Steven Whittaker and Education Services have been Te Kura-ā-Iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano accountants for just over a year. Their accounting and financial planning advice to both kura management and governance is excellent. Steven always responds quickly to queries and regularly makes himself available to attend meetings.
The relevance, clarity and timeliness of reporting enhances our capacity to make good financial decisions and optimise the educational benefits for our tamariki. The level of expertise in accounting for schools is matched by the manaakitanga they demonstrate to their client. We could not be happier with the service they provide.
Heitia Raureti, Chair, Te Whānau o Te Kura-ā-iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano
Managing the school finances is made so much easier because we use Education Services Ltd. They provide monthly Financial Management Reports that enable you and your Board of Trustees to monitor the income and expenditure for each month, track spending against the budget, note items of significance and compare actual available funds against budgeted available funds. These reports are set out so they are easy to understand - no accounting skills necessary!
ESL also provides ‘Ed Cloud’ so you can access all your financial reports, spending and history of account payments. This is great when you’re looking for something specific and you want the most up-to-date reflection of it. You can adjust the time frame of what you search for, and search by creditors as well, which makes looking for a specific transaction that much easier.
The team at Education Services are always at the end of the phone to answer questions and clarify things. Mid year they visit the school to review the financial position of the school and begin to plan for the next year. I am always appreciative for the additional advice and support they give me when drafting a budget for the following year. They also meet with our administrator to ensure everything is running smoothly and update them of any new requirements.
I totally recommend working with Education Services Ltd to manage your school finances - you won’t regret it.
Vanessa Hendry, Principal, Porirua School
Three years ago, Epuni School employed Education Services Ltd as our financial services provider, and we haven’t looked back!
Our financial accounting and reporting is straight-forward, concise, timely and user friendly for school Management and Board of Trustee use.
The team at ESL are amazing, always available when we have questions, school audits are straight forward and their attention to detail is impeccable.
Cloud access gives us instant access to our data and financial position.
Definitely the best financial move for us!
Janet Evans, Principal, Epuni Primary School
Mubina and the team at Education Services do an incredible job. They are prompt with attention to detail and ensure that our school has all systems and processes in place for our Annual Audit. Each year Mubina will attend a Board meeting and explain the annual audit to our trustees.
As a school, we have worked with Education Services for a long time. They provide us with a dedicated and personalised service that meets the needs of our school. All our financial transactions are safe and secure with excellent controls whilst being handled in a professional and prompt manner.
Reporting of our monthly accounts suits both our Board of Trustees at governance level as well as our staff. Plain English interpretations ensure we all understand where the school is sitting financially.
Access to the cloud portal ensures transparency with current financial information.
Bernadette Murfitt, Principal, Sacred Heart Cathedral School
When Education Services started working with Tamatea High School in 2010, the school was struggling financially. Steven Whittaker from Education Services worked with the school to sort the finances out in only two years. Since that time we have had a change of Principal, our last two Board Chairs have been an auditor and accountant respectively and our financial position has gone from strength to strength.
Thanks to the support of Steve and the team we have developed strong processes, which allow us to wisely spend as much money as possible for the benefit of our students and their learning. We have also built up a modest fund of reserves to get us through tough times like COVID.
Steve is very personable and relationship driven - he regularly schedules face to face time. He has been involved on School Boards of Trustees himself, so he understands school finance. His service and advice have been excellent. As a Principal I have learned a great deal from Steve and I know our Business Manager also values the service and support that Steve and the team give us. Their plain English explanations are fantastic.
I highly recommend Steve and the Education Services team.
Robin Fabish, Principal, Tamatea High School
The information provided in the monthly financial reports are easy for our Board members to understand and the commentaries provided by Education Services give us further information and highlight key areas. As a result, the Board acknowledges our school has much stronger reporting and greatly improved controls.
Our Administration Team welcomed the addition of Education Services as they noticed an improvement in processes, and they have learned new skills and found the communication very responsive.
Kirstin and her team provided valuable input into the school’s budgeting process and have undertaken reviews of other internal procedures. Kirstin was also essential in managing the audit process and helping to ensure we delivered our financial statements within the Ministry of Education timelines.
We have no hesitation in recommending Kirstin and her team from Education Services to fellow schools looking to improve and provide understandable financial reporting.
James McIntyre, Board Chair, Sunnybrae Normal School
I have found that Education Services provide prompt useful advice on financial processing issues, quick and smooth payment of invoices and a smooth process through the audit. With access to their online platform, we are able to monitor and process all financial issues effectively and transparently. The added benefit of having Education Services as a partner during informed discussions around developing our budgets and systems ensures we have robust processes that keep everyone safe.
Debbie Doubleday, Accounts Manager, Sunnybrae Normal School
Education Services has continued to provide top-notch personalised service to our school that accommodates our changing needs over time. I have consistently been impressed with the way the delightful staff at Education Services are willing to work with us and understand the context or special character of our school.
Kirstin and her staff are competent, reliable and helpful, giving our admin staff confidence that we are doing a good job and following best practice financial systems.
Finances are always a concern for Boards and knowing that we can question, get advice on budgets, investments and explanations around variances are very useful. Kirstin goes above and beyond to provide personalised financial training workshops for our staff and board members. We have peace of mind knowing there is professional oversight of our finances in place.
The Education Services team also liaise with our school and the auditors, to ensure we have a smooth preliminary and ‘end of year’ process. Kirstin’s support has resulted in successful audits for our school each year.
I would like to thank the Education Services team for their support. I would not consider doing the school finances without them. I highly recommend Education Services to other schools.
Lorene Hurd, Principal, Sunnybrae Normal School
Education Services is one of the best investments that our school has made. We have been with them since 2017. The service they provide for our school is outstanding. They are efficient and reliable. Kirstin is always available to guide and support me, she is just a phone call away. I appreciate the support I get from Kirstin when it is budget time, she will make the extra effort to come and visit me and help me through this process. I have peace of mind when it comes to working with the Auditors and the end of year report. This is the area where Kirstin demonstrates her financial expertise.
The Board of Trustees are very happy with the detailed monthly accounts and they appreciate the 24/7 access to the Ed Cloud as well as being able to have Kirstin answer any of their queries. My Office Manager believes that Catherine goes above and beyond to support her with requests made.
I absolutely recommend Education Services and I am happy to have a chat about my experiences with them.
Ann McKeown, Principal, St Michael's Catholic School (Remuera)
We have worked with Education Services for many years and appreciate the hours of time it saves us. Accounts are paid on time, monthly statements are prepared, and the auditors are happy. Staff support us from the budget preparation stage through to the annual report. We get visits throughout the year to help track our spending and keep within budget. We also appreciate Ed Cloud, the online platform that allows us to track spending and check various accounts and invoices as well as staffing payments.
When we've had office staff changes, Mubina and Renee have helped train our new staff. Renee regularly visits and spends time clarifying procedures and ensuring staff understand the reports and systems. We enjoy working with the team at Education Services and highly recommend them to other schools.
Karla Mitchell, Principal, Wellington Seventh-day Adventist School
The guidance and advice that I have received from Steven and the Education Services team is second to none.
Being experts in school accounting systems goes beyond just keeping good records. The team works with so many schools covering the vast range of types, sizes and structures that they can offer trusted and tested advice to support the financial direction of a school. One of the main differences between Education Services and other financial advisors is the focus on the learning, “What will be the outcome for the students?”
The ability to question, query or seek advice at anytime is invaluable for both myself and my office manager, but once again, Education Services surpasses these expectations by also training our Board of Trustees into asking the right questions and showing the areas where the lights need to be shone.
This has grown the collective understanding and responsibility for our school’s financial decisions across our board and has offered us a better platform for our long-term sustainability.
Schools are required to navigate a number of complex areas from payrolls and banked staffing through to annual budgets and cyclical maintenance. All of which require specialist knowledge and understanding that most of us have not been trained in.
Steven has an ability to explain these systems in layman’s terms and takes the time to work through each part of these processes in a manner that gives you confidence to ask questions.
I cannot recommend the use of Education Services for financial support enough and would be happy to talk to other principal’s who are thinking about using this service.
Darren Torrie, Principal, St Johns Hill School
Hora Hora School has used Education Services for many years, in fact longer than the 21 years I have been principal.
In that time, I have always found them great. It takes a huge weight off my shoulders to know they are keeping an eye on our spending. They are always available for advice on any financial aspects, and every year our Audit Statements are done meticulously without fail.
I am an experienced principal since 1982 but I still need to use Education Services for my peace of mind.
Pat Newman, Principal, Hora Hora School
As a newer Principal, Adrian at Education Services Rotorua played a huge part in helping me understand school finances - that we all know can be rather tricky at times. Communication is prompt and clear and it is never too much trouble for the team to go the extra mile in providing the much needed support and advice when we need it. Budget "Health Checks" are held periodically and speedy contact is always available by phone or in person.
Our BOT, Financial Assistant and myself can always rely on the team at Education Services for up to date information about how our school finances are tracking. The tools and systems used are user friendly and easy to understand and this helps us plan our spending purposefully according to our strategic plan. In the end, the students are the ones who benefit from us making sound financial decisions.
Education Services have also always been a supporter and sponsor of the Rotorua Principal's Association (RPA), an organisation that appreciates this support in making a difference to our Rotorua tamariki.
Gareth Cunliffe, Principal, Otonga School
As a school, we have worked with Education Services for over twenty years. They provide for us a dedicated and personalised service that meets the needs of our school. We have confidence that our financial transactions are safe and secure whilst being handled in a professional and up to date manner.
The personalised approach of Education Services means we can ask questions, adapt and oversee our accounting processes in a way that suits us, as a school. Reporting of our monthly accounts suits both our Board of Trustees at governance level as well as being usable to staff, within the school. Access to the cloud portal means we can easily find and use our own information when we need to on a day by day basis.
Debbie Currie, Principal, Matamata Intermediate
We have worked with Education Services for 17 years. Throughout this time their level of service has not faltered. Their staff is very stable so we have only worked with two managers. This ensures a deep knowledge of our school and financial situation.
Our school financial reports are comprehensive. They are easy to read and understand. Our BOT really appreciates the clarity of the reports. The manager is available for BOT members to ring or meet to gain clarification or reassurance about our financial situation.
There is wonderful two way communication. If I don’t understand something I can ring at any time and if our school manager doesn’t understand something we have sent, she will ring us. This ensures we stay in a positive financial situation.
I thoroughly recommend Education Services as an experienced, capable and ethical financial provider.
Nolian Andrew, Tumuaki, Wainui Beach School
We are delighted to get the opportunity to recommend Education Services, the staff are experts in their field and are very open and approachable. Their knowledge, service and reporting give us peace of mind that we are on the right track and empowers us for our annual auditing visit. I truly appreciate their service and would highly recommend them.
Kevin Drury, Principal, Rukuhia School
Roseneath School has been using Education Services Limited for our finance function since 2017. Prior to that the finance function was done in house and was very time consuming. We had a new principal commencing at the school and several new trustees starting on BoT in 2017 so the decision was made to partner with ESL for an outsourced finance function. It has been a great move for us. ESL handle all our payments, reconcile all our bank accounts, and provide monthly financial statements that are easy to read and understand.
ESL understand the Ministry of Education requirements around a school’s funding and financing and give us great guidance in this regard. They assist with all our budgeting and deal directly with our external auditors. We have confidence in the numbers and it makes for better decision making by the principal and BoT, and helps us achieve our goal of bettering student achievement by ensuring our financial resources are used where they should be. We highly recommend ESL.
Pat Gilligan, Board Finance, Roseneath School
Te Kura O Wairau (formally Somerset Crescent School) have appointed Education Services for a number of years to manage our property projects. They have been our primary contact for all of our day-to-day project management queries and processes, including all stages from planning, design work, executing, monitoring, budgeting and closing out of projects.
They have worked alongside us effectively and efficiently, allocating resources and utilising their knowledge on all of our queries and questions on the entire project scope. They have proven to and continue to deliver excellence in all areas of customer service as well as project management expectations.
Mel has the ability to identify any risks, potential issues and inevitable setbacks and she effectively communicates this with us to resolve these issues. She will always ensure that the best possible result is achieved and delivered. Mel has a keen understanding of our goals and always ensures those goals are incorporated in the delivery where possible and executed to our complete satisfaction. She proactively works with us and ensures that our expectations and requests are always met. The ESL Property Team has and maintains the comprehensive knowledge of all processes across all procedures and areas of our projects to ensure all MoE policy and guidelines are followed.
I highly recommend working alongside Education Services. I have a very positive relationship with Mel who over the 5 years I worked alongside her supported me and our kura to achieve the goals and aspirations we had within our 5YA/10YPP.
Teena Johnson, Tumuaki/Principal, Te Kura o Wairau
Our school has been a client of Education Services for the last seven years. During this time with the support and guidance from Education Services, St Joesph's has become more financially secure. The Board of Trustees and our administrative team are provided with timely and well-presented, readable information.
The team at Education Services are always available to answer our questions and give advice; we appreciate the visits we receive during the year. Our expectations of Education Services have been exceeded year after year.
Mike Dowd, Principal, St Joseph's School, New Plymouth
I have been using Education Services for the past 5 years and have found them to be extremely efficient and reliable. Their reports are comprehensive yet easy to read and I am able to share these easily with BOT members. They are open to comment and have often supported the school with individual requests.
I have no issue with recommending them to other schools. They do the reports and it lets me get on with planning for better learning and teaching. Keep it up!
Daniel Pepper, Principal, St Dominic’s Catholic Primary School
Education Services have provided a complete financial property package for our school for many years.
Specialising in working with schools, Education Services have knowledge of MOE systems and guidelines second to none. We know that their work will support our school to meet requirements, and with these ever changing, that's important.
Financial and property management is inseparable, and the service provided by Education Services to manage this as a package makes sense for us. Monthly and annual financial reporting, annual audit and asset management is stress less.
Property planning and review, project management, and the 'financial side" of property projects are taken care of.
The work done by Education Services allows our school managers and administrative staff to attend to other work. All in all, it's a very efficient solution!
Geoff Simes, Principal, Durie Hill School
I had used Education Services in other schools prior to my appointment at Opunake and found their service to be highly effective and professional.
Opunake had been completing their own accounts and the systems were difficult to follow and the audit process a nightmare. We became clients of ESL three years ago and have never regretted the decision.
We access up to date information electronically, receive graphs every quarter and detailed reports are accurate and easy to follow. Time spent processing accounts has reduced greatly and the office administrator finds the system much simpler. Additional assistance is only a phone call away and it is nice to speak directly with the person who prepares our accounts.
Our school is 'fund holder' for EHSAS and JSIF projects and accurate reporting to partner schools is made easy with the detailed reports prepared by Education Services.
We strongly recommend Education Services to any future clients.
Lorraine Williamson, Principal, Opunake Primary School