Annual Financial Statements

Again, we would say thank you to all the schools who kept the end of year information rolling in by the due dates via the Portal.

This is the third year of using the online portal. We welcome any comments regarding this (the use of and the information provided) as well as comments / suggestions on the Financial preparation process.

Time to start saving documents for 2019.


When your Board approves the Operating Budget please ensure the Board Minute includes the Budgeted Surplus figure (we don’t do deficits). This greatly assists us and the auditor to know the budget provided with the Financial Statement documentation is the Approved Budget.

Prior to filing each GST Return, please use the GST Reconciliation Report to ensure the figures are correct. Instructions are on the members’ Page of the TSO Website. At this time of the year, an incorrect date (e.g. 31 Dec 2019 instead of 31 Dec 2018) can cause an imbalance in the GST.

BoT FTE Calculations
Board members are required to record time spent on Board business. The combined figure is reported in the Financial Statements as an FTE (full time equivalent). We strongly suggest the MOE Template is used and updated each month. See our blog on BoT FTE calculations here.

Community Grant Applications
Schools are required to keep a register of all Community Grants applied; that is, both accepted and declined applications.
Please contact us if you would like a copy of a template.


For those new to Xero or to receiving this eNews, Trax is a TSO App developed to provide Xero Tracking Reports en-masse. These reports can be emailed to budget holders and has an option to print transactions.

We acknowledge entering tracking budgets in Xero and then Uploading to Trax is tedious. The benefit, though, is easily providing HOD’s with budget reports. If you would like any help loading these budgets or the overall budget, please contact us – via the button below. 

The process for uploading budgets to Trax changed at the end of last year. Please refer to the Trax Instructions on the members page of the TSO website.

Reminder: When a Xero GL Code Name or Xero Tracking name is changed, the tracking budget must be re-uploaded into Trax. 

trax reporting for schools

TRAX – New Features

TRAX – New Features

Trax now has the facility to select revenue and/or expense transactions to be printed.

The screen to upload budgets is changed to allow bulk loading of budget files.

Updated Trax instructions will be on the TSO website members page shortly.

Reminder: When a Xero GL code name or Xero tracking name is changed, the tracking budget must be re-uploaded into Trax.  

trax reporting for schools

Results of 2017 School Audits

2017 School Audits

The OAG have recently released the results of the 2017 school audits. The results show positive developments in the school audit area since the previous report and highlights the improvements of school financial management practices. Further details in the report show that it’s important to keep reporting to a timely fashion and it outlines that some school’s have not met their accountability requirements, reporting responsibilities and have not planned properly for maintenance of school buildings.

Read the full report on their website by following this link.

Finances - TSO

Treatment of Board Contributions MOE Capital Works

MOE Capital Works - The School Office

Treatment of Board Contributions MOE Capital Works

A funding contribution can range from a school board contributing a small sum to a ministry-funded capital works project to expand or enhance on ministry design specification, through to ‘shared ownership’ capital works projects where the school board, in conjunction with the ministry, contributes to a large school property development.

Funding contributions may be one of two types:
* “Donation” – a contribution towards an upgrade of a ministry-owned and maintained asset.
* “Investment” – a contribution towards the creation of a new asset or enhancement of an existing asset owned and maintained by the school board or owned and maintained partly by the ministry and partly the school board.

Where the capital works project is run by the ministry, and the school board has agreed to the contribution for specific enhancements or developments, then the school board will receive a GST-inclusive invoice for its contribution.

Where the school runs the capital works project, then school must declare what it spent on the project at its conclusion to the ministry.

Where the contribution is a “Donation” then the invoice must be treated as a distribution to the Crown through the Statement of Changes in Net Assets/Equity. GST on the invoice must be accounted for accordingly.
Where the contribution is an “Investment” then the expenditure must be capitalised in the school’s fixed asset register as well as GST being accounted for accordingly.

Overseas Trips

Overseas Trips

When schools plan an overseas trip there may be additional information required for the financial statements. In this blog post we outline a few key points to keep in mind when planning trips.

The board must approve any overseas trips that are planned by the school. An overseas trip can be funded through Crown funding or locally raised funds (i.e. through fundraising or parental contributions).

A board may use Crown funding (as opposed to locally raised funds) for overseas travel if they can demonstrate that the two main conditions have been met:
* the overseas travel supports student achievement
* they have considered the proposed spending against competing priorities

Before approving any travel, the board must complete the Funding Overseas Travel Using Crown Funding Checklist, refer to Appendix C in the FISH.

The board must keep the signed and completed checklist, along with the board minutes of each decision and make these available for audit purposes. All expenditure should be accounted for and receipts
returned following the trip.

Examples of overseas travel that may further student achievement include but are not limited to: visiting the site of a significant cultural event (e.g. a battle where the school community had significant casualties), senior Māori groups visiting Pacific Islands where ancestral stories originate (e.g. Tahiti), or language students visiting a country where the language of study is primarily spoken.

If the travel is significant to your expenditure for the year it will need to be separately disclosed in the annual financial statements.

Xero Business Community – Feature Request

Xero Business Community – Feature Request

As discussed at the recent TSO Training Days, we have submitted a Xero Feature Request asking for bank account numbers validated when entered in Xero. Xero address issues that are endorsed / voted by other users.

This is the request:

Contact Bank Account Validations
Would Xero please add a facility whereby the bank account number is validated at time of entry into contact details.
When a payment batch is processed that has an incorrect contact bank account, it can take some time to locate which contact has the error.

Other accounting software validates the bank account number using the formats supplied by the NZ banks.

Please follow click on the link here to vote.

The School Office is pleased to announce our new App, trax™ for Xero tracking reporting is now available!

trax reporting for schools

We have developed trax™ specifically for schools to report tracking categories against budget for budget holders.

While Xero prints one tracking report at a time, trax™ produces the required reports in one selection to print or email.

trax™ will save you time by emailing or printing 30-40 reports in selection process.

trax™ was developed for our clients.  However, it is also available to non-clients.

In summary, trax™ App connects Xero tracking categories to:
  • Email multiple tracking reports – in PDF
  • Print multiple tracking reports – in PDF or Excel
  • print transactions (optional)


Please email us at for further information or assistance using the App.

The School Office provides financial advice and accounting to schools. Our expertise, knowledge and experience allow us to help schools with financial compliance.

Talk to or email the TSO Team

07 533 4182

trax Xero tracking reporting

Publishing Audited Financial Statements

Publishing Audited Financial Statements

Schools are required to make the school’s Annual Report available to the public on an internet site maintained by or on behalf of the board (see the update to the Education Act 1989 (external link) ). Making annual reports available on an internet site ensures that parents and the wider community can access information about what your school has achieved and how your board has managed school finances in the previous school year.

Annual Reports after 2016 not published will be considered a breach of legislation.

Schools that do not have a website may provide the Ministry a copy of their annual accounts so it can be published on the website “Education Counts”. Please contact your MOE Financial Advisor or us, at TSO for guidance.

Filing 2017 Audited Financial Statement to the Ministry of Education

School’s Audited Financial Statements are required to be uploaded to the Ministry via the School Portal.

This must be in one PDF file.

This is also the time to publish the 2017 Audited Financial Statements on the School’s Website as required under Section 87AB: of the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017.


Uploading MOE Kiwi Park Data

A new requirement for 2017 is to upload “Kiwi Park Data” which contains the audited figures in a format used by the Ministry to consolidate all schools’ data.

For Schools where TSO prepare the Financial Statements, we will provide this document for uploading on completion of the audit.

For those inputting into the MOE Kiwi Park Model it is the last tab on the template. Please refer to the instructions in the Kiwi Park Template.


If you wish The School Office to Upload the Financial Statements and the Data document, please provide us ( with the login details for the School Portal.

Please contact us should you have any queries.

Bank Batch Payments

We are aware some clients are having issues exporting Payments Batch File to their Bank. We think is due to Bank upgrades to increase security.

Read our solutions:

  • The issue seems to be overcome when the Contact (Suppliers) Account Name is entered in the bank account name field.

Contacts – Edit – scroll to Financial Details


The Contact name can be copied from the Contacts name field – however please ensure that there are no characters such as “&” “/” “:” “?” or similar in the Bank Name field.

There is a of 50 characters for this field so shorten the contact name if required (perhaps take off the last few words).

  • Other problems also arise if the bank reference, code, or particular fields have too many characters. The Code and Reference fields are limited to 12 characters each.

Publishing your annual report online

Your board is required to make the school’s annual report available to the public on an internet site maintained by or on behalf of the board (see the update to the Education Act 1989).

Making annual reports available on an internet site ensures that parents and the wider community can access information about what your school has achieved and how your board has managed school finances in the previous school year.
If the Annual Report for 2016 is not published as above, the Board may receive an audit management point. Subsequent Annual Reports not published will be a breach of legislation.


Please ensure your annual report does not contain any information that may breach an individual’s privacy before you make it publicly available.
Publishing on a School Website is not the same action as submitting the audited Annual Report to the Ministry of Education via the school’s portal.

If you have any questions or would like advice about publishing your annual report, please contact The School Office.

Xero Issue with GST on Accounts Receivable / Accounts Payable Prepayments

There is currently an issue that when a user runs a GST Reconciliation report on a Cash (Payments) Basis. The GST portion of Accounts Receivable / Accounts Payable Prepayments is reducing the GST in the AR or AP balances, and then causes the report to not balance.

To identify which prepayments are causing this issue run the Payable/Receivable Invoice Summary report for the 1st Jan 2017 to the end of the GST Period and:

  1. Include Prepayments
  2. Layout: Group by ‘Source’
  3. Select the GST column
  4. Filter by Status and select only Approved

The Prepayment group will then show the Prepayments that are causing the difference.

Note: TSO does not believe this will affect many school clients. ALWAYS reconcile the GST Return to the GST Reconciliation Report. Please contact us should you require assistance or a copy of the reconciliation instructions.