Academies Financial Handbook 2019

In June 2019 the ESFA released their annual updated Academies Financial Handbook. To get your own copy of the handbook,  click here
We have summarised below some of the key changes that we feel you need to be aware of.

Financial Oversight

  • Trust Boards must meet at least three times a year. If the Board meets less than six times a year it must include in it’s annual governance statement (included in their annual financial statements) how the Board have achieved effective oversight of funds by having fewer meetings.
  • The Trust must appoint a clerk to support the Board. This person must be someone other than a trustee, principal or chief executive of the Trust.
  • The Trust’s financial statements must be provided to every member (under the Companies Act).

Management Accounts

All Trusts must produce monthly management accounts and these should be distributed to the Chair of Trustees monthly and with all other trustees at least six times a year. The Board must consider the management accounts when they meet.
The format of the management accounts must include:
  1. Income and expenditure account    
  2. Variation to budget report    
  3. Cash flow statement
  4. Balance sheet
Within the monthly pack there must also be consideration of key performance indicators and a measure of performance against them on a regular basis.

Risk management

All Trusts must maintain a risk register in order to ensure that they are able to evidence how they have considered and manage risk, in order to ensure effective operation. The risks considered should include contingency and business continuity planning.


To protect Trust staff, all Trusts must have procedures in place for whistleblowing. The Trustees must agree the whistleblowing procedures in the format of a whistleblowing policy. There should be at least one nominated trustee and one staff member who staff can report concerns to.

Internal Scrutiny

Refer to our separate article on internal scrutiny here
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