The Academies Accounts Return completion these days is by no means a formality that flows from the completion of the audited accounts. There is so much additional information to be included, that is not part of the statutory accounts submitted to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) prior to 31 December.
Having passed this year’s submission date for the AAR it is a good time to reflect on how well the process of collating the information and passing it to your auditor went.
Hopefully your auditor provided a deliverables list prior to the statutory audit of information required for both the audit and the Accounts Return. Did you provide all that information or just the perceived priority information for the audit?
So much of the AAR information can be collated before the audit pressure arrives, and certainly before late December, early January.
The areas where we struggled to get information were as follows:
- split of staff numbers between permanent/temporary and male/female;
- split of staff costs between permanent and temporary;
- the number of days lost to sickness;
- counterparty data
- within MAT’s, the split of audited income and costs between individual academies
Time invested in collating this information over the summer break will relieve a lot of pressure from yourselves and your auditors in 2020.
For further information about undertaking due diligence exercises please contact Andrew McLaren on 0161 832 4901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org