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The new academies chart of accounts: what you need to know

Date published: Date modified: 2024-06-24

The New Academies Chart of Accounts (ACoA) automation technology allows you to submit your trial balance data directly from your financial management software to the Accounts Return form. The aim is to save you time and reduce any errors involved in completing your Accounts Return.  

Due to the introduction of the DfE’s ACoA, all schools and academies can now use the same nominal codes and reporting categories, which previously differed depending on Financial Management Software supplier.  

Here are some important aspects you need to know:

  • Your Financial Management Software must support this feature 
  • Work with your Financial Management Software provider to get your data into the ACoA – you can work with a company such as SAAF, who have a dedicated team available to provide guidance and support with this tool  
  • The indicator on the system allows you to see which fields came from your Financial Management Software – you can modify these items if you need to 
  • Use the mapping report to view how your data has been mapped before 
  • Allocate someone in your trust to the Data Transfer Approver role in IDAMs 

You can submit your data to the form in three steps: 

Step 1: Send data from your application 

Step 2: Log in using your IDAMS username 

Step 3: Upload to auto-populate the fields in the form 

You can complete the above steps as many times as you wish. 

Visit this website to see a short tutorial and find the DfE’s quick start guide to automating your academies accounts return. 

If you have any queries, you can contact the DfE directly via their online form referencing the Academies Chart of Accounts.

SAAF Education understands that the New Academies Chart of Accounts is a tool that may require additional support and guidance, and as a leading provider of Financial Support and Consultancywe can provide knowledgeable and dedicated advice.  

We can provide the following support: 

  • We can guide you with implementing a streamlined version of the new Chart of Accounts that will work best in your academy or trust. We have a SAAF standard ACoA which provides additional analysis compared to the DfE standard 
  • We can work alongside you to best utilise and work with the new Chart of Accounts 
  • We can provide guidance and support to schools and academies who are looking to or have already adopted, the new Chart of Accounts 
  • We can provide guidance and support in creating new Codes 
  • We can map schools and academies existing Chart of Accounts to the new DfE Chart of Accounts to assist with Reporting and Analysis.  
  • For IRIS Financials clients, we can carry out a full migration of your current and historical data 

We're hosting two free workshops on the Academies Chart of Accounts on 18 May and 24 June which covers the structure of accounts, difference in coding and the benefits of moving across. You can book your place at either of these events by following the link below. Please note that the workshops are for school, academy and MAT staff only, and any bookings made under a non-school email address may be cancelled and requested to re-book. 

Book your place on our workshop

Get in touch with us

By SAAF Education
SAAF Education 340 110

13 May 2021


Education Support
Academy Support

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