Detailed guidance for academy trusts and auditors on preparing and auditing academy trusts' annual financial statements.
The Academies Accounts Direction is the reference pack for academy trusts and their auditors to use when preparing and auditing financial statements for the accounting period ending on 31 August annually.
To produce the Accounts Direction, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) takes the requirements set out by the Charity Commission in its Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) and translates them into a form applicable to academy trusts.
The Accounts Direction outlines the requirements for each academy trust to:
- prepare an annual report and financial statements to 31 August
- have these accounts audited annually by independent registered auditors
- produce a statement of regularity, propriety and compliance and obtain a regularity assurance report on this statement from the auditor
- submit the audited accounts and auditor’s regularity assurance report to ESFA within 4 months of its year end, usually by 31 December
- file the accounts with the Companies Registrar as required under the Companies Act 2006
- publish the audited accounts on the trust’s website by 31 January
The Accounts Direction explains the elements you must include in your academy trust’s annual report and financial statements and the accounting treatments required. It also provides a model format for the report and the financial statements and ensures consistency of treatment between academy trusts.
Academies Accounts Direction 2017 to 2018
All academy trusts must use the Academies Accounts Direction when preparing their financial statements for the period ending 31 August 2018.
You should refer to the 2017 version of the Academies Financial Handbook.
Submit your 2017 to 2018 financial statements
Academy trusts must submit to ESFA audited accounts for the period ending 31 August each year by 31 December, using the Academies Accounts Direction as a reference pack.
Please use this link for the accounts submission coversheet online form. The deadline for submission is 31 December 2018.
Please use the guide to submitting academy trust financial statements 2017 to 2018:
This year, we have reduced the data collected in the coversheet to eliminate duplication with other returns. We have also added some questions to help us understand trusts’ approach to internal control, internal scrutiny and curriculum financial planning. We have retained questions around school resource management.
You must upload your audited financial statements and auditor’s management letter within the accounts submission coversheet. You no longer need to access ESFA’s Document Exchange to submit these documents.
Additionally, you must publish your accounts on your academy trust’s website as soon as possible after approval by the trustees, but by no later than 31 January each year.
You must also file these accounts with Companies House within 9 months of the end of the accounting period. For most trusts, this will be 31 May.
Guidance video for academy financial statements
Academies Accounts Direction 2016 to 2017
Theexplained to academy trusts how to prepare and submit their financial statements for the period ending 31 August 2017.
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