The financial reporting requirements of Academies differ from those of schools. If you are in charge of financial reporting for an Academy Trust, here is a helpful reminder, of the key dates for the year ahead.
31st January 2018 – The Academies Financial Handbook requires Academy Trusts to publish the 31st August 2017 statutory accounts on their website. Hopefully, as this deadline has already passed, this has been done! But if it hasn’t, make it a priority.
Whilst not mandatory it is good practice for Multi-Academy Trusts to also make the Trust accounts available on the website of the individual Academies within the Trust.
31st May 2018 – The filing deadline by which the Statutory accounts must be filed with Companies House to avoid financial penalty. An exception to this may be if 31st August 2017 was the Academy Trust’s first year end in which case the deadline may be sooner.
Teachers’ Pensions End Of Year Certificate
The End of Year Certificate (“EOYC”) covers the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (“TPS”) contributions and payments for the year to 31st March 2018 and requires a Reporting Accountants’ Independent ‘Reasonable Assurance’ Report.
Academy Trusts may wish to check the following in advance of 31st March 2018 to ensure the external scrutiny of this return runs smoothly:
- Check that there is appropriate evidence in respect of Teachers who have opted out of the scheme (you can check their status using the Teachers’ Pension Employer Portal);
- Spot check member contributions into the TPS and ensure they are all in the correct contribution tier;
- Ensure details of any elections by Teachers to make additional contributions are recorded accurately, again using the Teachers’ Pension Employer Portal.
Based upon experience in previous years the EOYC will need to be submitted to TPS via the Employer Portal by 31st May 2018 (regardless of whether the Reporting Accountant has reviewed the return or not).
The EOYC must be made available to the Reporting Accountant by the last working day in June 2018.
The EOYC, along with the Reporting Accountants’ Report must be submitted by post by 28th September 2018.
Budget Forecast Returns
Academy Trusts are required to complete two Budget Forecast Returns (“BFR”) and submit to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (“EFSA”) by the following dates:
21st May 2018 – The first is the Budget Forecast Return; Outturn (“BFRO”), covering the year to 31st August 2018.
Based upon returns in previous years, the BFRO will require actual income and expenditure details (‘the actuals’) for the seven months to 31st March 2018 and forecast figures from 1st April 2018 to 31st August 2018.
Academy Trusts should ensure depreciation, accruals, prepayments, deferred income and accrued income are all recorded accurately at the March month end. This will ensure accurate figures for the period to March 2018.
30th July 2018 – The second BFR, covering the year to 31st August 2019, requires forecast figures from 1st September 2018 to 31st August 2019.
General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)
GDPR is one of the biggest updates to data protection in over 20 years. It strengthens the legislation to protect the information that organisations hold about EU citizens.
GDPR comes into effect from 25th May 2018 and will undoubtedly have an impact on the way that all organisations collect, process and handle personal data. Academy Trusts must make themselves aware of the changes and how the new regulations affect them.
We have further information on GDPR in our recent article on this topic
Land and Buildings Collection Tool (“LBCT”)
The LBCT needs to be completed to provide land and buildings details for each Academy within an Academy Trust. The submission date for the LBCT is 5th November 2018. Guidance notes from the ESFA yet to be released.
We hope that this timely reminder is useful. If you would like to discuss how this impacts your Academy or how Baxter & Co can help you meet your requirements, please contact David, Paul or Scott on 01689 877081, or email .