Auditing public schools' financial records: A study of financial management from the eyes of relevant stakeholders




Auditing, financial reports, public schools, school financial management, stakeholders


The demand for proper financial management in schools is dictated by the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, Section 43(1), according to which public schools must retain a suitably qualified accountant registered in terms of the Public Accountants and Auditors Act, 1991 (Act No.80 of 1991), to audit the school's financial records and statements. This study investigated the schools' financial management stakeholders' experiences of the auditing of public schools' financial records. A qualitative approach was applied in the study. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from three purposefully selected secondary schools in which principals, chairpersons of the finance committees and finance officers were involved. A case study design was applied. Thematic data analysis was used to analyse the collected data. All the participants demonstrated limited knowledge and understanding of the processes and procedures of auditing financial records, including an inability to interpret the audited financial reports. However, the participants revealed the benefits of audited financial reports, such as trust from parents in how school finances are managed. Furthermore, the audited financial reports enable schools to seek and apply for additional funding from businesses and other organisations, and to be allocated funds from the Department of Basic Education (DBE). This study recommends that the Department of Education should provide stakeholders in financial management with adequate support and training in auditing processes and procedures and interpretation of financial auditing reports.


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How to Cite

Sebidi, S. D. ., Aina, A. Y., & Kgwete, E. M. . . (2023). Auditing public schools’ financial records: A study of financial management from the eyes of relevant stakeholders. Perspectives in Education, 41(4).



Research articles