration of the acting position.

The exercising of this authority by the above delegated officers is at the discretion of the principal and should be noted in the Register of Financial Items.

The principal must also indicate if these staff can give written pre-approval to expend to other staff members and this should again be noted in the Register of Financial Items.

Staff should only incur expenditure for a program/s funded from the school budget which they are responsible to administer, in accordance with their maximum delegation level.

In the interests of sound internal control, it is a requirement that duties are segregated so that different people perform different functions.

Refer to:

2.2.3.1 Approvals for payments including general and travel expense claims - section 12 delegations and section 13 authorisations

Section 12 and section 13 of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 relate to expenses and payments.

  • Approvals for purchases using shopping carts/purchase orders are managed via SAP using workflows, confirmations and in-built validations.
  • Approvals for sundry payments, including expense claims (general and travel), must be manually captured on a form before submitting to EDConnect for processing. At the bottom of the form you will be required to provide a sign off against section 12 and section 13 criteria.

Refer to:

Section 12 (preapproval to spend)

Financial delegations under section 12 (also called M023 delegations) relate to an officer’s authority to commit or incur expenditure. This is the approval to spend money for a particular purpose and for transactions not paid for by a PCard, must be obtained in writing prior to taking action to commit to spend the money. You cannot approve your own expenditure, even if the amount is within your M023 delegation.

PCard delegations (MO43) are also made under section 12 of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, and cardholders (with the exception of those specifically identified in the delegations as requiring prior approval) are authorised under section 12 (MO43 category 2) to incur costs up to the approved PCard transaction limit without the need for prior approval.

MO43 enables principals to approve the issue of PCard to school staff and the transaction and monthly limits for each card, based on the officer’s role in purchasing goods and services. This delegation must be exercised in accordance with the department’s PCard policy and guidelines, and limits cannot be set at levels higher than the cardholder’s MO23 financial delegation.

Refer to:

Section 13 (authorises payment after performing financial checks)

Section 13 relates to authorising payment of accounts. This is a ‘checking’ function that confirms the following:

  • the expenditure has been approved by an officer with the delegation appropriate to the level of expenditure incurred
  • services/goods have been satisfactorily received or performed
  • rates charged are correct
  • calculations and cost assignment information is correct, including GST amounts
  • the claim has not been paid previously
  • where offered, discounts have been deducted.

The schools must keep a register of who can perform the section 13 role within a school. It is recommended that this authority is given to SAS staff members as they will usually be the staff checking the accuracy and completeness of manual claims and reimbursements (general expense claims and travel claims).

In relation to PCard expenses, the nominated Reviewing Officer for each cardholder has been designated as the section 13 authorising officer for expenses before they are posted into SAP as part of the acquittal process. Reviewing Officers do not need to be separately listed within the school’s section 13 register of authorising officers, as these details are captured and maintained centrally within the expense8 Expense Management System.

Segregation of duties must be adhered to:

  • section 12 approval and section 13 authorisations cannot be signed off by the same person
  • for general expense/travel claim reimbursements, section 12 must be signed by a staff member’s manager

The person claiming reimbursement for expenses cannot also fulfill the role of section 12 approval or section 13 authorisation on their own claim.

2.2.4 Authority to approve the write-off of plant and equipment

Under the Public Finance and Audit Act, 1983, approval to write-off plant and equipment is subject to Delegation of Authority M025.

Note: School principals do not have the delegation to write-off irrecoverable debts, including monetary deficiencies, misappropriations, discrepancies and overpayments. The delegation to approve the write-off of plant and equipment cannot be sub-delegated by the principal. It is recommended that when it is necessary to write-off an accountable item the Asset and equipment master maintenance form be printed, signed by the principal and attached to SAP portal request.

If the value of the item exceeds $10,000 it should also be referred to the appropriate delegated officer for approval as per above monetary limits (for instance Director, Educational Leadership or Executive Director, Public Schools NSW).

Section 9 Asset and equipment management contains further information in respect of the write-off process.

Refer to:

2.3 Clearing account

Throughout the year the department may debit and credit amounts into 500030 (School Direct Debit). This account must be zeroed at the end of each month.

Schools must run a transaction report to see the balances of each transaction within the account and any relating information ie WBS/IO/GL.

Journals must be prepared to zero each amount. The journal should include text which will relate the transaction back to the clearing account and include any WBS/GL/IO in the report.

Debits to the school appear in black, credits appear in red on the report.

To journal a debit showing in the clearing account, the school must prepare a credit for the same amount from a school WBS/GL/IO.

To journal a credit showing in the clearing account the school must prepare a debit for the same amount from a school WBS/GL/IO.

This account is not to be used for any other purpose.

Refer to:

2.4 School community

Principals should make every effort to facilitate and foster involvement of students, staff, parents and other community groups in the life of the school. By working collaboratively with the school community the school promotes trust, empowers staff and community members and encourages cooperation for the mutual benefit of the school.

Diagram showing relationship between the school and the P&C

2.4.1 Parent groups eg Parents and Citizens Association

A Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) is a legislated parent body for community voice, which works with the school and is generally made up of parents, caregivers and citizens. The principal is an ex-officio officer of the P&C. Members of P&C associations attend regular meetings of the organisation and work on activities within the school, including policy, school plan and fundraising.

Section 115(1) of the Education Act 1990 defines that a parent organisation may be constituted in connection with any government school. Each parent organisation is required to have its constitution and subsequent amendments to that constitution approved by the Minister for Education. Any organisation so constituted has legal standing under the Education Act 1990 and is bound to observe the rules of its individual, ministerially approved constitution.

The Federation of Parents and Citizens Association of NSW provides further information to P&C’s.

2.4.2 Donations

Only the principal has the authority to accept a contribution, donation, etc from a parent organisation on behalf of the school. The principal should discuss with the P&C the priorities and needs of the school at the beginning of the budgeting process to consider if they would like to be involved or provide funding for any of the programs, events or required resources.

If the P&C makes a donation to the school it is preferable that the school purchases the goods and services that the P&C wishes to provide. The P&C donates the GST exclusive price and the department pays the GST amount and claims the input tax credit.

All items donated to a school by a P&C become the property of the department and must be administered and managed in accordance with all guidelines as outlined in this handbook.

Before purchasing equipment for the school, the P&C and the principal should ensure that any purchases will be compatible with other equipment supplied by the department, by checking with the Asset Management, Information Technology and Procurement Solutions Directorates’ contract suppliers.

Refer to:

2.4.3 Expenditure

School principals, as ex-officio members of a parent organisation for the school, do not have authority over how the P&C wishes to spend its funds. The principal has the right, however, to draw the attention of a general meeting to any expenditure which is considered to be unconstitutional, illegal or contrary to departmental policy and practices. The principal can also provide a list of educational priorities for the P&C’s consideration.

Money raised by a P&C association should be used to further the aims and objectives of the P&C Association, in accordance with the Constitution. P&C Association funds shall be expended by resolution of a general meeting.

The general meeting of the P&C may allocate funds to:

  • purchase and donate equipment or materials to the school
  • provide specific funds to the school to cover costs of purchasing
  • provide funds to the school to cover general operating costs or purchases of equipment or materials within instructions issued by a general meeting (unless such cash transfers are not allowed by a local organisation's constitution)
  • purchase equipment and/or property for the parent body, if such a purchase is supported by majority vote at a general or special meeting of the school parent body.
  • Other necessary operating expenses (eg printing & stationery) and minor items (eg tea, coffee, biscuits, milk etc).

Note: The principal cannot hold any office in the P & C. All P&C funds must be collected through the P&C.

2.4.4 Purchases - GST and ABN

P&C Associations are income tax exempt charities under A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 and must hold an Australian Business Number (ABN). They are not required to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) unless they have an annual turnover for activities other than fundraising and canteens of $150,000 or more. A P&C may register for GST and claim input tax credits by making an application to the ATO.

If the P&C is not registered for GST it is preferable for the P&C Association to make a donation to the school and the school to purchase the specific goods and services that the P&C wishes to provide.

2.5 Student Representative Councils

Student Representative Councils (SRC) are made up of elected students that represent the school and organise ways for students to participate and contribute to their school community.

Where Student Representative Councils are established, all money received is receipted into Internal Public Money General Ledger (GL) - 420024. Income and payments must be clearly identified as belonging to ’Student Representative Council’ by ensuring that the correct internal order is used (2002000108 - Fund Code 6300). Accounts for payment must be processed from the GL 528658. Use of internal order numbers allow for income to be tracked against expenditure. Any remaining balance of funds against the SRC may be made available for the next year’s SRC, or may be absorbed by the school for other priorities after discussion between the SRC, the principal and the teacher in charge of the SRC.

If assets or equipment are bought for the school:

  1. procurement as described in Section 8 must be followed
  2. items must be entered into the Asset and equipment register as appropriate.

Section 3 - Financial Management

Effective financial management is the planned acquisition, use and control of financial resources.

3.1 introduction

The principal is responsible for:

  • meeting the State/Treasury legislation and regulations
  • achieving educational goals measured in terms of student outcomes
  • protecting and maximising the use of available resources (public funds)
  • preventing the loss of assets and unnecessary waste
  • providing a clear framework for the principal and staff to effectively work within the relevant laws, policies and procedures.

3.2 Employee responsibilities

Under the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, the principal is accountable for the management of the school’s finances, although the school administrative manager (SAM) and to a lesser degree other school staff may undertake the day to day accounting work in a school. The principal is accountable to the department and to the community for school funds (public money). This responsibility cannot be delegated.

All staff have a responsibility to meet the standards of professional and ethical behaviour required by the department. School staff are expected to be aware of, understand and apply departmental policies and practices in ways that will benefit students, the department and the wider community. The Code of Conduct clarifies the standards of behaviour that are expected of staff in the performance of their duties. It gives guidance in areas where staff make personal and ethical decisions. Refer to the department’s Code of Conduct and Statement of Ethics.

3.2.1 Probity

The department and all school staff have an obligation to ensure all elements of financial management are conducted in a fair, ethical, transparent and probity rich environment. Staff have statutory obligations which affect the conduct of financial management.

Information regarding probity can be found throughout the current Procurement Manual.

3.2.1.1 Conflict of interest

Conflict of interest is a term referring to any situation where there is, or may appear to be, conflict between an employee’s personal interests and the goals, objectives and values of an organisation. All departmental staff are required to declare and avoid conflicts of interest.

Common areas where conflicts of interest arise include:

  • staff recruitment
  • purchasing
  • gifts and benefits
  • contracting.

Conflicts of interest themselves are not the problem, it is how they are dealt with. If a potential conflict of interest arises, action should be taken to manage it. For more information, refer to the Code of Conduct Procedures. When delegating responsibilities and segregating financial processes the principal will need to take into account any perceived conflicts of interest which may arise from intimate or family relationships and outside business interests.

Extra procedures should be put in place where financial processes involve more than one party in an intimate or family relationship in order to support robust financial control and eliminate any perceived conflict of interest which may arise.

For example:

  1. When segregating duties an authorising officer should not:
    1. be related to, or in a relationship with, the staff member purchasing the goods
    2. hold a financial interest or be related to, or in a relationship with, the organisation from which purchases are made the principal should, where possible, delegate authority to purchase or authorise payment to other members of staff.
  2. A third party on the senior executive team may be utilised to approve a petty cash payment that would otherwise be processed (bought and refunded through petty cash) by two members of the same family.

To manage the perceived conflict of interest appropriately it should be declared and recorded in the Register of Gifts and Benefits by the principal. The entry must also record how the perceived conflict of interest has been dealt with.

Refer to:

3.3 Risk management

The identification of risk is a key element of financial management.

Risk management is broadly defined as the identification, measurement and control of all loss exposures, ie personnel, property, income, statutory and miscellaneous liability.

Schools have an obligation to actively adopt risk management practices in order to reduce the frequency and severity of losses.

The implementation and active monitoring of risk management procedures will result in a reduction in risk, highlight operational weakness and inform future planning in order to reduce future risks.

Complying with this handbook will contribute to the school’s risk management practices.

3.3.1 School management and finance planner

This calendar is designed to support schools in undertaking activities throughout the school year. It is divided into daily, weekly, monthly, beginning of term, prior to end of term, prior to end of Calendar Year and as required tasks. Following this framework will help manage financial risk.

Refer to:

3.4 Internal controls

Strict internal controls in schools are required to ensure the accuracy, reliability and integrity of accounting and administrative transactions, as well as safeguarding the assets of the school. Effective internal control systems protect staff involved in financial tasks and ensure reports can be used with confidence when making financial decisions.

An effective internal control framework contributes to strong financial management and relies upon the following essential elements:

  • setting up financial guidelines in accordance with this handbook and the recommendations of internal auditors
  • ensuring staff are aware of the need to strictly adhere to such guidelines and regularly monitoring staff compliance to the guidelines
  • establishing a budget/finance committee to share decision making and to make recommendations
  • planning a budget
  • controlling and monitoring revenue and expenses within the planned budget
  • sharing financial matters with the school’s parent bodies
  • providing adequate training for staff to successfully fulfil their duties.

The principal must ensure that internal controls are in place.

The following is a summarised version of the internal controls in schools and why they are critical.

Area Control policy Importance
Hierarchal control Staff, including the principal, cannot approve their own financial and administrative functions and must seek approval from a more senior staff member when making a claim for expenses, including general and travel expense claims. Clear roles and responsibilities must be in place to ensure correct delegations and foster a culture of discipline and accountability.
Refer to M023 Delegations (PDF 199.38KB), sections 12 and 13.
Bank account

The school must only hold school funding in the centralised bank account. Banking of third party funds can only be in relation to the collected by/for students.

No funds are to be held on behalf of a third party that does not relate to specific students eg PPA, SPA.

DoE are not liable for money administered outside of this policy.
Segregation of duties

Where possible, no one person should be given responsibility for more than one related function, for example, the person preparing the banking should not be the same person receipting to the Schools Finance system.

Refer to: Section 7 – Receipting and banking and Section 8 – Procurement and payments.

Segregation of duties is important to reduce risk of errors and the opportunity for misappropriation.

Annual budget and forecast

An annual school budget is prepared in line with the school plan.

The school’s financial performance should be monitored and adjusted where necessary, on a regular basis.

A school budget and updated forecast provides financial direction to achieve the target outcomes as outlined in the school plan.

Refer to: Section 6 – Budgeting and forecasting.

The budget and forecast provides the basis against which to monitor the financial position of the school on a regular basis throughout the year.

Receipting

Money collected at the school must be promptly and accurately receipted.

Refer to: Section 7 – Receipting and banking.

All money is to be receipted into the system immediately after it is received. This records that the transaction has taken place.

Receipts must be issued for money received to provide evidence of all public money collected by the school.

Banking

All money collected must be banked promptly into the school bank account.

Providing a system for internet and EFTPOS payments will reduce cash transactions.

Refer to: Section 7 – Receipting and banking.

Regular banking of school funds reduces the risk of theft.

No more than $500 cash collected is to be held in a school at any time.

Restricted access

All cash amounts must be kept in a secure location.

Appropriate security measures include lockable safe, cash boxes, cash registers, coin-operated machines and secure transit.

Access to keys and codes should be limited to the staff members accountable for the funds.

Systems to be password protected.

Passwords are not to be shared between staff.

Security of data and funds reduces the risk of loss and fraud.

Petty cash

Individual payments from petty cash must not exceed $100 and must be confined to minor expenditure.

Petty Cash claims are not to be split and must be supported by documentary evidence.

Refer to: Section 8 – Procurement and payments.

Claims should be limited to urgent minor expenditure where an expense claim is impracticable.

Claims must be authorised by an officer with appropriate delegation ensuring validity of the claim.

Prior approval on purchase must be obtained and included with petty cash claim.

Cash reconciliation

A reconciliation must be performed between any cash floats the school holds and the accounting record.

The reconciliation function may be performed at any time throughout the month, but must be performed at least once a month and reviewed by the principal.

Refer to: Section 8 – Procurement and payments.

Regular reconciliation of accounts will identify any irregularities and inaccuracies. This ensures that the financial information recorded in the school’s financial ledger is accurate and complete.
Procurement

Procurement is the process of obtaining goods and services under an existing contract to ensure that the educational objectives outlined in the School Plan are achieved. For larger and more complex products, schools are required to purchase from the state or department contract suppliers, where available.

Refer to: Procurement Solutions and Section 8 - Procurement and payments.

The Procurement process ensures compliance within the legislative requirements for Government procurement.

Purchasing controls provide assurance that the school receives the best value for money for the purchases made.

Payments

Orders are approved then receipted by the principal or delegated officer and must have supporting documentation. Payments are made by EDConnect in line with segregation of duties.

Refer to: Section 8 – Procurement and payments.

Controls for payment of accounts ensure that public money is spent for authorised purposes only and cheques are drawn to bona fide payees.

Payment details are recorded in SAP.

Invoices Invoices must contain a valid ABN and Invoice number, date and description of product/service.

Ensures payment of supplied products/services.

Invoices are directed to EDConnect.

Non school funds (private monies)

Under the Treasurers Directions private money is not to be kept with public money in either safes or bank accounts.

Accounting officers (principals) are responsible for public funds, not private money.

These measures reduce the risk of misappropriation.

Travel and reimbursement

Pre approval required through Schools Finance system to incur any travel expenses.

Contract for travel is in place to comply with Procurement policy.

Staff, including principals, listed in delegations cannot approve their own financial and administrative functions and must seek approval from a more senior delegate when making a claim for travelling expenses and allowances.

Ensures that costs are associated with business.

Regulates costs and efficiencies.

Asset management

Asset and equipment master maintenance form must be used to create equipment master.

Assets and equipment must be recorded in the school Asset register and marked with the school name. A stocktake of assets must be conducted annually.

Refer to: Section 9 – Asset and equipment management.

Assets represent a valuable investment of a school’s resources and must be protected against loss, theft, and/or misuse as well as identifying that the item is still serviceable and relevant for school use.
School canteen

The operation and performance of the canteen is regularly reviewed by the principal.

Refer to: Section 11 – Canteens on school premises.

Regular monitoring ensures that the overall aims of the canteen are being achieved, the canteen is operating efficiently, effectively, within guidelines and provides a contribution to the school and its community.

Deductible gift recipient (DGR) funds

School Building, SSP Gift and Public Library funds must be approved by the Australian Taxation Office.

Expenditure must only be for approved purposes outlined in the constitution.

A cost centre is established for DGR Funds so that separate records can be maintained as required by legislation.

Refer to: Section 12 – Libraries and Section 15 – General information.

DGR registration is important so that donors receive tax deductibility for contributions to the fund and ensures compliance with legislative requirements.
Monitoring and reporting

Regularly reviewing reports is an important way for schools to monitor finances.

Schools must produce and publish their Annual report complying with all mandatory reporting guidelines by the end of Term 1 of the following year.

Refer to: Leadership pathways Annual report.

Reports can be produced at any time of the year to provide a snapshot of the school’s financial position. Regular monthly monitoring ensures adequate funds are available to meet commitments.
Payroll and leave records

Up to date records of staff attendance, leave and employment is maintained for all staff and reviewed in light of department policy on a regular basis.

Refer to: Section 10 – Payroll.

Up to date attendance, leave and employment records protect staff and assist in the management of the school. These records provide evidence of attendance for the determination of workers compensation claims or for decisions of leave entitlements such as long service leave as well as affecting possible budget reimbursement.
Handling cash

Risk associated with handling cash should be constantly reviewed.

The amount of cash handled should be reduced in school by utilising EFTPOS, cheque, Parent Online Payment, expense claims and PCard options.

Cash collections should always be counted by 2 staff members together.

Cash should be counted in a secure room not in public or within the public’s view.

Cash in transit options to be assessed and implemented as required.

Vary the route and time of day when person(s) go to the bank so movements cannot be predicted.

Cash to be kept in a locked safe or cash register at all times.

Minimal amount of cash should be kept on the premises overnight, weekends and holidays periods.

3.5 Retention of financial records

School’s financial records consist of forms, documents, registers, reports and computer media that:

  1. provide input to or are outputs from the school’s accounting system (ie receipts, invoices)
  2. are used to record and process financial transactions (ie manual records).

Complete, accurate and timely financial records:

  • provide evidence that the school’s assets are properly recorded and adequately protected
  • provide information for monitoring actual financial performance with budgeted performance.

All documents, reports and records used as input to or output from the accounting system must be retained in a secure location for a period of 7 years. Information on records management and disposal procedures for schools can be accessed from the Business Services website by selecting ’Records Management’ then ‘Records management for schools’.

3.6 Register of Financial Items

The purpose of the Register of Financial Items is to record details of the school’s stocks of accountable records, information on important financial controls, and details of key financial transactions. By recording details of these items, a permanent record is maintained and is available for reference.

The pages used to compile a Register of Financial Items are provided at Appendix 3A – Register of Financial Items. It is essential that the register is a permanent record and in a form that facilitates reference and updating ie where the pages cannot be destroyed without detection.

The register is used to record details of the following items:

  • accountable documents eg manual receipt books, deposit books
  • permanent advances eg petty cash
  • temporary cash advances eg planned incidentals for excursions
  • refundable deposits eg text books, hall hire deposits
  • purchase cards
  • delegations eg authority to incur expenditure (S12) and authorise payment of accounts (S13)
  • leases
  • record of any input taxed event held at the school
  • scholarships
  • postage stamps
  • bequests
  • Australia Post cards
  • yearly research and pricing structure for the hire of school premises endorsed by the principal.

Refer to:

3.6.1 Accountable records

Accountable records are those that are pre-numbered and refer mostly to pre-printed forms of record keeping. Misuse of these types of records could have a serious impact on the school’s operations and must be strictly accounted for and adequately secured when not in use.

Typical forms include:

  • group receipts and other collection statements
  • manual receipt books
  • deposit books
  • tax invoice books.

When accountable records are received by the school, the date received and the first and last number of each book is to be entered in the Register of Financial Items.

Accountable records are to be issued consecutively and recorded in the Register of Financial Items with the date of commencement and the name of the person to whom they are issued. The issue is to be acknowledged by the receiver initialling the register.

When completed, accountable records are to be returned to the administration office. The date of the last entry in the record is to be entered in the Register of Financial Items and the accountable records stored securely for the required retention period (refer to Section 3.5).

When a partially used accountable record is no longer required by the person to whom the book is issued, it is to be returned to the administration office for re-issue. Entries to record the return are to be made in the Register of Financial Items as follows:

  • Date of the last entry in the record is to be recorded in the 'Date completed' column and followed by the notation 'Part Only'
  • Last number used in the record is to be recorded in the 'Remarks' column.
  • First and last number of the unused portion of the record is to be entered on a separate line, and the record is to be re-issued.
  • Original entry for the record is to be cross-referenced to the second entry for the same record.
3.6.1.1 Security of accountable records

All accountable records that are in stock or have been issued for use must be stored, wherever practicable, in a secure place, such as a lockable cabinet or cupboard when not in use.

The principal or delegated officer must reconcile the accountable records in stock and those currently in use against the Register of Financial Items at least once every 12 months.

Where an unused or partially used accountable record is missing, the principal or delegated officer must conduct an appropriate investigation prior to providing a written report of the loss to Director, Educational Leadership. The report must state how the loss occurred, the full details of the missing accountable records and the action taken to locate them. A copy of the report must be attached to the appropriate page in the Register of Financial Items.

Written approval may be given by Director, Educational Leadership for the principal to write-off accountable records that cannot be located. The Register of Financial Items is to be adjusted as follows:

  • the 'Remarks' column of the Register of Financial Items is to be noted with the date of the approval followed by the words 'written off' and signed by the principal
  • a copy of the letter from Director, Educational Leadership approving the write-off must be retained by the principal.

3.6.2 Accountable records for petty cash

Schools can use a petty cash float for the payment of items for:

  • a minor emergency
  • cash student refunds of a minor nature or
  • unexpected expenses up to $100 in value.

Operating a petty cash system requires strict controls and processes. These are described in Section 8 - Procurement and payments.

Details of the initial petty cash float must be recorded in the Register of Financial Items as:

  • date of the advance
  • purpose of the advance
  • amount
  • trigger threshold
  • signature of the officer authorising the advance
  • approved cheque cashing authority names.

Updates are only necessary if the cash float is increased or decreased and cheque cashing authority personnel change.

3.6.3 Accountable records for cash advances

Cash advances may be made to school staff for excursions and sports visits through a cash advance cheque request.

Refer to:

Under no circumstances should salary advances be issued using this facility.

Details to be recorded in the Register of Financial Items are:

  • date of the advance
  • person to whom the advance is made
  • purpose of the advance
  • amount advanced
  • signature as to receipt
  • amount repaid
  • date of the repayment
  • receipt number
  • adjusting officer’s signature.

The register must be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that temporary advances are repaid within a reasonable period of time.

3.6.4 Accountable records for postage stamps

Australia Post collects and delivers mail for NSW government schools and department offices. If a school needs to lodge or purchase items such as stamps or express post envelopes the school’s Australia Post account number can be used at the post office nominated by the school. All items purchased using the Australia Post account number will appear on the monthly sundry tax invoice as well as the usual collection fees.

Postage stamps purchased are not to be used for private purposes. Details of stamps purchased are to be recorded in the postage stamp account book immediately. Postage stamp account book or similar register may be used to show acquisitions, usage and balance on hand. Entries to the postage stamp register should show the names and addresses of the person to whom the letter is posted. However, where multiple postings make this impracticable, the number of letters posted and denomination of stamps used need only be shown.

It is advisable to limit stocks of stamps on hand to the quantities required to meet current requirements. Stamps on hand are to be stored in a secure place. It is recommended that periodically (once each term) the principal or delegated officer should ensure that the record of stamp usage is consistent with the volume of mail. At that time, a reconciliation of stamps on hand against the balance in the postage stamp book should be undertaken and the book signed as evidence of the review.

Refer to:

3.6.5 Bank accounts

The following details must be recorded in respect of each school bank account and updated when changes occur.

  • account name
  • account number
  • bank and branch
  • merchant ID
  • cheque encashment signatories and their official position
  • banking facilities ie EFTPOS, parent online payments, PayWay, including current delegations to staff
  • whether an Australia Post card has been issued and where this is kept securely within the custody of the school.

3.6.6 Credit/store accounts

These relate to credit/store accounts maintained with local businesses such as hardware stores. Details required are:

  • supplier’s name and address
  • account number
  • credit limit
  • credit terms
  • staff members authorised to access facility
  • the reason why the account is operating (refer to 8.16 for more information).

If using such accounts the school should immediately move to PCards and close existing credit accounts as soon as possible.

3.6.7 Refundable deposits

These relate to deposits paid by students for the use of school facilities such as lockers and must be refunded at the conclusion of the period. The following information is required:

  • date of receipt
  • student name
  • reason for deposit
  • amount
  • receipt number
  • refund details
  • the student’s signature.

3.6.8 Purchasing cards (PCards)

PCards may be issued to principals and certain other school staff in line with delegation authority for the payment of travel expenses and for the purchase of goods and services. PCard policy and procedures should be read in conjunction with this advice.

A register of PCards must be maintained. The following details must be recorded in the Register of Financial Items in respect of each cardholder:

  • the card holder’s name
  • card account number
  • credit limit
  • preparer
  • authoriser.

3.6.9 Equipment loans

The following details must be recorded:

  • item description
  • item number
  • person to whom loan is made
  • length of loan
  • cash deposit (if applicable)
  • authoriser
  • return date
  • condition of item
  • staff member accepting return
  • item confirmed as serviceable on return
  • deposit refunded.

3.6.10 School managed Opal cards

A register of school managed Opal cards must be maintained with the:

  • card number
  • date of original purchase
  • date cards were registered with NSW Transport
  • upper limit
  • student or adult card
  • activity undertaken
  • cost
  • name and year of student loaned the card.

If a card is lost/stolen the date of closure should be recorded against the item.

Refer to:

3.6.11 Leases/licensed

The following information must be recorded in respect of commercial activities, lease of equipment, licensed canteens etc

  • date entered into
  • lease/licence agreement with
  • period of the lease/licence
  • purpose
  • type of lease/licence
  • value of lease/licence
  • deed of assignment (if applicable).

3.6.12 Delegations

Under the treasurer’s directions the principal may not delegate or transfer the authority to perform certification and authorisation roles to teaching and administrative staff outside of existing delegations.

Principals may only vary certification and authorisation roles to staff who already have delegations under their established position.This could mean reducing or restricting these roles to particular events, educational programs or monetary limits. These changes must be noted in the Register of Financial Items.

Delegations in the Quickstream system are to be recorded in the Register of Financial Items.

Access rights to PayWay are to be recorded in the Register of Financial Items.

Refer to:

3.6.13 Correction of errors in financial records

Where corrections are necessary in any financial record, the word or figure to be changed is to be ruled through and the correct word or figure inserted above and initialled by the officer making the correction.

Errors in financial records are not under any circumstances to be adjusted by use of any form of editing, correcting fluid or by erasure.

3.7 Treasury Managed Fund – Statement of cover

The NSW Treasury Managed Fund (TMF) is government owned and available only to government agencies.

The TMF coverage is for loss and / or damage to departmental property for all claims of $300 and more (see exclusions below) except glass. TMF covers all losses, provided the loss is unforeseen, real and quantitative. Coverage is for full replacement (new for old) and includes consequential loss. Replacement is 'like for like', no upgrades will be considered.

Action must always be taken to mitigate losses.

The fund is not liable for claims for:

  • claims less than or equal to $300 (except glass breakage)
  • claims lodged with the NSW Treasury Managed Fund more than 12 months after the date of the incident
  • damage caused over a period of time
  • any illegally-based operation
  • inherent faults
  • general wear and tear, maintenance costs, damage resulting from a lack of maintenance or damage caused or partly caused by DoE facility negligence
  • obsolete or unserviceable equipment, including all computing devices which are 6 years and over.

Refer to management of property losses under the NSW Treasury Managed Fund.

3.8 Audit

The Audit Directorate assists the organisation to accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.

3.8.1 Role of Audit

The scope of work of the audit directorate is to determine whether the organisation’s network of risk management, control, and governance processes, as designed and represented by management, is adequate and functions in a manner that ensures:

  • risks are appropriately identified and managed
  • interaction with the various governance groups occurs as needed
  • significant financial, managerial, and operating information is accurate, reliable and timely
  • employees’ actions are in compliance with policies, standards, procedures, and applicable laws and regulations.

The objectives outlined are achieved through:

  • a comprehensive program of audits of financial and related operations
  • management reviews of the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of selected functions within the department
  • provision of a financial consultancy service to schools.

Audit does not review administrative decisions made on educational grounds. However, it does review the administrative process associated with such decisions including the question of whether the policies and procedures in this handbook have been followed and whether the documentation is in the required form and detail.


Section 4 - Reporting and end of year activities

Schools are required to prepare reports for presentation to the school community and the Department of Education.

4.1 Introduction

The Canteen Trading Statement is required to be completed at the end of every quarter for those schools that run a school operated canteen.

Other reports will assist schools in the sound management of finance, assets and equipment.

Useful reports to verify financial position of schools:

  • Schools Overview Report
  • School Funds Availability Report
  • Bank queries list on GL account
  • Employee Level Salary Cost Report
  • SAP Employee Level Salary Cost Report

4.2 School operated canteen

Schools that have a school operated canteen are required to prepare a School Operated Canteen Trading and Profit and Loss Statement. The Trading Statement is a financial management tool required to determine the school canteen’s end of year financial position (ie surplus/deficit).

4.2.1 School Operated Canteen Trading Statement

A template and instructions are available on the Schools Finance/School operated canteen website. To complete the template data is extracted from SAP via the free characteristic report. To ensure that all canteen operations are captured in the free characteristic report, the specific cost centre for school operated canteen activity must be used (ie 6xxxx202, where xxxx is the school code.)

The trading statement must be prepared at the end each quarter. This information is then automatically populated into the Annual school operated canteen trading statement.

The final trading statement at year end should be signed and dated by both the preparer (normally the school administrative manager) and the certifier (the principal) and then emailed to Schools Finance at sfsu.afs@det.nsw.edu.au.

A hardcopy and an electronic version of the signed trading statement must be retained for 7 years.

Refer to:

4.3 BAS reporting

Schools operating the School Finance system are not required to complete BAS reporting. Under the system all schools have the same ABN and a report is produced centrally and sent to the Australian Tax Office.

However it is vital that schools insert the correct SAP tax code on all expenses and revenue (purchases and receipts) in order that the department can claim the correct amount of GST.


Section 5 - Sources of funding

A base school allocation is received by the school through the Resource Allocation Model (RAM).

5.1 Introduction

A base school allocation is received by the school through the Resource Allocation Model (RAM). The RAM takes into account the fact that students and school communities are not all the same; they have different needs and levels of support. Funds are provided for a range of programs including operating expenses, staffing and training.

Other government grants are provided to schools for specific projects, from state and Australian Government sources. These funds must be used in accordance with the conditions of the grant.

Schools may also generate revenue through other sources including:

  • general school contributions
  • elective subject contributions
  • fundraising activities
  • contributions from parent organisations
  • community use of school facilities
  • donations/sponsorships.

All funds are to be spent in accordance with school needs, priorities, and match the school management plan.

Under the GST legislation, government schools do not have the status of charities. However, the Indirect Tax Legislation Amendment Act June 2000 provides government schools with the same GST concessions as charities and non-profit organisations.

The concessions affect the way schools handle revenue, particularly fundraising, donations and the non-commercial hiring of school facilities.

5.2 Resource Allocation Model (RAM)

The RAM is a needs based funding model that uses a base and loadings approach.

Five principles underpin the RAM

The RAM:

  • is based on student and school needs. The funding provided to schools reflects the characteristics of individual schools and their students.
  • is evidence based. The components of the model are underpinned by the latest educational research and NSW school and student data.
  • moves funds to schools efficiently and transparently. Funding flows directly to schools and they know the elements that make up their funding allocation.
  • provides certainty for schools. The model addresses deficiencies in the previous allocation process and gives more certainty to schools which supports effective school planning.
  • is sustainable and adaptable. The model has the capacity to adapt to new policy priorities and changing school and student populations in the future.

There is a school base allocation that includes the core cost of educating each student and operating a school and comprises the largest component of the model. The base is supplemented by equity loadings developed to support the different student needs.

In addition to the base and equity loadings, the RAM includes targeted funding to enable schools to be responsive to those students with more complex learning and support needs.

Funding allocations are generated on an annual basis. A school budget allocation report is provided to schools detailing calculations used for the funding.

Refer to:

The department will advise schools of their Planned School Budget Allocation in Term 4 of each preceding year, in order to plan the budget before commencement of the new budgeting year. Any adjustments to calculations arising from changes to enrolments etc. will be confirmed early in the school year via the Budget Planning Consolidation (BPC) solution. The Approved School Budget Allocation report is distributed to schools in Term 1 each year.

Information on how this money has impacted the school/students is mandatory in the Annual Report.

Note: Government schools cannot use government funding or grants to donate to charities.

5.2.1 Base school allocation

The base school allocation reflects the school type and includes:

  1. a per capita allocation
  2. a professional learning allocation for all staff (teaching and non-teaching)
  3. a budget based on current staffing entitlement, adhering to the class size policy
  4. site loadings for:
    • school buildings and facilities
    • climate (gas and electricity)
    • location.
5.2.1.1 Initiative funding

Initiative funding refers to state and Australian Government funding, where expenditure is made in accordance with set criteria and conditions which are advised to the school by the funding body. Where these funds are allocated as part of the RAM process the details are provided in the school based allocation report. More information can be obtained from the directorate or the organisation administering the funds.

Schools may receive other initiative funding through the year that will appear as budget adjustments. The school will receive advice on these funds at the time and can also seek further information from the applicable business unit.

General conditions apply to grants:

  • Expenditure must be within the approved purposes and monetary limits of the initiative.
  • Where there is more than one program within an initiative, expenditure must be within the approved purposes and monetary limits for each program.

At the conclusion of these funded programs, there may be funds that remain unspent. When this occurs, the school should contact the funding body responsible for issuing the funds and request advice as to the alternate use of these funds or the procedures required to return the unspent portion of the initiative.

If funds have been overspent at the end of the year and more funding is expected during the next year the balance remains a negative figure until funds arrive.

If funds have been overspent and no further funding is available the school is required to create a journal and transfer enough funds to cover the shortfall and create a nil balance.

An internal order number, or WBS for Australian Government Funds, should be utilised to track expenses against revenue received. Schools should be advised of the WBS or internal order number to use when funds are provided by the funding body.

5.2.2 Equity loadings

Socio-economic background -The rate of funding per student is based on a combination of individual student and school need using the Family Occupation and Education Index (FOEI).

Aboriginal background-The loading reflects both percentage and number of Aboriginal students in the school.

English language proficiency - The loading is calculated using each school’s reported level of English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) need.

Low level adjustment for disability-The loading is based on the number of students in regular classes with low level disability and learning support needs.

5.2.3 Targeted funding

Many students face unique and profound challenges that require personalised and customised targeted support.

Dedicated resources are required to support students in their regular learning environment. This includes students who:

  • require high or moderate level adjustment for disability
  • are new arrivals or refugees.

Funding is attached to the student and if they move schools and remain in regular classes within a NSW Department of Education school the funding is to be transferred with the student. Funding is to be returned to the department if the student does not remain in a regular class within a NSW Department of Education school.

Refer to:

5.3 School generated revenue

In addition to monies provided from government sources, schools may raise funds from community sources including requests to the parent or carers for voluntary school and elective subject contributions.

5.3.1 Voluntary school contributions

The principal must follow the Voluntary School Contributions policy and the Voluntary School Code of Practice.

The principal in consultation with the Finance Committee will determine the level of the voluntary school contributions, the mode of collection and the budget for expenditure.

Voluntary school contributions are capped. At the beginning of each year the department will advise on current information regarding assessed statewide averages and maximum escalation factors for the school year.

The payment of school contributions is voluntary and is a decision made by parents and carers. Schools may encourage parental support by emphasising the benefits that will flow to students through the improved educational resources made available through voluntary school contributions. The non-payment of any voluntary school contributions must comply with the Voluntary School Contribution Policy and not:

  • deny the student any part of the school educational programs
  • disadvantage the student in terms of the issue of school references or reports
  • cause the family or student to suffer any discrimination or any embarrassment.

Parents and carers must be made aware in all correspondence that all school contributions are voluntary. It is the principal’s responsibility to uphold this policy.

Voluntary school contributions are the property of the school in all but exceptional circumstances, such as the closure and amalgamation of schools. Funds must be used and purchases made in accordance with the policies and procedures referred to in this handbook. As voluntary school contributions are used in the provision of education related supplies, these amounts are GST-free (General ledger account 420009).

5.3.2 Elective subject contributions

There is no charge to fulfil the minimum requirements of the curriculum.

Schools may request contributions for the purchase of materials to enhance the delivery of elective subjects in the key learning areas eg creative arts, technology, applied science and PD/health/PE. A clear description of what the extra material/resources being paid for are must be supplied to parent/carers with the request.

All money collected must be used in the year collected.

Contributions should be receipted prior to the issue of the materials to the student.

School funds may be used as a safety net for those parents or carers unable to pay for elective subject contributions/materials.

Discretion should be used by school staff when following up on non-payment of contributions for elective subjects.

The principal should ensure that no student or family suffers any discrimination or embarrassment over failure to make an elective subject contribution.

As elective subject contributions are used in the provision of education related supplies, these amounts are GST-free (General ledger account 420010).

Specific purchases of materials covered by elective subject contributions should be recorded under GL 523585 - Purchasing for resale.

The school must undertake a regular stocktake and a reconciliation of the balance of stock on hand with the actual material in storage.

All materials are to be kept in a secure area and keys to the secured area limited to authorised officers only.

5.3.3 School activities, excursions etc.

This section refers to excursions, school performances, concerts, sporting visits and other events where moneys are received from students for attendance.

Where excursions are organised, they must be for the whole class and no student is to be disadvantaged because of the inability of a parent/carer to pay the cost involved.

The cost of excursions is to be met by the parent/carer and/or subsidised from school funds, unless the cost is chargeable to a grant.

School funds may be used as a safety net for those parents/carers unable to pay due to financial hardship, if this is covered in the school policy.

An administration charge may be added to an excursion where the:

  • school policy clearly indicates administration may be charged on excursions
  • school community have been consulted on the practice and agree to an administration charge
  • administration charge is clearly detailed within the costs set out to parents/carers for the excursion.

Note: An administration fee should not be considered where the school is in a solid financial position nor if their local community is not aware of the practice.

5.3.3.1 Finance processing

Income and expenditure categories are to be selected from the SAP General ledger accounts to record money received from students, with appropriate GL's being used to identify specific activities. ie

  • 420020 Income – Extra curricular
  • 420021 Income – School sport
  • 420001 Income – Excursions

Payments are to be recorded through the relevant expenditure GL code.

5.3.3.2 Statement of receipts and payments

For major excursions/events ie those involving expenditures that warrant individual control, it is recommended that:

  1. schools use an internal order (IO) (Statewide or Local) with revenue and expenses recorded against the IO
  2. receipts and payments for each major event be reviewed regularly by the principal.

Suggested report(s) in SAP which can be printed to monitor income and expenditure are:

  • School local activity excursion initiative report
  • Schools overview report (internal orders).

Where an advance is made to a teacher for an excursion, the policies and procedures outlined in the Finance in Schools Handbook Section 8.25 Prepayments must be followed.

5.3.3.3 Managing GST on excursions

School excursions are directly related to the school’s curriculum, therefore the supply is GST-free to students except for the taxable food component.

To organise an excursion, the school coordinates transport, accommodation, entry fees, and meals and calculates the charge to each student. Any supply of food as part of an excursion, whether provided by the school or by another supplier, is not GST-free to students.

The Commissioner of Taxation has made an allowance for schools to apportion the GST cost on taxable food based on an estimate. The basis for the apportionment must be applied consistently and the school must retain a record with the excursion documentation.

The Excursion Checklist (Appendix 5 - 1) is designed to assist in administering an excursion and accounting for the GST. The Excursion GST worksheet (Appendix 5 - 2) is designed to assist in calculating the excursion and GST costs for the school and for each student.

Quotes from suppliers should include a breakdown of the excursion costs into its various components, for example, transport, accommodation and food and provide a charge per student. Quotes should include the non-food and food components separately with the GST payable on each of these components. Schools should remind suppliers of these requirements when requesting a quote as they may not always display the GST separately. If the excursion provider separates the food and non-food components on quotes and invoices, schools can readily calculate the GST component of the excursion, enabling the easy calculation of the total cost of the excursion for each student.

When a supplier does not provide a quote that separately identifies the taxable food component and amount of GST payable, the school should request a revised quote. Where the supplier is unable to provide a breakdown, the school can estimate the percentage of the total cost that relates to taxable food. One eleventh of this estimated amount for the food component is the GST that will be charged to each student and paid to the ATO.

Refer to:

Example

A school is running an overnight camp for students. This camp is managed as follows:

Obtain a quote from the supplier (or suppliers) that shows separately the cost of the excursion and the GST that will apply as well as the cost of food and the GST that will apply to the food.

Payment

Once the decision is made to accept the quote, a Shopping Cart should be created for the deposit, selecting an Internal Order if applicable, for the purpose of tracking the funds.

For a down payment/deposit, a shopping cart is created using a tax code P2, without GST. A second line can be created as tax code P1 with tax for any final costs relating to the camp. Both lines can be created initially, if the full amount is known and edited later if any changes in the final invoice. If only the deposit amount is known, the second line for the balance can be added when the final invoice is received.

A confirmation is created for all lines in the purchase order and the final invoice is sent to EDConnect for processing, if they do not have the invoice already. Based on the initial down payment and final invoice EDConnect will claim the correct amount of GST applicable across all invoices/down payments that relate to that purchase order.

(Sample costs only)

Payment type $ Tax Code
Deposit 1,000 P2
Balance 19,000 P1
Total 20,000 n/a

Receipting:

To account for GST on the food component in ebs:central, the school must use an enrolment level fee type for an excursion. Two fee types are established as they have different GST treatments. The Excursion fee type is GST free while the food component must include GST.

  • excursion fee GST free - use tax code S2.
  • food component - use a separate fee type and the S1 GST code.

The generic fee type, excursion fee, should be used against all excursion categories UI/UIO (Unit Instance Occurrence), for example, excursion fee for year 6 camp.

Example of camp with GST on food

Fee type Tax code
Food cost + GST S1
Yr x camp cost GST free S2

The Cost Centre, Fund Code and Internal Order where applicable, should be consistent with the Shopping Cart and can be nominated at the fee value level of the UIO for tracking purposes.

Refer to:

5.3.4 Applying student welfare/assistance

The Student Welfare Policy should also be referred to.

The following items/activities are regarded as acceptable for the allocation of funds:

  • excursions and camps
  • sport, subject contributions
  • textbooks and stationery needs
  • clothing/uniforms and footwear.

Student welfare and assistance must not be used for the payment of general/voluntary school contributions.

5.3.4.1 Consideration of hardship

The principal must ensure that the following guidelines concerning the management of funds are being observed.

  • Schools are required to have strategies in place to engage with parents, understand the needs and views of parents and support families in long term hardship or short term crisis in confidence and on a case by case basis.
  • Schools should consider proactive strategies to engage with parents who may be experiencing hardship. This may include discretely approaching parent/carers who may need support and special payment arrangements.
  • School must set a transparent school process for
    • meeting and communicating with parents
    • providing advice to parent/carers on what information will be required to review their situation
    • reviewing criteria to assess student welfare assistance applications
    • openly communicate a school contact who will act confidentiality.
  • Treat applications confidentially.
  • Accurately account for funds.
  • Maintain adequate documentation and make available for audit.
5.3.4.2 How are funds for student assistance/welfare provided and recorded

Funding should be allocated from either:

  1. per capita allocation equity Loading for socio-economic background or
  2. equity loading for Aboriginal background.

Schools are expected to expend these equity funds in the year received.

A school with a high level of student need should link the use of the socio-economic background resourcing to the achievement of one or more of the school’s strategic directions. Some funding may go to support whole school programs and strategies and some may go to support particular groups of students or individual students.

Refer to:

5.3.4 Preschool fees

The NSW Department of Education operates preschool classes in 100 government schools. These classes were established to provide a preschool education for children one year before school entry in areas of disadvantage with a particular focus on children:

  • living in low socio-economic circumstances
  • who are refugees or from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • with disabilities
  • who are Aboriginal.

Parents are required to pay a fee for attendance of their child at the preschool class unless they are eligible for fee relief or fee exemption (General ledger account 420004). Preschool fees are legally enforceable however schools should not set the legally enforceable flag in ebs:central as this will prevent any exemptions from being applied.

Refer to:

5.3.5 Residential agricultural schools

Students boarding at residential agricultural schools are required to pay boarding fees that are approved annually by the minister or delegate and are to be paid at the beginning of each term (General ledger account 408344). These fees are legally enforceable and should therefore be flagged as such in ebs:central.

Refer to:

5.3.6 Canteen

The objective of most school canteens is to generate sufficient income to:

  1. meet the full costs of operating the canteen, including purchases of stock, telephone, wages, superannuation, staff leave entitlements, equipment replacement reserves and other direct expenses
  2. provide an appropriate contribution for the benefit of the school and students.

Refer to:

5.4 Hire of school equipment

Revenue from the hire of school equipment, e.g. textbooks, lockers, musical instruments etc. (excludes Licenced Canteen) is to be recorded under General Ledger account 420024 - Internal Public Money.

5.4.1 GST in relation to the hire or lease to students

The lease or hire of curriculum-related goods to students is GST-free provided the following four conditions are met:

  • the supply must be directly or principally for the use by a student in undertaking a preschool, primary or secondary course
  • the goods must be hired or leased by the school as the provider of the preschool, primary or secondary course
  • at all times, the school retains the right to decide who uses the goods and the use to which the goods will be put
  • there is not any transfer or agreement to transfer ownership of the goods to the student at any stage.

Examples

A school provides textbooks to students for use during the year. The cost of hiring the textbooks is included in the subject fees. This is a GST-free supply because the student uses the textbook for a course of study provided by the school and returns the textbook at the end of the course of study. The school retains ownership of the textbook. The student does not pay GST.

A student loses a textbook and the school charges the student for the cost of replacing the book. The school must include GST in the charge for the book. The GST collected from the student is receipted into GST Received and remitted to the ATO. The student effectively buys the replacement book so he/she must pay GST.

The school provides a musical instrument or a laptop computer for which the student pays a hiring fee. This is a GST-free supply because the student uses the musical instrument or computer for a course of study provided by the school and returns the item at the end of the course of study. The school retains ownership of the item. The student does not pay GST.

A primary school provides recorders to students studying music. Each student pays for the recorder, uses it for musical studies during the year and then keeps the recorder at year's end. This is not a GST-free supply as ownership of the recorder is transferred to the student. The student pays GST in the price of the recorder. The school receipts the GST component to GST Received and remits this amount to the ATO.

Each year, the school hires lockers to students. The students pay a locker hire fee that is refunded at year's end upon return of their locker key. Facilities are part of the supply of an education course. The supply of a locker is therefore GST-free to the student. If the student fails to return the locker key and forfeits all or part of the locker hire fee then the school must remit 1/11th of the amount forfeited to the ATO.

5.4.2 Refundable deposits

Where students are required to pay a refundable deposit for school property on loan as part of the hire arrangement, e.g. locker keys, musical instruments, cameras etc, General ledger account 420024 – Internal public money should be used to receipt this payment. The school is to maintain an adequate system for recording the collection and refund of such money.

When deposits are received, the school is to:

  1. receipt the money by one of the methods described in Section 7 – Receipting and banking
  2. record the receipt of funds to the General ledger Account 420024 Internal public money
  3. enter details into the Refundable deposit section in the Register of Financial Items.

Refer to:

If the record of refundable deposit is a separate listing from the Register of Financial Items, the record should be retained with the Register of Financial Items at the administration office.

The principal is to use discretion when refunding deposits to students of a young age. It is recommended that where cash is to be refunded to pupils up to Year 3, written permission be obtained from the parent or carer for the student to accept the cash refund. If permission is not given, arrangements should be made for the parent or carer to collect the refund. When refunding a deposit General ledger account 420024 - Internal public money is to be used.

Refund of deposits can be made in one of the following ways:

  • by requesting a payment to the parent or carer, with a suitable notation made in the Register
  • where there are a number of payments to be made at the one time, and the individual amounts are minor, amounts may be refunded to students in cash from a petty cash float. Multiple reimbursements must not exceed $100 in total
  • A cash advance can be applied for where a list of refunds/students can be prepared and submitted with the application. Students should sign the appropriate refund list or the Register of Financial Items to acknowledge receipt of the refund. If this is not practicable, the teacher responsible is to certify that refunds have been made to pupils who were entitled to the refund.

Deposits are GST free, however GST is payable on deposits if the deposit is forfeited.

5.5 Sponsorship

Sponsorship from community groups, organisations and individuals may include money, equipment and services which will benefit the educational programs of the school. Schools are not to enter into commitments in the expectation that sponsorship will be received. Any resulting funds and equipment from sponsorship become the property of the school and are to be spent in accordance with any conditions attached.

All contributions, sponsorships and bequests are GST free, providing that they are made without any conditions attached. Income from sponsorships must be credited to the school’s bank account promptly using the specific General ledger account 420008 – Sponsorships received.

For sponsorships, schools must determine whether the revenue is truly a 'sponsorship'. Schools receiving advertising or marketing in return for a sponsorship are receiving a material benefit and the sponsorship is not considered a gift. As sponsors are receiving a supply in return for their payments GST will apply to the amount paid.

In cases where a sponsor provides goods and services in return for other goods and services there is a 'contra sponsorship'. Although there is a supply on both sides, in practice it can be assumed they are of equal value. The school equipment registers may need to be updated to reflect this however no further action would be necessary in the Schools Finance system.

Schools receiving income for sponsorship should be aware of the department’s policy on sponsorship.

5.5.1 Authority to negotiate and approve sponsorships

The authority to negotiate and approve sponsorships rests with:

  • school principals, after consultation with relevant school community bodies, when sponsorship involves a single school and is in line with the principal’s financial delegation
  • Director, Educational Leadership when sponsorship involves a cluster of schools within the network and is in line with the director’s financial delegation
  • executive directors when the sponsorship involves an area based activity or several networks and is in line with the executive director’s financial delegation
  • Deputy Secretary when the sponsorship is state-wide and is above the executive director’s financial delegation.

5.5.2 Monitoring and reporting responsibilities

It is recommended that a permanent record be kept of sponsors showing names, amount and purpose.

The department’s Legal Services Directorate should be consulted about sponsorship contract enquiries where the value of the sponsorship is $10,000 or more. The directorate provides templates that may be adapted for specific needs. Where the value of a sponsorship is less than $10,000, the Sponsorship agreement proforma should be used. Final contracts should always be approved by the Legal Services Directorate.

5.6 Donations, bequests and legacies

Refer to:

5.7 Parent organisations

Funds and equipment donated become the property of the school and are to be spent and used in accordance with any conditions attached.

Donations to the school must be banked and credited to the school’s account promptly using specific General ledger account 420006 - Donations P&C.

5.8 School building, school public library and school for specific purposes and gift funds

Schools may seek registration from the Taxation services of the department for the establishment of a School Building Fund, School Public Library or School for Specific Purposes (SSP) Gift Fund to operate as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).

Monies received for school activities and donations to the DGR fund (School Building, School Public Library, Specific or SSP Gift Fund) must be promptly banked and credited to the school’s DGR account referencing the relevant internal order using the specific General ledger account 420023 - DGR Receipts.

List of DGR funds with their relative fund code

Description Fund code
DGR Building Fund 6811
DGR School Library Fund 6812
DGR Special School Gift Fund 6813
DGR Specific Fund 6814

5.9 Fundraising

The department recognises that many schools, generally in co-operation with their parent organisation, raise considerable funds to supplement their educational resources by fundraising efforts organised around fetes, market days, etc.

The department approves of such fundraising events provided events:

  1. are not excessively used as a source of funds and the organisation of the event is suited to the socio-economic environment of the community
  2. do not include dangerous activities, which could lead to injury to pupils, staff or the public or damage to property.

Schools and parent organisations who conduct fundraising must do so in accordance with the conditions specified by the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991. The general information can be obtained from the Liquor and Gaming NSW website.

The principal is to establish adequate financial procedures to ensure that all monies received from fundraising activities such as fun runs, readathons, walkathons, market days, social functions, etc are receipted and banked properly. As schools are non-profit organisations they can conduct raffles and games of chance for fundraising purposes.

For information regarding the conduct of fundraising activities in schools, refer to Legal Issues Bulletin No.36 (PDF 67.07KB).

All revenue from fundraising events is receipted to the relevant General ledger account - Fundraising 420002 except when fundraising for charity (5.9.1).

5.9.1 Fundraising for charity

Revenue raised for a registered charity must be receipted into the General ledger account 420018 - Third party receipts. The school is acting as an agent for the charity. No GST is collected and all the revenue raised is paid to the charity. The charity must provide the school with some evidence that its income is exempt from taxation, either by quoting the charity’s ABN or a copy of the charity’s notice from the Commissioner of Taxation. This evidence must be retained with the school’s transaction records. Payment to the charity should be made using General ledger account 528652 - Third party payments.

Best practice

PCards can be used to make a donation to a charity provided that:

  • funds are raised and receipted first
  • funds are processed as Third Party receipts and payments.

Refer to:

5.9.2 Financial management of school fetes/market days

The principal may adopt the following suggestions to oversee financial aspects of activities such as market days, fetes, etc.

A ticket system may be adopted for different amusement rides; the total proceeds for each ride can be calculated according to tickets sold.

To ensure safe custody of surplus cash, the principal may appoint a responsible person to collect cash at regular intervals throughout the day. A receipt is to be issued to the person in charge of each stall for the amount collected.

Where possible, two or more people are to be appointed for each stall and the same people work on the stall throughout the day. Where other people take over the running of the stall the collections received to that point (less any float) are to be counted and a receipt issued.

Best practice

Contact your Cash In Transit provider before the fundraising event to arrange a pick up for a large amount of cash. This may need to be budgeted for from the expected fundraising revenue if it does not fall within your current contract.

5.9.3 Fundraising drives

When a school is organising a fundraising drive and purchases goods for resale by students and school staff to the public, the following procedure should be undertaken.

All stock must be held in a secure and appropriate location. A person not responsible for record keeping of stock is to conduct a stocktake at the end of the activity or when requested by the principal.

A record must be maintained to show the following:

  • total value of purchases
  • amounts paid to the supplier
  • stock issued to each person responsible for resale
  • amounts collected from each person responsible for resale
  • value (at cost) of balance of stock
  • total profit.

5.9.4 Extra curricular activities

Suggested methods of accounting for collections from school extra-curricular activities such as student concert nights are:

  1. as per procedures covered in Section 7 - Receipting and banking
  2. the sale of tickets may be appropriate provided that the:
    • tickets are suitably identified, ie pre-numbered in a continuous sequence
    • tickets indicate the school name and relevant details of the social function and cost per ticket
    • cost of any tickets sold for performances out of school hours is required to include GST on the ticket price.

All unused tickets are to be returned to the school with the collections.

Collections are checked at the school office against tickets issued. This check is to be carried out before a receipt is issued to the collector. As a cross reference the receipt is to include details of the ticket numbers used and a list prepared of any missing tickets not returned.

Where practical, arrangements are to be made to ensure that all collections are paid to the school administrative officer to enable banking on that day (General ledger account 420019 – Income performances/activities). When this is not practical, collections are to be adequately safeguarded. The use of night safe facilities for such occasions is strongly recommended.

5.9.5 Commissions

When the school receives a commission for services, it must include GST. This occurs whenever the school receives a cash consideration for the service it provides. Examples are the school photographer; sale of uniforms on behalf of parents; or a book supplier in return for a school holding a book fair.

Before school staff becomes involved in the collection of monies for outside entities, the principal is to request that the entity provide suitable indemnity against liability for loss or deficiency of such monies on school premises.

Schools will need to set up all organisations that provide commissions to the school as a Business Partner in the School Finance system. A sales order to the value of the commission will also need to be actioned.

When the school receives a commission for services, the receipt is subject to GST and should be receipted into General ledger account 420005 – Commissions received.

Refer to:

5.9.6 Commissions in kind

Where a school receives a commission in the form of goods instead of money, this is referred to as a commission in kind. Schools are not required to issue a receipt. However the school should receive a Tax Invoice from the other party for the value of the goods and issue a school Tax Invoice for the same amount in return. The original invoice from the other party together with a copy of the school’s invoice must be filed at the school for record of the transfer of goods.

Note: The Asset and equipment register should be updated if applicable.

5.9.7 Store promotions

When the school receives a rebate from a store in either a cash or voucher form which is based on sales made to parents/carers and not the school, this rebate is considered GST free. This should be receipted as miscellaneous income (General ledger account number 420100) using tax code S5, for example a store which keeps a listing of schools by name and records any sales against that school, in turn preparing a rebate for sales.

Parents will state the name of the school at a particular shop when paying for products and the school receives either a cash commission or a voucher to purchase goods from the store. In this case, the school is not making a taxable supply. The school does not provide anything to the store in return for the commission or voucher.

The school may provide advertising for the store by promoting the campaign through its newsletter. If so, this is a supply but it is not in connection with any consideration. The store will provide the school with the commission or voucher regardless of whether or not the school provides promotion of the campaign (and thereby the store).

Therefore, no GST is payable by the school on the GST inclusive market value of the commission or voucher.

5.10 Community use of school facilities

The department encourages the use of school buildings, grounds and facilities by the community for appropriate purposes. This is a way of sharing a unique resource and strengthening the partnership between schools and local communities.

The principal is responsible for approving the community use of school facilities after consultation with the school council and parent organisation. Principals should ensure that the organisation’s goals and proposed use of the facility are consistent with the values and goals of public education. As well, community use should not interfere with a school’s provision of quality learning programs to students.

A Community use agreement must be negotiated between the school and the community user, in accordance with the guidelines in the Community Use of School Facilities Implementation Procedures (PDF 1398.52KB).

Parent organisations and their sub committees are entitled to free use of school facilities. Although parent organisations and their sub committees are entitled to free use, schools should ensure that a Community use agreement is in place with parent organisations to document the terms of the proposed use of the school facilities, as well as their obligations regarding such use (for example the requirement for the user to take out public liability insurance).

Information relating to the Community Use of School Facilities policy is available on the department intranet.

Community use of school facilities is classed as a commercial sale and the organisation will need to be set up in the system as a business partner.

Revenue from the hire of school property, eg a multipurpose hall, classrooms, gymnasium, musical instruments etc. (excludes Licensed Canteen) is to be recorded under General Ledger account 420003 – Hire of Facilities.

When the facility is hired for a one-off standalone event a sales order to the value of the lease/agreement will also need to be actioned (General ledger account 420003 – Hire of facilities).

Additionally if the facility is hired for a series of activities a contract with a billing plan to the value of the lease/agreement will also need to be actioned (General ledger account 420003 – Hire of facilities).

Refer to:

5.10.1 Objectives

It is government policy to encourage the use of school buildings, grounds and facilities by the community as widely as is consistent with the requirements of the school in carrying out its educational functions. The sharing of facilities will provide benefits to both the community and the school through:

  • enhancing co-operation and goodwill in school community relationships
  • providing opportunities for the community to become better informed about and to participate in the school’s operation
  • increasing security of facilities through having responsible community members on site
  • increasing revenue for schools to use on improvements to premises and school resources
  • ensuring increased and more widespread use of Government's investment in valuable community resources.

Principals should make every effort to facilitate and foster community use of school facilities. An application for use of school buildings, grounds and facilities should only be declined if it is inconsistent with the school's educational functions, involves one or more of the prohibited activities referred to below or if the facilities are already being used by another community group, and therefore, are unavailable.

During normal school hours, community use of school buildings, grounds and facilities will be limited by the regular requirements of the school, by the availability of accommodation and by the need for compatibility between school and community activities. Community groups which satisfactorily meet conditions for use during school hours should be accommodated if at all possible.

5.10.2 School policies

In consultation with the school community, each school should develop policy and practice consistent with department guidelines to facilitate use by community groups. This should include determination of the conditions of use, financial arrangements and operational matters such as security, safety precautions and industrial requirements.

Smoking is strictly prohibited at all times in buildings and on school grounds.

5.10.3 Authority to approve use

Approval for the use of school facilities, in general, is the responsibility of the principal. Approval of Director, Educational Leadership is required for:

  • the ongoing use of surplus accommodation
  • disaster welfare arrangements
  • formal agreements with local government bodies (usually associated with the joint development of facilities).

Any other use which the principal believes to be significant enough to warrant consideration by tDirector, Educational Leadership.

Approval to use school facilities must be formalised through an agreement between the principal of the school and the community user. The agreement should specify details about times, fees and conditions of use. Community users must comply with these conditions of use. The principal is to maintain records of agreements with community users for the use of school facilities and such financial records as required.

The agreement should operate for the specified term and principals should advise community users at least one month before its expiry whether the agreement can be renegotiated for a further term. The agreement should only be terminated before the expiry date if there has been a significant breach of the agreement, an unforeseen essential school need for exclusive use of the facilities or where the community use is detrimental to the school or its students.

5.10.4 Prohibited use

Schools must not permit their facilities to be used for activities that interfere with learning or are considered to be inconsistent with the values of Public Education. These include activities that:

  • infringe on the delivery of school programs
  • are likely to cause damage or risk to students or property
  • create excessive noise or pose a nuisance to nearby residents
  • involve the use of firearms
  • involve games of chance or gambling, unless written authorisation or licence has been obtained
  • are illegal.

Organisations which are proscribed by the Federal Government for security purposes as terrorist organisations are not to be given access to the school students or facilities.

Activities that involve the consumption of alcohol require a licence and must be approved by the principal.

5.10.5 Fees

Fees may be charges for the hire of facilities and for costs incurred in their use. These fees include GST. In general, community users should be required to meet at least additional recurrent operating costs arising from their use of facilities, eg lighting, heating, cooling.

Additional cleaning costs incurred through community use of school facilities will normally be met by the community user. Any such costs may be minimised by community users ensuring that school premises are left clean and tidy with furnishings replaced in their original location ready for normal school use. Failure to restore premises to a clean and tidy condition may result in community users being charged for the costs of engaging additional cleaners and/or refusal to make the facilities available on any subsequent occasion (after the expiration of appropriate notice).

5.10.6 Hire or lease of facilities to external entities

Schools hire facilities to various external entities such as other schools, charities, businesses or local community groups or associations. Where the lease or hire of facilities is considered a commercial activity, then the school must charge GST in the hire price and remit the GST amount to the ATO. Where the other entity is registered for GST and the amount of the invoice exceeds $82.50, the school should issue a Tax Invoice to enable that entity to claim an input tax credit for the GST paid in the hire.

5.10.6.1 Commercial or non-commercial activity

For a revenue generating activity to be regarded as a GST-free supply, it must be a non-commercial activity. The charge for that supply must be either less than 50 per cent of the market value or less than 75 per cent of the cost of the supply. This applies to the lease or hire of facilities to other schools, charities, or businesses.

Schools are required to undertake reasonable investigations of the market value applicable to the hire of comparable facilities elsewhere within the local area. This information should be documented and filed by the school. Schools should contact local councils, clubs, sports/fitness centre on a yearly basis and record the local commercial rates.

5.10.6.1.1 Market value

To determine 'market value' for school facilities, contact your local council, local clubs, churches and sports/fitness centre that offer similar facilities for hire. Record the details given together with the date you obtained the information. A check the market value of other facilities in your local area should be undertaken at least once each year.

This information should be added to the Register of Financial Items on an ongoing, yearly basis.

Where the time taken to determine the market value is excessive compared to the ‘relatively’ small amount of GST that would be charged, schools may choose to charge the GST. This decision must be recorded and filed at the school in the Register of Financial Items.

Example

A school hires out a classroom to the local wildlife preservation group for $20. There are no similar sized venues in the vicinity to enable an assessment of the market value. The school may choose to charge $22 including GST rather than spend in excess of $2 in staff time and effort determining the market value. This decision should be recorded on the receipt documentation.

A flowchart shows the process required to assess whether GST must be charged (collected) on hiring or leasing equipment or facilities.

Refer to:

5.10.7 Financial records

The principal is responsible for maintaining proper accounting records in accordance with procedures in this handbook. Where a school council, sub-committee of the school council or school facilities committee is established, it may be required by the Principal to assist in the maintenance of financial records.

The principal must ensure sales orders are set up to collect hiring fees and that all fees are deposited into the school's account.

Refer to:

5.10.8 Insurance

Department policy provides that community organisations using school premises and facilities shall be responsible for insurance coverage for accidents and shall indemnify the Department of Education against claims.

This responsibility can be best accepted by the organisation taking out public liability insurance. Parent organisations which are affiliated with the Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations can obtain insurance through the P&C Association.

The agreement as set out in the guidelines for the community use of school facilities states the following:

  • The community user will take out and keep in force an appropriate public liability and legal liability policy for the amount of at least $10 million. The community user will be asked to produce a certificate of currency for sighting by the principal.
  • Some groups/associations are covered by a blanket insurance policy taken out centrally. An example of this would be the NSW Playgroup Association. Verification that a group/association is appropriately covered may be sought from the Legal Services Directorate.
  • The community user will also take out and keep in force an appropriate workers' compensation policy with an insurer under the Workers' Compensation Act 1987 in respect of any employees of the community user who are employed in connection with the use of the facilities and equipment. The community user will be asked to produce the policy for sighting by the principal.
  • In the case of government departments which are self-insurers, the department concerned need only indicate in writing that it will meet the costs of such matters as outlined in the Community Use Agreement.

5.11 Third party funds

Third party funds are revenue that the school receives but cannot spend as it desires as the school is holding the funds on behalf of another party. The school does not administer the funds in any way.

Some examples include:

  • money collected for a Year 12 farewell which is totally out sourced ie where only one payment will be made
  • money collected from students for the purchase of books to be paid directly to a third party bookseller, for example Scholastic book club
  • collection of amounts to be forwarded on to charities.

The school is not required to separate GST on receipts. The total amount is receipted into the General ledger account 420018 - Third party receipts and expended from 528652 - Third party payments.

The Trust fund decision tree shows the decisions around categorising types of collections and money received. This determines the difference between internal public money and third party public money collections.

Third party money can only be collected on behalf of students and banked in the school centralised bank account. No third party money in respect of staff associations/organisations is to be held by the school.

Money collected on behalf of staff for example tea collections, staff retirements, end of year functions are classed as private money and should not be banked into a departmental account. The department is not liable for private money. These funds must not be receipted into the Schools Finance system and are not to be banked into the school centralised bank account.

Refer to:

5.12 Managed funds claims

The NSW Treasury Managed Fund (NSW TMF) Scheme provides a range of cover for most NSW government agencies, including NSW Public Schools. The department has been a member of the scheme since its inception in 1989 and is a government self-insurance scheme providing cover across five lines of business including property, liability, workers compensation, motor vehicle and miscellaneous covers.

Information in relation to the NSW Treasury Managed Fund and how to go about making a claim is available from Business Services.

5.13 Interest on funds

Interest earned (General ledger account 440004) on School and community funds (Fund code 6300) and Third party Funds (6820) is applied to the school profit centre on a regular basis by the department.

Interest earned on DGR funds is applied to General ledger account 440005 – DGR Interest, against the relevant DGR fund.

Schools cannot set up term deposits or investment accounts. All school funds are held centrally in the one bank account.


Section 6 - Budgeting and forecasting

A budget is an annual financial plan that includes all income and expenditure projected for the year and allows schools to estimate their year-end position.

6.1 Introduction

The preparation of an annual budget is mandatory.

A budget is the most fundamental and effective financial management tool available to schools. Sound financial planning in putting the budget together, combined with an ongoing process of reviewing actual performance against the budget will assist principals in the control of the school’s finances.

RAM Allocation and funds received from contributions should be allocated and spent in the year it is received by the school.

Budgeting is supported by the Schools Budgeting and Forecasting solution, known as the interim Enterprise Financial Planning Tool (eFPT). It is designed to assist the following staff with the budgeting process:

  • principals
  • school executives
  • school administrative manager (SAM)/ business manager
  • school cost centre managers (budget holders).

Forecasting is the process of reviewing and monitoring a school’s annual budget on a monthly basis, comparing it with actual expenditure and making adjustments for the remaining months of the year, where necessary. This process is completed through the interim eFPT.

6.2 Budgeting and forecasting in the School Finance system

The interim eFPT must be used by schools to budget and forecast.

An annual budget that includes all items of projected revenue and expenditure must be prepared and continually monitored using the interim eFPT.

6.3 Roles and responsibility for the budget

While the responsibility for the budget process rests with the principal, consideration should be given to the formation of a finance committee.

The finance committee acts in an advisory capacity and provides assistance to the principal in:

  • identifying and costing expenditure programs
  • identifying and estimating sources of income
  • allocating priorities
  • monitoring actual results against the budget.

To be effective, the finance committee is to comprise of a cross section of the school and community. Participation of representatives from the school community in the financial planning process will result in an increased knowledge of, and commitment to the financial goals of the school. If it is not possible to form a committee due to small numbers of staff and limited community involvement the principal should seek alternative input where possible ie director, local business.

Membership could include:

  • school staff with responsibilities for cost centres or program activities
  • school administration manager/ business manager
  • parent and community representatives
  • student representatives.

The principal should consider the skill, knowledge, expertise and commitment of interested parties before appointing finance committee members.

6.3.1 Structure of roles within the school

The principal is responsible for the delivery of specific outputs, outcomes and programs. They are accountable for the financial performance of their school, including revenue and expenditure budget limits. Principals are responsible for providing:

  1. strategic advice on budget allocations
  2. monitoring financial performance in order to inform decision making
  3. compliance with financial policy, delegations and procedures.

The finance committee is responsible for providing advice to the principal on strategic financial planning and reporting on compliance across both the whole school budget and individual budget areas.

School cost centre managers/finance committee are responsible for preparing the bottom up budgets. Budgets should be phased to reflect the consumption pattern of expenditures and estimate revenues to support meaningful variance explanations. Cost centre managers are accountable for their budget management and must operate within the delegated limits.

More information on cost centres can be found on the Schools Finance/Cost centres web page.

School administrative manager (SAM)/business manager is responsible for producing the most up to date reports for the finance committee and cost centre managers and assisting in identifying areas of cost pressure or non-compliance with financial delegations, policy and procedures.

6.4 School budgeting

School budgeting is the process of planning how a school’s annual allocation of funds will be spent across staffing, operating and capital expenses and consists of the following stages;

  • preparing budgets which guide financial activity towards the achievement of critical organisational goals identified in the school plan
  • monitoring actual transactions against planned financial results to ensure that the school’s goals are achievable
  • amending the financial plan through forecasting, to take into account new information or unexpected events that may have a positive or negative impact on its achievement.

The school budget is developed in accordance with the school plan and is prepared using the interim eFPT. Budgeting directs the school's financial resources and is the instrument for making the school plan a reality.

Refer to

The interim eFPT is accessed via the staff portal (https://staff.det.nsw.edu.au). The interim eFPT consists of two components:

  • Budgeting solution to enable preparation of the budget and plan income and expenditure.
  • Forecasting solution compares the final approved budget against actual results, to determine if financial objectives are being achieved and make adjustments where needed.

The use of the interim eFPT provides schools with the capability to manage their budget and to make decisions on redirection of funds and/or re-prioritising of programs to achieve the school’s educational goals.

The interim eFPT uses a Microsoft Office Excel interface. It is fully integrated with SAP. The budget figures are entered in the interim eFPT via budget input sheets.

The interim eFPT has been designed to support School Budget Allocation funding. The budget is initially prepared when the planned School Budget Allocation becomes available (usually in the last term of the preceding year). Allocated funding eg School Budget Allocation, will be updated automatically in the interim eFPT as planned funds are allocated. It is essential that the annual budget is ready for use at the commencement of the new financial year (January). This may be before the final approved School Budget Allocation is received. The school should continue to use the planned School Budget Allocation values supplied until the approved School Budget Allocation is confirmed and received.

6.4.1 Using the interim eFPT tool

The interim eFPT will be prepopulated with last year’s budget figures as the starting point for compiling the coming year’s budget. These initial budget figures can be cleared in preparation for the coming year. If this option is preferred it must be actioned before the end of the current school year ie before 31 December.

6.5 Preparing the budget

The process for the preparation of the annual budget is determined by the principal, in consultation with the finance committee.

6.5.1 Budgeting process

The principal may choose to develop the budget with the assistance of the finance committee, a 'top down budgeting' approach, or may involve staff in setting their budgets, referred to as 'bottom up budgeting'. A principal may also use a combination of the two approaches called 'hybrid budgeting' where the finance committee receives an allocation request for each cost centre. Responsibility for preparing the budget at a cost centre level is delegated to cost centre managers.

Comparison of budget setting approaches

The following image provides a comparison of top-down, bottom-up and hybrid approaches in relation to:

  • time and cost to develop budget
  • risk of under and over allocation of budget
  • risk of inconsistent priorities
  • risk of unrealistic budget estimates
  • potential lack of ownership.
    Comparison of budget setting approaches

Where possible, an inclusive approach to budgeting should be practised. The task of preparing the individual cost centre budgets should be allocated to school staff responsible for the various program activities, such as faculty head teachers, curriculum coordinators or classroom teachers. Involving staff upfront will potentially result in a better budget and more effective budgeting process.

The flow chart below outlines the 'hybrid budgeting' process:

Overview of hybrid budgeting

View a text version of the hybrid budgeting process.

Staff must be made aware that the budget is to be prepared on the basis that items are only to be included if they are essential for the achievement of the current year's program objective(s). The budget must not be seen as a wish list but rather a needs statement. Using this method, the draft budget will be an aggregated sum of the various cost centre budgets. The responsibility to approve and finalise the budget always resides with the principal.

6.5.2 Setting the budget

There are two main ways to build a budget, incremental and zero-based budgeting. Schools may choose to combine both methods, depending on what works best and the nature of the item they are estimating.

Incremental budgeting uses the previous year’s figures and factors in inflation or changes to activity levels. This method has the advantage of being fairly quick to prepare and is useful for setting budgets when activity or resource levels don’t change much from year to year. An example of this may be the cost and quantity of supplies for year 7 chemistry, as the curriculum and number of students remain the same as the previous year.

Zero-based budgeting in comparison ignores last year’s budget and starts with a ‘zero-base’. This method requires the users to cost out the activities in the school plan from scratch and focuses on planned activities for the coming year.

Refer to:

6.5.3 Estimating anticipated expenditure

The expenditure budget estimates the running costs of the school. It is spread across the year (phased) to assist with preparation and monitoring. Expenditure budgets must be realistic and remain within anticipated levels of income at all periods throughout the year (See 6.5.5 Budget Phasing). It is important to be able to justify calculations when estimating costs and a number of resources are outlined below to assist schools prepare and summarise their budgets.

6.5.3.1 Estimating program costs

The first stage of determining anticipated expenditure involves identifying and costing all items of expenditure required to meet the objectives in the school plan for the coming year.

The details, preferably in order of priority and including appropriate justification, should be recorded on a program plan worksheet, to assist with decision making refer to formats at Appendix 6A – Program plan worksheet. The program plan must show when the funds are expected to be spent, including any which have already been made committed, but have NOT yet been paid for.

Schools need to consider what resources are required to achieve the school plan, including:

  • additional staff
  • casual relief staff
  • targeted resources
  • professional learning.

For budgeting to be effective and meet the objectives of the school plan, all planned expenditure must be recorded, including funds held on behalf of third parties and excursions.

Within the School Finance system each program is linked to an internal order (I/O) under one of the following categories:

  • predetermined State Wide Programs
  • Local Programs are local to the school, where state wide programs are not applicable.
  • Schools Operating Program (SOP). A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is provided when advised of this funding.
6.5.3.2 Estimating school running costs

Other costs to be estimated are the expenditure items that cannot be allocated to a program but are necessary in the running of the school. Schools need to consider:

  • utilities
  • additional staff
  • office expenses
  • building and equipment maintenance.

The incremental method of budgeting may be applied here as costs do not tend to change dramatically from year to year. Last year’s costs will be a useful comparison in checking whether the proposed budget is realistic.

6.5.3.3 Capital programs (CAPEX)

Capital program budget lists the expenditure you intend to make for the coming year(s) on capital school projects and one-off items of equipment. They are broadly classified as:

Capital School Asset Purchases (CSA) – a one-off direct asset purchase that is greater than $10,000.

Capital School Projects (CSP) – long term, large capital programs that are greater than $10,000 eg construction of a school hall.

As these are major forms of expenditure and will form part of the department’s fixed assets, schools should seek approval from the director, asset management and consult with Section 8 to discuss possible tendering requirements.

Within the School Finance system capital and national partnerships programs are linked to WBS elements.

6.5.4 Estimating revenue

Anticipated income from all sources must be recorded in order to estimate the total funding for the coming year. This includes estimates for excursions and receipts held for third parties, as this will affect the school’s cash-flow. The following financial information will assist:

  • balance of funds carried forward from the previous financial year
  • School Budget Allocation
  • school and community sourced funding eg school and subject contributions, hire of facilities, donations Interest, commissions, etc
  • historical actuals.

Schools budgeted income MUST be realistic to be an effective tool.

6.5.5 Budget phasing (spread)

Budgets should be ‘phased’ on a monthly basis in a manner that is consistent with anticipated incurring of expenditure (or generation of revenue).

Subsequent changes in circumstances or underlying assumptions which impact spend profiles or ‘phasing’ should be reflected through changes in forecast.

Potential foreseeable fluctuation factors to take into account when setting a budget

Expenses

Expenses related budget elements and what they account for

Budget element Budget spread accounts for

Employee expenses:

Salaries
Leave entitlements
On-costs

Planned staff movements and certified agreement increases
Seasonal holiday periods
Monthly timing of pay dates

Supplier expenses

Contract milestones
Price escalation factors
Seasonal usage requirements (eg air-conditioning, heating, excursion expenses and educational supplies)
Scheduled payment terms

Grant expenses Timing of grant agreements and milestones
Property & equipment Planned capital acquisitions and disposals
Leases Timing of payments
Canteen If a school operates the canteen seasonal expenses in respect of stock & salaries, including on-costs, during term time.

Income

Income related budget element sand what they account for

Budget element Budget spread accounts for
Cash Various school activities during the year

Hire of premises

Seasonal and regular bookings

Canteen

Review profit (for school operated canteens) or donation (P & C) or lease payments as appropriate

Grants

Review any phasing of payments

Contributions
Sponsorship
Donations

Seasonal nature of payments

School Budget allocation funding

Allocated in October for the coming year. Shared Risk and revision/adjustments to School Budget Allocation received.

6.6 Entering the budget into the interim enterprise financial planning tool

Planned School Budget Allocation funding is allocated to the school’s budget in Term 4 to allow planning time before the new financial period commences.

Initially the work status of the budget is ‘unlocked’. This enables the school to review planned income and expenditure.

The budget should not be modified until the work status has been changed to ‘started’. This will allow schools to start the budget for the new year.

When the budget is finalised the work status must be changed to ‘final’. If further adjustments are required after this point the work status needs to be changed to ‘started’ again.

The department may adjust the School Budget Allocation up to the end of March when the budget allocations are finalised. Once the school receives notification of their approved allocation the budget should be formally reviewed and approved by the finance committee before the end of April.

Further instructions can be found at the interim Enterprise Financial Planning Tool webpage

6.6.1 Approval of the budget

When the finance committee recommends the budget, the principal is in a position to approve the budget once the final approved RAM allocation has been received in March. Recommendation of approval should be recorded in the finance committee minutes before the end of April.

6.6.2 Moving to forecasting

Once the budget has been formally approved the budget in interim eFPT is to be set to ‘final’ and the forecasting in the interim eFPT used for monitoring and adjustment to forecast.

The school will be sent an automated email at the point when the interim eFPT moves the budget into forecasting mode. This will normally take place over a weekend period.

Once the school is working in forecasting no further adjustments should be made by the school to the Budget Input Sheets, as these revised figures will not be brought forward into the forecasting solution. All adjustments are to be entered in the forecasting solution.

If any further budget allocations are due to the school through the department they will be uploaded by the department and appear in both the budget and forecast solutions.

6.6.3 Reports

The following reports are available from the interim eFPT:

Budget report types and their descriptions

Report Description
3.1 Budget Schools Funds Availability Report

Provides an overview of a schools total Estimated Funds available at year end (all Funds) and by individual Fund (ie Consolidated Fund - 6100). It takes into consideration opening balances, School Budget Allocation and Commonwealth budget allocations and all budgets entered by the school in HR, cost centre, local and state wide programs and capital.

3.2 Budget Summary

Provides an overview of the budget from a cost centre and GL account perspective (ie what has been budgeted against each cost centre and GL account).

3.3 Budget Detail by Fund

Provides a detailed look at the budget from a fund code perspective (ie the budget is sorted by fund code and shows what has been budgeted across all programs, GL accounts and cost centres).

3.4 Budget Detail by Program Report

Provides a detailed look at the budget from a program perspective (ie the budget is sorted by program number and shows what has been budgeted across all funds, GL accounts and cost centres).

3.5 Monthly Spread

Provides an overview of budgeted revenue and/or expenditure by month.

3.6 HR FTE Report

Provides an overview of the HR permanent staff budget.

6.7 Budget forecasting

Forecasting involves the monitoring and reviewing of actual financial results against the budget as the year progresses. The budget is of little value if it is not monitored effectively compared with actual results.

In order to achieve effective monitoring, financial reports comparing actuals with budgeted income and expenditure figures must be run. Reports will help highlight differences between the budget and actual figures for further analysis. Variations between anticipated results and actual results will need to be investigated and may generate adjustments to the forecasted figures. Explanations may be sought from the staff member responsible for the cost centre or program area in which the variance has occurred.

While the responsibility for monitoring the budget rests with the principal, the finance committee should provide assistance with the process. Staff members responsible for cost centres or programs within the budget can also be given access to reports to participate in the budget monitoring process. Delegating assists staff to develop financial management skills, empowers staff enabling them to make good economic decisions and reduces risk with more layers of oversight.

The budget must be monitored, preferably monthly, but at least on a term by term basis.

Refer to:

6.7.1 Forecasting reports

Forecasting budget report groups and their descriptions

Report Description

3.1 Forecast monthly

The monthly forecast report can be filtered by fund and program. it provides a summary of the actuals and forecasts for all revenue and expense GL accounts.

3.2 Forecast HR

This HR cost forward report displays full time equivalent allocation and salaries by 'term' and 'pay period'.

3.3 Forecast School Funds Availability Report – Year end rollover tool

Provides a detailed look at the budget from a fund code perspective (ie the budget is sorted by fund code and shows what has been budgeted across all programs, GL accounts and cost centres).

6.7.2 Reviewing the budget forecast

Compare anticipated income and expenditure to determine if the school will have sufficient funds to meet the total proposed expenditure for the year and when it falls due.

If the comparison shows that there will be insufficient funds to meet proposed expenditure, it will be necessary to re-evaluate the budget proposals and defer those items with the lowest priority.

The comparison may also show that sufficient funds are not available at certain times during the year. In this case the timing of certain budget items will need to be amended.

6.7.2.1 HR Cost Forward Report

In the budget a standard cost approach is applied to the number of allocated permanent staff per school.

It is important to note that the way salaries have been spread across pay periods is based on the following two factors:

  1. Type of staff (teaching and non-teaching)
  2. School calendar (eastern v’s western school calendars)

It is for these reasons that when you view the report the salaries for each employee group, actual salary band and rates, are not spread evenly.

6.7.3 Explaining budget forecast variances

When monitoring and reporting actual-to-budget results, it is important to evaluate and explain reasons for variations. This involves considering what changed since the budget was set, why and more importantly, implications for the school and where relevant, the government and community.

As detailed in the table below, analysis of budget variance information serves many purposes, ranging from holding budget holders accountable through to the assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery arrangements.

6.7.3.1 Issues to consider when analysing budget variances

Purpose and description of issues when analysing budget variances

Purpose Description

Accountability for variances

Understanding and explaining why the variance has occurred, and what is being done to manage it. This often includes an assessment of the validity of original planning assumptions.

Management of variances

Evaluating implications of the variance for future including:

  • financial performance
  • financial sustainability
  • outcomes, outputs and programs delivered by the school
  • taking appropriate management action.

Continuous improvement in budgeting

Utilising variance information to improve budgeting practices.

Continuous improvement in outcome, output and program delivery

Utilising variance information to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of current service delivery mechanisms and improve current budgeting practices.

In addition to the focus on accountability for, and management of, individual budget variances, undertaking formal reviews of consolidated variance information on a periodic (say quarterly) basis enables schools to challenge underlying budget assumptions and estimation techniques.

The explanation of budget variances better supports and guides decision-making when accompanied with sufficient non‑financial information. Ideally, the explanation:

  • focuses on key financial results
  • refers to the influence of underlying key planning assumptions (such as salary rates, indexation factors, and productivity gains) or drivers (such as quantity, price, and timing) rather than merely the nature of the variances
  • identifies causes of variances, including the extent to which they are due to internal or external factors
  • identifies impacts on the school and key stakeholders in output terms (for example, programs impacted) with an assessment as to whether the impacts are permanent or temporary
  • clearly identifies what, if any, action will be taken to address or manage variances and expected outcomes of those actions
  • projects expected impacts on the school’s key financial results for the current and future financial years, including an assessment of risks associated with the projected outcome.

It is important to evaluate whether the variance is temporary (for example, due to timing) or whether it will have ongoing consequences. If the variance is ongoing, assessing the impact on the current year budget and future years will assist the school to determine whether remedial action is required. Forecasting is to be used to project revised outcomes in order to stay within the overall school budget.

The availability of school guidance on the analysis and explanation of budget variances helps ensure a consistent approach to commentary across the school. The extent of analysis and explanation undertaken is dependent on the size of the budget variance, its complexity and any likely impacts on the school’s current year or future activities.

A copy of Appendix 6B - Best Practice: Approving Budget Adjustments and the Forecast (DOCX 73.61KB) has been attached as an aid to decision making when considering budget variances.

6 .8 Amending the forecast

The interim eFPT provides schools with a projection of its financial position and allows schools to make adjustments to the forecast for the remainder of the school year. Any significant change to the forecast must be reviewed, approved and documented by the finance committee/principal. An example of a significant item would be the decision to replace a major piece of equipment that has become unserviceable and was unforeseen in the budget. This could significantly impact the school's projected expenditure plan for the remainder of the year and the forecast may need to be amended to reflect the changing needs of the school. Minor variations can be made at any time with the principal's approval and should be appropriately recorded.

The principal has the authority to re-distribute the forecast figures for cost centres or programs as required.

Reporting these variations/changes to the forecast to those affected within the school helps ensure the changes are properly understood and that future use of the budget is adjusted. The timing and manner in which this is done depends on the school structure in place (ie finance committee and budget holders) and the level of changes. All approved variations should be communicated to the affected area of the school community in a timely and open manner.


Section 7 - Receipting and banking

Links to Quick Reference Guides have been placed in this document that are being updated and reviewed on a regular basis. Every endeavour is made to ensure that the most current links are listed.

Part 1 Receipting

Access EDConnect (beta) for information and training and refer to:

for the most up to date information.

7.1. Forms of collection

School funds may be received via the following methods:

  • parent online payment (POP) via the school website
  • over the counter via cash, cheque or EFTPOS
  • remote from the administration office by:
    • class collections
    • container collections.

The following guidelines should be followed in accepting the various forms of payment.

Schools must not divulge the NSW Government Schools bank account details in order to receive funds (ie setting up direct debits), as any receipts made into this account will not be identifiable to your school. For further information and advice please contact EDConnect.

7.2 Cash receipts

Money received by the school must be accurately and promptly receipted and banked. School funds are usually collected at the administration office. Collections may also be received away from the office by either class collection or by container (eg sport buses). In the interest of safe money handling procedures students are not to bring class collections to the office for banking.

The prompt submission of money and supporting documentation to the administration office minimises the risk of loss or theft.

Collections of cash in other areas should be transferred to the main office as soon as practicable and in time for office banking.

All cash must be kept in a safe, cash box or other secure location with restricted access. No cash is to be left unsecured. Any access keys and/or codes must be restricted to the staff members accountable for the cash.

Receipts should always be issued and a manual receipt used whenever the cash desk is not available. The issuing of a receipt provides evidence to the payer that their payment has been promptly and accurately recorded.

Cash collections should always be counted by two staff members and the tally sheet signed by both members of staff.

The counting of cash must take place in a secure area not visible to the public.

The security risk to people involved in the transfer of cash can be effectively mitigated through the use of appropriately licenced and approved Cash in transit security contractors.

Refer to:

Every effort should be made to reduce the need to accept cash payments and/or the number of collection points eg by using Parent Online Payments (POP), EFTPOS, credit card, cheque etc.

No cash is to be kept at the cash desk for the purposes of a float. All cash received at the school must be receipted and banked promptly.

7.3 Cheques

Schools should ensure that ‘not negotiable’ is printed on all cheques immediately on receipt. The cheque must be correctly signed, dated and made payable to the school. This will reduce the risk of fraud.

Schools cannot cash cheques under any circumstances.

7.3.1 Personal cheques

Schools and school operated canteens must not cash personal cheques. This includes cheques from the principal, staff, parents or school community members, school canteen, suppliers, members of the public and departmental staff.

7.4 Credit / Debit Card Collections

Schools may accept credit and debit card (EFTPOS) payments provided the school has established merchant facilities with the contracted bank or activated the Parent Online Payment system.

These services attract bank fee charges which are debited against your school profit centre. These fees can be justified by the benefits obtained by the school for the service provided and must not be passed on to the payer.

VISA or MasterCard credit/debit cards are the only cards available for the collection of school money using EFTPOS. Union Pay, Amex, Diners Club or JCB (Japanese Central Bank) are not to be accepted as the payments cannot be directly deposited into the schools’ profit centre.

An individual receipt is issued as part of the process ie Parent Online Payment receipts or in school for each over the counter transaction.

7.4.1 Payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS)

All procedures listed below must be followed by the school in order that PCI DSS compliance is observed.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements that must be followed by all companies and merchants accepting payment from customers via credit or debit card. As a school accepting, processing, transmitting or storing cardholder data, you are required to comply with PCI Security Standards to ensure a secure payment card environment. The goal of PCI compliance is to ensure that merchants provide the maximum security when processing customer payments or handling customer data. An independent body, named the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), was created in 2006 to manage and administer the PCI DSS.

All employees who are entrusted with handling credit/debit cards and credit/debit card information must be familiar with, understand, and comply with this policy.

Customer credit/debit card data must never be written down or stored. The storing of card details (electronically and/or as a written record) violates the department’s compliance conditions under the PCI DSS regulatory program (Payment Card Industry - security framework).

When payment is made to the administration office via telephone, payments must be processed at the time of the telephone call and be directly processed through EFTPOS terminal (through standard MOTO function). Schools cannot collect and store card details for future processing. Schools are required to:

  • enter the credit/debit card information immediately into the EFTPOS machine
  • not write any part of the credit/debit card information on any other documents or papers
  • no details are to be written in any form (paper or electronic)
  • physical access to school computers, EFTPOS and customer data must be restricted
  • under no circumstances can schools request credit/debit card details be provided via email or any written form
  • a CVN is never to be written down or stored when processing EFTPOS transactions.

Permission note slips should not ask for credit card details. The receipt number from Parent Online Payment should be requested.

7.5 Parent Online Payment (POP) - EPAY

Parent Online Payments are processed by the school in the cash desk as an EFTPOS receipt selecting EPAY as the terminal ID.

Schools must:

  • provide parents/carers with a list of expenses by a statement of account, note home or article in the schools’ newsletter
  • receipt funds received as shown on the Cash Applied File every day in entire batches. As the POP system provides parents/carers with a receipt for any transaction processed, receipts from the cash desk may be retained with the daily banking paperwork.

7.5.1 Voids

Within this system there is the opportunity to void a transaction before settlement at the bank, ie if a payment made by a parent is found to be incorrect before 6pm on the day of payment. In this instance a void can be completed.

The corresponding paperwork, void confirmation and receipts are to be kept with the banking Management Report. They should be annotated by the principal with the following information:

  • reason for cancellation/void written on the receipt
  • staff member who actioned the void identified
  • date, approval and signature of the principal.

7.5.2 POP/Quickstream system access

The principal sets up rights/tasks within the Quickstream system for members of staff to administer the system. The principal must always hold the Administrator User Role in Quickstream. At the discretion of the principal, the SAM or Business Manager may be provisioned with the Administrator User Role in Quickstream. The Quickstream system is to have no more than 2 users holding the Administrator role, one of which must be the principal.

In line with delegations, only the principal and/or SAM are allowed to process voids or refunds against POP payments.

The system Administrator will need to change the roles as staff members change or act in different roles and return to their original roles (including setting up a relieving principal before taking leave/a new position).

The Register of Financial Items is to be updated with all staff names and authorised rights/tasks.

Roles should be applied as follows:

POP User Roles

This system is Schools Finance’s preferred option for collecting payments from parents. ‘Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard’ (PCI DSS) compliance has been assessed by Service Operations and Security.

If the school employs/contracts any other third party arrangement to act on the school’s behalf, the school becomes responsible for compliance with PCI DSS (both manual and systems) at all times.

Best practice

The Parent Online Payment (POP) Checklist (PDF 22.65KB) will guide principals in the management of staff access to Parent Online Payment (POP)/Quickstream to reduce the risk of fraud, corruption, privacy of information, non-compliant delegations and unauthorised access to the system.

7.6 PayWay

PayWay is an internet-based solution to collect and manage parent contributions to the school through the Westpac hosted website. Schools must only use the virtual terminal module of PayWay.

PayWay can only be accessed by authorised school staff.

Parents must telephone the school, verbally providing card details to authorised school staff for processing in the PayWay system. The payment processing must be actioned at the time of the telephone call. No card details are to be written down or recorded. The contribution must then be receipted in the cash desk as an EFTPOS receipt.

7.6.1 PayWay handling process

Only operators with current access can operate the PayWay system. PayWay is secured with a password to ensure that only authorised users may access the system. This system is only operated by school staff.

Schools must not write down or record any card details from parents.

The PayWay payment must be entered into the PayWay system while the parent is on the phone.

A receipt must be processed in the cash desk against the relevant contribution.

Any refund must be made using the same method as the original payment. Further to this, refunds can only be made to the same credit/debit card which was used for the original payment.

7.7 Remote collection methods

Where large numbers of small individual amounts of money are to be collected, schools may choose to collect these amounts at locations other than the office. Examples include minor excursions, performances, sport bus fares and fundraising initiatives. Using this method, it is generally not necessary to issue receipts for the individual amounts collected. Remote locations may include: the classroom, sporting venues, the library, the school canteen and cultural venues. The collection must be promptly receipted into the cash desk to individual students or the organising staff member in the case of bulk collections.

7.7.1 Class and container collections

As a general rule, amounts collected as a group receipt, either in the classroom or by way of container collections, must not exceed $15 per student.

Individual amounts collected must be recorded against the name of the student on a class list. For convenience, class or student sport lists with student names may be pre-printed.

Separate lists should be maintained in respect of each activity for which money is to be collected.

All monies collected and the corresponding lists must be forwarded to the administration office for the issue of a receipt as soon as possible after collection. The money should be promptly receipted to the individual students where appropriate, or to the organising staff member if a bulk amount is to be receipted.

7.7.2 Presentation at the school administration office

Monies collected by teachers or other officers must be handed to the school administration office together with the class list or other supporting documentation as soon as possible after collection. Wherever possible, collections must reach the administration office in time for the day's banking.

The receiving officer must count the money collected in the presence of the collecting officer and agree to the total recorded on the supporting documentation by signing their names.

A receipt must be prepared and issued to the collecting officer.

The receipt number must be recorded on all supporting documentation (ie class lists) as a cross-reference.

Completed class lists are to be returned to the administration office and filed by activity or class and date sequence for further reference.

7.8 Receipting process

Receipting is the process of collecting and recording the school's income. Receipting is processed through the cash desk (ebs).

Refer to:

Receipts must be prepared in respect of all collectios received by the school, whether from remote locations or over the counter. The prompt receipting to the cash desk by the administration office creates a record of the receipt of monies minimising the risk of loss or theft.

Receipts are referred to as revenue. Sources of revenue for the school include government funds, student voluntary and subject contributions, fundraising activities and community funds.

When processing transactions in the cash desk, the appropriate tax code should be used to indicate whether GST applies or not on all receipts. See section 7.13 for more detail.

7.8.1 Business partner transactions

Schools will need to set up all organisations that provide commissions, lease premises etc as a Business partner in the School Finance system. In the case of commission a sales order will need to be actioned.

A contract with a billing plan will need to be established for lease agreements such as Community Use Agreement, OOSH License Agreement or a canteen license.

The invoices are sent out by EDConnect, who can also take payment. On occasions these business partners may wish to process payments through the school using cash or cheque only – no other form of payment is to be accepted at the school.

To process these payments the receipt must include the business partner name and invoice number.

Refer to:

7.8.2 Issue of manual receipts

Manual receipts must not be issued except in exceptional circumstances such as internet or technology failure or for money collected in remote locations. Money collected must be entered into the cash desk at the first available opportunity.

Individual receipts in strict numerical sequence are to be issued on the day of receipt for all money received.

Each manual receipt is to be signed by the receiving officer. All receipts are to state the school's name, date, amount, the purpose and form of remittance, ie cash, cheque, money order, EFTPOS.

Receipts are to be prepared in duplicate. The carbon copy is to remain in the receipt book.

Receipts cannot be altered. If an error is made the original receipt should be cancelled and retrieved, marked as cancelled and attached to the carbon copy.

The use of pre-numbered receipt books, which clearly state the schools’ details either by pre-printing, stamping or marking in some way is recommended.

All receipt books used at the school are to be recorded in the Register of Financial Items showing the date received, and the first and last serial number of each receipt book. All receipt books are to be stored in a secure location.

An officer, independent of the officer ordering and recording receipt books, is to check the schedule of receipt books received against the Register of Financial Items. Each receipt book is to be initialled on the front cover by the checking officer as evidence of the review. This ensures that the school uses all receipt books for official purposes only.

7.8.3 Duplicate receipts

If necessary, duplicate receipts can be re-issued from the cash desk. The receipt should be marked indicating it is a duplicate.

Refer to:

7.9 Cancelling receipts

Spoiled or cancelled receipt originals should be stamped with the word ‘cancelled’ and a brief explanation for the cancellation given. A new receipt should only be issued when the original receipt is cancelled in the system. The original receipt should be cross-referenced with the replacement receipt number, attached to the cancellation report and filed with the daily banking.

Where original receipts are cancelled, and the issued receipt is not returned due to loss, destruction or being discarded a note in the system or on the paper duplicate is to be added stating ’ORIGINAL NOT AVAILABLE as advised by XXXX’.

The Cancel Receipt function in the cash desk ribbon is used to cancel receipts. Cancellation of receipts must be processed using the identical payment method that the original payment was made ie Cash, EFTPOS, Credit/Debit Card, cheque or Parent Online Payment (POP).

Refer to:

7.9.1 Refunds

Refunds should be processed on the same day as banking wherever possible. Prior to a refund being processed the principal must approve the refund.

Refer to:

7.10 Receipting deductible gift recipient funds (DGR)

Receipting of monies received from the school community, members of the public or others for a DGR fund must be recorded against the correct DGR cost centre in the revenue accounts ie XXXX801 (where XXXX is the school code). The receipts issued from the cash desk are currently compliant with the Australian Taxation Office’s requirements for DGR accounts. If a manual receipt has been issued due to unavailability of the cash desk, the receipt must contain the schools name, amount, the department’s ABN and the DGR fund type.

7.11 Petty cash

Refer to:

7.12 Receipting in respect of bequests and legacies

Refer to:

7.13 Goods and services tax (GST) in relation to receipts

All receipts issued must include a correct tax code.

Schools have one Australian Business Number (ABN) registration and are registered for GST.

The BAS is lodged by the EDConnect Taxation Unit and encompasses all sales and receipts processed at school level.

Each individual who prepares, enters or approves a transaction in SAP has an impact on the BAS lodged with the ATO. Therefore, the accuracy of your work is important, since it will impact on the department's reporting and cashflow position.

Further information to assist in understanding how GST works and how it impacts the school's transactions can be obtained on the SAP finance: Goods and services tax (GST) page.

7.13.1 GST tax codes for receipts

The following SAP tax codes are to be used for receipts (supplies)

  • S1 — Taxable supplies
  • S2 — GST-free supplies
  • S3 — Input taxed supplies (note the department cannot claim back the GST paid for acquisitions made to provide input-taxed supplies)
  • S4 — Exports
  • S5 — Out-of-scope supplies

Find more detailed information on how to use these codes in GST status of goods and services transactions - Schools

For further school specific issues refer to SAP finance: Schools issues.

Part 2 Banking

The principal is responsible for the banking of all money received and must ensure that the money is banked in accordance with the following policy and procedures.

7.14 Responsibility for banking

Banking of collections may be delegated to a teacher, school administrative support staff or another employee, provided the person nominated agrees. All such employees are covered under the provisions of the Workers Compensation Act whilst conducting school banking.

7.14.1 Custody of collections

As far as practicable, money collected should be received at the administration office with sufficient time to be included in the day’s banking.

In situations where it is impractical to bank daily, collections that are left on school premises overnight are to be held in a secure location.

Schools may use the bank night safe facilities provided by the contract bank. The collections are to be counted and recorded prior to lodgement in the night safe.

The serialised deposit slip (static deposit slip) and the Business Express Deposit (BED) Bag must be prepared, either before the collections are lodged in the night safe or before being deposited at the bank.

The principal must ensure collections are not left on the school premises during school vacation periods.

7.14.2 Preparing the banking

All cash and cheque deposits must include a serialised bank deposit slip from the school’s bank deposit book with each BED bag. The school’s serialised bank deposit book is encoded with the school’s information to ensure that deposits are credited to the school’s correct profit centre. Failure to include the Westpac deposit slip with your cash/cheque deposit may result in delays to the deposit being credited to the school profit centre as the deposit may not be readily identified.

Accuracy in the banking preparation and processing is essential to prevent errors in automatic matching of transactions received from the bank and cash desk. Errors will result in a delay in matching and require investigation and follow up from both schools and EDConnect Transactional Banking Services.

The weight of the BED Bag may not exceed 6kg, which equates to approximately $100 in silver coin or $500 in gold coin. Overfilling bags may result in the deposit bag breaking or the BED bag not being accepted by the bank due to workplace health and safety requirements.

Schools must record all cheque details onto the back of the serialised bank deposit slip. If the school has more than six cheques to deposit, the cheques must have their details recorded onto a separate serialised deposit slip and placed into a separate BED bag. There is no need to include the deposit listing printed from the cash desk.

Refer to:

  • Business Express Deposit bag process(Westpac) (PDF 1048.4KB)

7.14.3 Frequency of banking

Collections totalling $500 or more in cash must be banked on the day of receipt. Where this is impractical, the collections must be banked on the next working day.

Collections of less than $500 in cash must be banked on the day on which the total unbanked collections reach $500 in cash. Collections must not remain unbanked for more than one week. Prompt banking of collections reduces the risk of loss, theft or manipulation.

In isolated locations, remote from banking facilities, schools should consider the travelling time and associated cost together with the amount of cash to be banked in determining the banking frequency. However, the principal must ensure that collections do not remain unbanked for more than one month from the date of collection.

7.14.4 Security banking

Schools are advised to use a security banking contractor if the principal considers that there is a perceived security risk or the amount of collection warrants such action.

Principals must ensure that all security banking services are undertaken only by the company contracted under the State Contract for Soft Skin Cash in Transit Services.

Schools should contact Schools Finance to obtain contract forms and to register for the provision of security banking services. Further information about the security services contract is available on the Schools Finance website at Cash in transit (security services) for school banking.

The School Security Unit manages the Cash in Transit Contract. A factsheet detailing procedural requirements for school banking is available on the School Security Unit webpage.

7.14.5 Banking through an agency

Schools banking through an Australia Post agency must use the deposit card provided by the contract bank to make deposits. The serialised deposit slip must be completed for each deposit. The agency is to stamp the deposit book as proof of deposit. Schools that use a bank agency to deposit collections rather than a bank branch may experience a delay between the date of deposit and the date the funds are credited to the school's profit centre account.

The bank deposit card must be viewed as a financial tool and must be kept in a secure location at the school at all times other than when a deposit is being made. The card should not be handed over to a non department employee for any reason.

7.15 The Schools Finance system banking process

Banking is processed through the cash desk in the Schools Finance system.

In a school, data collected on the cash desk is manually ‘pushed’ to SAP finance on completion of the banking process. EFTPOS and POP banking can be set up to automatically send the banking each night into the SAP system. Transactions are matched:

  • by the system where reconciliation is possible
  • manually by EDConnect for remaining reconcilable transactions.

Matching transactions are reconciled in the school’s profit centre general ledger account between the central bank account transactions and cash desk entries. Any transactions remaining unreconciled will appear on reports as an unreconciled transaction (red dot) and will require investigation by the school. For further assistance in reconciling contact EDConnect.

There are three key areas representing the different payment methods within the cash desk to be completed:

  1. For banking
  2. EFTPOS banking (includes EPAY)
  3. Other banking

Data that has been saved via the cash desk needs to be uploaded to SAP finance. The banking process must be completed each day for each payment method to ensure that revenue is reflected accurately in SAP finance.

7.15.1 The ‘For Banking’ payment method

’For Banking’ receipts include any cash, cheque and money order transactions (including cheque and EFT refunds).

The ’For Banking’ payment method should be processed the same day the cash, cheques and money orders are taken to the bank. Banking must be finalised in accordance with the guidelines above, ie when the collection reaches the $500 limit or one week from collection.

Refer to:

Each ’For Banking’ deposit generated in the Schools Finance system is given a unique ’Till Batch ID’ to assist in deposit identification during the reconciliation process.

Refer to:

7.15.2 The ’EFTPOS Banking’ payment method

EFTPOS transactions must be promptly receipted. EFTPOS terminals must be settled daily. Best practice is to allow the terminal to settle automatically which occurs each night.

Note: Under no circumstances should credit/debit card details be written down or recorded.

Users are encouraged to keep a copy of all individual EFTPOS terminal receipts and/or EFTPOS terminal settlement summary with the daily banking reports for reconciliation purposes. This record will assist the EFTPOS receipting process.

Parent Online Payments are processed as part of the EFTPOS banking with a terminal ID of 'EPAY’.

7.15.3 The ‘Other Banking’ payment method

This area is used for transactions that are not covered in ‘For Banking’ and ‘EFTPOS’ areas of student finance management. It includes:

  • cash refunds from petty cash (requests not sent to EDConnect)
  • not for banking transactions ie Quickmatch for Centrelink, Commonwealth Bank (student banking) and DE International.

Note: further information to assist with the processing of ABSTUDY payments is available on the EdConnect website.

7.16 Refunds

A refund may be processed for both a student and other payers via the cash desk with the principal’s prior approval.

The refund must be made using the same method as the original payment ie EFTPOS, Credit/Debit Card, POP or cheque. Further to this, refunds can only be made to the same credit/debit card which was used for the original payment.

If the credit card has become inactive or the POP payment is in excess of 220 days, an EFT refund to the cardholders account may be actioned by using the refund process in ebs:Central. Schools must use EFT for this type of refund with the paying parents bank account and contact details completed on the Student Refund Application (School) refer to QRG SM12_QRG_05. If the payment was made using the OASIS finance system you must use the Single student – miscellaneous payment form. Supporting documentation must be attached to the refund request and filed with the days banking. ie Quickstream report showing the card as being an invalid card, email from parent, file note etc.

Refunds must be approved/authorised by the principal (or delegate). A Student Refund Application form is available in SM12 QRG_05: How to process a refund along with detailed instructions.

Refer to:

IMPORTANT: In the case of a cash refund (cash refunded out of petty cash), the amount to be refunded cannot be more than $100 for the whole activity ie if a trip doesn’t go ahead where 10 students have paid $15 each, a total of $150, then a Temporary Cash Advance is to be actioned. The total amount entered into the cash desk should reflect the exact amount being refunded.

Schools should exercise discretion in handing refund cash to students. Principals may wish to receive written authority from the parents/carers prior to distributing cash to students. Refunds for EFT and cheque should be entered into SAP for processing. Ensure that End of day and banking ‘For Banking’ process is completed to post the refund transactions. Cheque and EFT (electronic funds transfer) refunds must also be ‘pushed’ to EDConnect through the Finance Admin tab in the cash desk. This is an approval process and may only be processed by the SAM.

Information on processing voids and refunds for the Parent Online Payments system is available in POP Instructions for Schools (PDF 831.38KB).

Documentation with the principal’s authorisation needs to be kept on file.

Refer to:

7.16.1 Refunds of excursion collections

Refunds of excursion collections are to be made in one of the following ways by:

  • forwarding a cheque to each parent or guardian for the amount to be refunded
  • cash refunds to pupils where the amounts are small, ie up to $20 per student or as negotiated with the school community (providing the school has petty cash or a temporary advance)
  • cancel receipt and re-issue to Fees in Advance for future use against the family fees.

The petty cash float cannot be utilised for refunds if the total amount to be refunded is greater than $100.

The principal must use discretion when refunding cash to students. It is recommended that where cash is to be refunded to students, written permission be obtained from the parent/carer for the pupil to accept the cash refund.

If permission is not given, arrangements should be made for the parent/carer to collect the refund.

Where the excursion collections are to be refunded to students in cash, a temporary cash advance is to be entered and approved through the Schools Finance system. The temporary cash advance must be completed (acquitted), including return of any unused cash portion, as soon as the refund process has been finalised. All cash and disbursement records must equal the cash advance.

Details of refundable amounts are to be listed and each student is required to sign as evidence of receipt of the refund. This completed list is to be scanned and uploaded to the system.

This provides evidence that the distribution of refundable amounts has been properly carried out and the document should be scanned and attached to either the relevant temporary cash advance or petty cash entry.

A ‘travel advance’ through the travel and expense claims process is not to be processed as this cash advance sits against the individual rather than the school.

Journal transfers should be applied as appropriate to complete the process.

Refer to:

7.17 Dishonoured cheques

Cheque dishonours occur when the bank does not honour a payment. A cheque can be dishonoured for various reasons including insufficient funds in the payer's cheque account to meet the value of the payment, an account being closed, the payment held, forged or counterfeit, signature issues or being damaged.

As a result of a cheque being dishonoured, the school's receipting records have been overstated by the amount of the cheque and action will need to be taken to cancel the corresponding receipt and process the dishonour.

The payer must be advised that their cheque has been dishonoured and requested to pay the required amount to the school plus any bank fees incurred. The replacement payment should be made by cash, bank cheque or EFTPOS.

Following the cancellation of the dishonoured payment a second receipt will be issued by the system. The school should retain the second receipt for accounting and audit purposes. The second payment can be cross referenced to the first receipted payment processed.

The dishonour process in cash desk must be performed promptly when the school receives an email notification from the bank of the dishonour.

Refer to:

7.18 Reconcile and close the till (End of day)

The end of day banking process must be completed for each payment method on a daily basis. The banking coversheet must be completed.

The purpose of the end of day process is to reconcile and close the ‘till’ to allow the banking process to be finalised.

For detailed processing instructions refer to SM12c Managing Student Finance: PART 3 - Close Till and Banking (PDF 3035.98KB).

7.18.1 Handling discrepancies

Schools must ensure that the total amount receipted reconciles with the actual funds deposited for all banking. If there is a discrepancy the school must investigate and process receipts and/or cancellations necessary to rectify the discrepancy prior to depositing to bank.

When a discrepancy is identified at the time of banking, schools must follow the Banking discrepancy checklist and process the discrepancy correction at cash desk. All documents related to a discrepancy are to be attached to the banking coversheet in line with financial retention requirements.

Best practice

All loss or potential theft must be reported to the police to obtain a police report incident irrespective of an insurance claim being lodged.

7.19 Reconciliation of general ledger accounts

The ‘Bank queries list on GL account’ report must be run at least weekly to identify all unreconciled transactions in the SAP system (red dots). The school must investigate and rectify these discrepancies. The Banking discrepancy checklist can be used to assist the investigation with all working papers retained.

Banking paperwork must be reviewed by the principal or delegate to ensure correct banking processes are being followed.

For further assistance in reconciling these transactions refer to EDConnect on phone 1300 32 32 32 or log an online query.

7.19.1 Internal controls in the banking process

7.19.1.1 Checking of Banking

Unreconciled transactions (red dots) must be reviewed by producing the ‘Bank queries list by GL account’ report. An officer independent of the banking function (principal or delegate) must verify that the total amount receipted matches the amount sent to the bank.

After checking the banking, the principal or delegated officer must sign the banking coversheet, as a record that a check of the banking has been performed. All documents related to banking are to be attached to the banking coversheet in line with financial retention requirements.

7.19.1.2 Cancelled and Adjusted Fees

The Cancelled and Adjusted Fees report is generated on the first of each month and must be printed.

If the report has no transactions it must be filed.

If the report has transactions it must be reviewed and certified by the principal/delegate prior to filing.

Note: If there is a banking discrepancy in the banking you must notify EDConnect within 14 days of the deposit. Failure to do this may result in the investigation not being completed by the bank and the school will have to bear any banking errors.

Best practice

All loss or potential theft must be reported to the police to obtain a police report incident irrespective of an insurance claim being lodged.

7.20 Student banking

Student banking is not covered by the current banking contract. Schools are able to conduct this facility with any bank offering a student banking service.

Student banking is not to be processed through the centralised bank account as it is totally separate from departmental banking. All student banking must be banked directly to the bank holding the student banking accounts.

Banks may allow schools to process deposits to a student's bank account through an electronic funds transfer facility.

A school banking facility can only be established for a student after approval by a parent/carer.

School staff or a member of the parent body may conduct student banking.

A commission may be paid to the school or parent body for student banking transactions. GST is payable on this commission.

Electronic funds transfer directly credits student accounts and so it is essential that the money received from students be banked on the day of collection.

The Department of Education is not liable for money associated with student banking whether it is in the possession of students, departmental officers or the banking facility officers.

7.21 School management and finance planner – receipting and banking

Implement actions as required

Daily
List of daily actions with their descriptions and links to related training modules

Action Description Refer to

Check ebs Actions List for new actions

Enrol new students into UIOs

Finalise fees and enrolments in UIOs for leaving students

SM02 Introduction to ebs: Central - Client Module 1 (PDF 5285.65KB)

Action fee mapping changes

Action any emails generated from the SAP system identifying errors in fee mapping for fee values included in transactions banked.

SM12a Managing Student Finance Part 1 - Fee Administration (PDF 4509.69KB)

SM12c Managing Student Finance Part 3 - Close Till and Banking
Module 3: Bank Reconciliation (PDF 3035.98KB)

Open a till

Each staff member must open a new till each day before transacting in the cash desk.

SM12a Managing Student Finance Part 1 - Fee Administration
Module 1: School Finance Overview (PDF 4509.69KB)

Receipt Student/Other/SAP Business Partner transactions

Receipt cash, cheques and money orders from Students/Parents/Staff and commercial customers in the cash desk (on the day it is received).

SM12b Managing Student Finance Part 2 - Processing Transactions: Module 1: Managing Payments (PDF 7727.27KB)

Cancel fees where necessary

Process any receipts to be cancelled in the cash desk.

SM12 QRG 04 Cancellation of Fees

Cancel, reallocate or refund receipts as required

If a payment is made incorrectly, the receipt can be either cancelled or unmatched and reallocated.

Refunds occur when a student or Financially Responsible Adult (FRA) have requested a return of funds for a fee that already has a payment against it.

SM12b Managing Student Finance Part 2 - Processing Transactions Module 2: Managing Cancellation and Reallocations Module 3: Managing Refunds (PDF 7727.27KB)

Complete Close Till sequence

Best practice: A till must be closed under the following circumstances:

  • A staff member finishes transacting in the cash desk for the day
  • A single bank bag is at capacity. In this instance, the current till should be closed and a new till opened
  • To accommodate over 6 cheques being deposited.

SM12 01 Close a Till

Complete Process Banking

Complete Process Banking sequence.

  • For Banking: Cash, cheque and money order (includes cheque and EFT refunds). This should be processed the same day the money goes to the bank.
  • EFTPOS: Daily and for each EFTPOS terminal (if EFTPOS Auto Settlement has not been selected in Institution Settings).
  • Note: The banking period specified should always reflect the time period from when the till was opened to the time on the EFTPOS settlement slip.
  • Other: Cash refund out of petty cash and not for banking, (if NFB Auto Settlement has not been selected in Institution Settings).

SM12 PWI 02 Process Banking

Prepare Bank Deposit Sheet

Complete the serialised bank deposit slip in line with the information contained on the bank deposit sheet.

Note: A copy of all Bank Deposit Sheets generated within the last 30 days can be accessed by the SAM from Generated Reports icon on the Cash Desk ribbon.

SM12 PWI 02 Process Banking

Principal authorisation

Have principal or delegated officer check and sign Close Till and Banking reports (refer to Close Till and Process Banking processes).

Note: A copy of all End of Day and Banking reports generated within the last 30 days can be accessed by the SAM from the Generated Reports icon on the Cash Desk ribbon.

SM12 PWI 01 Close a Till

SM12 PWI 02 Process Banking

Process external refund requests to EDConnect (ie Cheque or EFT refunds)

Process external refund (cheque and EFT) requests to EDConnect via Finance Admin function.

SM12b Managing Student Finance Part 2: Processing Transactions
Module 3: Managing Refunds (PDF 7727.27KB)

Post petty cash transactions

Ensure any amounts of money you have given out from your petty cash float are entered and posted into your cash journal.

Process the banking for cash refund transactions in the ‘other’ transactions field.

Note: Ensure the petty cash journal is not open when the banking is being finalised to avoid posting errors.

FIN0040 Manage Petty Cash and Expenses (PDF 1224.87KB)

SM12 PWI 01 Close a Till

SM12 PWI 02 Process Banking

As required - undertake activity on the day of action
List of actions and activities to be undertaken on the same day with links to related training modules

Action Description Refer to

Process leaving students

Process any leaving students:

  • Decide the treatment of outstanding fees for leaving students and action
  • Mark as ‘LEFT in ERN’
  • Update Progress Codes for all ebs: Central enrolments.

Note: Best practice is to ensure all banking and refunds are posted before a student is marked as ‘left’ in ERN.

SM12 QRG 04 Cancellation of Student Fees

SM07C Managing Enrolments (PDF 3557.04KB)

Add/edit fee types (including account assignments) as required

A set of Fee Types will come prepopulated with the system; however schools are required to independently set up any additional fee types to meet their needs.

Note: Setting up a fee type involves matching the Fee Type to the correct fee category and selecting all appropriate account assignments. This process is essential to ensure that any incoming and outgoing funds are tracked appropriately in SAP.

Once set up, Fee Types are used to attach fees to students and/or curriculum items.

SM12a Managing Student Finance Part 1 - Fee Administration
Module 4: Creating and Managing Fee Structures (PDF 4509.69KB)

Process cash and cheque payments for Commercial Invoices

Process payments in the cash desk advising external invoice number where the payment is from a commercial customer.

SM12 09 WI: How to process a SAP business partner payment through the cash desk (PDF 729.62KB)

Weekly
List of weekly actions with their descriptions and links to related training modules

Action Description Refer to

Bank reconciliation

Complete the Bank reconciliation process:

  • Generate the Bank Queries List on GL Account report in SAP to identify SAP Batches that contain unreconciled transactions ie ‘red dots' including dishonoured cheques.
  • Generate the Financial Transaction Batch (FINANCE23) report for the impacted SAP Batch to identify possible reasons and corrective actions to resolve red dots.
  • Generate the Financial Transaction Batch Report for the previous week and identify any transactions that have not been banked (pushed to SAP).
  • Investigate all unreconciled transactions (red dots) and complete any process to rectify this banking batch. If unable to rectify you may need to contact EDConnect for assistance with your banking errors.

SM12c Managing Student Finance PART 3 - Close Till and Banking Module 3: Bank Reconciliation (PDF 3035.98KB)

Top up petty cash

While petty cash is to be reconciled on a monthly basis, if a top up request for your petty cash float has been triggered, ensure the principal approves the parked document to have the cheque issued from EDConnect.

When it is received, cash the cheque and enter the transaction into the cash journal within two working days.

FIN0040 Manage Petty Cash and Expenses (PDF 1224.87KB)

Monthly
List of monthly actions with their descriptions and links to related training modules

Action Description Refer to

Reconcile petty cash float

Click the ‘Print Cash Journal’ button to display the reconciliation report and check the balance with cash on hand.

FIN0040 Manage Petty Cash and Expenses (PDF 1224.87KB)

Reconcile cash advances

Reconcile any cash advances raised during the month. Bank any surplus funds not used during the event/excursion for which the cash was advanced.

SAP Finance How to complete a School Cash Advance Request

Check fund codes

Ensure all postings against capital fund codes are all capital related (construction project or asset > $10,000).

Generate school management reports and check for the following fund codes:

  • 6500 (state capital funds)
  • 6510 (recurrent school capital)
  • 6600 (commonwealth capital funds)
  • 6700 (school and community capital funds)

Ensure no postings are against fund codes

  • 6180 (non-cash)
  • 6110 (protected items)

Undertake a corrective journal if there are any errors.

FIN0018 Introduction to Accounting Master Data (PDF 857.88KB)

FIN022 Create Journal Entries (PDF 1132.79KB)

Beginning of new school year
List of actions to be undertaken at the beginning of a new school year with descriptions and links to related training material

Action Description Refer to

School set up process is complete before day 1 of the New School Year

Confirm that the school set up process (completed in term 4 of previous year) is complete before day 1 of the new school year. This includes:

  • Confirm fee types, fee values and fee waivers set up for the current year
  • Confirm that curriculum is set up for the current year.
  • Confirm that students are enrolled in all relevant curriculum for the year.

Note: If roll call groups were not set in term 4, ensure all students are enrolled into a roll call group UIO for the current year in ebs: Central and rolls generated for attendance marking.

Note: If roll call groups are not able to be set up by day 1, a manual record of student attendance will need to be kept and be entered into ebs: Ontrack once roll call rolls are generated.

Fee set up

SM12 QRG 02 How to set up Fee Types Fee Values, Fee Waivers, and Concessions and Exemptions (PDF 1982.42KB)

Curriculum set up:

SM07 PWI 01 Set up Primary School Curriculum

SM07 PWI 02 Set up High School Curriculum

Enrolments:

SM07_PWI_04 Enrolment processes for schools

SM07 PWI 03 Enrol Kindergarten Cohort

SM07 PWI 05 Enrol Year 7 Cohort

SM05 QRG 06 How to generate a roll call group (PDF 1321.83KB)

Review staff access for SAP Applications

Contact the EDConnect to have new staff provisioned with access to the Schools Finance system.

Contact the EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32

Review outstanding petty cash

Ensure petty cash float is reconciled before any transactions are processed at the beginning of term (ie balance of the cash float in SAP matches the amount of cash on hand).

FIN0040 Manage Petty Cash and Expenses (PDF 1224.87KB)

Prior to end of term
List of actions to be taken prior to the end of term with descriptions and links to related training modules

Action Description Refer to

Generate a Statement of Account to send to parent/carers

Generate the Statement of Account to provide parents/carers with details on student’s outstanding fees including an opening balance and enrolment fees owing. The report is accessed from the Reporting Cradle.

Note: Best practice is to forward the Statement of Account to parents/carers on a twice yearly basis.

SM12a: Managing Student Finance – Part 1: Fee Administration -Module 6: Generating a SoA from the Reporting Cradle (PDF 4509.69KB)

Check Leaving Students – cancel student fees

Process any leaving students:

  • Decide the treatment of outstanding fees for leaving students and action
  • Mark students as ‘LEFT in ERN’
  • Update Progress for all ebs: Central enrolments.

Note: Best practice is to ensure all banking and refunds are posted before a student is marked as ‘left’ in ERN.

SM12 QRG 04 Cancellation of Student Fees

SM07 QRG 01 How to do a midterm enrolment or withdrawal for a single student

SM07 QRG 02 How to update ebs enrolments to ‘Finished’ (PDF 5123.52KB)

Reconcile Petty Cash

Ensure petty cash float is reconciled before the end of term (ie balance of the cash float in SAP matches the amount of cash on hand).

FIN0040 Manage Petty Cash and Expenses (PDF 1224.87KB)

Finalise all banking transactions

Complete the banking process for any transactions that have not been posted from the cash desk throughout the term.

SM12 PWI 02 Process Banking (including POP and EPAY)

Prior to the end of a calendar year
List of actions to be taken prior to the end of the calendar year with descriptions and links to related training modules

Action Description Refer to

Finish leaving students

Process any leaving students:

  • Decide the treatment of outstanding fees for leaving students and action
  • Mark students as ‘LEFT in ERN’
  • Update Progress Codes to ‘F-Finish’ for all ebs: Central leaving students enrolments.

Note: Best practice is to ensure all banking and refunds are posted before a student is marked as ‘left’ in ERN.

SM12 QRG_04 Cancellation of Student Fees

SM07 QRG 02 How to update ebs enrolments to ‘Finished’ (PDF 5123.52KB)

Cancellation of Student Fees

Determine the treatment of outstanding fees and process accordingly ie:

  • Cancel balance of outstanding fees – all outstanding balances will be cancelled and the student will have a ‘nil’ opening balance in the new year on the SoA
  • Do nothing – all outstanding fees will remain and the student’s outstanding total will be reflected as the opening balance for the new year of the SoA.

SM12 QRG_04 Cancellation of Student Fees

Review/update fees for the upcoming year

Review/update fees for the upcoming year:

  • Confirm fees to be charged at your school next year
  • Review existing People and Enrolment Level Fee Types in Reference Data and update where necessary

Note: Ensure all account assignments are correct

  • Review existing People Level Fee Values in Reference Data and update where necessary
  • Review existing waivers and exemptions and update where necessary.

SM12A Managing Student Finance Part 1 - Fee Administration (PDF 4509.69KB)

SM12 QRG 02 How to set up Fee Types, Fee Values, Fee Waivers, Concessions & Exemptions (PDF 1982.42KB)

Finalise all banking transactions

Complete the banking process for any transactions that have not been posted from the Cash Desk throughout the year.

Note: Transactions left un-posted will not appear as part of the revenue for that year.

SM12 PWI 02 Process Banking


Section 8 - Procurement and payments

This section of the Finance in Schools Handbook covers procurement, payment and items purchased for resale.

Part 1 - Procurement

Procurement is a commercial approach to identifying and implementing business solutions; from the high level strategic thinking and business planning, through to the delivery, implementation and management of contracts that ensure the business objectives are realised.

In schools, procurement covers the act of obtaining or buying goods and services. Policy dictates that the goods, services or works are carried out appropriately and that they are procured at the best possible cost to meet the needs of the department in terms of quality and quantity, time and location.

8.1 Procurement framework and controls

There are three overarching procurement delegations that principals need to be aware of and act within:

  • PWP001 - The authority to approve a procurement method, subject to certain conditions as noted within the delegation.

    There are 4 categories of authority under this delegation, based on specific financial limits. Principals have a delegated authority under Category 4 to approve the procurement method for purchases valued up to their financial delegation limits, for items on contract or available via the department’s catalogue, or for items up to the value $150,000. Additional approval needs to be sought and obtained by school staff from their local Asset Management Unit Director for minor or major construction work that requires development or council approval before procurement activity is progressed any further.

    PWP002 - The authority to approve the disposal of surplus or unserviceable goods, subject to certain conditions as noted within the delegation. This must be read in conjunction with M025 – Financial Management – Loss – Write Off.

  • PWP003 - The authority to award, execute, vary and extend contracts.

    There are also 4 categories of authority under this delegation, based on specific financial limits. Principals have a delegated authority under Category 4 to approve contracts valued up to their financial delegation limits, subject to certain conditions as noted within the delegation, noting that:

    • School canteen licences need to be approved by Schools Finance
    • Uniform shop licences and OOSH matters are to be referred to School Infrastructure NSW
    • Consultancy - approval by a Deputy Secretary or the Chief Executive, School Infrastructure NSW is initially required to be sought and obtained before a principal in the exercise of this delegation can approve the award, execution, variation and extension of a consultancy engagement.

NB: Delegates cannot sub-delegate. Principals must act within their procurement delegations and also refer any new/referral/variance/extension of any contract to Legal Services or the relevant directorate.

Refer to:

8.2 Authorisation to incur expenditure (M023)

The principal has the authority (financial delegation) to incur expenditure for the acquisition of goods and services from funds received from both government and other sources in accordance with the maximum financial delegations set out in M023.

Financial delegations are also in place under M023 for other categories of school staff, such as deputy principals, assistant principals, business managers, head teachers, school administration managers, etc. who are responsible for managing part of the school budget. Principals may impose restrictions on staff exercising these delegations or impose lower limits if required. Any such restrictions should be recorded in the school’s Register of Financial Items.

For transactions not paid for by a PCard, procurement action may only be undertaken with the prior approval of the principal or delegated officer. In all cases, expenditure must be in respect of items included in the school's annual budget.

PCard delegations (M043) are also made under Section 12 of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, and cardholders (with the exception of those specifically identified in the M023 financial delegations as requiring prior approval for PCard expenditure) are authorised under Section 12 (M043 category 2) to incur costs up to the approved PCard transaction limit without the need for prior approval.

M043 enables principals to approve the issue of PCards to school staff and the transaction and monthly limits for each card, based on the officer’s role in purchasing goods and services. This delegation must be exercised in accordance with the Department’s PCard policy and guidelines, and limits cannot be set at levels higher than the cardholder’s M023 financial delegation.

This will ensure that school funds are only expended on items that are essential for the achievement of the school's educational priorities.

All aspects of probity, including conflict of interest, value for money etc (as described in Section 3.2.1) apply throughout the procurement process.

Under no circumstances are purchases to be made by school staff and their families for private/personal use, using school funds.

Refer to:

Best practice: Where payment is to be made by purchase order the shopping cart must be raised and approved prior to ordering the goods/services.

8.3 The procurement framework

The Procurement Solutions Directorate (PSD) has developed the Procurement Manual which explains how departmental staff are to conduct procurement activities for goods, services and construction, thus ensuring that the department employs consistent procurement processes that are aligned with current NSW Government policy. It should be used with reference to the Simple Procurement Guide and the Procurement Governance Manual and the PCard Policy and Guidelines.

For all purchase under $150,000 including GST the Simple Procurement Guide shows the six procurement stages to be followed:

1. Confirm funding: Check first that you have a budget and the delegation to sign off on the proposed expenditure.

2. Check for an existing contract or scheme: If there’s a DoE Contract available, you must use it. Otherwise, check if there is a suitable NSW Government Contract or Scheme.

3. Identify suppliers: Research the appropriate suppliers to approach. Regardless of whether there is a contract or scheme, you still need to identify who to approach and document why you are approaching them over others.

4. Obtain approval for the procurement method: Obtain approval under the procurement delegation relevant to the procurement approach.

5. Source/purchase: Arrange your purchase or market approach.

6. Establish a contract (if applicable) and manage it: including specifying the terms and conditions to the supplier before or at the time of placing the order (Also refer to 8.1).

Projects that are risky, sensitive or are valued from $150,000 (inclusive of GST) must be referred to Procurement Solutions Directorate for advice as early as possible.

A SAP Purchase Order is required for all purchases regardless of value where the payment is to be made via the SAP Finance system. Refer to section 8.5 Purchases up to $10,000 (GST inclusive). SAP Purchase Orders are not required where a PCard is to be used to pay for a purchase, where an officer is being reimbursed for authorised out-of-pocket expenses via an expense claim or via petty cash, or where costs are charged back to schools via the sundry tax invoice process.

In accordance with the NSW Government's direction to implement electronic procurement systems, The NSW Department of Education (DoE) has developed a number of electronic catalogues, which are linked to the SAP Shopping Cart system.

All DoE staff, including school staff, should access NSWBuy eCatalogues via the DoE online catalogues only. Do not access NSWBuy via external channels which require individual NSWBuy logins.

No quote is required where the contract item is available on a department catalogue.

A purchasing checklist has also been designed to help schools who are not buying from state or department contract suppliers to ensure value in the purchases and avoid risks associated with safety, performance and probity. Please consider attaching this completed checklist to your purchase documentation and keeping it in your school’s records.

Requirements must not be split into components nor placed as a succession of orders for the same goods/service for the purpose of obtaining the goods/service under a financial delegation level. Supplier rates/prices must be reasonable and consistent with normal market rates and include GST as part of total value.

Members of school staff must always comply with the requirements of the department’s Code of Conduct in relation to submitting quotations and tenders for the provision of goods and/or services.

If an equivalent product to an on-contract item can be purchased at less overall cost through an alternative provider, and value for money has been established, you can complete an Alternate supply request form and submit it to EDConnect via the online form.

The Alternate supply request must be submitted and approved before you can purchase off contract in the following circumstances:

Requests to purchase goods or services which are not provided through DoE online catalogues or on the DoE Procurement Department’s Schools Electronic Catalogue Ordering (not-in-contract items) are subject to all standing rules for testing the market, including obtaining and submitting quotations with appropriate analysis and justifications for recommended choices.

Procurement Solutions Directorate has established an Alerts and Notices List to include the suppliers that may represent a risk to the department and schools. For example they may:

  • have been reported internally for unethical behaviour
  • be under administration or investigation
  • have displayed poor practices including non-compliance with agreed supply terms and unconscionable behaviour.

The watch list allows schools to be aware of suppliers at risk and the department's position regarding using a supplier on this list. If schools identify potential risk when dealing with any supplier, this information must be passed on to the Procurement Support Team at EDConnect by completing the online enquiry and select Procurement, Supplier Issues.

Refer to:

8.3.1 Probity and ethical practices

To ensure probity, integrity, fairness and consistency, all procurement undertaken must achieve value for money and be conducted in an accountable manner.

The department’s Statement of Business Ethics and the Code of Conduct includes advice on how to manage potential, real and perceived conflicts of interests. Procurement Solutions Directorate has incorporated the management of conflicts of interest within its practices.

The Managing Confidentiality in Procurement Guidelines provides guidance on the identification, classification and treatment of commercially valuable or other ‘commercial-in-confidence’ information contained in tenders, contracts and related material. It also sets out the requirements for the provision of information of this kind to parliament and associated bodies.

8.3.2 Fraud and corruption

The department’s Code of conduct, articulates the organisational values and ethics departmental staff are expected to adhere to through all activities, including the procurement processes. The Code of conduct equally applies to contractors, as well as their employees and subcontractors. Tenderers and suppliers should also be aware of and adhere to the department’s Statement of business ethics.

All school staff, contractors, consultants, volunteers and committee members working with the department must be aware of the Code of conduct procedures including:

  • behave honestly and with integrity
  • not make improper use of inside information, or their duties, status, power or authority, in order to gain a benefit for themselves or any other person
  • at all times behave in a way that upholds the values, integrity and the good reputation of the department
  • anyone involved in a procurement project over $30,000 should complete and sign the Code of Conduct for Procurement Activities.

Refer to:

8.3.3 Principal’s responsibilities through procurement process

Where goods or services with an estimated cost of up to $150,000 (GST inclusive) are to be acquired, the principal or delegated officer must ensure that:

  • supplier rates/prices must be considered reasonable and consistent with normal market rates/prices for items of a like nature and are to the best advantage of the school
  • requirements should not be split into components, nor placed as a succession of orders for the same goods or services for the purpose of enabling the goods/service to be obtained under the provisions of this delegation
  • that value for money is being obtained
  • all quotes are to be written quotes in order to be recorded in the Schools Finance system.

This will ensure that the best value for money is obtained through a procurement process.

8.3.4 Delegations

Refer to current procurement delegations:

8.3.5 Sole suppliers

Where there is only one known source of supply, after verifying this with a fact finding process, purchases may be made from that supplier. A valid quote is still required.

In such a case, a note is to be added to the shopping cart indicating that this is a sole supplier.

Refer to:

8.4 Initiating procurement action

When acquiring goods and services for use by the school, the prime objective is to obtain the best value for the funds used.

In the first instance schools must establish if the goods or services could be acquired through a department contract or scheme.

*Some exceptions exist. An item can be bought outside of a department or state contract for:

  • Purchases up to $10,000 (incl. GST) unless the goods or services to be purchased are available on the Mandated contracts list. You must refer to the list of contracts found in the Mandated contract list to identify contracts included in the list.
  • Disability Suppliers, Aboriginal suppliers to $250k and registered small businesses to $30k
  • Emergencies, under an emergency exemption.

Instances where the same product can be bought through a non-contract provider and value for money can be demonstrated (use an Alternate Supply Request form). The Alternate supply request must be submitted and approved before you can purchase off contract.

Best practice

Schools must purchase from a department arrangement or NSW Government arrangement, unless the purchase is covered by an exception. In which case, identify why arrangements are not taken up when completing procurement steps. This information should be filed electronically within SAP.

A school must consider the requirements of the competitive neutrality principles in the Statement on the application of competitive neutrality, when obtaining goods or services from any government entity that provides those goods or services in the exercise of its principal functions.

Schools can still choose to purchase from existing state or department contract suppliers via the department’s online catalogue. The existing catalogues provide schools with the assurance that risks are minimised, and schools have the convenience of electronic procurement.

If schools engage an individual to provide a service, schools are buying a service and this is not to be confused with engaging an employee, which will give rise to employer and employee-related obligations and on costs.

8.4.1 Check against budget

The purchaser must review the goods/services to be purchased to ensure that it is provided for in the budget and that funds are available, before procurement action via any means progresses any further.

Where the item is not included in the budget and it can be demonstrated that procurement is essential to the achievement of the school's objectives, it will be necessary to consider the impact on the budget. It may be necessary to reallocate priorities to take account of significant and unexpected expenditure.

8.4.2 Procurement options from $1 - $75,000/$150,000 (principals delegation limit)

The following options should be explored in order of priority:

  1. Check whether the item/s could be acquired through a department or state contract or scheme. If so this option must be taken, unless an exception exists (see approaching the market guide). One of the exceptions is if a product equivalent to one on-contract can be purchased at less overall cost through an alternative provider and value for money has been established, you can complete an Alternate supply request form and submit it for approval via the EDConnect online form, select Procurement, Procurement forms, Alternate Supplier Request. This must be completed and approved before any purchase can be entered into.
  2. Check if the supplier accepts card payments and if so purchases can be made by staff using their PCards (within approved transaction limits) without the need to raise a purchase order or establish the supplier as a vendor in SAP. Staff are able to purchase up to their approved transaction and monthly card limits. Limits can be adjusted (increased or decreased) to meet the purchasing needs on a cardholder by cardholder basis with the principal’s approval, and within M023 financial delegation on limits.
  3. Through suppliers set up in the SAP system, using the shopping cart purchase order process.

Refer to:

8.5 Purchases up to $10,000 (GST inclusive)

Unless the department has specific requirements related to safety and infrastructure (note: these are found in the mandated contract list), any school may enter into an arrangement with any supplier for the procurement of goods and services valued up to $10,000 (GST inclusive).

Purchasing item/s up to $10,000, schools have three procurement options:

  1. Check whether the item/s are on the Mandated contracts list. If so this option must be taken. If a product equivalent to one on-contract can be purchased at less overall cost through an alternative provider and value for money has been established, you can complete an Alternate supply request form and submit it for approval via the EDConnect online form, select Procurement, Procurement forms, Alternate Supplier Request. This must be completed and approved before any purchase can be entered into. Supporting evidence to prove value for money that is quotes or price checks are to be attached to the Alternative supply request form.
  2. Check if the supplier accepts card payments and if so purchases can be made by staff using their PCards without the need to raise a purchase order or establish the supplier as a vendor in SAP. Staff are able to purchase up to their approved transaction and monthly card limits. Limits can be adjusted (increased or decreased) to meet purchasing needs on a cardholder by cardholder basis with the principals approval, and within M023 delegation limits. Principals can approve PCard applications for other school staff.
  3. Through suppliers set up in the SAP system, using the shopping cart purchase order process.

Where goods or services with an estimated cost up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) and are to be acquired independently from the mandated list or catalogue, schools are required to seek a minimum of one written quote.

Supporting evidence to prove value for money must be attached to the shopping cart in the Schools Finance system or as supporting documentation for a PCard transaction acquittal.

Refer to:

8.6 Purchases $10,000 and up to less than $30,000 (GST inclusive)

For purchases of $10,000 and up to less than $30,000 (GST inclusive) schools are required to seek at least one written quote and to purchase from the state or department contract suppliers, where they are available.

No quote is required if the goods or services are acquired from the Department’s schools electronic catalogue ordering.

If not using the state or department contract suppliers the Approaching the market guide provides that at least 1 written quote is required. Supporting evidence to prove value for money are to be attached to the shopping cart in the SAP Finance System or as supporting documentation for a PCard transaction acquittal.

8.7 Purchases $30,000 and up to less than $150,000 (GST inclusive)

For purchases of $30,000 up to less than $150,000 (GST inclusive) schools are required to seek at least 1 written quote if the goods or services are acquired from state or departmental contract suppliers.

If not using state or department contract suppliers, schools are required to seek at least three written quotes. This will help ensure that schools are achieving the best value of money and a competitive process has been followed, thus avoiding a range of performance, service, financial and legal risk for their school. These quotes are to be attached to the shopping cart in the SAP Finance system or as supporting documentation for a PCard transaction acquittal.

No quote is required if the goods or services are acquired from the department’s schools electronic catalogue ordering.

Where the cost of the goods or services is greater than the principal's delegation (either $150,000 or $75,000 for expenditure M023 Financial Delegation (Public Finance and Audit Act 1983)) to incur expenditure, approval to proceed with the purchase must be obtained, firstly from EDConnect (if over $150,000) and through a written submission, from the relevant Director, NSW public schools (the Director, NSW public schools has a limit of $200,000).

The completed approval(s) must be attached to the shopping cart to confirm appropriate pre approval has been completed.

Refer to:

8.8 Purchases of $150,000 and over (GST inclusive)

All procurement with a value of $150,000 and over must be registered with the Procurement Solutions Directorate by completing the Contract Management Plan. Send the completed form to Procurement Solutions Directorate at procurementprogram@det.nsw.edu.au. Procurement Solutions Directorate must endorse the procurement method contained in a strategy document.

8.9 For all purchases

For all purchases, where applicable:

  1. The reasons must be recorded if the lowest quotation is not accepted.
  2. The reasons must be recorded, in the notes on the shopping cart, or as a comment or supporting document for a PCard transaction acquittal if it is not possible to gain the required number of written quotations from suppliers.
  3. The appropriate tax code is to be entered against every purchase. Refer to descriptions of tax codes (P1, P2, P3, P4 and P5).

8.10 Purchasing communication devices

Mandated contracts are in place for the vast majority of communication devices used in schools. The term ‘communication device’ includes, but is not restricted to, the following devices:

  • computers (including personal, laptop, mainframe and mid-range computers and terminals)
  • smart phones (including iPhones, Android and Windows phones)
  • broadband data services including fixed line (e.g. ADSL, cable and optical fibre) and wireless (e.g. 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi)
  • tablet devices (including iPads and Android)
  • storage devices, including network and removable storage devices
  • fixed-line telephones
  • mobile telephones
  • facsimile machines
  • intranet, Internet and email services
  • network devices such as firewalls, routers and wireless access points
  • pagers (beepers)
  • personal digital assistants (PDAs)
  • satellite communications equipment
  • two-way radios.

Best practice

Departmental funds cannot be used to purchase smartwatches or other personal wearable gadgets. Examples include the Apple Watch, Google Glass, and various fitness and health monitors. These devices are predominantly for personal use and purchase using government funds cannot be justified.

The current contract with Telstra covers schools for fixed line and mobile telephony services. Schools must not enter into agreements for telephony services with any other service providers, or via a Telstra shop. All service requests must be submitted via EDConnect in order to benefit from the contract rates and conditions.

Schools with existing pre-paid mobile services (all providers) or pre-existing services with other suppliers should consider transferring those services to access current contract arrangements. To transfer services contact EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32 or log an online query.

Important: Schools should check with their current service provider to establish if there is any substantial cancellation fee applicable.

In some circumstances schools may need to wait until their existing contract has expired before transferring to the new agreement and taking advantage of the reduced rates.

Schools cannot place orders for mobile devices through SAP, Procurement Directorate or directly with Telstra. Please use the link to Business services/Telephony/Mobile communications.

Applications need to be endorsed by the school’s appropriate Director, Educational Leadership. This endorsement is to be scanned and attached to the application.

Schools are to operate devices under the Communication Devices & Associated Services Policy and Communication Devices and Associated Services Guidelines.

Mobile phones and other devices are to be entered into the school’s equipment register.

When issued to specific staff the Loans Register is to be used to record the date, employee, mobile device and contract number. If/when exiting their current role the equipment is to be returned to the school and the Loans Register updated.

Principals are responsible for regularly monitoring the business need for all communication devices issued to school staff.

All enquiries should be made to EDConnect by phone on: 1300 32 32 32 (option 1, 1)

Best practice

Employees are required to use the most economical and efficient means of communication when using departmental communication devices and associated services. Employees should keep short any communication which is time charged; this applies equally to calls made from standard telephones and to calls from mobile telephones.

8.10.1 Personal use

On receipt of the telephone billing statement, a staff member who has been issued with a school mobile phone should review the statement to identify all personal calls, SMS or WAP/Internet sessions. All charges for personal use should be reimbursed to the school and certified by the user. For example, 'I certify that I have reviewed the account and I have reimbursed the school for all personal charges'. In this regard, it is recommended that the staff member maintain a log of personal calls.

SMS premium services must not be used. DoE will not pay any costs associated with the services.

8.11 Exceptional situations – emergency and urgent purchases

There may be rare occasions when because of an emergency, it is necessary to purchase goods or services not in accordance with the procedures outlined in this handbook and the Procurement Manual.

Principals may approve purchases outside of procurement policy in emergency situations up to a sufficient value to meet that particular emergency. Under no circumstances are individual financial delegations to be exceeded, and details of what constitutes an acceptable emergency purchase are details in the Procurement Manual.

An emergency exists when action is needed to avoid:

  • closure of the school
  • injury or health risk.

In such circumstances, ensure the provision of services to a value sufficient to meet that particular emergency, not exceeding financial delegation, is reasonable and proper, and the quantity must not be in excess of that necessary to meet the immediate needs of any emergency.

These instances must be reported to the chief procurement officer and Manager, Schools Finance as soon as possible.

All of the detail above needs to be recorded and cross referenced against the corresponding payment/claim for the items within the Schools Finance system, or supporting documents attached to the relevant PCard transaction when acquitted by the cardholder.

8.12 Staff and family members

Under no circumstances are purchases for private or personal use to be made by school staff using department funds.

Members of school staff and their families are not precluded from submitting quotations and tenders for the provision of goods and/or services, as long as there is compliance with the department's Code of Conduct.

Guidelines for payment of invoices to a business owned by a DoE staff member (PDF 110.69KB) must be followed.

8.13 Confirmation of receipt of stores/services

For purchases made via shopping carts/purchase orders in SAP a confirmation that the goods or services as shown on the supplier invoice have been received satisfactorily as ordered must be provided. This certification provides evidence that the correct goods or services have actually been provided. A Goods receipt/service entry confirmation must be entered into the Schools Finance system.

The officer providing this certification must ensure that there is clear evidence that the goods and/or services for which payment is claimed have been received and/or provided satisfactorily. Variations to invoices or delivery dockets must be immediately reported to the supplier. No payments are to be processed pending clarification of discrepancies. Further, each claim for payment received from a supplier must be examined to ensure that it is within the terms of the original approval to incur expenditure given by the principal or delegated officer. This ensures that the original commitment has not been exceeded. Except in the case of payments for the provision of services such as utilities, this approval is recorded in the system workflow of the Schools Finance System.

The Goods receipt/service entry (GR/SE) is the point where schools can define the amount of the invoice which will be processed by EDConnect. Schools are able to verify that the goods or services have been supplied in accordance with the purchase order, at the agreed prices.

If the quantity supplied or the price charged is more than ordered, or if different goods or services have been supplied, the approval of the principal or delegated officer is needed for the change from the original approval to incur expenditure. This ensures that the approval to incur expenditure has been given in respect of the actual amount paid. This is to be recorded on the Purchase Order via the workflow which is then authorised by the delegated approver.

Refer to:

8.13.1 Confirmation overview

The purpose of the Confirmation function is to record delivery of complete or part orders that arrive with or without an invoice, process details of the delivery, and make any changes to the order prior to payment.

By completing this step you are confirming that the correct goods have been received and are ‘fit for purpose’ ie no damage.

Delivery notes should be signed to confirm goods have been delivered in good order and scanned and attached to the purchase order in the system. Any credit notes or invoices must be forwarded to EDConnect.

In the case of a Limit Order such as utilities, where the school will not receive the invoice, the service entry with an estimated amount for a set period, must be approved by a delegated officer in order for EDConnect to process the invoice as it arrives.

The Fixed Asset and Equipment Registers should be updated as appropriate.

8.13.2 Variations to orders

Variations to invoices or delivery dockets must be immediately reported to the supplier. No payments are to be processed pending clarification of discrepancies.

Where a credit note is supplied against the variations, the original invoice costs must be confirmed by the school in the Schools Finance system and the credit note forwarded to EDConnect. These actions will result in the revised payment for the goods delivered.

If an invoice or credit note is received at the school do not send to EDConnect without first checking that it has not already been received by EDConnect. Check the Invoice Image Enquiry report, which is available in the SAP Reports (Accounts Payable) for verification to ensure that you will not create a duplicate invoice.

8.14 Schools Finance system - processing procurement

Action Purpose/description Fact sheets & quick reference guide links
Schools Electronic Catalogue Ordering

To place orders in an electronic ‘in tray', by allowing entry of orders into the system.

The Shopping Cart may contain any number of orders. The user is to input the correct cost centre, fund code and general ledger account to be used.

Written quotes are to be attached to the Shopping Cart.

Note: Internal Purchase Orders are not required with this system.

Schools Electronic Catalogue Ordering

QRG: How to Attach Supporting Documents to a Business Partner Request form (PDF 514.25KB)

Types of shopping carts

Catalogue item shopping cart –for items purchased through the online catalogue.

Free text shopping cart – for goods and services not purchased through the online catalogue.

Limit order shopping cart – for services required throughout the year where an estimate of costs can be entered ie utilities, leased equipment or regular supplies.

Team shopping cart – add members of staff (substitutes) to your purchasing cart. Substitutes can change orders and also submit the order. This option may also help in the event of staff leave etc.

Note: an order may be completed for authorisation by any team member.

QRG: How to create a catalogue order (PDF 1299.71KB)

QRG: How to create a free text shopping cart (PDF 1061.93KB)

QRG: How to create a limit order (PDF 721.96KB)

QRG: How to create a team shopping cart (PDF 1232.5KB)

Approval of shopping cart

The principal or delegated officer approves the shopping cart which produces a purchase order.

Shopping carts should only be approved following a thorough review as this is the last opportunity to make any amendments for this expenditure. The approver verifies all details are correct and provided for in the budget.

Checks correct GST code, cost centre, fund code and general ledger account have been used.

Ensures that correct procurement procedures have been used.

If the approver requires changes/more information the request is 'rejected' and sent back to the originator for amendments.

For assets over $10,000 the written approval received by the school is to be uploaded

QRG: How to approve or reject a shopping cart (PDF 967.21KB)

QRG: How to edit a rejected shopping cart (PDF 449.17KB)

QRG: Shopping carts above a principal’s delegation (PDF 397.06KB)

QRG: How to purchase an asset (PDF 835.77KB)

Purchase order automatically raised

The purchase order is raised in the system once the shopping cart is approved and sent to the supplier (unless deselected).

Without the purchase order number being present on the invoice, EDConnect cannot allocate payment.

QRG: How to print a purchase order (PDF 581.51KB)

QRG: How to change an existing purchase order (PDF 1271.6KB)

QRG: How to cancel a purchase order (PDF 1047.15KB)

QRG: Purchase order changes: OfficeMax, Staples & Dell (PDF 376.97KB)

Confirmation (Delivery of goods)

When goods are delivered these should be checked against original purchase order. Part orders can also be confirmed in the system.

By creating the 'confirmation' the staff member is taking responsibility for checking the correct supplies have been delivered.

Delivery notes and signatures should be uploaded into the Schools Finance System.

QRG: How to create a confirmation (receipt for a free text or catalogue order) (PDF 424.19KB)

QRG: How to create a confirmation for a limit order (PDF 396.37KB)

QRG: How to search for a purchase order by requestor (PDF 502.53KB)

QRG: How to cancel a confirmation (PDF 346.88KB)

Invoice/credit notes

Invoices and credit notes which arrive in school should be sent to EDConnect after first checking the Invoice Image Enquiry report.

The invoice cannot be paid until all items have been confirmed within the system and/or a credit note issued.

EDConnect will initiate a 3-way match against purchase order, confirmation and invoice before payment is sent.

QRG: Check invoice status using the shopping cart to payment document flow report (PDF 391.35KB)

QRG: Invoice and sundry payment workflow (schools) (PDF 292.02KB)

QRG: Invoice enquiry – status & image display (PDF 958.35KB)

Fixed Asset and Equipment Registers On delivery, all equipment and assets are to be added to the Fixed Asset and Equipment Registers as appropriate.

QRG: request to create multiple equipment items on Equipment Register

QRG: How to search and display asset and equipment details (PDF 733.25KB)

General expense claim Supporting documentation (tax invoices, travel claim etc) are to be uploaded and saved with the General Expense Claim, and emailed to EDConnect. QRG: How to complete General Expense Claim
Petty cash Supporting documentation (tax invoices, travel claim etc) are to be attached to the claim form and submitted for approval with a completed petty cash claim. Records must be retained for 7 years. Managing Petty Cash and Expenses: FIN0040 (PDF 1224.87KB)
Deposit/down payment This is used when a vendor requests an initial deposit to secure a purchase or booking. QRG: How to create a down payment (PDF 402.63KB)
Prepayments A request forprepayment is only to be used when the goods/service is required to be paid in full prior to the goods being delivered, subscription starting or event taking place. A confirmation against the purchase order is required prior to processing the prepayment.

Request for Prepayment (PDF 1222.94KB)

QRG: How to complete a request for prepayment

Temporary cash advance Supporting documentation (tax invoices, travel claim etc.) are to be uploaded and saved against the temporary cash advance.

QRG: School’s cash advance request procedure

Application for Cash Advance (PDF 2862.3KB)

Purchasing cards Purchasing card transactions are to be acquitted and reviewed using the department’s Expense Management System (EMS). Acquittal of card expenditure can be performed by the cardholder at any time following a transaction appearing in the EMS, however all acquittals must be completed within seven days of the end of each month. Printed statements will not be issued to cardholders. Reviewing officers must approve transactions within three working days of cardholder acquittal. Purchasing Cards FAQs
Journal Entry for a Sundry Tax Invoice How to process a journal entry for expenses appearing on a Sundry Tax Invoice. QRG: How to create a journal entry for a sundry tax invoice (PDF 1511.28KB)

8.15 Lease, rent and licence agreements

Schools are not permitted to enter into any lease, rent and licence agreements.

The only exemption to this is the Mandated Contract for Imaging devices (printers, copiers, multi-function devices) under the Integrated Imaging Contract, and former contracts (PAYPOP and PAYPOPII) that still have devices in schools.

It is advisable to contact the department’s procurement solutions directorate via EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32 (option 4) or the EDConnect online form.

NOTE: Canteen Licence Agreements, OOSH and Uniform Shop Agreements have their own departmental approval processes in place and do not fall under this clause.

8.16 Credit accounts with local suppliers

With the introduction of PCards the need for store accounts with local suppliers has been superseded in most cases. Schools should utilise the SAP system or PCards before alternatives are considered.

Local suppliers can be set up as a vendor in SAP finance. A limit order or free text item shopping cart can be used for purchases.

Principals can arrange for staff members who regularly purchase goods or services or make payments as part of their roles to receive a PCard.

In exceptional circumstances, where a staff member may have been authorised a PCard through employment at another school, it is not be possible to apply for a second PCard, however processes are in place to enable costs to be journaled to another school, if agreed by both schools. In these circumstances the use of a store account may also be appropriate, possibly to be paid for at the end of the month by a PCard held by another staff member. The store account details including:

  • supplier's name, address and ABN
  • store account number
  • expenditure limit
  • trading terms
  • names of staff members authorised to access the facility with delegated amounts

are to be listed in the Register of Financial Items.

Store accounts should be set up in the name of the school with the principal as the primary contact for accounts.

The Register of Financial Items is required to be reviewed and updated regularly so that information is current and valid.

Note: Credit card accounts are not to be entered into.

8.17 Purchasing cards (PCards)

PCards can only be used by the staff member named on the card. Cards cannot be shared among staff members.

PCards can be issued to any member of staff that has a financial delegation under M023, (see delegations below).

Transaction limits are subject to the individual cardholder’s maximum M023 financial delegation.

Holding a PCard is a privilege that carries a great deal of responsibility. Possession of a card places the cardholder in a position of trust. Strong and immediate action, including the cancellation of cards, will be taken against staff who abuse this trust.

Any cardholder who misuses or fraudulently uses a Purchasing Card will be subject to disciplinary action (up to and including dismissal) and/or legal prosecution.

Cardholders must:

The cardholder is accountable for transactions and expenditure incurred on their card and is responsible for complying with the requirement to acquit expenditure to the department’s financial systems in a timely manner.

The Treasurer’s Directions 205.1 to 205.8 Payment of Expenses by Credit Card permits the issue and use of cards for business use only.

Schools are not permitted to use the cash advance facility on Purchasing Cards (except for approved overseas travel).

Personal credit cards must not be used for school purchases. They do not form part of the approved procurement system. Staff who are required to pay for school related goods and services should be issued with a PCard or utilise other approved procurement methods.

Best practice

The use of personal credit cards is not to be sanctioned. Principals are to discourage the use of personal credit cards as there is a high risk that financial processes can be compromised both in the pre approval and purchase of products and resulting claims. Personal cards may also be linked to reward programs which will provide a personal benefit to the employee, in contravention of the code of conduct.

8.17.1 Annual reporting & certification requirements in Treasurer's Directions 205.01

In accordance with the requirement set out in the Premier’s Ministerial Memoranda and Treasurer’s Direction 205.01, the Secretary of the Department of Education is required to provide an annual certification confirming the appropriateness of Purchasing Card usage within DoE.

The Purchasing Card Administration team will collate information in order to advise the Secretary of the level of compliance regarding the use of Purchasing Cards annually.

8.17.2 Purchasing Card (PCards)

Refer to:

PCard applications must be submitted using the online application process. All PCard applications must be:

  • approved by an Approver with delegation under Section 12 of the Public Finance and Audit Act, 1983 to approve the issue of Purchasing Cards and associated transaction and monthly limits; and
  • independently verified by the Purchasing Card Administration team before being processed to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the applications, approval by an authorised delegate, and verification of the credentials of the nominated Reviewing Officer (to ensure this officer holds an appropriate position of sufficient seniority to monitor and review card use).

The following criteria must be applied when using PCards:

  • All transactions must be for the department’s business purpose only and the specific purpose(s) for which the card has been issued.
  • Each single transaction cannot exceed the cardholder’s transaction limit.
  • The value of goods or services must be within the limit of the cardholder’s financial delegation (M043 Purchasing Cards) to incur expenditure.
  • Travel related expenditure must be supported by an Authority to Travel, regardless of approval to expend funds.
  • Tax invoices/receipts must be obtained as supporting documentation for all purchases where possible. An original docket or transaction slip must be supported by the merchant’s or supplier’s tax invoice or receipt. All documentation must be uploaded to the Expense Management System (EMS) when acquitting the card expenditure. Where documentation has been lost or is not available, the officer must provide a declaration detailing the business nature of the expense.
  • The purchase transaction must be within the available budget of the cardholder’s cost centre.

PCard transactions must be acquitted and then approved using the Expense Management System (EMS), with automated workflow. Once the transaction is received within the EMScardholders receive a workflow email advising the transaction is available for acquittal. Transactions can be acquitted as frequently as desired (daily, weekly, fortnightly), but they must be acquitted monthly as a minimum and within 7 days of the end of the month.

Best practice

PCards can be used to make a donation to a charity provided that:

  • funds are raised and receipted first
  • funds are processed as Third Party receipts and payments.

Refer to:

8.17.3. Role of the reviewing officer

Once purchases have been entered into the EMS a Reviewing Officer assesses the transactions and has the delegated authority to approve or reject expenses. More information is available on the roles of the cardholder, preparer and reviewing officer.

A reviewing officer is a DoE staff member who reviews each PCard transaction to confirm the cardholder properly acquits the expense item and provides appropriate supporting documentation. A reviewing officer would ideally be a line manager within the cardholder’s cost centre/business unit, who meets the following minimum requirements:

  • must be more senior than the cardholder and ideally have responsibility for expenditure within the cardholder’s cost centre
  • would normally be the principal, (or Director, Educational Leadership in the case of the principal being the cardholder) or a deputy principal
  • the role of the Reviewing Officer is to ensure all transactions are reviewed and processed in accordance with PCard Policy and Guidelines.

More help guides for using the Expense Management System are available as application simulations (AS) and quick reference guides (QRGs).

8.17.4 Purchasing card process

Schools must ensure that cardholders and reviewing officers acquit and submit purchasing card transactions in a timely manner to reduce the balance of the cost centre’s unallocated card expense general ledger account 524345.

Cost centre managers should ensure that:

  • the only debits that appear in GL account 524345 are those initiated via the EMS relating to the Purchase Card transactions for cards issued for that cost centre
  • the only credits that appear are those arising from transactions acquitted and journaled via the EMS.

The balance of the unallocated card expense GL account 524345 is monitored by the EDConnect Purchasing Card Team to review any longstanding balances that have not been acquitted.

At the end of the financial year the Purchasing Card Team will report to Finance Directorate on any balances remaining in GL account 524345 for all cost centres and schools.

8.17.4.1 Monthly reconciliation – PCard reallocation clearing account GL 524346

The PCard Reallocation Clearing GL account can be used by SAP cardholders to 'hold' expenses incurred on behalf of another school or cost centre. Instances where holding expenses may be required include:

  • costs incurred for another school by a general assistant working across multiple schools
  • expenses incurred for a conference that is to be recouped from a central cost centre
  • staff working across multiple cost centres and business units.

Expenses allocated to the account must be recouped by the cardholder’s home cost centre or school by a general ledger journal for costs incurred on behalf of schools or corporate cost centres.

Schools must ensure that the balance of the PCard Reallocation Clearing Account 524346 is cleared each month.

Cost centre managers should ensure that:

  • all debits that appear in GL account 524346 are those initiated via the EMS relating to purchasing card transactions for cards issued for that cost centre or school
  • credits that appear are those arising from journal transfers generated to recoup corresponding debits from other cost centres or schools.

The balance of the PCard Reallocation Clearing GL account 524346 is monitored by the EDConnect Purchasing Card Team to ensure all debit transactions are recouped promptly.

At the end of each month the balance of the PCard Reallocation Clearing account 524346 must be zero.

8.17.4.2 Finance procedures

Cardholders must obtain a tax invoice for every card purchase and ensure that all charges incurred were for official purposes, or provide a detailed explanation as to why a tax invoice has not been provided. The person making a card purchase should record the following information in expense8 EMS prior to review and acquittal of the monthly card expenditure:

  • A full description and details as to the nature of the service and purpose of expenditure
  • the correct expenditure details (cost centre and fund code) against which the payment is to be made
  • original documentation should be scanned and attached to the transaction.

8.18 Postage stamps

Funds are provided to schools for postage as part of the school’s funding allocation.

8.18.1 Purchasing Postage stamps

Australia Post collects and delivers mail for schools and DoE offices.

If a school needs to lodge or purchase items such as stamps or express post envelopes, the school’s Australia Post account number can be used at the post office nominated by the school. All items purchased using the Australia Post account number will appear on a monthly sundry tax invoice.

Details of stamps purchased are to be recorded in the Postage stamp account book immediately. It is advisable to limit stocks of stamps on hand to the quantities required to meet current requirements.

Stamps on hand are to be stored in a secure place.

8.18.2 Postage stamp account book

A Postage stamp account book or similar register may be used to show acquisitions, usage and balance on hand .

Invoices from Australia Post for mail items lodged by schools are paid centrally and the monthly amount will appear on the sundry tax invoice and need to be journaled to GL 525723.

Entries to the postage stamp register should show the names and addresses of the person to whom the letter is posted. However, where multiple postings make this impracticable, the number of letters posted and denomination of stamps used need only be shown.

It is recommended that periodically (at least once each month) the principal or delegated officer should ensure that the record of stamp usage is consistent with the volume of mail. At that time, a reconciliation of stamps on hand against the balance in the postage stamp book should be undertaken and the book signed as evidence of the review.

Refer to:

8.18.3 Miscellaneous

Stamps which are no longer required are to be sent to Director, Educational Leadership for distribution.

Postage stamps purchased are not to be used for private purposes.

Petty cash can be used to purchase stamps. Such transactions should be signed for and cross referenced in both the petty cash account and the postage stamp register.

8.19 SAP Journal processing

Each school is responsible for keeping its General Ledger (GL) accounts accurate and up to date.

The Journal allows manual postings to the GL account, whereas the other SAP functional modules and the payrolls (permanent and casual) are posted automatically to the general ledger.

Journal Entry transactions typically include the following:

  • transfer of amounts between GL accounts eg correction of incorrect posting
  • transferring money from one SAP school to another SAP school eg for a joint excursion
  • recurring transactions eg Clearing Schools Direct Debit Clearing account monthly (eg. Sundry Tax Invoice) and Reassignment of Salary costs to budget areas (eg Disability - Funding Support)
  • correction of incorrect GST applied to either a purchase or receipt (eg Food component of a school camp).

It is essential that the journals are correct and are supported by substantiated documentation. Criteria as to what constitutes substantiated documentation includes:

  • a rationale for the journal is documented
  • the basis and any calculations can be understood by someone who has no prior or background knowledge of the journal
  • a reference to source records or files is made in the case where lengthy documents are involved
  • the calculations and cost assigning are correct
  • supporting evidence ie invoices, attendance sheets etc are attached to the journal.

8.19.1 Processing interschool journals

The school that organises an activity on behalf of other school/s is responsible for recouping shared costs. This process is managed with an Interschool Journal.

Interschool Journals require the following documentation:

  • clear description including dates, activity, number and name/s of attendees (staff and students)
  • supporting documentation in regard to the activity ie for a conference registration and attendance documents. For a school excursion, original invoices for travel, tickets etc
  • clear calculations in respect of amount being journaled. Schools only recover net costs in relation to the activity and the GST code is always P5/S5
  • the school initiating the journal needs to obtain the cost centre, fund code and internal order or WBS from the receiving school
  • the GL code must be the same for both lines of the journal (eg 420001 – Income Excursions)
  • work flow approvals are required by both schools to complete the interschool journal transaction
  • interschool journals must be created and approved in the same calendar month.

Note: Interschool journals should not be approved where documentation is not attached and the evidence to support the transfer of costs is incomplete.

Refer to:

8.20 Goods and services tax (GST) in relation to purchases

Schools will be charged GST on the goods and services they purchase from suppliers, except where the goods and services are GST-free, for example, water and sewerage and basic food and beverages, or when the supplier is not registered for GST. The department is able to claim these amounts (called input tax credits) back from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) if they receive a valid tax invoice from the supplier.

Schools have one Australian Business Number (ABN) registration and are registered for GST. As a GST registered entity EDConnect reports periodically to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by lodging a Business Activity Statement (BAS) and settling the GST account with the ATO.

Under the Schools Finance system one BAS form is lodged by EDConnect for all schools.

Each individual who prepares, enters or approves a transaction in SAP has an impact on the BAS lodged with the ATO. Therefore, the accuracy of this work is important, since it will affect the department's reporting and cashflow position.

Every purchase from the shopping cart, PCard acquittals, general expense claims, petty cash etc must include a GST SAP tax code.

Further information to assist in understanding how GST works and how it impacts the Department's transactions can be obtained from the Taxation services webpage.

Refer to:

8.20.1 GST Tax Codes for Purchases

The following SAP tax codes are to be used for purchases (acquisitions)

C1 — Taxable capital acquisitions

C2 — Non-taxable capital acquisitions

P1 — Taxable non capital acquisitions (supplier registered for GST)

P2 — Non-taxable non capital acquisitions

P3 — Input taxed acquisitions

P4 — Non deductable acquisitions

P5 — Out-of-scope acquisitions

More detailed information on how to use these codes is available on this GST status of goods and services transactions - Schools.

Further school specific issues are provided on the SAP finance/taxation/Schools issues web page.

In the case of a fundraising event where food is sold (eg sausage sizzle) the department will not remit any GST. The purchase of stock for this event should be coded as P3.

8.20.1.1 Parent organisations or donors/sponsors

Parent organisations, donors or sponsors cannot request that the school purchase goods and services on their behalf to avoid paying GST on such purchases.

Goods and services can be purchased by the school for its use and be reimbursed by way of a donation from the parent organisation, with the school claiming input tax credits on the GST portion of the total cost.

In the case of a donation from a sponsor or donor other than a school parent organisation the donation must not have a stipulation on what is to be purchased from the funds. If a stipulation is included then the donor or sponsor is required to reimburse the total cost including the GST.

8.20.1.2 Supply from persons not registered for GST

Persons or organisations not registered for the GST cannot collect the GST in their prices. The school will need to determine which GST code (C2, P2 or P5) is applicable.

8.20.1.3 Third (3rd) party funds (previously trust funds)

Acquisitions of goods and services from 3rd Party Funds are handled differently from acquisitions purchased from other funds. 3rd party funds are received or collected by the school and spent by the school on behalf of another entity. The other entity may or may not be registered for the GST.

When the school spends these funds, it is acting as an agent for the other entity. The type of entity determines whether or not the school separates the GST on acquisitions.

8.20.1.4 Purchases on behalf of another party

When the school administers funds on behalf of an entity other than the department, the GST should not be separated when placing orders or processing payments. Examples of ‘another entity’ may be a charitable institution or where the school is holding funds on behalf of a Year 6 or Year 12 fundraising activity. The total amount including GST must be charged to the relevant 3rd party general ledger account. It is the responsibility of the supplier of the goods or services to account for the GST paid as part of the purchase price and to remit the GST collected to the ATO. The school cannot claim input tax credits for these acquisitions. The SAP tax code to be used is P2.

Part 2 Payments

The same standards in procurement as described in 8 – 8.19 are to be adhered to when procuring items and processing payments for the following purchase types.

8.21 Travel and general expense claims

Delegates cannot approve their own financial and administrative functions and must seek approval from a more senior delegated officer when making a claim for travelling expenses and allowances.

The following documents should also be reviewed in respect of travel arrangements

8.21.1 Travel on official business guidelines

See the Travel on Official Business Guidelines for full guidance.

The following is a summary of key requirements for departmental travel.

Travel must be:

  • approved in advance by an officer with the relevant delegation, having regard to all relevant factors including cost and funds availability
  • necessary for departmental business
  • by the most economical mode of transport available.

Any claims for allowances or expenses must be submitted within a month of travel completion and must be in accordance with the rates and conditions approved under the relevant industrial instrument or award.

Overseas travel on official business requires the Minister’s approval and must be booked through the whole of government travel and accommodation contract provider.

8.21.1.1 Schools with itinerant teachers and support staff monthly travel claims for use of their private vehicle

The introduction of the SAP HR Travel and Expense system requires itinerant travellers to prepare their monthly travel claims online and for Principals to approve the claims online using the SAP HR Travel and Expense system. The travel claims must be prepared in line with the SAP HR Travel Guidelines for Itinerant Teachers, Support Staff and Principals.

Refer to:

8.21.2 Authorisation

A staff member that is required to travel must obtain prior approval. Delegates cannot approve their own travel and must seek approval from a more senior delegated officer eg GSE5.9 Travel - Approval and Payment of Expenses and Allowances or Travel - Official Duties.

The Travel Request or Authority to Travel form is to be completed by the travelling staff member and then approved by the appropriate delegate prior to travel being undertaken. This request will constitute the master record which governs all travel arrangements for the journey(s) to which it applies. Provision exists on the request for the allocation of a travel authority number for use by those locations where a travel register is in use. When reviewing the request the authorising delegates should ensure that all relevant details are provided on the SAP Travel Request or Authority to Travel form.

A principal, requires approval from their immediate senior officer, ie Director, Educational Leadership. This practice will eliminate any confusion as to whether they have or have not been authorised to travel. Managing the process will lead to increased efficiency, reduce duplicate or excess payments and provide a recording system to allow for the recovery of incorrect payments should these occur. For this to be effective, staff members should plan as far ahead as possible to ensure their travel requests can be approved.

Refer to:

8.21.3 Booking travel

Schools are encouraged to book flights, accommodation and hire cars, for business purposes, through the whole of government travel and accommodation management contract in order to realise the most cost effective and efficient use of school funds.

8.21.4 Claiming reimbursement

An online General Expense Claim is to be processed for all payments:

  • against out of pocket expenses (Newsletter 53/Page 4)
  • related to staff expenses, travel, meals or incidental allowances.

To reimburse staff for purchases made the following conditions are required:

  • prior written approval to incur expenditure was given to the staff member. This must be attached to the claim
  • original tax invoice (where applicable) is produced and attached to the claim.

8.21.5 Review and authorising

The authorising officer should examine the supporting documentation attached to each claim to ensure that the purchases/travel are appropriate charges incurred in the discharge of the staff member’s official duties, that the costs are reasonable, necessary and fall within financial guidelines.

In the examination of the general expense claim the authorising officer should ensure that the following information is available:

  • prior approval was obtained from the delegated budget holder, before costs were incurred
  • evidence that costs are genuine business costs and still adhere to procurement principles
  • a brief explanation for the purpose of each cost and who has submitted the claim
  • where allowances are being claimed, that the amounts being claimed are in accordance with award rates and conditions, as published by Industrial Relations.

All copies of original supporting documents are to be attached to the claim including, evidence of prior approval (minutes/emails/budget papers), quotes obtained and valid tax invoices, for all transactions (expenses cannot be claimed against quotations alone).

The authorising officer should examine the expenditure to ensure that all charges, purchases, or travel expenditure incurred by the staff member are appropriate business expenses.

Where there is any doubt, the authorising officer must obtain a satisfactory explanation or further information from the claimant prior to approving the claim.

The authorising officer must ensure the cost allocation of the expenditure, including the assignment of

  • general ledger codes
  • cost centre
  • internal order
  • fund
  • tax code

are appropriate and correct for each item submitted.

Reward points and store offers (ie flybuys and future discounts on petrol) must not be collected by staff members on purchases reimbursed through general expense claims.

Travel/General expense claims should be forwarded to the authorising officer within 1 month of the date of purchase/invoice/activity.

The Authorising Officer must be someone other than the claimant and the person who approved the expenditure.

All equipment purchased through general expense claims are to be recorded in the fixed assets and equipment register.

All mileage claims are to be processed in line with comprehensive guidance contained in the Teachers and Non Teaching Handbooks (which includes insurance requirements) and current circulars.

8.21.6 Correct use of general expense claims

Procurement guidelines are to be followed for all purchases including the need for pre-approval and sourcing quotes. Due to the variety of payment methods available through the finance system (ie SAP vendors and PCards) General Expense Claims should be kept to a minimum.

8.21.7 Submitting claims for payment

Travel and general expense claims are to be completed online by all staff members with access to the Schools Finance system. Paper forms can only be accepted from staff whom cannot access the system. This must be stated on the claim ‘(Name) has no access to the Schools Finance System’.

All receipts and documentation are to be scanned and uploaded against the expense claim.

Once a paper form Travel/general expense claim has been authorised the claim is not to be handled by the claimant. The approved form is to be sent directly to EDConnect by email to EDConnect.accountspayable.schools@det.nsw.edu.au via the school email address.

Claims sent from employee’s email addresses will not be actioned but returned to the school.

If the conditions listed above are not met, EDConnect will reject the claim and return it to the sender.

8.22 Managing school Opal cards

Note: The Department of Education and Transport NSW recommend that students use their own Opal card for excursions. The parent/carer should ensure that there are sufficient funds available on the card and the school should take this into account when costing the excursion.

Outside the Opal ticketing network, schools can also purchase single and return tickets in advance for school excursions and travel training. These can be organised and paid for in bulk in advance of the excursion date, either via a PO, cash advance or as a PCard purchase. These tickets are to be held securely, recorded in the Register of Financial Items and when used the following information is to be recorded against the cost:

  • name of student/adult
  • activity
  • transport used
  • date.

The schools may decide to hold a limited number of prepaid school managed Opal cards for any student who may not have their own Opal card or if the student doesn’t have sufficient funds on their card. Opal cards held by the school must include the following information in the Register of Financial Items:

  • card number
  • balance
  • name of student using card
  • sign in/out
  • date of activity
  • activity detail
  • whether reimbursement from parent has been received
  • closing balance.

This register should be cross referenced to the Opal accounts produced online for accuracy.

Schools will also need to administer a system of fee collection from parents/carers in order to retrieve any payments for students, where the majority of the class have used their own cards.

Staff and parents attending excursions should use their own Opal cards. A general expense claim can be completed for reimbursement. In the event a staff member does not have their own Opal card then they may arrange with the school to use a school managed adult Opal card and details are to be strictly recorded as above.

Opal cards may be purchased at Opal retailers, Service NSW centres or Top up machine locations. A child Opal card may be purchased for $5.00 and an adult (for staff) may be purchased for $10.00. When an initial set-up or top up is required it may be processed through petty cash or cash advance (if no petty cash is available) at either an Opal card retailer (minimum top up is- Child $5.00 and Adult $10.00).

The maximum travel fare (Daily Travel Cap) for a child in any one day is $7.50 and an Adult is $15.00. Please note that this excludes travel to or from the airport which is charged to the Opal card as a separate station access fee and is not included in the daily travel cap.

To reduce the risk of loss Opal cards are:

  • to be kept in a secure location in the school as they are a form of cash
  • to be registered with NSW Transport
  • not to be linked to the automatic top up system
  • not to be preloaded with more than $20 for children and $40 for adults
  • cards lost or not returned must be cancelled immediately by the school.

Further information can be obtained on the factsheet School group travel options (PDF 346.9KB).

Costs are to be set against GL expenditure 528653 - Miscellaneous Excursion Payments (P2 tax code). Money collected to be set against tax code S1.

For further information in relation to Opal cards purchase and top ups refer to NSW Government Opal.

8.23 Petty cash

Schools may have petty cash floats if no other means is available to meet their expenditure needs. Having a petty cash float requires cash to be held on school premises which is not desirable. Extensive use of petty cash floats is not good financial practice. Procurement processes such as purchase orders (shopping carts) and PCards are designed to reduce the risk associated with school expenditure. Petty cash floats should be kept to a minimum and their necessity reviewed regularly.

Management of petty cash is the responsibility of the principal who may delegate this function to school staff as appropriate. A school can have more than one petty cash float eg the science or TAS departments in high schools. It is essential that petty cash is kept separate from the till. Petty cash funds must be kept in a safe and secure location. One person should have the responsibility for maintaining the petty cash including reimbursements and data entry into the petty cash system for all claims and/or refunds for each float.

The establishment of a petty cash float is managed by EDConnect. A Cheque Cashing Authority must be established with the nearest bank branch. Petty cash recoup cheques are automatically triggered once the float amount reaches the pre-set lower limit, as stated on the original request and sent to the school.

The size of the school float is set when the float is authorised. It can be increased or decreased if circumstances change. The amount should be equivalent to the needs of the school and should see recoup cheques triggered on a monthly basis once in operation.

The same standards for financial accountability are to be applied when operating petty cash as described throughout the handbook.

Manage Petty Cash and Expenses training should be completed before operating a petty cash float.

Petty cash is to be used for student refunds and minor purchases of $100 only or less.

Purchases and refunds cannot be split to remain under $100.

Prior approval from an officer with appropriate delegation needs to be obtained before any staff member incurs any expenses except in exceptional circumstances.

All items are to be purchased in the name of the school to avoid negating warranty/refund conditions.

Petty cash cannot be used for the following:

  1. The purchase of fuel for a departmental motor vehicle where a fuel card is available.
  2. Where alternative purchasing methods provide greater efficiency.
  3. Where any other method of payment has already been initiated for the transaction.
  4. The purchase of store cards, gift cards, or any form of stored value card except to award as gifts or prizes.
  5. To top-up or credit a personal Opal card, regardless of whether the intended travel is for official business purposes. Any business related expenditure incurred using a personal Opal card can be recouped by making a travel or general expense claim. If the school sets up school operated Opal cards which follow the process at 8.15.1.3 Managing School Opal Cards petty cash can top up payments.
  6. To obtain cash advances to reimburse staff for a wage advance, travel, meals or incidental allowances.
  7. Out of pocket expenses of more than $100 which are to be processed through an online General Expense Claim.
  8. To purchase electronic and white goods. Such items should be purchased through SAP vendors.
  9. The purchase of fuel for a private vehicle that has been approved for use on official business (mileage claims must be made via the Expense claims process based on approved distances travelled for official business).
  10. Payments for any goods or services where a predominantly personal benefit will be obtained by the staff, members of their family or friends (eg. Staff Christmas and Easter functions or other social functions for staff would not be considered a valid charge against Departmental funds).

Invoices need to reflect the total cost of items and not show split payments in any way.

Under no circumstances should costs be split to come under the $100 cap. If items have been purchased over $100 a General Expense Claim is to be completed and processed.

For the refund of student contributions where total costs exceed $100 eg a cancelled excursion, where student costs were $15 each and 10 students paid contributions, as the total refund would be $150 against this item a temporary cash advance should be processed.

The authorising officer should examine the supporting documentation attached to each claim to ensure that the purchases are proper charges incurred in the discharge of the staff member’s official duties, that the costs are reasonable, necessary and fall within financial guidelines.

In the examination of the petty cash claims the authorising officer should ensure that the following information is available:

  1. Whether prior approval was sought from the delegated budget holder, before items were purchased.
  2. A brief explanation for the purpose of each cost and who has submitted the claim.
  3. Attached copies of original supporting documents and tax invoices for all transactions (expenses cannot be claimed against quotations).

The authorising officer should examine the expenditure with a view to ensure that all charges and purchases incurred by the staff member are appropriate business expenses.

  • Where there is any doubt, the authorising officer must obtain a satisfactory explanation or further information from the claimant prior to approving the claim.
  • The authorising officer must ensure the cost allocation of the expenditure, including the assignment of General Ledger codes, Cost Centre, Internal Order, Fund, Tax Code are appropriate and correct.

Reward points and store offers (ie flybuys and future discounts on petrol) should not be collected by staff members on purchases which will be reimbursed through petty cash.

Petty cash claims should be forwarded to the authorising officer within 7 days of the date of purchase/invoice.

All equipment purchased through petty cash is to be recorded in the equipment register.

A Petty Cash Closure Request Form must be completed and forwarded to EDConnect should the school no longer require a petty cash float.

An Authority to Cash Cheques at Australia Post is provided for your use.

For all forms relating to petty cash refer to the SAP finance web page.

Refer to:

8.23.1 Monitoring and review of petty cash

It is the responsibility of the principal to regularly monitor and review the use of petty cash to ensure:

  • compliance with these Guidelines
  • all expenditure is in relation to legitimate business purposes
  • that claims are made in a timely manner to:
    • determine if the petty cash float is sufficient/insufficient
    • initiate action to stop inappropriate claims
    • ensure that appropriate action is taken promptly in the event of any sign of possible misuse of the petty cash.

The principal should document the checks taken during the monitoring and review process.

Both the authorising officer and principal have a responsibility to report suspected fraudulent or inappropriate expenditure to a supervisor or Employee Performance and Conduct Directorate (EPAC). Failure to do so may result in disciplinary and/or legal action against the authorising officer or principal.

8.23.2 Petty cash controls

Float reconciliation must be completed on the last day of each month by the principal.

Cash on hand is to be verified against the report, by stating 'I certify the petty cash float contains $XXX and $XXX is in Petty cash dockets, totalling $XXX. Date. Signature. Position'.

This report should be filed securely.

Petty cash claims are to be approved by the principal or delegated officer.

Recoup cheques are to be promptly banked and the transaction processed into the petty cash.

The authorising officer must be someone other than the claimant and the person who approved the expenditure.

If the conditions listed above are not met, EDConnect will reject the claim for petty cash reimbursement and return it to the sender.

8.24 Deposits/down payments

A PCard may be used to make a down payment. Alternatively, a shopping cart may be created and approved for a deposit/down payment required by the school. Down payments may be used to reserve a venue or where a supplier requires a deposit.

The purchase order generated from the shopping cart is to be issued to the vendor. This will enable the purchase order number to be added to the invoice, in turn this will aid reconciliation when the invoice is received by EDConnect. The down payment is processed through EDConnect.

Once the final invoice has been received the purchase order is to be updated to the correct quantity / price if required and a confirmation created for both the down payment and final invoice lines of the purchase order to allow for the final invoice to be processed for the residual amount outstanding.

Journal entries are required to balance the deposit/down payment account with funds held or collected in school.

Refer to:

8.25 Prepayments

While the system has the facility to prepay, it is generally not permitted to the use of this facility. Principals are required to assess the risk of loss before entering into this type of arrangement and authorising payments.

A prepayment is when the full payment for goods or services is required by the supplier prior to delivery. PCards may be used for prepayments such as venue hire etc.

The Purchase Order generated from the shopping cart is to be issued to the vendor.

When using the shopping cart process, a manual prepayment form is to be completed by the school having it approved by the principal or delegated officer and sent to EDConnect with supporting documentation.

The school must supply a confirmation in the system before EDConnect will issue payment.

Journal entries are required to balance the prepayment account with funds held or collect in school.

Refer to:

8.26 Temporary cash advance

While the system has the facility to arrange Temporary Cash Advances, Schools Finance does not recommend the use of this facility. Principals are required to assess the risk of loss before entering into this type of arrangement and authorise payments.

Temporary Cash Advances can be requested by schools at intervals for a specific planned purpose or expense type.

This is a temporary advance to a staff member for a specific purpose, for instance a float for a fete or excursion costs such as admission fees or student meals where venues will not accept a cheque or card payment.

The principal or delegated officer will need to authorise the cash advance request which will be processed at EDConnect.

A cheque will then be sent for the amount requested. This can take up to 20 working days if the school’s cash advance facility needs to be set up.

Refer to:

To complete the process the responsible staff member receiving the cash advance will need to provide the school with receipts/invoices for all money spent and the remaining cash on their first return to the school, after the activity. All cash and receipts/invoices should equal the original cash advance.

Staff salaries cannot be provided through cash advance or petty cash. Please contact Human Resources for further information.

Journal entries are required to balance the cash advance account with funds held or collect in school.

Refer to:

Part 3 Items purchased for resale

Purchases for resale should be processed within the Schools Finance System with the appropriate Tax Code recorded to ensure that the correct amount of GST, if appropriate, is processed.

Sales to students of products/services must be correctly coded with relevant GST Tax Code prior to receipting. Please refer to GST-free supplies on the SAP finance/Taxation/Goods and services (GST) website on items identified as GST-free.

Further advice can be sought from EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32

8.27 Purchasing stock for resale to students

This section covers items required by students for school activities eg sporting apparel, uniforms, calculators, stationery packs and newspapers. Items may be purchased and resold to students provided that:

  1. The policies and procedures stated in this section are followed.
  2. Students are not compelled to purchase the items.
  3. The price charged to students is kept as low as practicable. An allowance may be made for costs such as freight and administration.
  4. Any GST applicable is applied by using the correct GST codes in the Schools Finance System. Refer to Taxation Services.

Major items of equipment, such as microscopes, sewing machines or computers etc. are not to be purchased for resale to students.

The practice of purchasing items for resale to students may be authorised by the principal provided:

  • it is educationally desirable to provide students with the items concerned eg for compatibility purposes
  • there is adequate stock control and accounting procedures in place
  • the relevant GST procedures are followed
  • under no circumstances are purchases to be made for students or teachers for private non-educational purposes.

Sales to students should be entered under Sales Products and Materials General Ledger Account number 406670.

8.27.1 Management of the resale process

The principal is to appoint an officer to be responsible for the custody and issue of resale items. This authorised officer is to certify that these items have been received. A certified copy of control documents i.e. delivery advice/purchase order, should be attached to the Schools Finance system and retained by the principal or delegated officer, as well as confirming receipt of goods within the system. Items held for resale are to be kept in a secure area and the keys to this area kept by an authorised officer. Any duplicate key is to be kept by the principal only.

It is recommended that, wherever possible, the authorised officer responsible for the custody of the items is not responsible for the collection of monies in accordance with segregation of duties. To maintain financial control the following procedures should be followed:

  1. Expenditure is to be recorded under GL code 523585 – Purchases for Resale.
  2. Sales to students are to be recorded under GL code Sales of Products and Materials 406670.
  3. An internal order is to be utilised against both purchases and resales. This will provide a means with which the school can see a summary of the overall position of the activity. The system provides several Statewide Internal Orders under the subheading – Sales to Students.
  4. A receipt is to be issued by the school for monies received.
  5. The items are to be issued to the student upon production of the original receipt.
  6. Details of issues including receipt number and student name are to be recorded on a schedule form or on stock cards.

If it is intended to make a bulk purchase of items for a specific purpose and immediate issue to students, a class list may be used to record collections for such items. The school should follow the procedures outlined in Section 7 – Receipting and banking.

A class list is not to be used to record collections for the sale of items that are held in stock and sold progressively throughout the year.

It is necessary that appropriate stock and financial controls are implemented and maintained in order to prevent the loss or misplacement of items held and to ensure that all monies and stock are accounted for.

Refer to:

8.27.2 Resale price

The proposed selling prices (including any applicable GST) are to be approved by the principal, at the same time as approving the expenditure (ie in preparing and authorising the shopping cart notes are to be added to identify stock for resale and the selling price).

The authorised officer responsible for the custody and issuing of the items is to be informed of the approved selling prices. If there is a need to amend the order, eg. because of increased prices, the amended resale prices are to be approved by the principal.

At the time of preparing the shopping cart, the following information is to be recorded in the notes section:

  1. total resale value
  2. the officer responsible for custody.

8.27.3 Stocktakes

A stocktake is to be performed by the officer responsible for custody of the stock with an independent officer at least annually. A stocktake listing is to be signed and dated by both officers and then given to the school administration officer responsible for reconciliation. The principal is required to review the stocktake listing and relevant financial reports. The stock is to be valued at the selling price.

The school administration officer is to prepare a reconciliation statement, as at the date of the stocktake, to confirm that stock on hand as per the stocktake, equals the stock on hand as per the financial records.

If ‘stock on hand’ is held by more than one officer, a separate stocktake is to be performed for each officer. The principal should arrange an investigation into any significant discrepancy between the stocktake and the stock on hand. The following basic documents should be part of the investigation:

  • the last stocktake listing and reconciliation statement
  • copies of purchase orders for the period since the last stocktake
  • reports from the Schools Finance system showing income and expenditure for the stock
  • stock cards.

Stock on hand which is unsold after 12 months is to be identified in the reconciliation. The principal should give consideration as to what action is to be taken to dispose of the old stock, in consultation with their Director, Educational Leadership.

If there is a significant discrepancy (shortage of stock) that cannot be resolved the principal, in consultation with the director, may approve that the shortage be written off. The associated records must be adjusted with the approval being evidenced in writing on the appropriate reconciliation statement.

Any further operation of a purchase and resale scheme would need to identify and put in place controls which would negate any further loss of stock and be approved by Director, Educational Leadership. This approval would need to be attached to any further purchase orders.

Refer to:

8.27.4 Stock controls on purchases for resale

The financial control over items must include:

  • stock being held in a secure location with limited access
  • maintenance of stock cards or similar records showing progressive quantities received and issued
  • prompt remittance of collections from the sale of items for receipting and banking
  • notation of receipt number on the stock cards/record
  • an annual stocktake undertaken by the officer responsible for the stock and an independent officer.
8.27.4.1 Stock records

Stock records should be maintained as part of overall financial management control. Schedules of items received and issued should be used where a wide range of items are held and there is a high volume of incoming and outgoing stock.

An example of a stock record
Stock item - Football jumpers

Date Details Receipt no. Stock received Stock issue Stock on hand
01.7.20xx Balance on hand Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable 100
16.7.20xx PO no 62 Not applicable 50 Not applicable 150
21.7.20xx Sales - J.Tai 001234 Not applicable 1 149
14.8.20xx Sales P.Rest 001356 Not applicable 3 146

8.28 School management and finance planner – procurement and purchasing

Daily
Descriptions of individual daily actions to be taken, with reference to the location of supporting documentation

Action Description Refer to

Check SAP Task List

If you have been assigned an approver role in SAP you should check and action your task list daily.

Not applicable

Confirm delivery of goods/services

On receipt of goods, perform a confirmation for those goods/services received.

When prompted by an email from Accounts Payable, perform a confirmation for those goods/services where the invoice has been sent directly to Accounts Payable.

FIN0014 Purchasing and Receipt Processing (PDF 956.72KB)

Resend failed Purchase Orders

If you have received a failed Purchase Order notification you should confirm the details are correct and resend the PO to the supplier.

FIN0014 Purchasing and Receipt Processing (PDF 956.72KB)

Respond to emails from EDConnect

Respond to emails from EDConnect Accounts Receivable relating to:

  • payments for commercial customers
  • commercial customer invoice disputes and enquiries.

Invoices, statements and recovery.

Manage commercial customers

Provide email advice to EDConnect Accounts Receivable when a commercial customer invoice dispute is raised, or if a lease or contract breach occurs. Schools need to complete a Business Partner Master Maintenance Form to create, change contact details or extend the Business Partner.

Not available at this time.

As required - undertake activity on the day of action
Descriptions of individual daily actions to be taken, with reference to the location of supporting documentation

Action Description Refer to

Update vendor records

Ensure all of your vendor/supplier details are up to date. If you notice there has been a change to the details of your vendor/supplier, change it as soon as possible via the supplier maintenance tab in the SAP portal.

When the change is ABN related, a vendor creation request must be submitted with the new ABN (instead of a change request).

This will update the vendor record for all users (ie all schools).

FIN0011 Request for Creation and Changes to Supplier Master Data

Sales Order/Contract with Billing Plan

When a sales order/contract is created, ensure the information is accurate by printing a copy to review.

Invoices, statements and recovery.

QRG: Display and print a Sales Order/Contract (PDF 220.84KB)

Sales Order/ Contract with Billing Plan

Review amounts when a new instalment for a contract is due.

Instalments workflow into your task list 2 days prior to the invoice billing date.

Sales Order/Contract with Billing Plan

Access the Sales Document report via the SAP Portal (under the ‘Sales’ tab) to help determine sales orders/contracts that are awaiting approval. Follow up with the Principal if the sales order/contract has not been approved.

Invoices, statements and recovery.

QRG: Accounts Receivable Reporting (PDF 652.07KB)

Process cash and cheque payments for Commercial Invoices

Process payments in ebs4 advising external invoice number where the payment is from a commercial customer.

SM12 09 WI: How to process a SAP business partner payment through the cash desk (PDF 729.62KB)

Create Assets

Review purchases to see if they are an asset. If they are assets, complete an asset creation request using the Asset and Equipment Master Maintenance Request Form available on the SAP portal.

To determine if an item is an asset the quick test is:

  • value greater than $10,000 (ex GST)
  • the purchase has a life beyond 12 months.

Note: Donated assets also need to be considered.

QRG: Request to Create a Fixed Asset

Weekly
Descriptions of activity to be undertaken weekly, with reference to the location of supporting documentation

Action Description Refer to

Update business partner records

Ensure all of your business partner’s details are up to date. If you notice there has been a change to the details of your customer complete a Business Partner Master Maintenance Form available on the SAP portal. Change it as soon as possible.

QRG: How to Create/Change/Extend a Business Partner (PDF 2762.24KB)

PCard acquittal (can be completed daily)

Cardholders to submit tax invoices and acquit purchases using expense8.

Business Services: Acquitting transactions

Creating Employee vendors

If a staff member wants to claim travel or expenses, they need to make a claim. Before this can be done, they need to be created as an employee vendor by completing the employee vendor form.

FIN0040 Manage Petty Cash and Expenses (PDF 1224.87KB) page 49

Monthly
Descriptions of activity to be undertaken monthly, with reference to the location of supporting documentation

Action Description Refer to

Review Goods receipts and Commitment report

To ensure the department’s commitments are not overstated schools should:

  • review outstanding Goods Receipts to ensure that there has been no duplication and that variances between goods receipts and invoices are cleared. Review and clear Goods Receipts greater than 12 months old
  • review the Purchase Order and Commitment Report to determine if any commitments need to be cleared against outstanding purchase orders.

FIN0014 Purchasing and Receipt Processing (PDF 956.72KB)

QRG: How to Clear Outstanding Amounts on a PO (PDF 552.25KB)

QRG: How to run the Purchase Order and Commitment report (PDF 594.22KB)

Review Confirmations

To ensure all expenses are recognised in the correct accounting period schools should:

  • process confirmations for all goods or services received prior to the end of the month in which they are received
  • review Down Payment clearing account.

FIN0014 Purchasing and Receipt Processing (PDF 956.72KB)

QRG: Create Confirmation for Goods (PDF 424.19KB)

QRG: Create Confirmation for Limit Order (Services) (PDF 396.37KB)

FIN0015 Down payments and Prepayments (PDF 709.52KB)

Cancel or amend Purchase Orders

Review outstanding purchase orders and cancel or amend purchase orders that are no longer required.

FIN0014 Purchasing and Receipt Processing (PDF 956.72KB)

QRG: Change a Purchase Order (PDF 1271.6KB)

QRG: Cancel a Purchase Order (PDF 1047.15KB)

Review Sundry Tax Invoice/Statement

Review Sundry Tax Invoice/Statement and process journal to allocate costs.

FIN0022 Create Journal Entries (PDF 1132.79KB)

QRG: Create a Journal Entry for Sundry Tax Invoices (PDF 1511.28KB)

Review debits from cost centres

Journal any costs to relevant cost centres eg photocopying costs paid from admin cost centre but should be debited against a different cost centre.

FIN0022 Create Journal Entries (PDF 1132.79KB)

Reimbursement of costs for personal use of a school mobile phone

Staff who have been issued with a school mobile phone for business purposes need to review their personal use of the phone following the receipt of each monthly invoice, and make arrangements to reimburse the department/school in accordance with the Communication Devices and Associated Services Guidelines.

Communication Devices and Associated Services Guidelines (Section 3.10)

Check Fund Codes - Capital

Ensure all postings against capital fund codes are all capital related (construction project or asset > $10000).

Generate school management reports and check for the following fund codes:

  • 6500 (state capital funds)
  • 6510 (recurrent school capital)
  • 6600 (commonwealth capital funds)
  • 6700 (school and community capital funds).

Ensure no postings are against fund codes:

  • 6180 (non-cash)
  • 6110 (protected items).

Undertake a corrective journal if there are any errors.

FIN0018 Introduction to Accounting Master Data (PDF 857.88KB)

FIN0022 Create Journal Entries (PDF 1132.79KB)

Check Third Party Fund Codes

Ensure all postings against Third Party fund codes are all related to Third Party Money Held.

Generate school management reports and check for the following fund code:

6820 (monies held on behalf of third parties).

FIN0018 Introduction to Accounting Master Data (PDF 857.88KB)

Review Internal Orders

Generate the Excursions/Activities/Local Initiatives Report to ensure any movements against the Internal Orders (especially Monies held on behalf of Third parties) are as expected.

Undertake a corrective journal if there are any errors.

FIN0036 Management Reporting (PDF 915.82KB)

QRG Schools Local Activity/Excursion/Initiatives Report (PDF 244KB)

FIN0022 Create Journal Entries (PDF 1132.79KB)

Review Aged Debtors

Run and review the Aged Debtor Report - ensure you are aware of the circumstances that surround entries > 90 days.

QRG Accounts Receivable Reporting (PDF 652.07KB)

PCard Acquittals

Monitor the PCard Reallocation Account GL 524346 on a monthly basis to ensure that all cardholders have acquitted and cleared purchasing card transactions in a timely manner.

Acquitting transactions

Prior to end of term
Descriptions of activity to be undertaken prior to the end of term, with reference to the location of supporting documentation

Action Description Refer to

Submit invoices

Submit invoices to EDConnect and complete confirmations prior to the end of each term to ensure payments are processed and paid during the school holiday period.

FIN0014 Purchasing and Receipt Processing (PDF 956.72KB)

Review outstanding Purchase Orders

Investigate current status.

Direct staff to action any outstanding confirmations in the system. This will ensure payment can continue to be made over the holiday period by EDConnect.

Cancel purchase orders not required.

QRG: How to run the purchase order and commitment report (PDF 594.22KB)

QRG: How to create a confirmation (Receipt for a free text or catalogue order) (PDF 424.19KB)

QRG: How to clear outstanding amounts on purchase orders - schools (PDF 552.25KB)

Prior to end of calendar year
Descriptions of activity to be undertaken prior to the end of the calendar year, with reference to the location of supporting documentation

Action Description Refer to

Close Limit Orders

When the final invoice has been paid for the current year, close any limit order which will no longer be required in the new year.

Only close limit order which you no longer require. Continue to use the original limit order and review and amend it for the following year ie Utilities.

Only create new limit order if it is for a new item.

QRG: How to Clear Outstanding Amounts on a PO (PDF 552.25KB)

QRG: Create and Submit a Shopping Cart-Limit Order (PDF 721.96KB)

Review outstanding Purchase Orders

Investigate current status.

Direct staff to action any outstanding confirmations in the system. This will ensure payment can continue to be made over the holiday period by EDConnect.

Cancel purchase orders not required.

QRG: How to run the purchase order and commitment report (PDF 594.22KB)

QRG: How to create a confirmation (Receipt for a free text or catalogue order) (PDF 424.19KB)

QRG: How to clear outstanding amounts on purchase orders - schools (PDF 552.25KB)

Beginning of new school year
Descriptions of activity to be undertaken at the beginning of the new school year, with reference to the location of supporting documentation

Action Description Refer to

Review staff access for SAP Applications

Contact EDConnect to have new staff provisioned with access to the Schools Finance system.

EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32 via EDConnect online .

Action outstanding invoices

Complete any purchase order confirmations outstanding from the previous year and submit invoices to the EDConnect.

Confirm all processed invoices from last year have been paid by Finance Shared Services.

QRG: Create Confirmation for Goods (PDF 424.19KB)

QRG: Create Confirmation for a Limit Order (Services) (PDF 396.37KB)

QRG: How to run the Purchase Order and Commitment Report (PDF 594.22KB)

Check SAP Task List

Review your ‘Tasks List’, ensure outstanding tasks for approval are either approved or rejected. This includes shopping carts, journal orders and Adobe Form requests.

FIN0023 Managing Approvals (PDF 3195.73KB)

QRG: Edit a Rejected Shopping Cart (PDF 449.17KB)

Link Internal Orders to correct Fund codes

Ensure Internal Orders are linked to the correct fund codes. See table below:

  • 2001 - 6100, 6300
  • 2002 - 6100, 6300
  • 2003 - 6100, 6300
  • 2004 - 6100, 6300, 6811, 6812, 6813
  • 2006 - 6820
  • 2007 - 6820
FIN0006 Internal Orders (PDF 1441.02KB)

Confirm lease agreements

Review lease agreements/contracts and renew for the new year (as required).

 

Review and update contracts and billing plans

Follow up on any outstanding contract payments for the previous year.

Set up the new year contracts and billing plans.

Invoice, statements and recovery.

QRG: Create Contract with Billing Plan (PDF 952.2KB)

QRG: How to Change/Update Contract (PDF 450.73KB)

Create any new school customers/partners

Create any new school customers/partners by submitting the request to create a new customer to Finance Shared Services using the Business Partner Maintenance Request Adobe form available in the Schools Finance system.

QRG: How to Create/Change/Extend a Business Partner (PDF 2762.24KB)


Section 9 - Asset and equipment management

It is a requirement that records of school assets, equipment and teaching resources are maintained in the relevant registers.

It is mandatory for schools to perform a stocktake on an annual basis. A stocktake informs the school of the use of assets and equipment and compliments the work of the budget committee when planning expenditure.

A best practice stocktake checklist (PDF 308.15KB) has been produced to support schools in completing their annual stocktake.

9.1 Introduction

The Finance in School Handbook (FISH) is currently under review, including whether:

  • SAP is the most appropriate system to meet the department's equipment management requirements (including stocktakes)
  • modifications to SAP are required or if an alternate system would be more suitable.

In the interim, schools can continue to maintain equipment registers in SAP or use an alternative fit-for-purpose equipment register.

Assets are items costing $10,000 (GST exclusive) or more. The exception is software where the value is $50,000 (GST exclusive) or more. Assets are items that are financially reported by the department and intended for long term use.

With school’s input and appropriate approvals, the asset register is updated and monitored through EDConnect Asset Accounting team in SAP, who report the figures in the financial statement for the department.

Equipment describes individual items valued at less than $10,000 (GST exclusive), identified by the principal to be at risk of loss, misappropriation or theft ie computers, laptops, audio visual equipment, musical instruments, digital cameras, DVD/video players, televisions, mobile phones, tools and other equipment critical to the operation of the school.

It is the sole responsibility of the school to regularly maintain and update the equipment register.

Teaching resources take many forms and are used to assist in the achievement of educational objectives. Examples include library books, textbooks, computer software and teaching kits.

Refer to:

Assets, equipment and teaching resources represent a valuable investment for a school and must be protected against loss, theft and or misuse.

These accountable items of assets, equipment and teaching resources must be:

  1. recorded in SAP (asset and equipment) or alternative fit-for-purpose equipment register and OLIVER (teaching resources) systems upon arrival at the school
  2. be suitably marked so as to be recognised as property of the school, adequately secured
  3. sighted during periodic stocktakes and written-off under proper authority at the appropriate time.

Provision should be made through the budget for the replacement of assets (normally against a 3 year cycle), equipment and teaching resources, taking into account the age, condition and state of currently used equipment.

Best practice

Before completing any task(s) in relation to assets and equipment it is recommended that staff complete online training.

Refer to:

Maintaining up to date asset and equipment registers throughout the year is important because if there is a break-in or fire at the school these documents are referred to in order to ascertain any losses.

9.2 Recording of assets and equipment

Details of all accountable assets and equipment items, whether purchased from school funds, ex-lease or received as a donation, must be recorded upon confirmation of receipt by the school.

Whether the asset is purchased and receipted through a purchase order, WBS by the school or donated to the school, the Asset and Equipment Master Maintenance form must be completed by the school and sent to EDConnect, Asset Accounting who will enter this information into SAP. The form is found in the SAP system by going to ‘Finance’ then ‘Forms’. Information provided must include purchase order, WBS, invoice number (as appropriate).

Refer to:

Schools must check that all assets have been recorded before distributing them for use in the school.

On confirmation of receipt of equipment at the school an Asset and Equipment Maintenance form should be completed. This will create the equipment record. Creation requests are sent electronically to the line manager for approval.

The item, once created by the school, will have an equipment number (10 digit number starting with 9) and if applicable, an asset number (10 digit number starts with a 6). An item of equipment linked to an asset will have a 10 digit number starting with 8 ie telephones linked to a telephone system (which is an asset).

Barcodes can be produced for each asset and equipment item. Schools can attach the barcode ID to items to aid stocktaking or tracking processes.

QRG printing barcodes – (coming soon)

Note: When completing the Asset and Equipment Master Maintenance form a value (cost) and acquisition date must be entered. If the item has been donated a value must be researched from online catalogues/websites and inserted.

On delivery, schools should not release items for use in school until they have been recorded on SAP and are marked for security.

Refer to:

The Asset and Equipment Detail Report holds information on:

  1. Assets - data is input and monitored by EDConnect based on information received from schools
  2. Equipment – this is maintained by the school.

9.3 Loan of equipment

Loans of equipment must be authorised and recorded by the principal or delegated officer in a suitable register. The record needs to show the signature of the borrower and the principal.

In general, items of equipment may only be loaned where the school does not have an immediate use for the item. Items of school equipment must not be loaned for extended periods (more than 2 weeks), other than laptops allocated to teaching staff or students.

Items of equipment purchased by the school must be available for their intended use when required so that implementation of the school’s programs is not hindered.

School equipment may be loaned to members of staff, students and the local community.

Laptops loaned to teaching staff remain the property of the school and must be returned by the staff member on leaving the school or taking up a temporary role in another school.

Loans to community groups must only be made where the principal considers that the loan favours the school and the community sharing the resource. Any school equipment loaned to community groups must be recorded in the Loans Register. Examples of appropriate loans include:

  • a sound system for a disco
  • tables to charity groups for street stalls
  • lighting equipment to the local amateur drama group.

The borrower is to be informed by the principal that they have responsibility for any damage to equipment whilst on loan. Written information on the conditions and expectations on the borrower should be provided to the borrower by the principal. The borrower must also be made aware in writing, before taking up the loan, that any equipment on loan be lost or damaged due to negligence, the borrower will be required to pay replacement or repair costs.

If equipment is lost or damaged while on loan, cover may be available from the NSW Treasury Managed Fund if the:

  1. borrower ensured safe custody of the equipment
  2. loss was not due to negligence.

The following details must be recorded in the Loans register for each loan:

  • date borrowed
  • detailed equipment description including serial number, barcode, asset register number
  • period of loan
  • intended use of item
  • name of borrower
  • location address of asset
  • signature of borrower
  • signature of authorising officer (must be the principal)
  • actual date of return
  • signature of receiving officer.

Refer to:

Note: all DER program laptops loaned to staff and students are tracked through a DER Loans Register

Where any laptop is loaned to teaching staff, the borrower is required to sign the register against the appropriate line item. The date of the return of the item and the signature of the receiving officer (person receiving the undamaged/working item back into school on behalf of the principal) must also be included.

On return of any equipment, the loans register must be certified by an independent staff member confirming that the asset has been returned in the condition in which it was loaned.

Note: Items on loan cannot be written-off.

Note: The Oliver system must not be used to record loaned items (other than library items) as the school is unable to provide the level of detail required to track items and take action if not returned.

9.4 Undertaking EDConnect request for asset update

During term 1 EDConnect will distribute information, via email to the school’s email address, requesting principals verify assets recorded in the enclosed SAP report. The email will state the subject as‘20XX Stocktake of Assets’. The certificate needs to be signed off by the school principal.

This excel spreadsheet must be updated, verified and sent back to EDConnect by the due date according to the enclosed instructions.

9.5 Stocktake of assets and equipment

A stocktake of all accountable items of assets and equipment must be performed annually. A stocktake involves the physical sighting of accountable items of assets and equipment and records the results.

A stocktake must establish the location and condition of items, whether they are in use or obsolete and confirm that they are still located in the school.

The purpose of the stocktake is to:

  • confirm that the school's accountable assets and equipment items are still located at the school and are adequately protected
  • identify items that are not recorded in the register or are incorrectly recorded
  • identify items that are obsolete or can no longer provide service to the school
  • facilitate the updating of the register so that it records complete and accurate details of all items that fall within the definition of an accountable asset or equipment item.

If a school contracts an outside agency to complete a stocktake they are not to be given access to SAP.

9.5.1 Performing the stocktake

In small schools the stocktake may be conducted at the one time, while in larger schools it may be more convenient for the stocktake to be conducted in different locations, such as faculty areas, throughout the year.

In the interests of sound internal control, the stocktaking process should be carried out by two members of staff, at least one of whom is not responsible for the day to day custody and control of the equipment.

Refer to:

The first step in performing a stocktake is to download and save an up to date Stock Take Download from the SAP portal.

This report displays the list of assets and equipment, its latest stocktake status (eg found or not found, etc), related asset and value.

9.5.1.1 Sighting the items

The officers performing the stocktake must visit all locations in the school and indicate by initialling on the spreadsheet when an item of accountable equipment has been sighted and is deemed serviceable.

Items of equipment on loan should be returned to the school for stocktake. Laptops allocated to students or loaned to teaching staff, must be sighted at least once per year, by a designated officer. It is recommended that the borrower be notified that the item must be returned to school to be sighted and signed off for stocktake by a designated officer.

Where it is considered that an item is no longer capable of serving a useful function, a notation to that effect must be recorded on the spreadsheet so that write-off action can be taken.

Where an item is sighted in a different location to that recorded, a notation as to the new location, if permanent, must also be recorded on the spreadsheet to facilitate updating of the Asset and Equipment Register.

Details of items sighted but not recorded must be listed to enable the register to be updated.

9.5.1.2 Missing items

In the case of an item that has not been sighted, is not currently on loan, and is not already known to be missing, the principal must ascertain from the custodian the action taken to locate the missing item.

If the loss appears to have been caused by carelessness or disregard for procedures, appropriate action is to be taken to minimise the possibility that such a situation can re-occur.

After two stocktakes, when the principal is satisfied that every effort has been made to locate the missing item, the item must be written-off via the Asset Transaction request form in SAP.

Assets are referred to as being ‘disposed’. Equipment is referred to as being ‘deactivated’.

9.5.1.3 Update asset and equipment registers

At the completion of the stocktake, the asset and equipment register will need to be updated with the date last sighted for all items, including changes to the location of equipment, staff member responsibility and items not listed on the spreadsheet.

The following actions must be taken in order to complete the stocktaking process.

9.5.1.3.1 Asset stocktake register details incomplete or inaccurate

Details of any assets sighted during the stocktake and not recorded must be entered into the Asset and equipment master maintenance request and sent to EDConnect Asset Accounting to be updated in SAP.

If a number of items have not been recorded, there would appear to be deficiencies within the school for recording accountable items. School processes must be reviewed to identify any deficiencies and suitable procedures implemented that ensure the prompt recording of accountable items upon delivery into the school.

If details recorded are incorrect, the register must be updated with the correct details.

Refer to:

9.5.1.3.2 Equipment stocktake register details incomplete or inaccurate

Details of any equipment sighted during the stocktake and not recorded must be entered into the downloaded spreadsheet. The principal’s approval to upload the amended spreadsheet is required before the spreadsheet is uploaded into the SAP system or an alternative fit-for-purpose equipment register.

If a number of items have not been recorded, there would appear to be deficiencies in the school for recording accountable items. School processes must be reviewed to identify any deficiencies and suitable procedures implemented that ensure the prompt recording of accountable items upon delivery into the school.

If details recorded are incorrect, the register must be updated with the correct details.

9.5.1.3.3 Obsolete or unserviceable items

Items identified during the stocktake as obsolete or no longer of service to the school must be written-off.

Refer to:

9.5.2 Actions resulting from the stocktake

The principal must review the results of the stocktake and ensure that it has been carried out correctly.

The system generated stocktake register used to record the results of the stocktake must be signed by the principal and retained for audit verification.

This provides evidence that the stocktake has been carried out correctly.

9.6 Writing-off assets and equipment

Under the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, the school principal has the delegation to write-off equipment valued at less than $10,000 (exclusive of GST) when originally purchased, where it has been found to be missing, damaged beyond repair or is obsolete. The department Delegations of Authority M025-Financial Management-Loss-Write Off does not allow the principal to delegate this function.

9.6.1 Items for write-off

The opportunity should be taken during the stocktake to identify items which no longer fall within the definition of an 'accountable' asset/equipment.

There are separate processes to follow for assets and equipment.

Refer to Assets and Equipment resources including:

9.6.1.1 Deactivation and disposal of equipment

Schools will, from time to time, be faced with the need to dispose of accountable equipment items that are surplus to school requirements, beyond economical repair, or need to be updated to keep pace with technological change.

Accountable equipment items may be disposed of by one of the following methods in order of preference:

  1. trade-in
  2. donation to another school
  3. sale to the community
  4. donations to charities, community or non-profit organisations
  5. destruction or dumping.

When disposing of items, it is essential that the maximum benefit for the school is obtained.

Disposal action can only be undertaken in respect of items that have been properly written-off as described earlier.

Equipment that contains memory or data, such as computers or imaging hardware, must be securely wiped before transferring ownership, recycled or being dumped.

For assistance on wiping memory or data, Contract Managers in the Information Technology or Procurement Solutions Directorate can be contacted.

Advice and assistance with disposing of assets and selecting the most appropriate method of disposal can be found at Disposal of Goods Policy. In the case that the item is over $150,000 the matter must be referred to the Procurement Solutions Directorate.

All items identified to be disposed of must be recorded in the Register of Financial Items along with the method of disposal and any costs recouped (ie if they are sold/auctioned off).

9.6.1.2 Determining method of acquisition – asset or equipment

Prior to disposing of an item by sale, the original method of acquisition must be determined.

Items may have been acquired by way of donation, or from funds provided specifically for purchasing the item by:

  • state/government funding
  • the department as part of a grant for a specific purpose
  • the parent organisation
  • a community group
  • a local business.

It will be necessary to consult with the donor, or funds provider, and obtain agreement to sell the item. Agreement will also need to be reached as to the method of sale and the disposition of any funds resulting from the sale.

Items purchased from the school's funds may be disposed of by sale at the school's discretion. Sale of equipment is a taxable supply and GST must be charged.

9.6.1.3 Trade-in

If a replacement is required for the item to be disposed of, it may be possible to obtain the maximum benefit by trading in the item.

It will be necessary to negotiate with potential suppliers to establish a trade-in value. If the item has little or no trade-in value, the other disposal options shown in the following sections should be considered.

When equipment is traded-in, the supplier normally deducts the trade-in from the equipment cost.

In the Asset Transaction Request form accessed via the SAP Portal, the Type of disposal must be selected as Sale with customer/trade in.

Refer to:

9.6.1.4 Donation to another school

If the item does not need to be replaced and has little or no resale value, enquiries should be made to determine if the item could be of use to another school.

Schools receiving an item from another school must acknowledge receipt in writing and record the equipment in SAP.

The acknowledgement of a donation must be filed with the disposal record for the particular item and include the name of the school receiving the item.

9.6.2 Sale to the community

The principal and another member of the executive staff may authorise the sale of surplus or unserviceable equipment.

This decision must be recorded in the Register of Financial Items.

9.6.2.1 Method of sale

When disposing of an item by sale, the objective is to achieve the maximum financial benefit for the school.

This objective is best achieved by reaching the market appropriate for the nature of the item and its expected value. This must be an open and competitive process.

Methods of reaching the desired market include:

  • advertisement in the school or P&C newsletter
  • advertisement in local newspapers
  • announcement at school assemblies
  • auction at the school fete
  • online auction sites.

Equipment is to be sold in the name of the school ie. a personal eBay or gumtree account cannot be used, the school must set up their own business account in the name of the school.

When considering online auctions, the principal must ensure the decision and method of sale is widely advertised through the school community, eg school newsletter. The principal must ensure that the decision is endorsed by other school executive members and that the final offer is sighted by other executive members. Online auction information is available at the Australian Government's Competition and Consumer Commission website.

9.6.2.2 Advertising surplus assets

The cost of advertising must be appropriate for the value of the item being offered.

Advertisements should contain sufficient details to interest and inform potential buyers and as a minimum include:

  • a description of item(s) for sale
  • the times the item(s) are available for inspection
  • the closing time and date for receipt of offers.

Offers must be provided in a sealed envelope when not using an online process.

9.6.2.3 Assessment of offers

In order to demonstrate that an open and competitive process has been used, a committee should be formed to assess offers received.

The committee should comprise the principal or delegated officer and at least one staff member. Consideration should be given to including a representative of the school council or the P&C. Where appropriate, a representative of the donor or funding group should be included.

Any staff member, including the principal, wishing to make an offer on an item must be excluded from the committee.

Offers received must be held unopened in a secure location until the closing date. On the closing date, offers must be opened in the presence of all members of the committee and the name of the bidder and the amount of the offer recorded on the list of offers document.

The item must be offered to the person making the highest bid.

The decision of the committee and the signatures of all members must be recorded on the list of offers document.

9.6.2.4 Auctions

The principal may decide that an auction at the school fete is the most suitable method of selling surplus equipment.

An alternative to the usual bid by voice is known as a silent auction.

This takes place by displaying items with a bid card on which people can record their bids during the course of the day. People can return at later times and update their bid if they have been subsequently outbid.

The time by which final bids must be recorded must be shown on the bid card.

9.6.2.5 Proceeds of sale

Any proceeds from the sale must be receipted into the appropriate general ledger account.

  1. Sale of equipment - 420100 Miscellaneous Income Schools
  2. Sale of asset - 460001 Proceeds from Sale of P & E (Plant and Equipment) where the original cost was greater than $10,000.00.
9.6.2.6 GST applicable on sales

If a school sells an item via auction, the normal GST rules apply.

Schools can either:

  1. Treat the sale as a normal taxable supply and 1/11th of the sale price will be GST, which must be remitted to the ATO. A tax invoice must be issued for sales of more than $82.50 GST inclusive.
  2. Schools can apply a GST concession and treat the sale as a GST-free sale where the sale price of the item is either:
    1. Less than 50% of the market value or
    2. Less than 75% of the price that the school paid for the item.

If this concession is applied, no GST is charged and none is remitted to the ATO.

Any commission charged by auction houses will be subject to GST.

9.6.3 Destruction or dumping

Items that are obsolete or unserviceable may only be disposed of by dumping or destruction after all other avenues for disposal have been explored and eliminated.

Methods of disposal should always aim to minimise landfill and maximise recycling. Potential hazardous materials must be managed appropriately. For advice on finding the most environmentally friendly method of disposal, contact your local council. If the item for disposal is one of the ‘wastes of concern’ as identified by the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 schools should consult the NSW Environmental Protection Authority for advice.

9.7 Results of the stocktake

The results of the stocktake are to be entered onto the Stocktake certificate (Appendix 9A.3 – Stocktake Certificate) (PDF 362.9KB)

The downloaded spreadsheet (Stock Take download report from SAP) will need to be manipulated to provide the appropriate attachment.

Attachment 1 – A list which shows all items present at the time of stocktake. The excel sheet should be manipulated to see all items marked with a 1 in the Stocktake Result column with the Stocktake date column showing the current stocktake date.

Attachment 2 - Manipulate the excel sheet to show all items marked with a 2 in the Stocktake Result column with the Stocktake date column showing the current stocktake date.

Attachment 3 - Manipulate the excel sheet to show all items marked with a 2 in the Stocktake Result column with a date range which includes last year’s stocktake date in the Stocktake date column.

9.7.1 Information from stocktake is to include

After completing a stocktake the school should have the following information:

  1. total number of items sighted (including the number of items out on loan)
  2. total number of items on loan
  3. a comparison against the number of items previous sighted
  4. the number of items unsighted for the first year and the cost to replace these items
  5. the number of items unsighted for the second year and the cost to replace these items.

9.7.2 Sign-off

The sign-off confirms the information above and confirms the:

  • existence of sighted items
  • number of assets to be written-off and disposed of in accordance with policy and delegations (MO23).

A preparer’s signature is required.

The principal will either endorse or approve the information depending on the costs of items to be written-off against their current delegations (9.5).

If the total value to be written–off is within the principal’s delegation of less than $10,000 (exclusive of GST) when originally purchased the:

  1. principal will approve the write-off
  2. stocktake certificate and attachments are to be retained at the school for audit purposes.

If the total value to be written-off is above the principal’s delegation the:

  1. principal will endorse the certificate
  2. stocktake certificate is to be forwarded to Director, Educational Leadership for approval and returned to school
  3. stocktake certificate and attachments to be retained at school for audit purposes.

Only when the stocktake certificate has been signed-off can the updated spreadsheet be uploaded to SAP.


Section 10 - Payroll

This section sets out the policies and procedures for the payment of salaries and wages, recording of attendances, absences and leave applications which are basic records of the payroll system of the department.

10.1 Introduction

EDConnect HR is responsible for management of salary, leave and other benefits and provision of advice in relation to entitlements for staff across the department, manages the systems, data and web applications supporting the provision of these services.

The biggest expenditure by schools is on staffing. Schools are now funded for all permanent and temporary employees using the Standard cost approach.

10.2 Payroll

It is the principal’s responsibility to ensure that all staff have remitted their leave applications for any period of absence in a timely manner. This ensures that staff have an entitlement to be paid for the fortnight preceding pay day eg approved leave.

Where a teacher is absent during the pay period and the salary has been paid, the following action is to be taken:

  • If there is any doubt as to the entitlement for the pay concerned, the Employee Services at Newcastle or Wollongong should be advised promptly by telephone, fax or email to ensure that correct remuneration is received.
  • Similarly where the teacher named on a salary advice slip is unknown, absent without authority or on leave without pay, Employee Services are to be informed in a timely manner. Any paper payslips received at the school should be returned to Employees Services.

The procedures outlined above also apply to SAS staff. All relevant advice should be forwarded to Employee Services at Bathurst State Office.

10.3 Records of attendance

The system of attendance recording for teachers, who are employed under the Teaching Services Act 1980, differs from school administrative and support staff who are employed under the Education (School Administrative and Support Staff) Act 1987. It is the responsibility of the principal to ensure that attendance records, in the approved form, are maintained at the school.

Schools are required to maintain records in respect of attendance and leave for both teaching staff and school administrative and support (SAS) staff.

The purposes of attendance records are to:

  • provide a record of service and entitlement for the payment of salaries and wages
  • assist principals and senior school executives in the management of the school
  • protect staff in cases such as workers compensation claims where an official record of attendance is desirable
  • assist the principal and the department when leave records are prepared and verified.

It is the responsibility of the principal to ensure that attendance records are maintained and placed in a secure location.

Attendance records must be available for audit inspection. Completed attendance records are to be held at the school for a period of seven years after the last audit.

Authorised school personnel entering electronic casual pay claims (eCPC) can gain access to the system via the DEC insight staff portal.

Records must be maintained for the employment of all staff, including canteen staff.

10.3.1 Attendance records

Permanent teaching staff are required to record their attendance daily on arrival. The times of arrival and departure are to be recorded in the attendance record in cases where a teacher arrives or departs at times other than official hours of duty.

Attendance records can be recorded in an electronic or manual record.

Temporary teachers, those employed for a period of greater than four weeks, and casual relief teachers employed for extended periods are to record their attendance in the same manner as permanent teachers.

Teachers and school counsellors working in a community of schools are to record their attendance in diary form and secure that record in the attendance book of their base school at intervals not exceeding a two week period.

Schools must maintain a daily list of staff absences with the name of the replacement teacher and the applicable Casual Employee Payroll System (CEPS) code used for the replacement.

SAS staff, permanent and casual, including school learning and support officers (SLSO), business managers, plus general assistants (GA), farm assistants (FA) and Aboriginal education officers (AEO) are required to record their attendance daily upon arrival and departure. Either an attendance book-SAS staff (available from the current DoE contract supplier) or an electronically maintained register of staff, with a page printed for each day may be used. It is preferable that only one SAS staff attendance book be maintained.

10.3.2 Attendance records for salaried (permanent) teachers

Schools may consider one of the methods as described below to record attendances:

  • Attendance book (available from the current procurement contract supplier). When using the attendance book there are two options to record the attendance of permanent teachers.
  • School printed attendance list of permanent teachers
    A list of permanent teachers is maintained electronically with a page printed for each day of term. This list can be updated when there are changes to permanent staff. Teachers must initial next to their name on each day of attendance.

    These attendance sheets must be bound into a folder each term.
  • Electronic Systems
    Electronic systems can be used to manage the sign on process. Any electronic system used to manage attendance records should be fit for purpose and include the use of a form of electronic signature for sign on.

Staff lists can be customised by the principal to suit school preferences. They can be arranged in alpha or faculty order and can be designed to distinguish between permanent full time/part time staff. For an example of a permanent teachers attendance list refer to Appendix 10A.1c – Permanent teachers – Attendance list (DOCX 28.39KB)

Times of arrival and departure should be recorded in the attendance record in the case of any teacher who arrives or departs at times which are not within the official hours of duty. Generally the official hours of duty means the normal daily hours of operation of a school during which classes are conducted. The daily hours of engagement for a casual teacher, which shall be worked continuously, shall be six and one half hours per day, including a 30 minutes break during those hours and not less than 2 hours.

Where key lists and school printed attendance records are kept, staff list details must be kept up-to-date, intact and located in a secure location.

Principals are not required to sign the attendance record. However, principals in one teacher schools are required to sign the attendance record along with all other school staff.

10.3.3 Attendance records for temporary teachers occupying permanent positions or extended leave periods

Temporary teachers are casual teachers appointed to long term positions (in excess of 4 weeks) on a full time or part time basis, and are paid on the permanent payroll. Temporary teachers employed to occupy a permanent position or for extended periods of leave are to record their attendance in the same manner as permanent teachers.

Principals are to ensure that if the:

  • attendance book with a key list numbering system for permanent teachers is used, the temporary teacher occupying the long term position must sign or initial (depending on the method used) against the number of the teacher they are replacing. A suitable notation should be made in the key list stating the dates of employment of the temporary teacher.
  • school printed staff attendance list of permanent teachers is used, the name of the temporary teacher occupying the long term position must be printed on the 'staff attendance list'.

10.3.4 Attendance records for casual teachers engaged to relieve a short term absence of a teacher

Casual teachers employed by the principal on relief duty are to record their attendance, using one of the three following methods:

  1. In the attendance book for permanent teachers, the casual teacher records their signature in the space reserved for the permanent teacher they are replacing. For an example of an attendance book for permanent teaching staff using this system, refer to Appendix 10A.1a (DOCX 28.06KB) and Appendix 10A.1b. (DOCX 28.42KB)
  2. A separate attendance book (available from the current procurement contract supplier) maintained for casual teachers where casual teachers sign their name in order of attendance as in Appendix 10A.2a – Attendance book – Casual relief teachers (DOCX 27.7KB). Schools may also enter the CEPS code applicable and the name of the permanent teacher being replaced.
  3. On a school printed casual relief teachers attendance sheet, record the date, name, signature and the name of the permanent teacher being replaced. Schools may also enter the CEPS code applicable for the employment of the casual. For an example of a school printed attendance book for casual relief teaching staff, refer to Appendix 10A.2b – Attendance list – Casual relief teachers (DOCX 27.64KB). Where the casual is employed for less than a full school day, their name and signature and the time of arrival and departure should be recorded.

Principals should note that casual teachers are paid on a 'time' basis. Principals are to ensure that the hours of duty for which payment is claimed by the casual relief teacher agrees with the hours of duty actually worked by that casual teacher.

Casual teachers are to be paid in full where, because of inadequate notice by the school, they report for duty no later than 30 minutes after the normal commencing time on the first day of a period of relief.

10.3.5 Attendance records for other teachers working in a community of schools while attached to a single school

Teachers working in a community of schools, eg school counsellors and itinerant teachers are to record attendance in diary form, at intervals not exceeding a fortnight. This record should be transferred into the attendance book of their base school on a fortnightly basis. For an example of an attendance diary for a teacher working in a community of schools refer to Appendix 10A.3 – Attendance diary – Teacher working in a community of schools (DOCX 28.51KB).

10.3.6 Attendance records for school administrative and support staff

All SAS staff are to record their attendance daily upon arrival and departure.

10.3.6.1 Permanent school administrative and support staff

Schools should choose one of the methods as described below to record attendances:

  1. Attendance book – SAS staff (available from the current procurement contract supplier).
  2. A list of permanent SAS staff may be maintained electronically, with a page printed for each day of term. This list can be updated when there are changes to permanent staff. SAS staff must sign in and sign out next to their name on each day of attendance.

These attendance sheets must be bound into a folder each term.

Staff lists can be customised by the principal to suit school preferences. They can be arranged in alpha order and designed to distinguish between permanent full time/part time staff. For an example of an attendance book for SAS staff refer to Appendix 10A.4 – Attendance book – SAS staff (DOCX 28.33KB).

All SAS staff are required to:

  • sign the attendance book and enter time of arrival
  • sign the attendance book and enter time of departure
  • record any variation in hours worked such as the hours of attendance relating to the applicable award provisions in the averaging of hours or recording of overtime worked.

It is preferable that only one SAS staff attendance book be maintained. However, in secondary schools for example, where the library remains open after normal hours and the school administrative officer (library) may not always be able to gain access to the common attendance record, a separate book may be maintained.

10.3.6.2 Casual school administrative and support staff (SAS)

Casual SAS staff employed by the principal are required to record their attendance. The casual employee must record their signature and time of arrival and departure.

There are two methods that may be used to record casual SAS staff attendance:

  • In the attendance book for permanent SAS staff, the casual employee records their signature and time in order of arrival and departure. Schools may enter the CEPS code applicable for the employment of the casual SAS staff. For an example using this system refer to Appendix 10A.4 – Attendance book – SAS staff (DOCX 28.33KB).
  • On a school printed casual relief SAS staff attendance sheet, record the date, name, signature and (if applicable) the name of the permanent SAS staff member being replaced. Schools may also wish to enter the CEPS code applicable for the employment of the casual SAS staff, refer to Appendix 10A.5 – Attendance book – Casual SAS staff (DOCX 28.04KB).

10.3.7 Attendance records for voluntary workers

Voluntary workers may attend the school for various activities, such as parents and community members attending for reading and sport activities, scripture teachers, trainees, Work for the Dole participants, practice teachers and canteen voluntary workers etc. Voluntary workers must record their attendance in a voluntary workers register as part of WHS requirements. See Appendix 10A.7- Attendance book – School voluntary workers. (DOCX 27.12KB)

10.4 Leave records

The purpose of leave records are to provide a:

  • record of absences and/or leave
  • system of leave applications and approvals.

Examples of leave are sick, recreation, long service, maternity, family and community, leave without pay, long service leave and other types of leave.

A record of leave applications should be maintained in a combined absence or separate register either manually or electronically ie Employee Self Service (ESS), to ensure that all leave forms/applications have been approved and forwarded to the appropriate processing area.

Leave applications are to be submitted online by each member of staff taking any type of leave (manual forms are available for the few staff not in the ESS system).

All planned leave applications are to be entered into the system and approved before leave is taken.

In unforeseen circumstances ie sickness ESS/leave forms should be submitted on the first day of the employees return to work.

Any supporting documentation ie medical certificates, jury service attendance statements etc. must be provided to the principal or the nominated school leave approvers.

When the electronic Leave Application System (eLAPS), using Employee Self Service (ESS), is used to apply for and approve leave, the principal or authorised leave approver must ensure that information is provided to staff responsible for maintaining any manual attendance registers.

Leave must be recorded promptly for schools to receive timely reimbursement under the shared risk model.

To eliminate the possibility of overpayment of salary, schools should forward an Interim leave form on behalf of a staff member on leave for more than five school days to the relevant Employee Service.

Teachers fax to Employee Services at:

  • Newcastle 117 Bull Street, Newcastle
    Telephone: 1300 32 32 32
    Fax 1300 338 121
    Email: HRSSC.Newcastle@det.nsw.edu.au
    Postal address: PO Box 86 NEWCASTLE NSW 2300
  • Wollongong 84 Crown Street, Wollongong
    Telephone: 1300 32 32 32
    Fax 1300 338 122
    Email: HRSSC.Wollongong@det.nsw.edu.au
    Postal address: Locked Bag 7012 WOLLONGONG EAST NSW 2520

Non-teaching staff fax to Employee Services at:

  • Bathurst Level 1, 140 William Street, Bathurst
    Telephone: 1300 32 32 32
    Fax 1300 338 123
    Email: HRSSC.Bathurst@det.nsw.edu.au
    Postal address: Locked Bag 1010 BATHURST NSW 2795

The principal or a delegated officer is to examine the attendance records regularly. Appropriate follow up action should be taken to ensure that all the leave applications are received and forwarded to the relevant units with the approval of the principal.

Non submission of leave can lead to a loss of funds for the school.

All attendance, leave records and documentation must be held securely at the school.

10.4.1 Recording staff absences

Absences require suitable notation to be made in the attendance record.

Schools should maintain a leave register and record daily absences of permanent teaching and SAS staff. This information may be maintained in either an electronic or manual form.

Schools may record permanent teaching and SAS staff absences and casual replacements in a form designed by the school.

The record should contain the name of the permanent staff member and their casual replacement, the appropriate CEPS code, the reason for absence, the SAP cost centre and the status of leave forms that have been completed electronically or manually.

This register may be used to reconcile the CEPS monthly statement with a notation made when payment has been made. For an example of a Record of staff absences - teaching & SAS staff refer to Appendix 10A.6 – Record of staff absences – teaching and SAS staff. (DOCX 29.68KB)

All attendance records must be filed in the school for a period of seven years after the end of the financial year.

10.5 Pay and records for additional staff

All teaching personnel must be teachers approved for employment by the department.

10.5.1 Authority to employ additional staff

Principals may employ additional staff from:

  • certain government grants, eg RAM funding or Funding Support
  • school raised funds where principals consider substantial advantages to the school and its educational programs will be obtained
  • canteen funds to manage and control the activities of school operated canteens.

All pre-employment requirements must be completed prior to submitting a temporary engagement form:

  • appropriate screening checks using eCPC to confirm the employee has a current approval to teach (valid for the full period of a temporary teacher engagement)
  • employment screening clearance
  • not on the list of employees not to be employed in any capacity.

Forms and enquiries about the engagement of temporary staff should be directed to the relevant HR Shared Service Centre at Bathurst, Newcastle or Wollongong.

All additional staff employed, other than teachers, ie paid canteen supervisors, administration staff, are required to meet relevant requirements under the Working with Children Check Procedures (PDF 166.53KB) process under the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 and the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013.

10.6 Requirements for employment of additional staff

Where the principal employs additional staff, the following conditions apply:

  • The current recruitment process is to be followed. Refer to People and services (Human resources) intranet page for clarification and further information and forms.
  • Staff employed under specific program funds ie teachers, school learning support officer (SLSO) and school administrative and support (SAS) staff must be employed in accordance with the conditions of the grant.
  • Prior to employing any additional staff, principals should ensure that all relevant pre-employment screening is complete. eg working with children check, current approval to teach.
  • When teachers are employed, they are to be engaged either as:
    • temporary teachers and paid through Permanent Employees Payroll System (PEPS)
    • casual teachers and paid through eCPC at the appropriate rate.
  • Where SAS staff are employed, they are to be engaged (using the appropriate CEPS code) either as:
    • temporary employees and paid through PEPS
    • casual employees and paid through eCPC at the appropriate rate.
  • Payments for additional staff for school operated canteens ie canteen supervisors are to be in accordance with award salary/wage rates. Canteen staff are to be paid through either PEPS or eCPC.
  • Attendance records for teaching and SAS staff are to be maintained.

Employment of staff is not to be confused with the engagement of a contractor to carry out a specific task, or for a specific purpose. Musicians, music tutors and band leaders etc. have been determined by Legal Services Directorate to be employees. The salary is paid through CEPS and Working with Children Check Procedures (PDF 166.53KB) apply.

Refer to: Legal Bulletin 49 (PDF 63.2KB) – ‘Have I hired a contractor or employee and why does it make a difference?’ for more details.

For taxation purposes, if the contractor has their own business and employs staff to provide the service, then they are considered the employer and not the school. Schools who engage a contractor should ensure that they have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or meet the requirements of Statement by supplier.

10.7 Workers compensation

On advice from WorkCover Authority of NSW, staff employed directly by schools will be covered under the department’s NSW Treasury Managed Fund Workers Compensation Insurance Policy. This does not apply to P&C run canteens where staff are paid as the employees of the P&C, or employees of a licensed canteen.

10.8 Travel request and expense claims

Refer to Travel on Official Business Guidelines and Section 8.21.


Section 11 - Canteens on school premises

School canteens are an integral part of many school communities, providing students and staff with a range of healthy and affordable food and drinks.

11.1 Introduction

The objectives of most school canteens are to generate sufficient income to:

  • meet the full costs of operating the canteen, including purchases of stock, telephone, wages, superannuation, staff leave entitlements, equipment replacement reserves and other direct expenses
  • provide an appropriate contribution for the benefit of the school and students.

Information on the NSW Government’s Healthy School Canteen Strategy is on the department’s Wellbeing and learning website.

This website provides schools with the following information:

  • Canteen Menu Planning Guide
  • Canteen Licence Information
  • Fresh Tastes Tool Kit
  • Fresh Tastes @ School NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy Newsletters
  • Anaphylaxis Guidelines for Schools
  • Food safety in school canteens - fact sheet
  • Fresh Ideas for a Healthy School Canteen
  • Sugar Sweetened Drink Ban Flyer
  • Food Matters @ School including translated versions
  • Finance in Schools Handbook – Canteens on School Premises
  • Menu guide for 'heat and serve' canteens and canteens with limited equipment.

11.2 Establishment

The principal must obtain the approval of Director, Educational Leadership before a canteen can be established on school property.

Refer to:

The request for approval must be supported by an application containing the following information:

  • the reasons for the proposal
  • availability of suitable accommodation
  • details of alterations (if any) required to the proposed accommodation and the estimated costs
  • details and estimated cost of any equipment required for the proposed canteen in addition to the standard equipment normally provided
  • availability and source of funds required to cover alterations and purchase of equipment
  • evidence that there has been consultation with the school community in respect of the need for a canteen
  • method of operation (refer to Section 11.3 Methods of operation)
  • an assessment of the effect, if any, that the establishment of a canteen may have on the business of local food shops and vice versa. While the existence of nearby food shops would not override the need for a school canteen operating as an educational resource, possible problems in this area should not be overlooked.

Approval to establish a canteen on or within school property must only be given where suitable accommodation is available and not needed for other important purposes.

All persons working within school canteens, ie paid staff, volunteers, parent bodies (P&C), or licensees, will be required to satisfy the Working with Children Check Procedures under The Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 and the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013. A person cannot be engaged in employment until they have provided a completed declaration.

Refer to:

11.3 Methods of operation

There are three methods by which a school canteen may be operated. They are as:

  • A school operated activity managed by school appointed staff, ie with a paid supervisor and where the principal has overall supervision and financial control.
  • An activity managed by a subcommittee of a parent organisation.
  • A licensee managed by a private contractor.

The Director, Schools Finance must approve any change in the method of operation.

The choice of the method of operation is made by determining which option provides the best outcome for the school and its community. The decision must be made in consultation with parent organisations and have the support of the school community.

Factors that will influence the decision include:

  • a desire to maintain control over the nature, quality and cost of food served by the canteen
  • the nature of the school community including socio-economic and multicultural factors
  • the degree of commitment by the parent organisation to take responsibility for operation of the canteen, including the introduction of suitable control structures and the maintenance of adequate financial records
  • the cost of operation, in particular wage related expenses for paid supervisors
  • the level of support to be provided by the school community and in particular the availability of volunteer workers
  • the availability of competent persons to operate the canteen on either a paid or voluntary basis, both in supervisory and financial management roles
  • a desire for any profit generated by the canteen to provide a contribution to the educational needs of the school.

Schools need to be aware that a school operated (11.3.1) or P&C operated (11.3.2) canteen would involve additional administrative responsibilities for the school, whereas, with a licensed canteen, the administration of the canteen falls to the licensee.

The impact of administering the Good and Services Tax (GST) must also be considered when choosing the method of canteen operation. School canteens may choose to operate as input-taxed or GST taxable. Both methods require different administrative processes, including the added responsibility of handling withholding tax and charging GST. The principal and members of the Finance and/or Canteen Committees should decide which option best suits the school.

Summary of canteen options and GST
Canteen options as Licensed, Parent or School operated with relevant GST and input tax credits applicable

Licensed Parent operated
  • The licensee pays GST on outgoings and claims input tax credits.
  • The school collects GST as part of licence.
Parent body/P&C accounts for GST if applicable (may operate as input-taxed).

GST charges and input tax credits relevant to a school operated canteen

School operated

Input-taxed:

  • No GST included on sales.
  • No input tax credits claimed.

Charges GST:

  • Includes GST on sales.
  • Claims input tax credits.
  • Food rules apply.

11.3.1 School operated canteens

A school operated canteen is one where the principal has responsibility for overall supervision and financial control. The principal assumes responsibility for:

  • the employment and dismissal of paid staff
  • the appointment of voluntary workers
  • the management of the day to day operations of the canteen
  • approval of the pricing policy
  • approval of expense payments
  • approval for banking of canteen takings
  • preparation and presentation of statements on canteen trading results
  • payment of wages
  • approval for the distribution of canteen profits.

The principal may be assisted by a committee of parents and voluntary workers which would not be a sub-committee of the school parent organisation but answerable to the principal only.

11.3.1.1 Applying goods and services tax (GST)

The school may choose to operate the school operated canteen in one of two ways:

  1. input-taxed or
  2. charge GST on the taxable food sold.

The school operated canteen operates under the NSW Government Schools’ Australian Business Number (ABN).

The method of operation chosen by the school must be recorded in the minutes of a Finance Committee or canteen meeting. Once chosen, the method of operation cannot be changed for 12 months.

The following table summarises the main features:

Input taxed canteens GST taxable
  • must operate in the school grounds
  • does not charge GST on taxable food
  • cannot claim in-put tax credits
  • must maintain this status for 12 months
  • the school is not required to keep track of which food is taxable and which is not
  • the school is not required to separately account for GST paid on acquisitions for the canteen
  • the school is not required to charge GST on the sale of food or beverages (or separately account for GST collected on canteen sales)
  • prices charged for food should take into account any GST paid on purchases (as they cannot claim credits).
  • must operate in the school grounds
  • are registered as part of the department’s registration
  • charge GST on taxable food
  • must maintain this status for 12 months
  • the school must account for all GST paid on food and other acquisitions
  • it must charge and collect GST on the sale of all taxable food.

Schools that choose to operate a school canteen that charges GST must follow the GST Food Guide from the ATO. These guidelines help school canteens to work out the GST status of most food items sold at school canteens. For GST purposes 'food' basically means food and beverages for human consumption.

Regardless of which method is chosen, the usual GST rules apply to other items sold from the canteen, such as book packs and calculators. The accounting for the purchase and sale of other items must be handled separately from accounting for food sold in the canteen.

11.3.1.2 Collections

The policies and procedures in Section 7 - Receipting and banking apply to collections made in respect of the canteen. The General Ledger (GL) account 420011 Canteen sales must be used for receipting.

An appropriate sized cash float should be maintained by the canteen. Any cash remaining overnight, during weekends and school holidays must be kept secure. Refer to Section 7 – Receipting and banking for information on setting up a petty cash float and a Cheque Cashing Authority (CCA).

Daily takings must be recorded in a daily takings book. This action enables subsequent comparison with bank deposits and provides a posting source to the accounting records. A completed example of the daily takings book is shown in Appendix 11A.2 – Daily takings book example. The signatures of the two people (‘counting’ and ‘checking’ officers) who counted the money should be recorded in the daily takings book. This procedure provides evidence that the money was actually counted by two people and their identity. An independent check of collections recorded in the daily takings book against bank deposits must be performed periodically to ensure that all money collected is banked.

Where cash registers are used, collections should be counted, reconciled with the total on the docket, and again two signatures recorded on the docket and in the daily takings book. The cash register docket is to be affixed to the relevant page in the daily takings book.

Sales of goods other than canteen trading stock should be recorded separately, to support the recording of the transaction in the accounting records and the preparation of reports. These sales should follow guidance in Section 7 - Receipting and banking.

In order to minimise opportunities for the theft of cash or goods, access to the canteen and canteen storerooms must be limited to authorised personnel only (eg children should not be permitted in the serving area). Where applicable, the bulk store must be locked when not in use and the number of keys limited to designated individuals and documented in the Register of Financial Items.

Refer to:

11.3.1.3 Accounting process

The canteen receipts and canteen expenses must be managed through Cost Centre 6XXXX202 (where XXXX is the school code).

The following general ledger account numbers should be used for school operated canteens:

  • Revenue GL 420011 for Canteen Sales (food and drink)
  • Revenue GL 406670 Sales Products & Materials for items sold to students through the canteen such as uniforms, hats, book packs, etc
  • Expense GL 528654 for Canteen Consumables (food and drink)
  • Expense GL 523585 for Purchases for Resale purchased by the canteen, such as uniforms, hats, book packs, etc
  • Expense Transfer GL 500102 Salary Transfer Non-Teaching for canteen staff who must be paid via eCPC using the CEPS Code 023
  • There may be other GL’s relevant to a school operated canteen, these must be used in conjunction with the Cost Centre 6XXXX202.
11.3.1.4 Payment of canteen staff

Staff are to be paid through the department’s payroll. For non-teaching staff, any engagement exceeding one full term should be regarded as long term temporary employment.

Canteen staff may be either paid as temporary or casual employees. There are advantages for staff involved in the administration of salaries by submitting a temporary engagement over entering casual pay claims fortnightly.

For further information on the appointment of temporary or casual canteen supervisors and workers please contact the Employee Services Centre, Bathurst on 1300 32 32 32.

11.3.1.5 Equipment

The policies and procedures in Section 8 - Procurement and payments and Section 9 – Asset and equipment management are also to be adopted for school-operated canteens.

An up-to-date equipment register should be maintained for the purposes of insurance valuation, equipment replacement and stocktakes. It is important that canteens set aside sufficient funds to enable essential equipment to be replaced. A percentage of the replacement cost of each item of equipment (depreciation) should be set aside from canteen profits each month. For example, 20% of the cost a year should be put aside for an item of equipment with an expected life of 5 years.

11.3.1.6 Stocktake of canteen stores

A stocktake must be conducted at the end of each quarter. This action verifies that stock holdings are in accordance with records and that stock levels are appropriate, and facilitates the preparation of canteen trading statements.

The same stocktaking principles applicable to other school property should be applied to stocktaking of canteen stores and equipment. That is, that the stocktake should be performed by two people if possible, at least one of whom does not have responsibility for day to day control of stock.

Periodic 'ad hoc' stocktakes should be carried out to ensure that stock levels are adequate and to check for over-ordering. In order to reduce opportunities for pilferage or external theft and to reduce the possibility of spoilage, stocks should be held at a minimum level. Records of wastage must be maintained and periodically reviewed to ensure that the level is reasonable.

Where large stocks are maintained, consideration should be given to maintaining stock record cards. The recording of stocktake results is facilitated by using worksheets which list all stock items held in the canteen. Stocks held must be valued at cost in order to facilitate the preparation of canteen trading statements.

Refer to:

11.3.1.7 Reporting

A canteen trading statement must be prepared at the end of each quarter e.g. 31 March, 30 June, etc. The trading statement is a financial management tool to assist in determining the canteen’s financial position (ie surplus/deficit).

There are resources to assist schools in preparing the statement in the form of a trading statement template a procedures document and supporting information available on the Schools Finance website.

The template will self-populate based on the information entered for each quarter. This will enable the financial result for the year to be calculated. The final trading statement as at 31 December should be signed and dated by both the preparer (usually the school administrative manager) and the certifier (the principal) and then be emailed to Schools Finance at sfsu.afs@det.nsw.edu.au within the timeframe requested by Schools Finance.

Schools should keep both a hard copy and electronic version of the signed trading statement for record keeping and audit purposes.

Refer to:

11.3.2 Parent-operated canteens

The day to day activities of parent operated canteens are usually managed by a sub-committee of the parent organisation. Further guidelines on Canteen sub-committees are provided by the Federation of Parents and Citizens’ Associations of New South Wales.

It is strongly recommended that an agreement be prepared setting out the specific responsibilities, arrangements and duties of the parent organisation and of the school with respect to the canteen. All parties, including members of the parent organisation, executive and the principal, should sign this agreement.

Where the school’s canteen is operated by a parent organisation, it becomes the responsibility of the P&C to:

  • ensure that the Working with Children Check (WWCC) is in place for all canteen staff
  • determine whether they will operate as an input taxed canteen
  • account for GST paid and GST collected if applicable
  • employ staff/volunteers
  • comply with the department’s Nutrition in Schools Policy.

The parent organisation may decide to operate the canteen as input-taxed. To take advantage of this option, the parent operated canteen must be part of the parent organisation ie not have a separate ABN. Further information for parent operated canteens and GST is available from the Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations website.

As an 'ex-officio' member of the parent organisation and its sub-committees, it is prudent that the principal continue to play an active role in the management of parent operated canteens. The principal must effectively monitor the operations of a parent operated canteen to ensure that the canteen is efficiently and effectively managed and that the financial results are in accordance with expectations.

The principal has the same rights as any other member of a parent committee. As a committee member, the principal must participate in:

  • the setting of prices
  • decisions regarding the expected contribution to be made to the parent body
  • monitoring financial results of the canteen
  • the implementation of adequate control measures for the operation of the canteen.

It is also recommended that the sub-committee makes an annual contribution to the parent organisation (P&C), for the purchase of school equipment, materials or services that will enhance the school's budgeted programs.

The contribution should be at least equal to the:

  • net profit for the year less any increase in working capital required to operate the canteen
  • costs of any services met by the school ie gas, electricity.
11.3.2.1 Accounting processes

Canteen transactions for a P&C operated canteen should not be processed through the school.

Revenue GL 420006 – Donations P&C should be used for donations and contributions from a P&C operated canteen.

11.3.3 Licensed canteens

A licensed canteen is operated by a private contractor who is responsible for managing all aspects of the day to day operation of the canteen, including:

  • the employment of staff
  • purchase of trading stock
  • setting menus and prices
  • food preparation
  • sale of stock.

It is the private contractor that must account for GST paid and GST collected on the day-to-day canteen sales.

In return for receiving all income, the contractor meets all expenses related to the canteen operation and pays a fixed licence fee to the school for the use of the canteen premises. The school's aim is to receive a licence fee sufficient to meet any operating costs that are met by the school, such as gas and electricity and to meet financial objectives for the benefit of the school and students.

Approval must be sought from the Manager, Schools Finance, to call for tenders prior to the advertisement of the school canteen licence.

Detailed information on the canteen licence agreement is in the Canteen Licence Information Package available on the Schools Finance Canteen licence agreement web page.

The private contractor must comply with the department’s Nutrition in Schools Policy.

11.3.3.1 Accounting processes

All invoicing for licensed canteens must be through a SAP Sales contract via EDConnect. A copy of the signed licence agreement should also be provided to EDConnect for their records once the contract has received department approval. All new sales contracts should be raised against ‘Licensed Canteen GST – 420017’ for the amount stipulated in the agreement. By selecting this revenue will automatically be posted to GL 420017.

Licensees can elect to pay by one of a number of payment options outlined on their invoice. If the Licensee pays directly to the school it must be processed as a finance invoice against the Business Partner through the Cash Desk.

Debt collection proceedings will commence if invoices remain unpaid after 30 days by EDConnect. If you have any queries about this process please contact EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32.

Refer to:

  • Management of Sales Orders and Contracts. (PDF 662.48KB)

Section 12 - Libraries

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) defines a library is ‘a place set apart to contain books and other literary material for reading, study or reference’. The collection must be made available to the public, or section of the public (school students).

12.1 Introduction

All NSW government schools have a public library. They vary in terms of staffing, facilities and resources. This is normally related to student enrolment numbers and school priorities. Library resources are all the items (both physical and digital) that are catalogued into the school library system to support teaching and learning.

The Library Policy – Schools guides requirements and responsibilities related to school libraries. The principal is accountable for all financial matters in the school, including procedures and management. The teacher librarian and/or school library committee may support the principal in planning and implementation.

12.2 Library resources management: systems and cataloguing services

Softlink Oliver is the automated library management system in schools.

All NSW DoE schools are part of a state-wide subscription to Schools Cataloguing Information Service (SCIS) through Educational Services Australia (ESA).

The use of SCIS catalogue records is mandated as they set school library information to Australian and international cataloguing standards such as AACR II and RDA.

Funding for this service (School Catalogue Information Subscriptions (SCIS)) is charged via a Sundry Tax invoice during the first quarter of the year. The school will need to journal all charges against Fund 6100, GL account SCIS 528655. The amount deducted is based on student numbers and bands set by Education Services Australia.

12.2.1 Processing of library materials

Physical items such as books, subscription magazines, DVDs, maps, charts and so on, are barcoded and registered in the catalogue with essential supplier and cost information as provided by the school finance process.

Where a cost has not been incurred, the library needs to set a minimum replacement cost. This would apply to donations for example and other resources such as DVDs that the school has created. A DVD may contain a series of programs copied from free to air television.

Digital resources are included as part of a balanced range of resources in school libraries. Digital items such as ebooks, ejournals, audiobooks, database and video content subscriptions are registered in the catalogue. Subscriptions are managed through the School Finance system. It is essential for the library to report to principals and the school community on usage. This enables schools to justify continued outlays on digital content and services. The new library system, Oliver, allows easier management of usage and the associated digital rights.

12.2.1.1 Identification of library materials

It is no longer a mandatory requirement for physical resources to be allocated an accession number.

All physical resources need a unique barcode number as an identifier, and the physical barcode attached to the resource. Where necessary, the barcode number could also be noted on the resource in a manner similar to practices previously used for accession numbers.

Refer to:

12.2.1.2 Managing school resources that are not held in the library collection

School curriculum resources

All resources purchased by the library, and professional resources purchased by grade, faculty, and learning priority areas should be catalogued. The school resources branch in Oliver is used for these types of resources. Physical items with low value and short life, (for example readers in primary schools) do not need to be catalogued.

Cataloguing the resources through the library does not mean that they need to be housed in the library. For example faculty or specialist collections can be housed elsewhere in the school, but circulation measures are established to assign these resources to those locations on a long term loan basis. Responsibility for audit procedures and management of those resources can be assumed by those in charge of that location in liaison with the teacher librarian.

Refer to:

Text books in the school library system

Text books are not normally part of a school library collection as they are not integral to the teaching and learning role of the library or the teacher librarian. Some schools have chosen to add textbooks to the library collection. Where this choice is made, the textbooks are subject to the same management requirements as other library resources. Schools need to allocate sufficient staff and time to meet such management requirements. There are implications for user search results, loan limits, overdue procedures, stocktake, and statistical reporting when textbooks and class sets are included in the library collection.

In the Oliver library system a branch structure is set up called School Resources. This differentiates resources such as textbooks, readers and faculty resources from standard library resources. This enables responsibility for text book loans and returns, producing overdue notices etc. to be determined by the principal and so it is not necessarily a library task.

General school equipment

The school library system should only be used for tracking library items and equipment.

All other equipment must be recorded as described in Section 9 - Assets and Equipment.

12.2.2 Loan of library materials

The circulation of library resources is tracked by the Oliver circulation module. It records the following details:

  • borrower
  • date due
  • loan category
  • resource category
  • title
  • collection.

Overdue loans must be managed. There must be regular follow-up of overdue loans. This can be managed through overdue notices.

End of year tasks include marking items as missing that are not likely to be returned. Borrowers who have left the school will stay in the library system if they have overdue loans that have not been dealt with.

Refer to:

Note: OLIVER must not be used to track items of school equipment on loan as it does not provide enough signed evidence of a loan being organised and taken up. A Loans Register must still be operated within the school.

12.3 Managing resources including library stocktake

Efficient school library control procedures are moving to a more strategic risk management approach.

Refer to:

As library collections include an essential mix of digital and physical resources the requirement to undertake a stocktake is to be replaced by a risk management process.

Refer to:

12.3.1 Risk management approach to stocktake

With OLIVER in place the old approach to closing libraries to stocktake is now not required.

A risk management approach is to be employed to capture the resources under the libraries remit.

More effective measures can be employed on an ongoing basis to collate, analyse and assess the library resources, including:

  • analysing the currency of the collection for supporting curriculum priorities
  • analysis through reporting and acting on collection gaps as part of the planning cycle
  • applying established educational criteria for weeding of items that no longer meet local, national, and/or DoE requirements
  • analysing resource availability for those that are highly relevant to current curriculum priorities which may need review, refreshing, or have other related budget implications
  • assessing the collection for highly used items in need of repair and maintenance
  • assessing the management of library spaces for learning and teaching and housing resources appropriately.

Library staff time is necessary to apply, assess and review the collection. In the case of digital subscriptions and materials, other measures need to be applied for example reports on usage statistics.

Refer to:

The following is the risk management approach approved for the governance of school libraries. Note that the comment column contains example responses.

Risk reference Risk description Control descriptions Comment (examples

A1

Effective stock control

A1.01 Library materials

All appropriate resources, physical and digital, are catalogued in the library system. The source for the catalogue records is SCIS. All physical records have a unique barcode that is attached to the resource.

The library is managed to support the school curriculum. Stock losses are minimal (4% or less) and digital subscriptions are evaluated regularly.

Fully comply with a loss rate of X% or

For variances over 4%:

The loss rate for teacher reference collection is 6%.

XXXX collection is not housed in the library.

A1

As Above

A1.02 Security gates

If appropriate, a surveillance system is installed at the library entrance.

Identify security system used and who has access to it or

Not applicable and explain why.

A1

As Above

A1.03 Circulation

The Library Management System is used to effectively control circulation and access to resources for all items in the library collection.

Fully comply

or

Comment on any lapses.

A1

As Above

A1.04 Procedures manual

Documented processes and procedures are followed to manage the addition and removal of library items in accordance with DoE policies.

Procedures manual updated (date).

(number) Staff trained/knowledge reviewed on (date).

Spot check completed by (name) on (date).

A1

As Above

A1.05 Borrowers

All students have a unique borrower number which uses the ‘Student Record Number’ (SRN).

All staff have a unique DoE user name.

The library system is fed this information from ERN and IDM. Borrowers except for externals are not added manually.

Fully comply

XX students and staff registered.

XX external borrowers added.

A1

As Above

A1.06 Overdues

Overdue library items are attended to regularly and notifications sent to students, teachers and parents as required.

Fully comply.

Overdue loan reports produced (weekly/monthly/termly) and acted upon.

XX overdues on (date of risk management).

Long standing overdue loan reports for staff forward to the principal on (dates).

A1

As Above

A1.07 External borrowers

Effective procedures are in place for maintenance of external borrowers and capturing their returns.

Fully comply

X number of outstanding returns from XX external borrowers.

Also describe steps to be taken if there are any outstanding returns.

A1

As Above

A1.08 Digital subscriptions

Ensure access to digital subscriptions accords with licencing agreements for non-school borrowers.

Fully comply.

Describe how.

A1

As Above

A1.09 Stocktake

Identification of missing items that need immediate replacement to meet curriculum requirements. This may include scheduling partial or whole stocktake at intervals as determined by the school. This could be relevant to high priority and extensively used areas of the collection. Note that it is no longer a requirement to stocktake the whole collection every two years. Some schools may choose not to run regular stocktakes if other effective measures are implemented.

Select the following for stocktake documentation:

Oliver stocktake

Stocktake completed in (month) 20XX for the XXXX collection which was water damaged.

Insurance claim completed and processed. New resources purchased and processed as replacements. Principal signed off on stocktake results.

Or

XX% of collections physically sighted between (date) and (date). No replacements required.

The following reports in Oliver may be useful:

Stocktake catalogue report

Stocktake missing items report

A1

As Above

A1.10 Unique identifiers for resources

Provided each physical resource is allocated a unique barcode number, and cost and supplier have been indicated, there is no longer a requirement to use an accession number.

Fully comply

XX barcodes re-issued during (year).

XX barcodes added to new resources during (year).

A2

Effective stock control for equipment.

A2.01 Equipment

Yearly stocktake of equipment is undertaken by school administration via the SAP Equipment Register or an alternative fit-for-purpose equipment register. This applies to equipment that is attractive and portable items up to a value of $10,000. This includes devices that are held in the library and loaned to students and teachers. The library reports to school administration on overdues/non returned items.

Fully comply. Stocktake complete on (date).

XX loses identified within Library Assets and Equipment.

All loan equipment sighted

Or

X loan items not sighted. Described follow up actions

And/or

Report produced for school administration on outstanding laptop loans.

A3

Effective management reporting to prevent waste, unnecessary duplication and under-utilisation of digital subscriptions.

A3.01 Reporting

Regular reports are scheduled on resource usage:

(i) Physical items not sighted by date and collection. Purpose is to check if the resources should be retained in the collection.

(ii) Usage reports for digital content subscriptions. Purpose is to ensure that usage measurements justify continued subscriptions.

(iii) Such subscriptions are available to appropriate users in line with licencing agreements.

Circulation/Reports scheduled and completed on (add dates).

Circulation/Reports/Search Statistics report scheduled and completed on (add dates).

Management/Statistics report scheduled and completed on (add dates).

The following reports in Oliver may be useful:

Circulation/Reports

  • least used resources
  • most popular resources
  • resource usage report
  • resource loan lists

Circulation/Reports/Search Statistics

  • failed searches
  • ebook usage
  • electronic usage
  • reservations

Management/Statistics

All copies by publication date.

Weeding commenced on non-fiction collection based on least used usage report and curriculum relevance.

A4

Oversight of effective management of physical building and internal fittings. Neglect can lead to a failure to support teaching and learning. eg fire damage, theft, vandalism.

A4.01 Smoke detectors

Smoke detectors are installed and regularly tested.

A4.02 Alarms

Intrusion alarms are installed and regularly tested.

A4.03 Fire suppression

Fire suppression systems are installed and regularly tested.

A4.04 Security

Library is physically locked out of school hours. Appropriate measures are in place when the school library is open, but library staff are not present.

A4.05 WHS compliance

Teaching and learning spaces are fit for purpose and WHS compliant.

A4.06 Accessibility

Accessibility issues have been addressed in line with DoE policy.

X smoke detectors installed and tested on (date).

Alarm installed and tested on (date).

Fire suppression system tested on (date).

Security processes included:

1.

2.

3.

WHS compliance as at (date) is (describe).

Accessibility issue identified/not identified.

Describe any issues which occurred during the year or are outstanding.

A5

DoE mandated standards and requirements are met.

5.01 Copyright/Licencing

Failure to comply can lead to possible legal challenges, imposition of fines, copy right infringements, and loss of public face. Adherence to copyright legislation for fair use and screen rights. For video materials this applies to recording, copying and format shifting. Refer to Copyright: Smartcopying website.

All library staff have reviewed Copyright: Smartcopying website

(you could add the names of all staff so that there is no confusion)

on (dates).

Spot check completed on (date) by (name). No

issues detected or issues to be resolved include

A completed copy of this form should be signed and dated by the preparer and principal and kept for audit purposes.

12.4 Collections of money

Generally school libraries should not be handling cash. Any payments should be made through the appropriate finance officer in the school administration.

If money is received in the Library advice in the Finance in Schools Handbook must be followed in relation to the collection and receipt of monies.

12.4.1 Fines for late return of library materials

It is not a recommended practice when the following issues are considered:

  • the educational impact of not enabling students to borrow resources that are essential to their learning
  • the inability of some families to pay fines
  • the inability of the school to enforce payment
  • the staff resources required to manage a fines system
  • issuing receipts via the school finance system for monies collected.

The new school library system, Softlink Oliver is not set up to manage fines for overdue items. It is set up to produce alerts that prevent borrowers from loaning resources whilst they have overdue items. The alert can be overridden at the discretion of library staff.

GST is not applicable to library fines, if they are implemented by a school.

12.4.2 Compensation paid by students for lost or damaged library materials

The principal is authorised to recover the cost of such resources from students and teachers.

GST is charged on the replacement fee.

Recovery cost should be paid at the administration office in the school, and an individual receipt must be issued to the student, irrespective of the amount levied. The receipt is proof of the student’s payment.

12.4.3 Charges for photocopying services

Schools who charge for these services should wherever practicable have 2 staff members witness and count takings. Such takings should be recorded and countersigned by both staff members and paid into the school finance system as soon as practicable.

Cashless systems are preferable using borrower id cards.

12.4.3.1 Coin operated machines

Where practicable, two officers are to open and count money from the coin holder. A record of takings is to be maintained and paid into the School Finance system as soon as practicable.

12.4.3.2 Manual collection of money due for copying services

Where students or members of staff pay for manual copying services, a list system may be used. The list and money is to be forwarded to the administration office daily or as soon as practicable. The school administrative officer is to reconcile the money received with the list, issue a receipt and file the receipted list with group receipts.

Photocopied materials are GST free to students only when the materials are supplied to students by the provider of the course. When students photocopy their own materials, GST is payable as it is regarded as providing a service. When issuing a receipt for the cost of photocopying services, either over the counter or by supplying a photocopy card, GST must be included.

12.5 Review of yearly subscriptions

Subscriptions must not be set up to be automatically renewed. Careful consideration should be given to ebooks and subscription usage. Analytics related to the usage (including borrowing numbers and subscription website hits) should be attached to the SAP system when processing payments.

12.6 School Public Library Fund

Schools can apply to have their library recognised as a deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the ATO and operate a public library fund. This allows the school to accept donations for the library from individual and corporate benefactors and offer a tax-deductible receipt in return for donations. The school should contact the department’s Taxation Centre for assistance with the application. Further information is available in Section 5 - Source of funds - section 5.8.

Refer to:

12.6.1 Establishment

The department’s Taxation Centre can provide assistance to establish a public library fund. A constitution is completed as part of the application. This document is provided by the Taxation Centre.

To qualify for DGR status, the school library must be operated by a government authority. Therefore, a school Parents and Citizens’ Association (P&C) cannot operate a school public library fund.

In accordance with taxation legislation, funds and accounts of the school public library fund must be separate and readily identifiable from the general operations of the school.

All collections and expenditures of monies should be managed in SAP using Fund 6812.

12.6.2 How can money held in a School Public Library Fund be used?

Donations to a school public library fund are governed by the Constitution (details in 12.6.1 Establishment). The Constitution establishes the purpose of the fund and donations must only be used for the purposes as established in the constitution. Generally, donations may be used for the acquisition of resources and related materials, provided that the resources relate to learning, research and knowledge management required by the school. Resources may include:

  • publications
  • information supplies
  • research facilities
  • knowledge management equipment
  • arts and cultural exhibits and pursuits
  • electronic media
  • the maintenance and acquisition of computers, computer facilities, software and associated materials in the library
  • employment costs of library staff.

12.6.3 Appeals for funds

Appeals for funds may be made in conjunction with other school collections, such as school contributions. However, documentation must include a clear differentiation between appeals for donations to the DGR fund(s) and other school collections.

In the case of fundraising activities, the purpose of the activity must be clearly stated ie support of the school public library fund.

The school should only treat a donation as tax deductible if it is a voluntary gift ie the person receives no material benefit in return for their donation.


Section 13 - Preschools

Parents are required to pay a fee for attendance of their child at the preschool class unless they are eligible for fee relief or fee exemption.

13.1 Introduction

Find the policy relating to the payment of preschool fees in Preschool class fees in government schools.

Preschool fees are legally enforceable however, when setting up the fee structure do not set the legally enforceable flag in ebs4.

Each school’s preschool fees are determined by the relative Index of Community Socio- Educational Advantage (ICSEA) value of the school and are reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis. Fees should be receipted into General ledger GL account 420004 - pre-determined state wide internal order (SWIO) 2004000045.

Schools are precluded from charging any other compulsory fees for children who attend preschool classes in NSW Government schools. Any voluntary contributions should be treated as per the Voluntary School Contributions Policy and should be recorded against GL420009.

All children attending a preschool class must complete an Application to enrol in a NSW Government school and be recorded in Enrolment Registration Number (ERN) system.

Access further information on the Preschool: Frequently asked questions web page

13.2 School accounting procedures

All NSW government public schools that have preschool classes must charge fees in line with the policy for the Preschool Class Fees in Government Schools.

Preschool fees are an enforceable debt and schools must raise an invoice for each child attending a pre-school on a term basis. It is the school’s responsibility to follow up the non-payment of fees.

Principals are required to document efforts and contact made with parents/carers in respect of non-payment as well as any final decisions around a reduction or exemption to fees.

13.2.1 Establishing fees

Fees are attached to preschool children via ebs4. Do not set the legally enforceable flag as this will prohibit exemptions and fee waivers from being processed.

For those schools that offer half day sessions ie three (3) hours per day, the fee for each half day will be half that of the full day fee.

Refer to:

Fees are only paid for the days the school is open (excluding pupil free days).

As a general rule, preschool class fees should be collected at the administration office or by electronic means. If money is collected away from the administration office the amount collected should not exceed $15.00 per child.

13.2.1.1 Applying a health care card reduction

For a preschool child covered by a current health care card on the first day of each term the school should invoice the whole term at the health care card rate, irrespective of the expiry date.

When the school is presented with a health care card for the first time the reduction should take place from the start date on the card.

Best practice

Schools should contact parents whose card expires during the term in order to review the new, original, health care card before the start of the next term.

13.2.2 Receipting

An individual receipt must be issued for each payment received. Collection procedures must be in accordance with the guidelines in Section 7 - Receipting and banking.

All receipts for payment of preschool fees must be banked in the department’s bank account against the correct general ledger account.

13.2.3 Refunds on established fees

There may be exceptional circumstances when fees have been received in advance for the whole term, where the principal will be able to exercise his/her discretion and grant a full fee exemption where the child would not otherwise be able to attend.

All decisions should be documented by the principal for review by the department as well as audit purposes.

Refer to:

13.2.4 Non payment of preschool fees

The school principal is required to follow up fees that have been outstanding for one month and to develop a plan for fee recovery. This could include reduced fees or in exceptional circumstances fee exemption if the child would otherwise not be able to attend the preschool program.

It is recommended that when commencing follow up action an Unpaid Fees Report be forwarded to the parents advising the amount that is outstanding. The report can be accessed through the Reporting Cradle.

Preschool Fees are a legally enforceable debt.

Refer to:

The following sequence of steps and procedures must be followed in cases of non-payment.

If no response received Action to be taken

Within 28 days of the date of issue of the invoice

A first reminder letter is to be sent to the Parent/Carer requesting payment of the fees. The letter is to:

  • remind the parent/carer of obligations for payment of fees
  • advise that the letter should be disregarded if payment has recently been made
  • ask the parent/carer to reply by return mail.

Within 14 days of the date of the first reminder letter

A second reminder letter is to be sent stating that if the fees remain unpaid within 14 days or a satisfactory reply has not been received, the account will be referred to Legal Services, Debt Recovery Officer for recovery action and for consideration of the student's continued attendance at the preschool. The first reminder letter is to be referred to in the text of the second reminder letter.

Within a further 14 days of the second reminder letter

A third letter referring to the two previous letters is to be sent, advising that the matter will be referred to Legal Services in 14 days.

Within a further 14 days of the third reminder letter

The matter is to be submitted to the Debt Recovery Officer at Legal Services for action to recover the debt, and the student is to be withdrawn from the preschool.

For a student who has left the school and fees remain unpaid

The same sequence of letters for past students is to be undertaken before referring to Legal Services for debt recovery.

13.2.5 Payments to the department

Schools are required to complete the Preschool Fees Direct Debit Request Form for the total of preschool fees collected in the previous term. A completed and signed copy of the form is to be submitted to the EDConnect by emailing EDConnect.accountsreceivable@det.nsw.edu.au according to the timetable published by EDConnect Accounts Receivable. EDConnect will process the request and the amount to be remitted will be included in the next monthly Sundry Tax Invoice/Statement.

Sundry Tax Invoice/Statements will be emailed to schools from EDConnect on a monthly basis once the details have been entered into the system. Schools should review the amount of the preschool fees appearing on the statement prior to finds being direct debited from the school’s profit centre, which occurs on the 21st of the following month. Any concerns with the invoice should be raised with EDConnect before the amount is debited. Contact EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32 for assistance.

13.2.5.1 Reminder checklist
  • Preschool Fee Direct Debit Request emails should include two attachments:
    • the completed excel workbook
    • the scanned signed pdf copy.
  • Check that a Preschool Fee Direct Debit Request has not been previously emailed to EDConnect for the same Term and Year.
  • Funds will be direct debited from the school account after the Sundry Tax Invoice/Statement has been issued. Schools should verify that the amount to be debited appears correctly on the statement prior to the direct debit on the 21st of the month.

For assistance with this process please contact EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32.


Section 14 - Schools with agricultural facilities

This section states the policies and procedures uniquely relevant to the day to day farm operations of agricultural high schools and schools with agricultural facilities.

14.1 Introduction

What is farmed and how it is farmed will be dependent upon the individual school’s teaching and learning priorities and its available resources. The farm may contain a variety of resources, including areas set aside for crop production, farm machinery and livestock.

All activities associated with agricultural schools or schools with agricultural facilities must operate within the relevant legislation and regulations of the various controlling authorities and all departmental guidelines. Responsibility for all school property rests with the principal.

14.2 Regulations and compliance

Local Land Services administers a property registration system for the tracing of livestock to assist with disease and chemical residue management. All livestock owners/managers and occupiers of land that carries cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, deer, camelids, equines (ie horses and donkeys) and poultry must have a Property Identification Code (PIC), regardless of whether the livestock are moved or not. This is a requirement under Clause 37 of the Stock Diseases Regulation 2009.

PIC's are fundamental to the operation of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS). PIC's provide traceability to specific properties, which is important in the event of disease control or residue problems. NLIS is a part of Federal and State Government biosecurity strategies to trace meat from paddock to plate and to safeguard our domestic and export markets.

Schools that keep animals for educational purposes have additional obligations under the Animal Research Act 1985 (NSW) and the Australian Code of Practice and the guidelines referenced below outline the responsibilities of school staff who care and have contact with the animals.

System Requirement Further reference

Property Identification Code (PIC)

Anyone who keeps livestock in NSW is required to obtain a Property Identification Code (PIC). The PIC is a unique eight-character identifier for the land on which livestock is kept.

The application for a PIC can be obtained at Local Land Services.

National Livestock Identification System (NLIS)

All cattle movements for sale, show, slaughter, agistment or to a different property for any reason must be recorded on the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database. The NLIS is based on the property registration system, as specified above.

Visit National Livestock Identification System website to register for an NLIS account, record livestock movements and review what information is registered.

Animal Welfare

Staff must be authorised to work with animals and be identified on the Animal Research Authority held at the school. It must be renewed annually.

An animal liaison officer must be appointed by the principal.

The Animal Research Act 1985 (NSW) requires that every person undertaking animal research must be the holder of an Animal Research Authority. Copies of the application form can be obtained from the Animal Care and Ethics Committee.

A job description for an Animal Liaison Officer can be found at the Animals in Schools website.

14.3 Record keeping

Schools with farms are accountable for maintaining financial and other types of records. The form and scope of records will depend upon the scale of agricultural operations. It is recommended that cost centre 6XXXX159; (XXXX is school code) be used for financial transactions.

A small number of schools keep quite complex computerised records while other schools maintain a diary that the teachers, farm assistant and even students can write in. All these record types are acceptable. The most important factor is they must suit the school situation and provide an accurate account of events to the satisfaction of the principal.

Records must be practical, kept centrally, be accessible by all relevant staff and maintained as part of the school farm resources. Due to the legislation surrounding the care and use of animals, there are dedicated websites that provide information for schools that keep animals about minimum requirements and examples of proformas for record keeping, which can be adapted for individual schools as required. Details are outlined below.

Property Requirement Further reference

Livestock register

Livestock details are to be recorded in a livestock register with individual species being assigned a separate record. Entries in the register are sourced from farm reports of births, deaths, acquisitions and disposals.

For the minimum requirements refer to:

Animals in Schools website.

Example proformas and registers can be viewed in Record Keeping on Animals in Schools website.

Pedigree/Stud stock register

Pedigree/stud stock are to be recorded in a separate register.

A separate section is to be maintained for each category of animal.

For the minimum requirements refer to:

Animals in Schools website.

Poultry

A poultry record must be maintained to record the total number of the various categories of birds, and details of increases and decreases.

Poultry is to be recorded by population.

Entries in the register are pulled from the following sources:

  • Farm reports on natural increases, purchases and deaths.
  • Tax invoices and receipts issued covering sales.

For the minimum requirements refer to:

Animals in Schools website.

Refer to:

Appendix 14A.1 – Poultry register. (DOCX 75.75KB)

Paddock

Paddock records are to be maintained to record the preparation, sowing, treatment, and yield of crops.

Refer to:

Appendix 14A.9 – Paddock records. (DOCX 75.48KB)

Breeding records

Breeding records must be maintained for all pedigree/stud livestock, and if desired, may be maintained for all breeding livestock.

A separate section is to be maintained for each category of animal.

Refer to:

Appendix 14A.4 – Breeding records. (DOCX 76.5KB)

Farm produce

Milk production registers, egg production registers, paddock records and records of produce are to be maintained.

Where farm produce is to be sold, clear and accurate records of production and produce disposal must be maintained.

The various farm registers are updated from the farm reports, as well as from other sources, eg farm manager’s dockets, receipts and the goods inwards book.

Where computerised records and registers are kept, hard copies are to be printed on the last school day of each month. The farm manager is to review, sign, date, and file these printouts which will become the ‘official’ register or record.

Paddock records are to be maintained to record the preparation, sowing, treatment and yield of crops.

Refer to:

Appendix 14A.2 – Egg production register. (DOCX 75.73KB)

Refer to:

Appendix 14A.3 – Crop production record. (DOCX 76.68KB)

Farm vehicles, Plant and Fuel

Records of motorised equipment including vehicles and fuel usage are to be kept.

Tractors: Log books are to be kept showing hours of operation, servicing, repairs, petrol and oil consumption.

Log books are to be submitted to the principal or delegated officer as required at least annually for security and filing.

Road vehicles: Motor vehicle running sheets must be used for the purposes of recording:

  • each journey
  • petrol and oil consumption
  • servicing needs.

A fuel bowser register is to be used to record details of petrol and distillate received and issued.

All issues of fuel for vehicles and equipment are to be recorded in the register and signed for by the receiving officer. Where fuel is drawn from a drum, estimates of quantities drawn are to be recorded.

Any significant discrepancy must be brought to the attention of the principal.

Running sheets must be forwarded to the principal or delegated officer at least monthly for scrutiny and filing.

Refer to:

Federal Work , Health and Safety Act 2011

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Dangerous Goods) Regulation 2005

The Department’s Tractor Safety Policy is available at DEC Insight Staff Portal, My applications, Equipment Safety in Schools.

Farm reports

Daily farm reports are to be made to the principal or authorised officer.

Refer to:

Appendix 14A.5 – Farm reports (DOCX 76.25KB).

14.4 Acquisition and disposal

Acquisition and disposal of school property must be done in an accountable, transparent and responsible manner. Clear records of acquisition and disposal are to be maintained.

Property Requirement Further reference

Livestock

All cattle movements for sale, show, slaughter, agistment or transferred to a different property for any reason must be recorded on the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database.

Acquisition and disposal of livestock is to follow normal marketing arrangements in the local district, eg local sale yards.

Acquisition and disposal of livestock by means other than sale yards must be at fair market prices. The propriety of any such transaction must be beyond question.

A sales order, where applicable, and a receipt are to be issued for each sale.

Where GST is applicable, tax invoices are to be issued.

To record movements in livestock visit National Livestock Identification System website.

Equipment

Acquisition and disposal of accountable equipment items must comply with current policy.

Refer to:

Section 9 – Asset and equipment management

Dangerous Goods

If the item for disposal is a ‘waste of concern’, as identified by the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001, schools should refer to NSW Environmental Protection Authority as outlined in Section 9 - Asset and equipment management.

Consult Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 to identify ‘Wastes of Concern’.

NSW Environmental Protection Authority

14.4.1 Donated livestock

Offers of donations are often made to schools. Schools should only accept animals as donations if they are part of a planned program and fill the requirements of the age, breed, type, quality and health suited to the school’s circumstances.

The progeny of donated livestock becomes departmental property. In the case where a person wishes to make a donation or a loan of livestock that has some special condition, such as the sharing of progeny between the department and the donor, the following are to apply:

  • the offer is reasonable in the context of the school’s circumstances
  • the conditions attached to the donation or loan are clearly established, as these will be the basis of a contractual arrangement.

If the principal considers the arrangement reasonable and approves the conditional donation or loan, the following action is to be taken:

  • the arrangements are to be confirmed with the donor, in writing, by the principal
  • where the donor or another party is to receive progeny under such an arrangement, a receipt is to be obtained in each instance of a transfer of progeny and retained at the school as supporting documentation.

14.5 Sale of Produce

Proceeds from sales of farm production are to be retained by the school and used for educational or administrative purposes, as determined by the principal/finance committee.

Property Requirement Further reference

Farm produce

Schools may sell eggs, honey and farm produce (other than milk) to the community and school staff.

The sale of eggs to the general public is subject to the egg grading and carton labelling provisions.

A tax invoice, where applicable, and a receipt are to be issued for each sale. The relevant tax invoice should be noted with the receipt number.

In the event that the produce is provided to the hostel kitchen or teaching faculties, the farm manager’s docket book is to be signed by the officer receiving the eggs.

The appropriate stock or produce register is updated.

Where a manual stock system is used, numbered stock cards can be used to record the receipt and issue of goods.

Refer to:

Appendix14A.8 – Stock card. (DOCX 76.63KB)

Milk

Milk obtained from school livestock must be sold to the local dairy authority and must not be sold privately. Milk cannot be provided to any person free of charge.

The appropriate stock or produce register is updated.

Refer to:

Food Regulation 2015 and

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.

Refer to:

Appendix 14A.6 – Dairy milk production register. (DOCX 76.44KB)

14.5.1 Receipting sales from produce

Sales from produce should be receipted under GL code 420102 and sales from livestock should be receipted under GL code 420101 - for use with Fund 6300 only. Most basic food is GST-free, but the school will need to refer to the Australian Taxation Office to establish which items are GST free.

14.6 Stocktake

The annual stocktake of school assets will include the school’s farm assets. It will record all accountable farm assets, their location, delegated officer/s, assets disposed of and items purchased.

Other stocktaking is to be undertaken at least once each term by the principal or delegated officer. Discrepancies between the physical count and school records are to be brought to the attention of the principal and investigated appropriately.

Property Requirement Further reference

Livestock

Physical stocktakes of livestock should be undertaken each term. Where computerised registers are kept, hard copies are to be printed on the last school day of each month and signed and dated by the principal.

A physical stocktake of all animals is to be undertaken by the principal or delegated officer at least annually.

Each stocktake is to be recorded in the appropriate livestock register.

Example proformas and registers can be viewed in Record Keeping on Animals in Schools website.

Poultry

Physical stocktakes of poultry should be undertaken each term. Where computerised registers are kept, hard copies are to be printed on the last school day of each month and signed and dated by the principal.

A physical stocktake of all birds is to be undertaken by the principal or delegated officer at least annually.

Each stocktake is to be recorded in the appropriate poultry register.

Refer to:

Appendix 14A.1 – Poultry register. (DOCX 75.75KB)

Farm produce

Physical stocktakes of farm produce should be undertaken each term and verified against the respective register.

Details of the stocktake are recorded in the register and signed by the farm manager.

Any significant discrepancy is to be reported to the principal.

Refer to:

14A.2 – Egg production register, (DOCX 75.73KB)

14A.3, - Crop production record (DOCX 76.68KB)

14A.6 – Dairy milk production register. (DOCX 76.44KB)

Fuel storage

A fuel bowser register is to be used to record details of petrol and distillate received and issued.

Once a week the farm manager or officer in charge of the farm operations is to check the amount of fuel held and verify that the balance shown in the register is correct. The details of the balance is to be recorded in the register, eg ‘375 litres of petrol on hand 31/3/xx, signed …………………’.

Refer to:

Appendix 14.7 – Fuel bowser register (DOCX 76.47KB).

Equipment

A stocktake of accountable items of equipment must be performed annually.

The stocktake must be performed in accordance with the policies included in this handbook.

Refer to:

Section 9 Asset and equipment management.

14.7 Health & safety

Principals are to ensure staff and students are compliant with the various regulations. It is the school’s responsibility to ensure what rules apply under the various regulations eg whether the goods stored are classified as dangerous goods under WorkCover legislation.

Property Requirement Further notice

Milk

Restrictions on disposal of milk are to be observed.

Refer to:

Food Regulation 2015

and

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.

Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods in any quantity must be stored safely and comply with legislative requirements. Dangerous goods above certain quantities must be notified to WorkCover NSW.Notification of dangerous goods on premises is not required for distillate storage, unless it is stored in a tank with more than the maximum capacity as specified by WorkCover NSW.

Refer to:

Federal Work, Health and Safety Act 2011,

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Dangerous Goods) Regulation 2005.

Farm vehicles, Plant and Fuel

Principals are to ensure staff and students are compliant with the various regulations.

Tractors: Schools must ensure compliance with the Department’s Tractor Safety Policy. Information on the safe use of tractors is obtainable through the DEC Insight Staff Portal, My applications, Equipment Safety in Schools.

Road vehicles: Details of motor vehicle usage, fuel and oil consumption, and vehicle defects are to be recorded on motor vehicle running sheets for each vehicle. Dangerous goods above certain quantities must be notified to WorkCover NSW. Information is available from the following website:

Refer to:

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 No 10,

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and

Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Dangerous Goods) Regulation 2005.

SafeWork NSW Hazardous chemicals (dangerous goods) notifications

Part 2 Hostels

The policy and procedures in this section apply to schools where hostel accommodation is provided.

14.8. Introduction

Unless otherwise stated in this section, the receipt and banking of money, payment of accounts and payroll are to be performed in the same manner in the school’s financial system, as for other school transactions referred to in earlier sections of this handbook. The minister or delegate sets the monetary amount for the annual boarding fees.

14.9 Fees

The minister or authorised delegate approves boarding fees on an annual basis. The fees are required to be paid according to the department’s collection terms.

Students boarding at residential agricultural schools are required to pay boarding fees that are approved annually by the minister or delegate and are to be paid at the beginning of each term (General Ledger account 408344). These fees are legally enforceable and should therefore be flagged as such in ebs.

An official receipt is issued for all fees collected, and the money is to be banked according to the requirements for the banking of monies.

14.10 School accounting procedures

These procedures apply to all NSW government public schools that include hostel accommodation.

Boarding fees are an enforceable debt and schools must raise an invoice for each student attending on a weekly, fortnightly or by term basis. It is the schools responsibility to ensure the non-payment of fees is monitored. Having a cost centre for a hostel is a good financial management practice.

14.10.1 Establishing fees in ebs

In ebs4 establish fee type and fee values.

  • Cost Centre is 006xxxx201 (where xxxx is the school code)
  • Fund Code is 6300– School & Community
  • A local Internal Order will need to be created
  • GL account code 408344
  • Tax code is S2 (GST free)
  • The legally enforceable flag MUST be set.

Refer to:

Fees are then attached to students.

Refer to:

14.10.2 Receipting

An individual receipt must be issued for each payment received. Collection procedures must be in accordance with the guidelines in Section 7 - Receipting and banking.

All receipts for payment of boarding fees must be banked in the department’s bank account.

14.10.3 Non-payment of fees

Boarding fees are a legally enforceable debt and the following sequence of steps and procedures must be followed in cases of non-payment.

If no response received Action to be taken

Within 28 days of the date of issue of the invoice

A first reminder letter is to be sent to the Financially Responsible Adult (FRA) requesting payment of the fees. The letter is to:

  • remind the FRA of obligations for payment of fees, in terms of the agreement signed, when applying for admission of students to the hostel
  • advise that the letter should be disregarded if payment has recently been made
  • ask the FRA to reply by return mail.

Within 14 days of the date of the first reminder letter

A second reminder letter is to be sent stating that if the fees remain unpaid within 14 days or a satisfactory reply has not been received, the account will be referred to Legal Services, Debt Recovery Officer for recovery action and for consideration of the student's continued accommodation at the hostel. The first reminder letter is to be referred to in the text of the second reminder letter.

Within a further 14 days of the second reminder letter

A third letter referring to the two previous letters is to be sent, advising that the matter will be referred to Legal Services in 14 days.

Within a further 14 days of the third reminder letter

The matter is to be submitted to the Debt Recovery Officer at Legal Services for action to recover the debt, and the student is to be withdrawn from the hostel.

For a student who has left the school or hostel and fees remain unpaid

The same sequence of letters for past students is to be undertaken before referring to Legal Services for debt recovery.

14.11 Student allowances

This section covers both student allowances received by the school and pocket money for students.

14.11.1 Student allowances received by the school

Where a school receives allowances on behalf of students under the ‘Assistance for Isolated Children’s Scheme’ or the ‘Living Away From Home Allowance’, the amounts received are to be treated as fee collections. Receipts are to be issued and statements must clearly show the source of the money received.

14.11.2 Pocket money for students

The registrar may hold pocket money for students, which can be distributed to students to pay for sundry expenses, as instructed by the parent/carer. Collections are to be recorded in a suitable computerised or manual record eg pocket money record book. Collections of pocket money are to be clearly identified and stored separately in the safe to keep secure. Records for each student’s balance must be maintained and the total is to be verified following each withdrawal.

14.12 Store records

Goods purchased for use in the hostel must be recorded on numbered stock cards or a computer based database. Regardless of the system utilised, a record of the receipt and issue of goods is to be maintained.

Stores issue notes must be completed by the responsible officer when stores are issued. A stocktake comparing actual stock on hand against stock record balances is to be undertaken once a term, by a person independent of stores activities. A record of the stocktake listing any discrepancies is to be forwarded to the Principal for review. This is to be retained in the administration office after investigation and adjustment action is completed.

14.12.1 Meal registers

A register is to be maintained by the catering supervisor detailing foodstuff received and the number of meals provided to students, staff and visitors. The register should include the following details:

  • details of foodstuff received for use in the hostel kitchen, ie quantity and weight of the item, and the stores issue note number
  • the number of meals provided to students, staff, and visitors (non-residents).

Each page of the register is to be verified by the catering supervisor as being accurate.

14.12.2 Stocktake of stores

A stocktake comparing actual stock on hand against stock record balances is to be undertaken each term. Where possible the person conducting the stocktake should be independent of stores activities.

A record of the stocktake listing any discrepancies is to be forwarded to the principal for review and follow-up action. This is to be retained by the administration office for record keeping purposes.

A stocktake of all items of equipment and stores must be performed annually.


Section 15 - General information

The Audit Directorate helps the organisation accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.

15.1 Audit

The Director, Audit as the head of the Internal Audit function, reports functionally to the Audit and Risk Committee on the results of completed audits and for strategic direction and accountability purposes, and reports administratively to the Secretary, Department of Education (DoE) to facilitate day-to-day operations.

15.1.1 Role of audit

The role of the Audit Directorate is to provide independent, objective assurance, risk management, corruption prevention and consulting services designed to add value and improve the organisation’s operations. The scope of work of the Audit Directorate is to determine whether the organisation’s network of risk management, control, and governance processes, as designed and represented by management, is adequate and functions in a manner that ensures:

  1. risks are appropriately identified and managed
  2. interaction with the various governance groups occurs as needed
  3. significant financial, managerial, and operating information is accurate, reliable and timely
  4. employees’ actions are in compliance with policies, standards, procedures, and applicable laws and regulations.

The objectives outlined above are achieved through the:

  1. conduct of a comprehensive program of audits of financial and related operations in schools and the department offices
  2. conduct a program of management reviews of the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of selected functions within the department
  3. provision of a financial consultancy service to schools and the department offices.

Audit does not review administrative decisions made on educational grounds. However, it does review the administrative process associated with such decisions including the question of whether the policies and procedures in this manual have been followed and whether the documentation is in the required form and detail. It is also concerned with the value-for-money aspects of transactions.

The Internal Audit Charter addresses the role, responsibilities, authorisation, activities and reporting relationships of the Internal Audit function.

Refer to:

15.1.2 Responsibility of line management

The responsibilities of line management for the efficient and effective performance of all financial and related administrative operations of schools are not diminished by the existence of the Audit Directorate. Similarly, the lines of responsibility are unchanged, ie school staff to the principal, and the principal to Director, Educational Leadership. One of the roles of Director, Educational Leadership is to oversee the financial and administrative performance of schools and to ensure that appropriate action is taken to bring about any improvements that are practicable. In many cases, audit reports will provide information that may be used for this purpose.

15.2 Change of principal

Where there is a change of principal, a financial handover statement should be prepared by the departing principal in order to give both principals a clear record of the financial position of the school at the time of handover. Refer to Appendix 15A.1- Change of principal – Financial handover statement for SAP schools. The departing principal should ensure accounts are reconciled up to the date of the handover statement and carry out a stocktake of all accountable items prior to departure and as close to the last date of duty as practicable. A record of the stocktake is to be completed using the Schools Finance system and is also to be filed in the school administration office.

The procedures for the transfer and promotion of teachers may make it difficult for a direct handover to be effected. This can be overcome by having the financial handover statement (Appendix 15A.1 - Change of principal – Financial handover statement for SAP Schools) witnessed by a senior teacher (preferably the assistant/deputy principal) who is remaining at the school. This statement will be witnessed by the teacher chosen who will hand the statement over to the new principal and countersign both signatures.

In the situation where a principal may not be able to nominate another teacher as witness to the financial handover statement (eg small schools), Director, Educational Leadership may be able to serve as the intermediate party. Where this is not practicable the statement may be prepared and left in the school in a secure place or with another staff member.

Any principal who has applied for transfer, promotion or retirement should prepare a financial handover statement as at the last day of duty. The statement should be prepared irrespective of whether written approval for the application has been received or not.

Refer to:

15.2.1 PCards

Where a staff member is transferring to a different school, or another area of the department, their PCard can be transferred to their new school/department, provided it is appropriate and has the approval of the new line manager ie principal or director. The transfer must be submitted as a Cardholder profile update in expense8. If the new line manager does not agree to the transfer then a card cancellation must be submitted in expense8.

Prior to transferring or cancelling the PCard via expense8 all transactions must be acquitted.

If the staff member is leaving the employment of the department all transactions must be acquitted and a card cancellation request submitted via expense8. The school may also request the card cancellation by contacting EDConnect.

Note: Destroying the card does not cancel the card. EDConnect must cancel the card with the bank.

All card information including card holder and position and location is recorded in the Expense8 system.

The Register of Financial Items must be noted accordingly on the change of principal and updated with current staff names and card limits for staff who currently hold PCards.

Note: Under no circumstances should card numbers be recorded.

Refer to:

  • How to update your Profile Details Expense Management System (PDF 565.78KB)

15.3 Financial procedures for incoming principal

Upon assuming responsibilities of principal, the incoming principal should verify the information contained in the financial handover document by checking:

  • the current budget and forecast held on the Schools Finance system
  • the school’s liquidity including ascertaining the funds available of any school Deductible Gift Recipient Funds (if applicable) – School Funds Availability Report - including Commitments
  • outstanding orders – Purchase Order and Commitment Report
  • Schools Overview Report by GL and Fund Code to get a sense of financial position of the school and any provisions for the future
  • the Register of Financial Items, including the cancellation of all services (phones etc) and cards for the previous principal.

The finance committee is an important resource to assist in identifying the school’s financial plans and priority areas in the school’s overall educational plan. The following information will also be of assistance in this process:

  • list of members of the finance committee
  • minutes of the finance committee meetings
  • current budget, supporting documentation and forecasts.

15.3.1 Cheque cashing signatories

Relevant forms and processes to become a signatory for petty cash, temporary cash advances and Australia Post can be found on the SAP finance website.

Staff becoming signatories for the first time may be required to complete a 100 point check at the bank/post office branch to complete the process.

Through the integrated Schools Finance system, staff are automatically assigned authorities and delegated powers in accordance with their role/acting role.

15.3.2 Parent online payments (POP)

The incoming principal will need to register as the administrator in Quickstream. They should also ensure the previous principal’s roles are disabled.

15.3.3 Access to the School Finance system

The School Finance system connects role positions with approving and delegation functions automatically.

Staff who are detailed as relieving in ‘acting’ positions in via SAP Higher Duty forms are automatically given the same approval and delegation responsibilities that are attached to the role they are acting in.

However this does not include any capital related cost centres in use. To change the delegation on these cost centres a Cost Centre Master Maintenance form is to be completed to change the owner/person responsible from the outgoing principal to the incoming principal.

On handover the outgoing principal should be highlighting any capital cost centres in use on the Financial Handover statement.

For the system to be effective all changes of position, newly recruited and exited staff details need to be kept up to date in SAP.

15.4 Closure and amalgamation of schools

Following an announcement by the minister under section 28, subsection 2, of the Education Act 1990 of a proposal to close a school, the Deputy Secretary, Schools will convene an implementation committee to oversee further actions arising from the decision. The role of the committee will include liaising with the principal and Director, Educational Leadership to co-ordinate the closure and provide any support required to complete the process. Unless there are exceptional or emergency circumstances, a school closure would usually take effect from the end of a school year.

The implementation committee’s role is to develop a plan that incorporates support for students, staff and the community following the closure announcement, recognising the legislative framework, timelines and review processes. The plan will include:

  • communication strategies appropriate for each group
  • opportunities for group and individual counselling
  • key messages including continuity of educational programs and ongoing welfare support
  • roles for identified staff, student and community representatives
  • training and development strategies to enable staff to address student needs as well as their own needs whilst ensuring maintenance of the school’s programs.

Schools are advised to contact and liaise with Schools Finance for assistance on financial procedures prior to amalgamation/closure.

15.4.1 Financial procedures following the announcement of closure or amalgamation

As the school approaches its closure or amalgamation date it is imperative that all receipts, purchases and other financial tasks are completed in the Schools Finance system.

The principal in consultation with Director, Educational Leadership will be responsible for arranging the distribution of stores and equipment. The principal may delegate the supervision of the distribution of items to another responsible member of staff. The procedures for the transfer of equipment are to be strictly observed. Director, Educational Leadership is to be advised when the distribution has been completed and be provided with a copy of the transfer documents for stores, equipment and funds.

Refer to:

15.4.2 School operated canteen

Ordering of stores and equipment is to be kept to a minimum as the school approaches closure or amalgamation. If an order must be placed the supplier is to be informed of the closure or amalgamation date, and of the need to have all transactions concluded by that date.

A final trading and profit & loss statement for the canteen should be prepared and copies provided to Director, Educational Leadership and Schools Finance.

Refer to:

15.4.3 Cash advances

The petty cash advance is to be balanced and cash on hand banked prior to the closure of the school. All other advances are to be fully recouped and any outstanding expenses recorded against appropriate General ledger (GL) account.

15.4.4 Postage stamp book

The postage stamp book should be balanced and all stamps on hand forwarded to a local school.

15.4.5 Contracts

All contractual agreements between the school and third parties need to be identified and cancelled by the principal, prior to the school closure/amalgamation, with regard given to any conditions attached to early termination. Contractors should be approached with a request to waive any penalties prior to making termination payments. If possible, the contract and any service agreements may be transferred to the merged school (if applicable). Schools should contact Legal services for further advice.

Schools should not enter into any contracts once advice is received about school closure. Contracts that are required to be entered into after notification of closure should be referred to Schools Finance for approval.

15.4.6 PCards

The school must notify the department’s PCard administrator to cancel any cards held by school staff. Action must be taken by the cardholder to ensure that:

  1. all outstanding transactions on the card accounts are acquitted and properly accounted for using Expense8 system
  2. their accounts are reconciled
  3. the card is destroyed (by cutting it up).

The Register of Financial Items must be noted accordingly on the return and destruction of all cards.

15.4.7 Legacies and bequests

Where legacies and bequests exist at the closure of a school, reference must be made to the original document, if available, to identify any clause pertaining to the legacy or bequest in the event of the school closing. If there is no such document and the donor(s) are still living then their wishes must be determined.

If there is no original document or surviving donors the investments are to be realised and the funds distributed on a per pupil basis to the new schools that the students will attend.

Any legacies and bequests with a balance under $500, for which there are no surviving donors or original documentation, must remain in the school’s profit centre until closure.

Refer to:

15.4.8 Miscellaneous

If the school is being amalgamated with another school it is to be expected that all money and teaching aids owned by the school will flow to the new consolidated school. This is at the discretion of Director, Educational Leadership in consultation with the implementation committee.

Officers of the Audit Directorate will provide assistance if required and on request will conduct an audit of the school to ensure that the final distribution of surplus funds, stores and equipment is carried out in accordance with instructions provided by Director, Educational Leadership.

15.4.9 School records

Following the announcement that a school is to be closed, is under review or to be amalgamated with another school, school records including administrative, financial, student and staff records need to be appraised for retention and disposal in accordance with the department's School Disposal Procedures.

Information on records management and disposal procedures for schools can be accessed from the Business Services website.

The records management unit should be contacted (EDConnect.recordsmanagement@det.nsw.edu.au) for advice and further information on preparing records for transfer to a storage facility or State Archives and to determine the records for destruction.

Any unused accountable forms may be distributed to local schools and a notation made in the Register of Financial Items.

Any unused deposit forms can be destroyed.

Any financial records that have exceeded the retention period should be securely destroyed in accordance with the department’s School Disposal Procedures.

Upon closure of a school, past and present members of the school and its community need to negotiate appropriate relocation of all items relating to the history of the school. Consideration should be given to maximise opportunities for past and present students to access memorabilia and historic materials. Director, Educational Leadership is to be advised of the actions taken.

Responsibility for site security issues is shared between the School Security Unit and School Infrastructure NSW.

The School Security Unit is responsible for guard services and alarm issues. The power supply and telephone connection to the alarm system must be maintained after the closure of the school.

School Infrastructure NSW co-ordinates issues relating to ongoing site management, fencing of the site, access to keys and security of any equipment remaining after the school’s closure.

In the event that a P&C Association finds itself in a position that may require it to close, they will need to refer to the constitution that they operate under either Standard Constitution clause 13 or Prescribed Constitution clause 14. It is recommended that they also contact P&C Federation on 1300 885 982 for assistance.

15.5 NSW Treasury Managed Fund - risk management

The NSW Treasury Managed Fund (TMF) Scheme requires government agencies to accept responsibility for the management of their insurance allocations for the following five classes of risk:

  1. Workers Compensation
  2. Motor Vehicle
  3. Property
  4. Public Liability
  5. Miscellaneous

The fund covers loss and/or damage to property and contents, owned by or in the care, custody or control of NSW Government Schools. Amounts recoverable are those set by NSW Treasury and the department guidelines.

Under the TMF - Contract of Insurance Coverage, the coverage is for loss and/or damage to DoE property for all claims in excess of the $300 amount (except glass).

Risk management is broadly defined as the identification, measurement and control of all loss exposures, ie personnel, property, income, statutory and miscellaneous liability.

The contract of coverage does not provide cover for activities controlled by any parent organisation or for community use of school facilities.

Refer to:

15.5.1 Classes of Risk

Classes of risk cover:

  1. Workers compensation
  2. Motor vehicle
  3. Property
  4. Public liability
  5. Miscellaneous
15.5.1.1 Class of risk - Workers compensation

Workers Compensation benefits are payable in accordance with the NSW Workers Compensation Act 1987 No. 70 as amended.

WorkCover NSW administers and enforces compliance with occupational work, health and safety (WHS), injury management and workers compensation legislation, and manages the workers compensation system. Through the workers compensation system an injured employee may have an entitlement to benefits and assistance to recover and return to safe and enduring work.

Under the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 a person such as a music tutor, language tutor, band leader, etc who is paid by the school and who

  • is subject to the principal’s professional supervision and
  • works agreed hours

may be considered to be an employee and the department may be responsible for any relevant workers compensation coverage.

Where individual contractors are employed by the school to make repairs etc on an irregular basis the principal should sight a Certificate of Currency for workers compensation and liability as they are not covered by the department.

Note: There is a statutory responsibility to lodge Workers compensation claims received from employees with the fund manager within 48 hours of notification of an injury.

15.5.1.2 Class of risk - Motor vehicle

Schools are required to purchase comprehensive motor vehicle insurance for all vehicles owned, leased by or donated to the school. This type of insurance is not to be covered by the Treasury Managed Fund.

For information on the use of private cars at work refer to:

15.5.1.3 Class of risk - Property

The Fund covers loss and/or damage to real and personal property, (including watercraft but excluding vehicles licensed for highway use), owned by or in the care, custody or control of the school for any reason whatsoever and for which they are responsible. The amounts recoverable are as per DoE and NSW Treasury guidelines.

Coverage is for full replacement (new for old) without coinsurance consideration and includes consequential loss of profits and increased costs of operation as a direct result of the physical loss or damage sustained to the protected property.

The fund is not liable for claims for:

  1. any illegally based operation
  2. wear, tear and or inherent fault
  3. damage caused or partly caused by negligence
  4. pollution other than sudden and accidental
  5. claims lodged with the fund manager over 12 months after the date of the incident
  6. claims less than $300 (excluding glass breakage)
  7. stocktake shortages.

For further information on claims for loss of/or damage to personal property and the use of private motor vehicles by staff, parents and students refer to Legal Issues Bulletin No 8 (PDF 70.22KB) (reviewed May 2015).

15.5.1.4 Class of Risk - Public Liability

The fund will pay to/or on behalf of the school all sums which they become legally liable to pay by way of compensation in respect of claims made against the school caused by an occurrence in connection with their activities.

The fund will also pay all law costs, charges and expenses incurred in the settlement or defence of claims or litigation where they are incurred by the fund or school with the written consent of the fund, and all law costs, charges and expenses recoverable from them by any claimant.

The fund is not liable for claims:

  • in respect of death of or bodily injury to any person arising out of or in the course of the employment of such person in the service of the school
  • by any person in the service of any contractor or subcontractor to the school or by any dependant of such person for payment under any Workers Compensation Act or ordinance
  • from any pollution liability to persons, property or the environment emanating from the school’s operations unless wholly sudden and accidental and not preventable by reasonable precautionary maintenance
  • for personal injury or death covered by any Third Party Policy issued under the NSW Motor Accidents Act 1988 or similar statutes in other jurisdictions.
15.5.1.5 Miscellaneous

The Miscellaneous policy covers categories of loss not specifically categorised in any of the other four lines of business, including but not limited to:

15.5.1.5.1 Personal accident

The Fund covers voluntary workers while actively engaged in voluntary work for the schools and students engaged in Workplace Learning Programs for death or bodily injury for benefits payable and equivalent to those available under the NSW Workers Compensation Act 1987 No.70 as amended.

This protection does not apply to any event which is directly or indirectly attributable to, or as a consequence of:

  • intentional or attempted self-injury or suicide
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • engaging in professional sport(s).

15.5.1.5.2 Damage to private motor vehicles

Claims for loss and damage to private motor vehicles are not managed by the department’s Managed Fund unit.

Refer to:

15.5.1.5.3 While on official business

The insurance excess may be met as an ex-gratia claim by the school or the department office which approved the use of the vehicle for official business purposes provided the following conditions are met:

  • The vehicle was being used for department’s business and this use had been approved either by the school’s principal, Director, Educational Leadership or department office.
  • The damage occurred whilst on school/department business.
  • The damage was not the fault of a third party.
  • At least two quotes were obtained and have been provided.
  • The damage has been rectified and a receipt for the repair bill has been provided.

The maximum amount that may be reimbursed is the ‘normal excess’ prescribed by the insurer at the time the vehicle was damaged. Punitive excess damages imposed by an insurer because of a poor driving record or the type of vehicle insured will not be reimbursed.

If a claim on the insurer is not made, eg to avoid loss of a no-claim bonus the maximum reimbursement is the prescribed excess that would have been paid had a claim been lodged or the actual repair cost, whichever is the lesser.

15.5.1.5.4 While on school/departmental premises

As a general rule, all persons who park their vehicles on school/departmental premises do so at their own risk. If the following conditions are met, the school may be liable for the cost of repair if:

  1. the damage was caused in circumstances over which the school/department had some control such as staff mowing lawns in close proximity to cars or not attending to decaying tree branches located near or within parking areas
  2. the person owning or having control of the vehicle did not contribute to the risk.

Where the school is liable, costs will be met where:

  1. at least two quotes have been provided/obtained or where the damage has been already rectified, a receipt for the repair bill has been provided to the principal
  2. payment is limited to a maximum of $300 (reviewed periodically) or the cost of the repairs, whichever is lower.

The maximum amount that may be reimbursed is the ‘normal excess’ prescribed by the insurer at the time the vehicle was damaged. Punitive excess damages imposed by an insurer because of a poor driving record or the type of vehicle insured will not be reimbursed.

If a claim on the insurer is not made, eg to avoid loss of a no-claim bonus the maximum reimbursement is the prescribed excess that would have been paid had a claim been lodged or the actual repair cost, whichever is the lesser.

Proactive measures such as arranging for all vehicles to be removed from car parks during mowing or arranging for mowing to be done outside normal school hours are to be adopted.

15.5.1.5.5 Loss of or damage to staff property at work

Coverage provides for replacement or repair costs for property in the nature of the ‘tools of trade’, ie only used in teaching or to perform a particular work related task where such protection accords with the department’s management policies.

Personal items such as wallets, handbags, shoes, etc are not covered by the NSW Treasury Managed Fund.

The maximum amount payable is $1,000 per claim irrespective of the value of the items involved.

The person owning or having control of the property must not have contributed to the risk such as leaving the property unattended or in an unsafe place.

Any claims should be directed to the principal in the first instance, who should then arrange for all the relevant evidence and receipts to be collated.

15.5.1.5.6 Loss of or damage to student/parent/community member property

If the personal property of students or other people is retained by the school, action must be taken to securely store the property until it is returned to the owner. Failure to do so will render the school liable in the event of loss.

This type of claim may be met by the school or network as an ex-gratia payment in accordance with the following conditions:

  • Property must have been lent, hired or entrusted to the school or departmental staff, eg property confiscated from a student which is to be returned, property lent for school play.
  • The person who owns the property did not contribute to the risk, eg left it in the playground overnight or did not return to collect it despite numerous requests.
  • A receipt, invoice or other satisfactory evidence of the value of the loss or damage is provided.

Unless principals can ensure any musical instruments left at the school can be securely put away when not in use, the student and parent should be advised no secure storage is available and if the instrument is left at the school no responsibility will be accepted for its safekeeping.

A claim for compensation in respect of damage to personal property that arises from circumstances other than those described above should be forwarded to the Legal services unit.

15.5.2 How to claim

Visit Business Services/Insurance web site for detailed information.

15.6 Employment of contractors

When employing a contractor, or renewing a contract, the principal must sight a contractor's certificate of currency for workers compensation and liability insurance.

15.7 Department of Education certificate of currency

Find the Department of Education’s Certificate of Currency on the Legal services/Legal/Certificate of currency web page.

15.8 Enquiries

Any enquiries relating to departmental property loss or damage should be directed to the school property claims specialist team by telephone on 1300 32 32 32 or from the EDConnect website on the department intranet.

15.9 Ambulance Cover

From 2012, the Ambulance Service of New South Wales is responsible for State wide insurance coverage for the provision of emergency ambulance services to all enrolled NSW Government school students. Schools do not have to arrange individual payments to the Ambulance Service of NSW. The department will invoice schools on a sundry tax invoice for their portion of their cost.

The Ambulance Group Cover Scheme-Schools (AGSC scheme) provides insurance coverage that ensures that in the event a student enrolled in a NSW government school has an accident or falls ill whilst at school or on an organised, fully supervised school excursion and requires an emergency ambulance service, that neither the school nor the parents will be responsible for the payment of the ambulance account under the terms and conditions of the policy.

The Ambulance Cover Policy and Ambulance Cover FAQs are available on the Health and Safety website.

The AGSC scheme provides for reciprocal emergency ambulance services in all Australian States and Territories except for Queensland and South Australia. Excursions within Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania are covered under reciprocal arrangements.

For further information, schools can contact the Health and Safety Directorate for assistance on 1800 811 523.

Refer to:

15.10 Bequests and legacies

In the event that the school receives notification of receiving a bequest Legal services must be contacted.

15.10.1 New bequest

Each individual bequest must have its own internal order number unless the bequest specifies other arrangements.

15.10.2 Recorded information

Bequests and legacies must be recorded in the Register of Financial Items.

15.10.2.1 Recording in Register of Financial Items

All details and conditions of the bequest must be recorded including:

  • name of the testator (the person who wrote the will)
  • date of will
  • total amount of bequest
  • property address (if appropriate)
  • annual conditions of expenditure
  • instructions on closure of bequest or closure of school
  • internal order number.
15.10.2.2 Property bequests

Where property/equipment is received, this must be recorded in the Register of Financial Items and asset register. All property must be registered in the name of the Minister for Education.

Further advice can be obtained by contacting Legal Services and Manager - Property, Asset Management phone 9561 8904. An individual internal order number should be set up, as above, to receive any income from such a bequest. In the event of income being derived from property, ie leased property, the school is also responsible for any expenditure incurred in relation to the property.

15.10.2.3 Retention of legal documentation

A copy of the bequest, or will, and any correspondence should be held by the school in a secure location. In the event of the loss of a copy of the will, a copy can be obtained (on payment of a fee) from the Supreme Court of New South Wales (Probate Registry) – phone 1300 679 272. Refer to Legal services for further assistance.

15.10.3 Establishing the internal order number

A separate internal order should be created for each bequest and the title of the fund should adhere to the following structure 'Bequest from (name of testator / deceased person)'. The Internal Order Master Maintenance Form is available via the SAP Portal under Finance.

Refer to:

Fund Code 6300 is to be used on all Bequest Internal Order Numbers.

The screenshot below shows the location of the internal order master maintenance forms in SAP.
It is the sixth item in the drop-down menu under the Finance/Forms - TAFE tab in SAP.

Screenshot showing location of master maintenance form under Finance/Forms - TAFE / Fixed assets and equipment tab in SAP.

15.10.4 Interest and income

  1. Schools must be able to clearly identify funds and apportion interest from the trust fund set up.
  2. The school must adhere to all conditions of the bequest in expenditure.

15.10.5 Externally managed bequests

In addition to the above, if a bequest is being managed externally for the school, the school must ensure that:

  • the balance never drops below a $0 balance
  • any invoices for expenditure be sent to the executor/manager of the bequest and payment received prior to any expenditure.

15.10.6 Closure of trust fund (bequest)

  1. Once a balance drops below the amount of $100.00, the executor of the will or any known representatives of the deceased person should be contacted by the school for instructions on the closure and final expenditure of the bequest. If there are no such persons, the school may absorb this money into funds of a suitable nature. All correspondence must be accurately recorded and retained.
  2. All documents are to be recorded and kept for 7 years from the end of the financial year the trust was closed.

15.10.7 School closure

In the event of a school closure any remaining bequest funding should be referred to the executor of the will or any known representatives of the deceased person for instructions. If there are no such persons, the fund should be forwarded onto another school where the majority of students are relocated to, or may be forwarded onto another suitable charitable institution. Refer to Legal services in relation to any charitable institutions advice.

If the funds are less than $1,000.00 the school may absorb the funding as part of the closure process.

15.10.8 School amalgamation

In the event of a school amalgamation all bequests must be incorporated into the finance records of the new schools. Bequest information should be forwarded and recorded in the Register of Financial Items.

15.11 Losses involving theft or fraud

If a loss of money or departmental equipment indicates theft or fraud by a crown employee, the matter should be reported to the police.

15.11.1 By a crown employee

If a loss of money or departmental equipment indicates theft or fraud by a crown employee, the matter should be reported to the police. A report should also be made to the Employee Performance and Conduct Directorate and Director, Educational Leadership or appropriate director.

A principal may request, through Director, Educational Leadership, assistance from the Audit Directorate in investigating the extent of theft or fraud.

In cases where theft or fraud appears to have occurred by a crown employee, the principal must observe the following procedure:

  • Discuss the matter with the Employee Performance and Conduct Directorate (EPAC) to consider the most appropriate course of action.
  • Each case will need to be dealt with on the circumstances of the case. The action required in each case will depend on a number of issues, but could, in consultation with the Employee Performance and Conduct Directorate, include:
    • securing all evidence about the theft or fraud
    • undertaking stocktake or other inquiries to establish the extent of theft or fraud
    • relieving the individual of the responsibility for control of cash, keys, receipt books, cheque books, stores, etc to the extent necessary to avoid the possibility of further losses of money or stores
    • placing the individual on alternative duties at their current or another work location.
  • Unless it is necessary to manage issues locally in the first instance, the principal should not inform the employee who may be responsible for the theft or fraud until they have consulted with the Employee Performance and Conduct Directorate and only then, if it is agreed to do so.
  • The principal must not conduct interviews, solicit statements, etc from employees whose actions are being investigated or from material witnesses unless requested to do so by the Employee Performance and Conduct Directorate.

Please note that any ‘additional staff’ employed by a principal from third party/tied funds or school and community initiatives including canteen funds, are to be treated as crown employees.

15.11.2 By a person who is not a crown employee

If loss of money or DoE equipment indicates theft, robbery or fraud by a person who is not a crown employee the principal should investigate the following scenarios and proceed accordingly.

15.11.2.1 If person/s aged over 18 years:

For persons 18 years or over:

  • Report the matter immediately to the Executive Director, Public Schools NSW through Director, Educational Leadership and inform the local police.
  • The report to Director, Educational Leadership, for all but major items, should be contained in a Breach of Security Report. For major matters a supplementary report will normally be necessary. The report to police may be verbal initially but a written report listing all known details should be provided as confirmation.
  • Take steps to avoid the possibility of further loss.
  • Take steps to ascertain the extent of the theft or fraud and details of model/serial numbers, etc of the missing equipment.
  • Co-operate with the police and do not conduct interviews with or solicit statements from suspected persons or witnesses.
15.11.2.2 If person/s aged under 18 years:

In dealing with minors and particularly in dealings with pupils of that particular school, principals have discretionary powers.

Normally, theft and fraud involving loss of government property or school money will be reported. Where minor items or amounts are involved, or when reimbursement by an offender (or his/her parents) occurs the principal has the authority to treat the matter as being a domestic one for solution within the school.

If naming a child as a possible offender in a report to Director, Educational Leadership or the police, the principal should notify the parents or guardians of all details and proceed as follows:

  • Report the matter immediately to the Executive Director, Public Schools NSW through Director, Educational Leadership and inform the local police.
  • The report to Director, Educational Leadership, for all but major items, should be contained in a Breach of Security Report. For major matters a supplementary report will normally be necessary. The report to police may be verbal initially but a written report listing all known details should be provided as confirmation.
  • Take steps to avoid the possibility of further loss.
  • Take steps to ascertain the extent of the theft or fraud and details of model/serial numbers, etc of the missing equipment.
  • Co-operate with the police and do not conduct interviews with or solicit statements from suspected persons or witnesses.

15.11.3 Losses and deficiencies not suspected or known to be the result of theft or fraud

Losses and deficiencies that are not suspected to be the result of theft or fraud are to be judged on their individual merits and, where appropriate, advice sought from Director, Educational Leadership.

Loss or deficiency caused by a wilful departure from the department’s instructions, may require investigation of possible misconduct. The principal should consult with the Employee Performance and Conduct Directorate regarding these cases.

If there is a shortage of stock that cannot be resolved, adjustment action should be taken in accordance with Section 9 – Asset and equipment management. The full circumstances of the shortage are to be reported to Director, Educational Leadership if the principal considers the extent of the shortage warrants such action.

15.12 Private motor vehicles

The principal may authorise a member of the teaching or school administrative and support (SAS) staff to perform a duty at a location other than within the grounds of the school.

15.12.1 Approval to use private motor vehicles on official school business

Occasions where staff are deemed to be on official business include:

  • undertaking school banking
  • purchasing miscellaneous supplies locally
  • organising and supervising excursions or sporting visits
  • organising and supervising a sporting fixture
  • delivery or collection of art work to a local art display or textile items to a local show
  • organising and supervising aspects of work experience, transition education and/or careers education programs
  • attending professional development authorised by the school principal or Director, Educational Leadership
  • attending meetings authorised by Director, Educational Leadership
  • attending another local school or DoE office.

On such occasions the principal may approve the use of a private motor vehicle to enable the duty to be performed. Approval to travel on official business must always be obtained prior to travel. The Authority to travel form should be used for this purpose.

Public transport should be used where practicable and wherever it is the most economical solution.

Principals may grant approval for school staff to use private motor vehicles on official school business where a private motor vehicle is the most economic form of transport, provided that:

  • the vehicle is registered and the member of staff holds a current driving licence
  • a current comprehensive insurance policy is held on the vehicle which includes a clause that indemnifies the Crown. Copies of the current comprehensive insurance policy, drivers licence and motor vehicle registration certificate must be attached to the Authority to travel form.

The principal must keep on file the details of the current policy that indemnifies the Crown for private vehicles to be used on official school business.

Refer to:

15.12.2 Reimbursement of ‘excess’ accident repair costs

School staff may be reimbursed for the cost of repairs to private motor vehicles used on official school business where such costs cannot be met under insurance policies due to the normal 'excess' clauses (other than punitive clauses inserted because of poor driving record) provided that the:

  1. person had the prior approval of the principal to use the vehicle on official business
  2. accident or damage to the vehicle was incurred while the vehicle was being used on official business
  3. claim is for the excess not met by the insurance company
  4. damage has been repaired and paid for, or a claim made and the prescribed normal excess paid to the insurer or repairer.

Receipts are necessary to substantiate the claim for reimbursement.

Claims are not to be met where there are clear grounds to conclude that the loss was due to the improper conduct of the staff member eg negligent driving, or where there are any other circumstances that would make it improper to pay the claim.

If the accident or damage occurred whilst the vehicle was being used on an activity chargeable to DoE funds the claim for reimbursement is to be submitted to the DoE office verified by the principal that the conditions stipulated above have been met.

If the accident or damage occurred whilst the vehicle was being used on travel chargeable to the school, the claim may be approved by the principal and paid from the school account, provided that the conditions stipulated above are met and the principal places a certificate to this effect on the claim.

15.13 Insurance cover for community use of school facilities

Department policy provides that community organisations using school premises and facilities shall be responsible for insurance coverage for accidents and shall indemnify the DoE against claims.

This responsibility can be best accepted by the organisation taking out public liability insurance. Parent organisations which are affiliated with the Federation of Parents & Citizens Associations of New South Wales (P&C Federation) can obtain insurance through the P&C Association.

The agreement as set out in the Guidelines for the community use of school facilities states the following:

The community user will take out and keep in force an appropriate public liability and legal liability policy for the amount of at least $10 million. The community user will be asked to produce a certificate of currency for sighting by the principal.

  • Some groups/associations are covered by a blanket insurance policy taken out centrally. An example of this would be the NSW Playgroup Association. Verification that a group/association is appropriately covered may be sought from Legal services.
  • The community user will also take out and keep in force an appropriate workers' compensation policy with an insurer under the Workers' Compensation Act 1987 in respect of any employees of the community user who are employed in connection with the use of the facilities and equipment. The community user will be asked to produce the policy for sighting by the principal.

15.14 Principals in small schools

A school with less than 25 registered students in one class is defined as a small school. As a result of the small number of employees the following advice is issued.

15.14.1 Delegated authority

Principals in these schools are authorised to incur expenditure and to authorise the payment of accounts.

Refer to:

15.14.2 Encashment of cheques

The encashment of cheques only requires one signature. The principal will have given prior approval to request the cheque through the workflow process.

15.14.3 Banking of collections

Consideration is to be given in determining the banking frequency for schools in country locations remote from banking facilities (ie a branch or agency) the travel cost, time, as well as the amount of cash to be banked is to be taken into consideration. However, the principal must ensure that collections do not remain unbanked for more than one month from the date of collection.

15.14.4 Procurement

All schools are required to adhere to the procedures for purchasing as described in Section 8 – Procurement and payments

15.14.5 Adjustment of the fixed asset and equipment register

The principal and Director, Educational Leadership have the authority to approve the write-off of missing items and to note the equipment register and other records accordingly.

Refer to:

15.14.6 Attendance books

Principals must record their attendance in the attendance book.

Refer to:

15.15 Records management

The operation of any system results in the production of a range of reports and other documents. It is essential that a complete record of the reports and documents is maintained as working papers for both audit and reference purposes.

Working papers provide an audit trail of transactions and help users in the event that they are unable to access the accounting system or need further information.

Source documents, accounting system records and outputs must be retained in a secure location in the school for 7 years.

Information on records management and disposal procedures for schools can be accessed from the Business Services website and select ‘Records management for schools’.

For applicable retention periods refer to Records management for schools.

15.16 Recovery of bank charges

The only bank charges recoverable from parents are those associated with dishonoured cheques. All other bank charges and fees are to be absorbed by the school.

15.17 Support and bank contact details

EDConnect will be the school’s contact for many of the services/enquiries previously sent through to the bank.

15.17.1 Changes to cheque cashing authorities

Please read all instructions and complete relevant forms

15.17.2 Business express deposits (BED’s) / Coin bags

To order Business Express deposit bags and/or coin bags, refer to Bulk business express deposit/coin bag order form (Westpac stationery request).

15.17.3 Support phone number - EDConnect

EDConnect is a new department service for everyone who needs help and support with SAP Finance, Business Services, IT and SALM. It will streamline and simplify processes for schools needing Corporate Services information and advice, particularly by providing a single entry point for these service enquiries.

Call 1300 32 32 32

The menu options are:

  1. Dial SAP finance and Business Services
  2. Dial SALM (student management, and Synergy student wellbeing)
  3. Dial HR (pay, leave, salary packaging, recruitment, HR system support and more)
  4. Dial Procurement (DETBuy, e-catalogue, general procurement guidance)
  5. Dial IT (eg portal access and ERN)
  6. Dial 9. Concierge team

The role of concierge is to direct callers to the right team if they are not sure where to go or who to talk to.

15.17.4 SAP access and use

Schools requiring access or changes to organisational structures in SAP finance should follow the instructions and use the forms provided within Authority & forms section.

15.17.4.1 Bank enquires

Value transfer requests, deposit book orders, all merchant terminal enquires and completed forms to:

  • establish a new EFTPOS
  • establish a new principal
  • update signatories
  • cheque cashing authorities

must be sent to EDConnect for action.

15.17.5 Processing service quality

EDConnect value your feedback and suggestions regarding the quality of services delivered by Business Services, please use their online query function to contact them.

15.17.6 Suggestions for improvement of financial / SAP processes

If your comments are aimed at improving established procedures and working methods, or suggesting new ones, please review the Process Governance & Change Requests page.

15.18 Feedback on Finance in Schools Handbook (FISH)

Schools Finance value your feedback on the handbook. Please email your feedback to fish@det.nsw.edu.au with the heading ‘FISH Handbook Feedback’.


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