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Appointment of an External School Accountant/Auditor

> Guidelines on appointing a school accountant

Schools are recommended to firstly use the framework on the OGP website (Multi Supplier Framework Agreements for the Provision of Accounting, Audit and Financial & Economic Services). Where a framework is not used, please use the template below.

> Tender template for school accountant


Guidelines for Preparing School Annual Accounts

We have prepared a Guideline on preparing accounts to the year ended 31st August 2018 for Voluntary Secondary Schools.

> Download Guideline

Format of Accounts

A standardised format for the annual accounts of a Voluntary Secondary School has been approved by the Department of Education and Skills. The FSSU will only accept accounts that are prepared using the agreed format below.  Certified or audited school accounts should include the ‘General Information’ as outlined on page 3 of the sample set of school accounts in the Accountant’s Report. Please note the additional requirement to include a Cashflow Statement in the annual accounts.

For a detailed sample of a set of audited or certified school accounts below.  In particular,  the detailed Income and Expenditure Account – the Management Information – should follow the format outlined. Any queries in this regard should be addressed by contacting the FSSU on 01-269 0677.

The school should be supplied with a minimum of four sets of accounts in hardcopy.

Financial report to parents

Under section 18 of the Education Act 1998, the school is required to provide a financial report to parents of students in the school. To comply with this requirement, we have created a recommended template for this report, see below. Where requested, External School accountants/Auditors are encouraged to prepare this report for the school.

Financial Report to Parents Template

Timetable for School Accounts

The school’s annual accounts should be prepared for the year ending August 31st each year to coincide with the academic year. We are requesting all schools and their external school accountants/auditors comply with the  timescale below.

The deadlines below should be seen as the latest dates at each stage of the procedure. Some Trustees may require a shorter timescale. In any event, the timescale allows a maximum of six months following the end of the school year to complete the annual accounts for submission to the FSSU.

Schools that do not ensure submission of manual and online annual accounts within six months following the end of the school year will be subject to audit by the FSSU.


School Annual Accounts Preparation Stages Date Deadline
The school supplies all necessary financial information to the external school accountant for the school year ending on the previous August 31st  

September 30th


The draft annual accounts are returned by the external school accountant.


November 30th

Once the school Board of Management is satisfied that the accounts are an accurate reflection of the school’s financial situation, they are formally ratified by the Board, signed by the Chairperson and one other Board member and then two copies forwarded to the Trustees/Patron for approval.  

December 31st

or earlier

as required by the Trustee/Patron


The accounts should be signed by the Trustee/Patron and one copy returned to the school


January 31st

A hard copy of the school’s Annual Accounts duly signed by the Board of Management and the Trustees is forwarded to the FSSU.  

February 28th

External school accountants/auditors are required to access a secure online cloud based system and to input the school trial balance.  

February 28th