Residual Agent for school closure task list

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 The following tasks support the transition of the school from being fully operational as a school, to being ready for closure.


To work with the Ministry, the Board of Trustees, and the Change Manager to implement the Minister’s decision to close the school.

If the Residual Agent has any financial queries they should be directed to the Ministry’s Regional Financial Advisor.

Upon Appointment 




  • Meet with Specialist Senior Advisor, Senior Financial Advisor, and Change Manager to discuss roles and responsibilities, timelines, reporting requirements, etc.
  • Meet with the Principal/Board to identify concerns and issues, particularly addressing the importance of probity:

–      proper stewardship of school funds, no matter what the source

–      examples of types of inappropriate / excessive expenditures that will be monitored (e.g. gifts to staff, class trips that are not usually offered etc).

  • The Residual Agent has the right (and duty) to advise the Board where expenditure could be seen as inappropriate or a misuse of funds.  If the Residual Agent has a concern they should contact the Ministry’s Financial Adviser.
  • With the support of the Board, the Residual Agent and Board Chair can become the only signatories to the school account.  This will ensure that the school’s remaining funds are appropriately spent up to the date of closure.
Before Closure Planning

  • Obtain a copy of the EDI Memorandum of Agreement as soon as it is negotiated.
  • Begin redirecting mail to Residual Agent, if appropriate.
  • Change all bank account signatories with effect from date of appointment.



  • Ensure all financial records are current.
  • Review all financial commitments (e.g. painting contracts and leases).
  • Place an advertisement in local newspapers to inform school suppliers of:

–      the closure date and that any orders placed after date of closure will not be honoured by the Board

–      the contact details of Residual Agent and

–      a final date for receipt of outstanding invoices.


  • Request school administrators to contact the Ministry of Education’s Education Service Payroll Unit to receive access to payroll information relevant to the employees of the school.
  • Contact the school’s financial service provider to ensure access to all relevant financial information.
  • Respond to all mail received notifying writer of school closure, contact person and final date of receipt for outstanding invoices.
  • Liaise with appropriate Ministry departments to ensure all payroll activity for the school is ceased upon closure of the school.[1]


Property / Assets

  • Work with Change Manager to ensure that the school’s asset register is up to date (including any school monuments, time capsules, plaques etc). This may include reconciling the asset register with the physical asset (stock take) and obtain sign off by the Board chair / principal of the register.


  • Work with Change Manager to ensure:

–        final utility readings are scheduled and reported and paid

–        funds are available for payment of future mowing / gardening / maintenance / security contracts until day of closure, as required.



  • Provide monthly financial status reports to the Regional Financial Advisor.
  • Complete a schedule of assets and liabilities at the time of appointment.
  • Complete a bank reconciliation and a cash forecast.


Financial Statements

  • Work with the Board to prepare an interim set of financial statements as at the expected date of closure including:

–      budget to closure date

–      redundancy costs for not teaching staff

–      cost of residual agent

–      end of school function costs.

  • If the financial position at closure date is estimated to be a negative cash position, inform the Ministry’s Regional Financial Advisor and Senior Advisor.


  • Inform the approved Auditor appointed by the Auditor-General of the name and contact details of the person/agency preparing the final accounts, and of the agreed timetable for completion of final accounts.

–      Consult with the Regional Financial Advisor if an extended financial year is required.


Day of Closure
  • Ensure all outstanding order books, cheque books and financial records are collected.


Post-Closure Payments / Deposits / Filings

  • Receive (and pay) accounts from all final creditors and debtors, including any debt to the Crown.


  • File all final returns or applicable revenues (e.g. PAYE, GST, and FBT) with Inland Revenue.


  • Complete and file a business cessation form.


  • Return all unused cheque books to the bank and close all bank accounts.



  • Prepare a set of financial statements ready for audit on a liquidation basis including a liquidation statement.


–      The final financial statement must be with the auditor no later than three months after the closure date.


  • Arrange for the final audit by the approved Auditor appointed by the Auditor-General and monitor to achieve timely completion.


  • Sign the statement of responsibility that goes with the final audited accounts.


  • Provide the Regional Financial Adviser with an electronic PDF set of the audited financial statements.


Surplus / Asset Distribution

  • If, after receiving all accounts, the estimated final financial position remains positive arrange a distribution of fixed assets as required by the Memorandum of Agreement.
  • If the position is negative arrange for the sale of such assets to ensure the position is positive and arrange distribution of the balance of fixed assets.  If the position remains negative after the sale of all assets there will be no distribution of any cash balances held.
  • Return any surplus cash in the schools’ accounts to the Crown or distribute it as detailed in the EDI MOA. Discuss this with the Senior Adviser if there is any confusion.







  • Collate documentation to be passed to the Ministry to archive on completion of the audit.

–      current financial year’s invoices, receipts

–      bank statements / cheque butts

–      minutes from Board meetings and finance committees

–      any other supporting documents of financial management.


[1] There may be situations where it is necessary for the school to be kept open on the payroll system (past the date of closure).  This is sometimes the case if it is closed within 3 months of the Minister’s decision to do so. This allows the principal’s pay to be continued during their notice period (which can be up to 3 months).  The Senior Adviser will advise if this is the situation and National Office staff will inform payroll services that in this case the school payroll services need to stay open.

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