What's New?

School Finance Support Team - Academy offer currently dependant on continuing with SIMS FMS

  • The SFS offer is for a core B&NES FMS academy model set up with relevant ledger groups, ledger codes, fund and control codes, Accounts Returns and Academy reports etc. bespoke to your individual needs.

For this, we will need you to:

  • Send us a print of your existing SIMS FMS Chart of Accounts and Ledger listing and let us know which cost centres and ledger codes you would like to keep, delete or add.
  • Supply us with specific academy information e.g. establishment details, FMS Users and access rights, bank account details etc.
  • Supply us with up to 50 of you most commonly used suppliers that we will populate into your Academy FMS.  You will need to add in additional suppliers as and when you require them.
  • Liaise with Schools with Academy ICT support team in order to arrange for the Academy FMS model to be installed remotely on the schools server.  (Academy schools who do not take up Schools ICT support will need to arrange for a suitably experienced ICT Technician to install the FMS model from disc).
  • You will advise us product details for Accounts Receivable, if used by your school.  We will input this data to the core SIMS FMS model but you will need to add in the Debtor information as and when you require them.
  • If you use Equipment Register, please let us have a copy of your current inventory.
  • The schools Finance Officer/Bursar/Business Manager should be familiar with the following documents prior to visit from the SFS team regarding the set-up of the academy FMS in schools:-
    • Academy Financial Handbook
    • EFA Directions Handbook
    • EFA Accounts return
    • EFA VAT for academy schools

We will:

  • Provide your school with a core B&NES SIMS FMS academy model set up with relevant ledger groups, ledger codes, fund and control codes, Abbreviated Accounts Returns and GAG reports etc.
  • Bespoke the core SIMS FMS model to your individual school needs subject to you supplying us with the information detailed above, along with any other relevant data requirements.
  • We will set up Service Term mappings and Personnel links to co-ordinate with SIMS FMS Academy requirements.
  • Once the model has been installed on your server, we will arrange to visit your school to complete the set up and explain the structure of the academy model.

The cost of a bespoke SIMS FMS model, setting up at school after it is installed by an ICT technician and an explanation of the academy coding structures etc. is as follows:

  • £2000 plus VAT if purchased without an annual Academy Finance Service Level Agreement


  • £1000 plus VAT if purchased in conjunction with a School Finance Support team Finance Support Contract (Service Level Agreement).

Academy Finance Support contracts (Service Level Agreements)

  • The academy offer includes:
    • School visits to include budget planning and budget monitoring
    • Assistance with completion of EFA reporting requirements and statements
    • Helpline service for day to day operational queries
    • Guidance and manual updates for FMS software
  • The academy offer does not include:
    • Completion of statutory returns to comply with Company Law and the Charity Commission as these returns and statements are required to be produced and signed off by the accountants employed by the school for this purpose.  However, within the time constraints of the purchased Finance Support contractual hours, we will assist with gathering of the data requested by the school's accountants in order for them to be able to prepare and verify the statutory accounts.
  • The annual cost of Academy Finance Support contracts (Service Level Agreements) for Academic Year 2017-18
    • Bronze  6 x 3 hour visits  £3,555+VAT
    • Silver  6 x 6 hour visits   £4,400+VAT
    • Gold  11 x 6 hour visits  £6,047+VAT
    • Platinum 44 x 6 hrs visits £15,036+VAT

Additional School Finance Support services:

  • Academy training courses are available for new SIMS FMS users, Accounts Receivable, Equipment Register and HCSS at a cost of £197 per day.  More information available upon request.
  • Automatic payroll reconciliation file for SIMS FMS.  This function will no longer be available for academy schools as it is taken directly from the corporate finance system however, the School Finance Support team can produce this file from payroll data from Wiltshire payroll bureau.  The cost of this service is:-
    • Estimated Set up cost based on 4 hours                                 £270+ VAT
    • First school visit to run in rec file based on 4 hours               £270+ VAT
    • Second visit to ensure rec file is running in ok                         £60+ VAT
    • Monthly cost of rec file                                                            £60+ VAT
    • As the LA email account will be closed upon conversion to academy, payroll data should be sent to SFS team via their new Academy email accounts.  An interceptor web function will need to be employed to allow the LA to be sure that the data is not subject to security breaches.  Globalscape can be employed by the LA at no cost to the school. 

BACS Payments in SIMS FMS      

The majority of Bath and North East Somerset schools use NatWest Bank who are now able to provide a Bankline service for you.

Bankline is an online banking service which you will be responsible for administering yourself on behalf of your school.

A demo of the Bankline system can be found at : http://www.natwest.com/commercial/online-services/g1/bankline.ashx

The LA will still be able to transfer monies to schools, for example the monthly cash advances and teaching staff deductions etc.

NatWest Bankline charges are £5 per month (£60 per year) + 28p per BACS payment. e.g. if you pay 20 suppliers per week by BACS, every week (39) the annual charge would be £218.40 + £60.00 = £278.40 p.a.  (a first class stamp is 46p and 2nd class stamp is 36p)

Please e-mail us at the address on the left of the page to book this training.

Chapter 9 of the SIMS FMS Manual has been updated to include all the set up required to produce a BACS file from the system including the facility to email the remittance advices.

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