How to choose a financial advisor for your school

There are many things to consider when choosing a financial advisor for your school, and it can be hard to know where to start, but following this advice should give you a helping hand to start the process

Although SBLs are jacks of all trades, it is hard to be a master in each area when you have to spread yourself across so many tasks. Bringing in an expert can give you the extra know-how you need and can even just free up some of your time when you are under-pressure in other areas. Financial advisors can be helpful for schools as they can help balance finances in times when the budget is tightest, or can help find alternative revenue streams. 
To help you to find a financial adviser, the government has compiled a list of companies that can provide financial advice to schools. It only includes suppliers who have added themselves to the document, so it is not an exhaustive list, and you may want to find your own supplier through your own research. The services of those on the list have also not been checked by the Department for Education (DfE), so being on the list is not an endorsement or recommendation. The DfE recommends emailing [email protected] if you think a supplier should be removed from the list.
The DfE recommends that, before approaching a supplier, you should decide how you’ll asses them and what factors are most important to you. Some of the things to think about include:

  • cost;
  • quality of service;
  • timescales;
  • supplier experience; 
  • supplier qualifications.

In order to make sure you’re getting the most suitable financial adviser for your needs, you should include at least three suppliers in your search in order to create a competitive process. Once you choose your suppliers you should send them:

  • your requirements;
  • the assessment criteria;
  • a response date.

When choosing a supplier, it is recommended that you find out:

  • what other schools or trusts they’ve worked with;
  • who in their team will deliver the service(s);
  • the skills, knowledge and experience of the team;
  • how well they understand the challenges schools face;
  • how well they understand your circumstances;
  • how long, and what form, the review will take;
  • how much they charge;
  • what information you’ll need to provide them;
  • how they’ll provide the results of the review;
  • whether follow-up support is included, and what this will look like.

By following this advice you should be well-prepared to start searching for, and subsequently appointing, a financial advisor. 

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