Guidance

Academies Accounts Direction

Detailed guidance for academy trusts and auditors on preparing and auditing academy trusts' annual financial statements.

Overview

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

Academies Accounts Direction 2017 to 2018

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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.

We will update this section with the procedure details to submit your academy trust financial statements later in the year.

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.

Training video

Guidance video for academy financial statements

Guidance video for academy financial statements

Academies Accounts Direction 2016 to 2017

The Academies Accounts Direction 2016 to 2017 (PDF, 2.49MB, 158 pages) explained to academy trusts how to prepare and submit their financial statements for the period ending 31 August 2017.

ESFA enquiries

For all enquiries for the Education and Skills Funding Agency

Published 12 June 2015
Last updated 6 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has published the Academies Accounts Direction 2017 to 2018. This is the reference pack for academy trusts preparing and submitting financial statements to EFA for the year ending 31 August 2018.
  2. Updated the page to include a guidance video for preparing academy trust financial statements.
  3. Updated with information about additional questions in the accounts submission coversheet online form about financial planning, monitoring, support and challenge.
  4. Page updated with information about how academy trusts submit their 2016 to 2017 financial statements.
  5. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has published the Academies Accounts Direction 2016 to 2017. This is the reference pack for academy trusts preparing and submitting financial statements to EFA for the year ending 31 August 2017.
  6. EFA has updated this page to replace the links to video guides, which can now be watched on this page.
  7. Updated with link to the online submission cover sheet and guide to submitting your accounts.
  8. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has published the 2015 to 2016 update to the Academies Accounts Direction. This is the reference pack for academy trusts preparing and submitting financial statements to EFA for the year ending 31 August 2016.
  9. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has updated the guide to submitting academy trusts' audited accounts with additional information to help trusts upload their documents to the Document Exchange. There are no other changes to the page.
  10. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has published a guide for academy trusts to help them submit their accounts for the year ending 31 August 2015 to EFA by the deadline of 31 December 2015. Trusts will also need to complete a short online cover form.
  11. The Education Funding Agency has published additional resources for trusts using the Academies Accounts Direction 2014 to 2015 (SORP 2015).
  12. First published.