Academies: Latest changes to the Accounts Direction

The ESFA have released the Accounts Direction for the Accounting Period ended 31 August 2019 for Academies. (The full document is available through the ESFA website.  

Read on to find out about the latest changes and how they affect your statutory accounts. 

Disclosure Amendments
  • The requirement to disclose payment dates of non-statutory/non-contractual severance payments has been removed.   The exact individual value of all such payments must still be disclosed.
  • The table combining the fund movement of the current and comparative year is no longer required. (Individual tables for each year must still be disclosed).
  • The categories of tangible fixed assets have been amended to include:
    •  freehold land and buildings
    • leasehold land and buildings
    • leasehold improvements
    • assets under construction
    • furniture and equipment
    • plant and machinery
    • computer equipment
    • motor vehicles
      (any unused category can be omitted).
  • There is new requirement to disclose the comparative position for agency arrangements and events after the reporting period. An updated comparative position should be disclosed for contingent liabilities.
  • Updating the TPS revised employer contribution rates payable from 1 September 2019 to 16.48%.
  • Amending accounting policies to consider separately the useful life (and hence depreciation rates) for each individual component of an asset.
  • Confirmation of compliance with the new ESFA Related Parties requirement (to report all related party transactions and obtain approval where appropriate) should be specifically disclosed in the Related Parties Note.
  • The statements required to be reported on  under the “other” heading in the Auditors Report are named as:
    • Reference and Administrative Details
    • Report of the Directors
    • Strategic Report
    • Governance Statement.
Accounting Variations
  • Clarification that income from subsidiary trading companies is only to be accrued where there is a legal obligation to make payment.
  • Where an academy trust wishes to recognise the use of premises given rent free for a named notice period, the following should be included:
    • A debtor reflecting the notional donation
    • A corresponding and equal creditor reflecting the future rent expense.
Administration Changes
  • A copy of the annual report and financial statements is required to be sent to every trustee and every person who is entitled to receive notice of general meetings.
Audit Work
  • Additional areas identified for the auditor to consider regarding governance when testing and reporting on regularity.
Clarifications
  • Clarification that the Parliament guarantee regarding the LGPS Liability in the Pensions Note should refer to academy trusts (not individual academies).
  • Confirmation on which grants constitute grants received for capital purposes and that these should be spent in line with the grants terms and conditions.
  • Confirmation that irregular expenditure includes the following (regardless of the fund from which they were spent):
    • all expenditure on alcohol
    • any excessive gifts.
If you need help with the statutory accounts for your Academy, please contact your local Moore adviser.  

Gemma Roger is a Client Manager and Education Sector specialist at Moore in Peterborough.  She can be contacted by email at [email protected] 
 

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