Guidance

Academies chart of accounts and automating the accounts return

Financial data structure and guide for automating academy trust financial returns.

Documents

Academies chart of accounts

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Details

Introduction to the chart of accounts

The academies chart of accounts (CoA) is the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) standard for financial data that underpins the academies accounts return and budget forecast returns.

For more information, please view the introductory video below.

Chart of accounts introduction

Introduction to automation

Using the academies CoA, the department has developed automation technology to help reduce the burden of submitting your financial information. This technology enables you to electronically submit your trial balance data directly from your financial management software (FMS) to the department, where it will then be used to pre-populate up to 80% of your accounts return (AR).

For more information on how automation can help in the completion of the academies accounts return and what steps you need to take to use automation, please view the video below.

Automating your Academies Accounts Return

This page includes:

  • a guide for automating the academies accounts return 2019/20
  • a guide for academy trusts about adopting the academies chart of accounts, which includes a summary of updates since the previous version was launched in May 2019
  • a spreadsheet with the academies chart of accounts, please refer to the ‘information’ worksheet to find out more about the structure of the chart of accounts

Further enquiries

Chart of accounts enquiries

If you have further questions about the chart of accounts, please contact the DfE using the online enquiry form. Please put “Academies chart of accounts” at the top of your enquiry.

Automation enquiries

If you have further questions about automation, please contact us using the online enquiry form. Please put “Automation/API” at the top of your enquiry.

Published 14 May 2019
Last updated 27 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. We have updated this page adding a new information video about automating the academies accounts return.

  2. Sections 3.4 and 3.5 of the chart of accounts guidance has been expanded to include new guidance to help trusts with specific issues raised.

  3. We have updated this page to add the guide to automation for academies accounts return for 2019/20.

  4. We have updated the academies chart of accounts for the academic year 2020/21.

  5. First published.