Christmas is only a week away, which means your Christmas holiday is getting closer and closer. It also means that your accounts submission deadlines are drawing closer.
Last month we posted some information and advice about the Accounts and Audit Management Report Submission that academies, trusts, and free schools must action before 31st December 2017.
Now we would like to talk about the Academy Accounts Return and ensure you’re aware that the deadline has been moved forward to the 19 January 2018.
Who Must Report
Any academy trusts with academies open on 31st August 2017 must complete this return. This includes:
- Sponsored academies
- Academy converters
- Free schools
- University technical colleges
- Special academy schools
- Alternative provision academies
- Studio schools
IMPORTANT NOTE: Continuing from last year’s change new trusts incorporated on or after 1 March will not be able to defer submission of the annual return to match their first set of financial statements.
This change has been made to make sure that the academies Sector Annual Report & Accounts (SARA) reports to parliament on all academies through the reporting year.
Why the DfE Need the Report
The information provided by each trust will allow the DfE to prepare the SARA for the last academic year up to 31 August 2017. SARA helps reflect the financial performance of the whole academy sector by consolidating over 3,000 individual academy trust results.
The DfE asks academy trusts to complete the return so that they can receive full accounting information as individual trust financial statements do not provide the consistent information needed in accordance with the financial reporting manual (FReM) to enable the DfE to prepare the SARA.
This Year’s Changes
In response to feedback regarding this return, the DfE have added two new sections to gain more information about funded projects and land and buildings assets.
- In order to capture how trusts have accounted for projects funded by the ESFA as part of the Free School programme or Priority School Building Programme, the Assets Under Construction section has been added. In previous years this data has been collected after the Accounts Return, but to reduce follow-up enquires to trusts the two collections have been merged.
- To provide a breakdown of all the land and building assets for each trust and academy, the Land and Building section has been provided. This section has been added to link to the Land and Building Collection Tool which will help address consolidation issues on valuations.
If you would like support to submit your return, please contact us by clicking the link below.