The Education Funding Agency has issued the latest edition of its Academies Financial Handbook. The 2014 handbook was issued in August, and took effect from 1 September 2014. Academy trusts producing financial statements as at 31 August 2014 should refer to the 2013 edition.
The 2014 handbook highlights almost 40 “main changes”, including:
- an emphasis on trustees understanding their statutory duties as company directors, particularly when entering transactions with connected parties
- clarification that the principal or chief executive of an academy trust can also act as an ex officio trustee
- an emphasis on the chair of the board of trustees and the accounting officer managing relationships with connected parties to avoid real and perceived conflicts of interest
- a requirement that the board of trustees, and any separate committee responsible for finance, must receive and consider information about the trust’s financial performance at least three times a year
- a requirement that academy trusts publish on their website the relevant business and pecuniary interests of trustees and members
- a requirement that academy trusts publish on their websites the accounting officer’s value for money statement and annual accounts by the end of January following the financial year to which these relate
- an introduction of the principles that academy trusts must apply when making an investment
- a requirement that academy trusts disclose individually all non-statutory/non-contractual severance payments, of any value, in their audited annual accounts
- the scrapping of the term responsible officer to describe a trustee assigned to check the trust’s internal controls, although the role remains an option for trusts
For more information on any aspect of the Academies Financial Handbook, please contact us.