Information trusts to complete their accounts return.
2017 to 2018 accounts return
All academy trusts that are preparing their financial statements for the year end of 31 August 2018 are also required to complete the accounts return. We’ve updated the accounts return guidance documentation ahead of the go-live date in October to help you prepare for your return. This includes the guide for completing the form and an extra document explaining the pension requirements. We’ll publish the accompanying excel workbook later in September 2018. Please note that trusts must complete the online form to submit their accounts return.
We have also published a document that outlines the key differences between the financial statements and the accounts return for the year 2017 to 2018. This highlights new information that trusts are required to report on as well as listing historical differences between the financial statements and the accounts return. Trusts can use this when preparing financial statements to plan ahead for the accounts return.
Accessing the accounts return online form
Please note that the online form is now closed. It will reopen in October 2018 for completion of 2017 to 2018 accounts return – the deadline for submission by your auditors is the 21 January 2019
Closed and transferred trusts
Academy trusts that close or transfer to a new trust between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 should submit a final accounts return using the.
Excel returns will only be accepted when the form isn’t live. Your auditors must sign off your return and it must reflect transferring/closing balance of the trust. This can be completed whilst preparing the final financial statements for the trust. If your trust is due to close or transfer please contact us via the enquiry form and we will provide further details.
Why do we collect the accounts return from academy trusts?
ESFA requires all academy trusts preparing financial statements as at 31 August each year and/or with open academies at 31 August in that year to submit an accounts return for the same year.
DfE uses the information provided in the accounts return to prepare the academies consolidated annual report and accounts, which consolidates the accounts of more than 3,000 individual academy trusts to reflect the financial performance of the whole academy sector. It is prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (as amended for the public sector context) described in HMT’s financial reporting manual (FReM).
We ask academy trusts complete the accounts return because DfE requires full accounting information. Individual trust financial statements do not provide the necessary information consistently and in accordance with the FReM to enable DfE to prepare the SARA.
You can read the academies consolidated annual report and accounts: 2015 to 2016.
We’ve also produced an accounts return introductory video where the ESFA explains more about this academy return. Accounts return introductory video
How to contact us if you have queries
This year we are holding a series of weekly skype calls for accounts return form users. These will run from November through to January. We welcome all accounts return related questions and will try and help users then and there.
Details of how to join these calls will be posted here in October 2018.
If you have any questions about the accounts return, please contact us using our enquiry form.