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Reminder: New Academies Financial Handbook 2018 - 7 Things You Need to Be Aware of

on Monday, 22 October 2018.

The new Academies Financial Handbook came into effect on 1 September 2018. How is it affecting academies?

New Obligations for Academies

  • Financial Oversight
    The board and its committees should meet regularly enough to ensure they discharge this duty. If not, the board should explain how they maintain financial oversight in its governance statement.

  • Budget Forecasting
    The Trust must submit a budget forecast return outturn and a three-year budget forecast return each academy financial year.

  • Budget Management
    There are new provisions around ensuring rigour and scrutiny in budget management that the board and committees should be aware of.

  • Procurement
    The Trust should be aware of the national deals available to schools and the Department for Education's guidance on how to plan and run an efficient procurement process.

  • Executive Pay
    New procedures must be followed regarding making decisions about executive pay.

  • Internal Audit Processes
    There are a number of options available for the Trust to determine its programme of risk review and checking of controls which the Trust must choose from and explain its decision.

  • Related Party Transactions
    The Trust must report all related party transactions entered into on or after 1 April 2019 to the ESFA. They must obtain the ESFA's consent for transactions over the value of £20,000 or which would take the total value of such contracts beyond £20,000 in the same academy financial year and all related party transactions thereafter.

In addition, there are a number of changes to the Handbook which simply emphasise the existing position or clarify wording.

The Handbook continues to helpfully list all of the 'musts' in Annex C and it also still refers to those matters of minimum good practice which it refers to as the 'shoulds'.

Are you looking for more detailed information about these new obligations as well as existing obligations within the Handbook? Visit Academies OnStream and download our free compliance checklist.

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