Saward Dawson > Education


The education sector is continuously changing and we help organisations with the audit & assurance requirements, governance, business and operating analysis, and financial modelling.

The education sector includes independent schools and colleges, early learning centres and childcare, higher education and theological colleges, registered training organisations, peak bodies and members organisations.

We are aware of the many challenges faced in the sector and we have been assisting our clients who are facing similar issues including:

  • Government funding requirement changes, including potential additional compliance requirements around policies and procedure and risk management,
  • Ongoing uncertainty around future government funding,
  • New VRQA guidelines coming into effect from 1 July 2019 and increased scrutiny by the VRQA,
  • Competition for students in the private school sector,
  • Competitive pressures driven by myschool and the ongoing public interest in comparative NAPLAN results,
  • School fee pressures, including management of fee increases, discounts and enrolments,
  • Rising wage costs and changes in awards,
  • Recent changes to fringe benefit rules around in-house benefits and meal entertainment,
  • Ongoing capital funding pressure for developing and establishing schools or campuses,
  • Recent calls for changes to the religious freedoms of Christian organisations, including faith based schools,
  • Accounting standard changes with the introduction of AASB 15 Revenue and AASB 16 Leases, and,
  • Cyber criminals targeting the not-for-profit sector through various invoice email scams, government grant scams, ransomware attacks, viruses etc.


Our audits are designed to provide your board with confidence over the accuracy of the annual financial report, the adequacy of your internal controls and advice in relation to meeting your governance obligations. We undertake fully electronic audits embracing advanced data interrogation techniques that enable to use our expertise in the interpretation of variances, exceptions and matters requiring skill and judgement. We undertake external and internal audit engagements for a number of clients in the Education Sector.

Grant acquittals:

Many government departments and other funders require an independent audit of funding provided. We provide tailored grant acquittal services to meet the funder’s requirements.

Business Advisory and Accounting Assistance:

We have a dedicated team with significant experience in the Education Sector. We undertake various services including: monthly and year end accounting and reconciliation, preparation of budgets and cashflow forecasts, development of professional, efficiently developed management accounts and accounting package training.

Remuneration Services:

Murray Nicholls leads our Remuneration Planning team. Murray is an expert in remuneration, including fringe benefits, salary packaging and taxation planning and provides advice to a number of clients in the education sector.

We would be please to talk with you about how our services can benefit your organisation.