Managing school finances

Resources, templates and financial guidance to support the governance of school finances.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals
  • Proprietors
  • Administrators
  • Business Managers
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau

Boards, principals and proprietors all have different responsibilities for school financial management. In addition to their role overseeing the financial governance of schools, there are specific requirements across all areas of finance that must be adhered to.

Further guidance materials are provided at the linked references below.

Financial Information for Schools Handbook (FISH)

For guidance on best practice in financial governance, financial management and reporting, see the Financial Information for Schools Handbook (FISH) [PDF, 1.9 MB]

Download a Microsoft Word version of the handbook:
Financial Information for Schools Handbook [DOCX, 1.7 MB]

Preparing your annual report and annual financial statements

The annual report contains your school's audited annual financial statements. These show how the school board has used its funds to achieve its charter goals. Information to help you prepare and file your annual report can be found on Annual Financial Statement Resources.(external link)

Model financial policies

These Kiwi Park School example policies have been developed to help your school manage a range of common financial situations:

Model liquidation statement - Kiwi Park School

The Kiwi Park School model liquidation statement illustrates the suggested format for your school's statement of movements in equity, statement of financial position and notes to the statements.

Kiwi Park model liquidation statement [RTF, 99 KB]

Tools to support internal control assessment

The internal control checklist and segregation of duties matrix are designed to assist you with assessing the existing internal control environment at your school or kura.

These tools will help you to identify areas where there may be weaknesses or deficiencies in the control environment, and where consideration should be given to implementing additional controls.

Tools to support calculation of cyclical maintenance provision

The cyclical maintenance provision is an estimate of the future costs of maintaining school buildings, and is required to be recorded in your annual financial statements.

Estimating your cyclical maintenance costs requires the use of judgement. These resources will help you complete your cyclical maintenance provision calculations and provide guidance on what supporting documentation to retain as evidence for your annual audit.

How to use the cyclical maintenance provision calculator [PDF, 254 KB] 

Cyclical maintenance calculator [XLSX, 100 KB] 

Cyclical maintenance calculator with painting contract liability [XLSX, 69 KB] 

Worked example: Calculation of CM provision [PDF, 224 KB] 

Worked example: Calculation of CM provision with painting contract liability [PDF, 269 KB] 

Tools to support borrowing decisions

These tools have been developed to help guide your borrowing decisions.

Buy vs lease tool [XLSM, 99 KB]

Borrowing threshold calculator [XLSX, 3.8 MB]

Managing school finances webinar 2022

In this webinar our school finance advisors discuss banking staffing, budgeting, forecasting and cashflow management for schools

Attendance dues accounts: State-integrated schools

State-integrated schools must provide audited annual attendance dues accounts to the Ministry of Education.

Attendance dues accounts for state-integrated schools [DOC, 85 KB]

Accounts requirements and templates

Our Circular 2022/09 explains the requirements of your audited annual attendance dues accounts.

We've created model annual attendance dues accounts for a fictitious integrated school proprietor called Proprietas Trust. The model provides a template you can follow, and illustrates the required content and format of the annual accounts.

The following guide sets out the list of lawful items that attendance dues can be used for.

Attendance dues guidance for proprietors [DOC, 85 KB]

Capital works: State schools

Boards need to manage funds for capital works in accordance with your school's 5-year agreement for capital funding (5YA).

Capital works: State schools

Capital works: State-integrated schools

Proprietors of state-integrated schools own or lease their school property and are responsible for capital works. Boards can undertake capital works with the proprietor's and Ministry of Education's approval. Read about the correct process when your board undertakes and funds capital works on land owned by the proprietor.

Capital works: State-integrated schools

Raising funds: State-integrated schools

Both boards and proprietors of state-integrated schools can raise funds. These funds must be used for purposes that match the roles and responsibilities of each party. 

Raising funds: State-integrated schools

Related parties: State-integrated schools

This guidance includes examples of related-party disclosure notes that cover the most common disclosures that your school may need to make in its financial statements.

Related parties: State-integrated schools

Taxation for schools

Your school board, school trust and parent teacher association (PTA) needs to know about how the Charities Act 2005 affects you and whether you need to register with the Charities Commission.

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