Information for academy trusts to complete their accounts return.
Academies accounts return 2019/20
The academies accounts return (AR) 2019/20 is now available to trusts in read only format, trusts may also view their AR for 2018/19. The online form for the 2020/21 accounts return will be available from 4 November 2021 and the deadline for submission is 25 January 2022,
New academy trusts
New trusts that open their first academies at any point during the period from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021 will be expected to complete an AR for the financial year 2020/21.
New trusts need to register for an IDAMS account to ensure they can access the accounts return online live form later in the year.
Closed trust and academies transfers
Academy trusts that ceased operating or whose academies all transferred to a new trust between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021, must submit a final AR. We will contact these trusts directly.
1st September 2020 transfers
For trusts that ceased operating on 31 August 2020 and all academies transferred to another trust on 1 September 2020, we must be able to identify the transferring balances to the receiving academy trust. This requires the closing trust to complete a 1-day stand-alone AR for 1 September 2020, as if the trust were operational on that day. This 1-day AR should be submitted via the AR return Excel workbook by 1 January 2021.
In-year closures 2020/21
Trust that cease to be operational at any other time in the year must also complete a closing AR. Again, this should be prepared using the AR Excel workbook until such time that the AR online form is available in the Autumn. From that point on, all returns must be submitted online.
Your auditors must sign off the closing AR and it must reflect all of the transferring/closing balance of the trust. This can be completed whilst preparing the final financial statements for the trust.
Detailed guidance for academy trusts and auditors on preparing and auditing academy trusts’ annual financial statements can be found on the Academies Accounts Direction GOV.UK page.
AR Excel workbook
The Excel workbook, for accounting year 2019/20, is available to help users prepare their AR, it can also be used for closed and transferred trusts to complete their accounts return.
The pension guidance will help users complete the pension sections within the AR.
For illustration purposes only, we have mapped the four actuarial reports of AON, Barnett Waddingham, Hymans Robertson and Mercer to the AR online form using the form’s referencing. These example reports have been annotated by the AR team to show the translation to your final pension actuarial statement. This should help you complete the pension information tables which can be found within the balance sheet funds and disclosure section of the AR.
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