Peter Lauener, Chief Executive of the ESFA, has written to all academy accounting officers and chief finance officers setting out a timetable for reports over the next 13 months.
Peter states in his letter; “One area of feedback from trusts has been about the importance of greater clarity on the financial returns we will require. We recognise this, and have therefore set out below all of the academy sector financial returns – including the associated deadlines – that we will require from trusts through to the end of the summer term 2018.”
|Return||Guidance made available||Online form launch date||Deadline for submission|
|Budget Forecast Return (BFR 2017)||14 Jun 2017||22 Jun 2017||28 Jul 2017|
|Land and Buildings Collection Tool (new return from 2017)||10 Jul 2017||1 Oct 2017||31 Oct 2017|
|Financial statements, auditor’s management letter, accounts submission coversheet online form||13 Jun 2017 (via Academies Accounts Direction)||6 Oct 2017||31 Dec 2017|
|Academies Accounts Return (AAR)||1 Sept 2017||1 Oct 2017||19 Jan 2018|
|Budget Forecast Return Outturn (BFRO 2018)||28 Feb 2018||19 Mar 2018||18 May 2018|
|Budget Forecast Return (BFR 2018)||1 Jun 2018||1 Jun 2018||27 Jul 2018|
There is a new return in the list above: the Land and Buildings Collection Tool (LBCT).
Currently, the department has a long-standing audit qualification due to the lack of underlying data held for the recognition of land and buildings within the academy sector.
The ESFA have a commitment to Parliament to remove this audit qualification for the 2016/17 Sector Annual Report & Accounts (SARA).
This new LBCT will be an online form using the same registration as the Academies Accounts Return. The LBCT will ask for a listing of land and buildings (specifying freehold, leasehold, right of use etc.), in some cases supported by uploaded documents to provide the evidence required to demonstrate the recognition criteria under the department’s accounting framework. The return will not be asking for valuations, there are no complex validations and there will not be a need for significant explanations within the return. The return will be submitted directly to the department without a requirement for local auditor clearance.
As we learn more about this return we will advise you.
If you would like further information or to discuss how we can support your school, please contact the team on 0345 222 1551 • Option 2 or email the Finance Service Desk.