Academies Financial Handbook

A handbook issued by EFA, setting out the financial management, control and reporting requirements with which academy trusts must comply.


This handbook, issued by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), applies to all academy trusts and free schools. It is for anyone with a financial management or governance role, including:

  • members
  • trustees
  • accounting officers
  • chief financial officers
  • auditors

Developed with the academies finance and assurance steering group and its working groups of academy staff, the handbook:

  • sets out the responsibilities and requirements relating to academy trusts’ financial governance and management
  • describes a financial framework for academy trusts that reflects their accountability to Parliament and the public
  • explains the circumstances in which trusts must seek EFA prior consent before making a financial transaction

The 2014 handbook comes into effect on 1 September 2014. Academy trusts producing financial statements as at 31 August 2014 should refer to the 2013 edition of the handbook, which you can also find on this page.

The changes in the 2014 edition are summarised on pages 5 to 8.

You can now access an online video on the 2014 handbook.

EFA academy questions

For all academies and free schools with queries for the Education Funding Agency