IMPROVING SCHOOL
GOVERNANCE

3.2 Finance - Online learning activity B - Financial reports

Financial reports

Goal

To enable councillors to:

  • review a financial report
  • learn what questions to ask the principal. 

Resources

Steps

  1. Answer the following questions about the annual sub-program budget report (which shows revenue and expenditure for each sub-program in the school).
  2. If you are unsure of your answers, re-read the Reviewing reports and taking action section (in unit 3.2 Financial reports) and look again at the sample annual sub-program budget report which explains the report through the text in the blue circles.
  3. Check your answers by clicking on the Answers button.

Question One

How much revenue has been recorded against the apple drive and the information and communications technology sub-programs so far this year?

Answer:

$18,762 revenue recorded year to date in apple drive; $6,000 in ICT

Question Two

How does revenue for each of these two programs compare to this year’s budget?

Answer:

The apple drive is under the full year budget by $2,238 (but there are still 2 months of the year to go). ICT is under budget too by $2,000

Question Three

How does revenue for each of these two programs compare to what was recorded last year?

Answer:

The apple drive met the revenue budget last year but is a bit behind budget so far this year: ICT is budgeted to earn more this year than was earned last year

Question Four

How much has been spent so far this year by the information and communications technology sub program?

Possible Answers:

The ICT sub program has spent more than its budget for the year ($1,041) but hasn’t yet earned all its income.

Question Five

What questions would you ask the principal about both of these sub programs?

Possible Answers:

  • Are more apple drives planned?
  • As the ICT program is overspent but under budget for revenue, what has caused the overspend? What action does the principal propose to take about this sub program? Will revenue earned be greater than budget to meet the overspend? Is the budget being reallocated from another sub program to this one?

Question Six

What other questions would you have about the financial performance of this school?

Possible Answers:

  • Given that the budget for all sub programs (that is, the total school budget) is underspent (only 68% spent) whereas 93% of revenue has been earned, the school is, on the face of it, financially performing well. But can the principal explain the report in more detail?

Conclusion

Key points to remember are:

  • the more experience councillors have reading the reports and considering them, the more skilled they will become
  • councillors may also ask the principal for clarification if unsure.

Back to top