Services for independent schools

We’re experts in delivering support and advice to independent schools, with a number of clients throughout Scotland. We understand the unique challenges that these schools face, and support them so that they can continue their missions to educate the next generation.

Four schoolchildren walking across an adventure playground

Tailored support to suit your school

Consultancy and one-off advice: our expert team will advise on your one-off projects, such as the VAT position of new capital projects, capital planning and sources of funding, and scenario planning and forecasting to help you prepare for future challenges.

Long-term accountancy support: we process fees and payments for a number of independent schools, and are also able to offer long-term outsourcing of payroll and pension schemes administration services. We also operate as an outsourced finance department, producing termly accounts and reports.

Internal and external audit: our Audit department works with a number of schools; we also have a dedicated internal audit team who provide risk advisory, systems testing, special investigations and governance training.

‘I was privileged to have a Managing or Senior Partner of Chiene + Tait as Finance Director during my time at St George’s School for Girls, and learned so much when I was in post. Their constant advice enabled me not simply to make the right operational decisions, but also to put in place strategic development plans that really worked: a ten-year Campus Development Plan, for instance, completed on time and on budget; strategic plans which transformed the curriculum and allowed the school to face the inevitable problems along the way: such as the financial crisis of 2007-2008.’

Judith McClure CBE – Former Headteacher, St George’s School for Girls

Because we tailor support to each client, no two of our projects are exactly the same. Get in touch with us and see how we can help with your question.

To get you started, here’s a flavour of some of the things we’ve recently done for schools.

Fees: payments and processing
We help one school by providing a complete outsourced finance function. We take and process fees, respond to parent queries, and manage the accounts – including reporting to governors.

Clarifying the taxes on a capital project
We provided guidance, advice and administrative services for a school constructing new buildings on their land. We advised on what tax and VAT rates were applicable, what they meant for the building’s uses, helped to complete paperwork, and other key points that affected the project’s affordability.

Governance support
We train and advise governors on their key statutory duties and how to comply with regulations.

Be the bursar
Chiene + Tait representatives act as bursar for certain schools.

Charities guidance
Our specialist Charities Group advise independent schools on regulations, reserves, requirements, best practice and new sector updates.

Anything else on schools?
Please contact us if you have a question, and we’d be happy to help.

Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust

“I am very happy to endorse Chiene + Tait. We have received invaluable advice from them regarding VAT issues. They have been very thorough and efficient throughout and have acted on our behalf in dealing with HMRC. They identified major savings on the VAT on the capital cost which has enabled our project to move forward.”

Neil Sutherland, MD, Makar

“We were introduced to Chiene & Tait in relation to an R&D tax credit application to HMRC and to say were were delighted with the outcome is an understatement. The specialist service provided made all the difference for a very successful claim and subsequent financial payout. Since this initial experience we have not hesitated in working with Chiene & Tait in subsequent years with continued success. I would reconvened their services to any progressive organisations engaged in R&D activities.”

Martin Nadin, Chief Executive, Scottish Veterans Residences

“They are well-informed about the charity and third sector. Their performance has been seamless, runs on rails, and their size allows them to provide us with a personalised service.”

Chris Wright, Founder, deltaDNA

“We have especially liked Chiene + Tait’s approach: they have always taken a long-term view, working with us to make sure we correctly allocate R&D and show to HMRC the reason each project is valuable research. This has allowed us to successfully secure the tax credits with the minimum of fuss and the confidence each year to invest. I cannot rate Chiene + Tate highly enough. Having worked with other firms during the years on R&D Tax Credits, Chiene + Tait are by far the most professional, easiest to work with and ultimately the best at maximising the value back to the company.”

Tabatha McCree-Cox, Tarbraxus Distillers

“Chiene + Tait offered that expertise which is really important. They have a very friendly team. For example, Kerry on the VAT side has been really good, very detailed: she sets out the information very clearly along with what needs to be done. They are so much better than the previous firm we used.”

Richard Cooper, CEO, Novosound

“Novosound chose to engage with Chiene + Tait for specific tax advice prior to commencing its spin out. We chose C+T due to their deep knowledge of tax treatment with respect to share issues at company formation. This knowledge was exceedingly useful before and during the spin out process. The firm was easy to deal with and when a particular issue arose at the 11th hour, they dropped everything and developed a practical solution that suited all parties. All together C+T are a great firm to work with.”

Bruce Weir, Director, CW Properties

“Chiene + Tait have been excellent to deal with over the last ten years, with clear robust advice on all aspects of our company work. They really do think through solutions to provide best advice at all times.”

Gillian Brown

“They are efficient and I’ve found the people to be easy to work with. They are very transparent in their approach, and always very quick and professional in their responses. I do regard them as a trusted adviser.”

Karen Stark, Head of Finance, Care Visions Group

“Chiene + Tait have provided Care Visions with a professional service from the start: the set-up and parallel runs gave me so much confidence in the decision to outsource. The team at Chiene + Tait are always professional, extremely helpful and reliable.”

Enable Scotland

“As an organisation, we have had a hugely positive experience working with Chiene + Tait. The firm is easy to work with, flexible and promotes a real sense of confidence in their work and advice.”

Barry McCorkell, Director, Aubrey Capital Management

“I had no hesitation in asking for advice from the Chiene + Tait team when HMRC selected us for an Employer Compliance Review. Having longstanding trusted advisers at our side made it a lot easier and a lot less stressful! HMRC’s recommendations were quick to be addressed and adopted so the review, which could have been a challenging and unnerving experience, was instead professional and efficient. I would have no hesitation in recommending the C+T team to anyone in the future.”

Neil Wilkie, COO, Mironid

“We have been delighted to work with Chiene + Tait on our R&D tax credit claim over the past few years. The guidance and professionalism of the C+T team has resulted in a smooth submission process with a concomitant successful outcome. I’d highly recommend their services.”

Keith Thompson, Head of HR, Hampden & Co

“Chiene + Tait are responsive and helpful, and I thoroughly enjoy working with them. They are clear about up-front costs, and I find they provide a good service and value for money.”

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