What’s new in the Academies Financial Handbook 2019?





Published last Thursday, the Academies Financial Handbook is effective from 1st September 2019. Academies must comply with this handbook, which provides a framework for effective financial management, as a condition of their funding agreement. All senior staff, Trustees and finance staff should be aware of its requirements – Part 8 summarises these. Find it here:

Key changes:

  • Strengthened requirements around internal assurance, including the need for a risk register and that any work undertaken must evaluate suitability and compliance with controls, offer advice and insight on how to address weaknesses and ensure all categories of risk are identified, reported and managed;

  • Governance – including the importance of a knowledgeable clerk;

  • More detail about the content of management accounts;

  • Related party transactions – rules from 1st April 2019 now included;

  • Financial Notices to Improve – more detail on what this means and a requirement to publish details on the Trust’s website.

Failures in governance and internal controls have been seen by the ESFA to be key factors in some of the high-profile academy scandals. We have been stressing these areas to clients and ISBL over the past year. If we can help with any aspect of internal assurance, governance or financial management please get in touch.

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