Information for academy trusts to complete their accounts return.
Applies to England
Academies accounts return
The academies accounts return (AR) 2021/22
is now available for all trusts to complete their return. The deadline for AR submission is 19 January 2023. The AR 2020/21 will remain available to trusts in read only mode.
Additional guidance for trusts who are automating their AR is available on the Academies chart of accounts and automating the accounts return webpage.
Academies accounts return 2021/22: updates and additional information requirements
As in previous years there are a number of amendments to the form, mainly to cover any new reporting requirements and also to improve the user experience.
This purpose of this document is:
- to highlight the updates to information required for the 2021/22 accounts return
- to set out the differences between the financial statements prepared by trusts in accordance with the Academies Accounts Direction (AAD) and the information required for the AR
New academy trusts
New trusts that open their first academies at any point during the period from 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2023 will be expected to complete
an for New trusts need to register for an IDAMS account to ensure they can access the accounts return online live form later the year.
Closed trust and academies transfers
Academy trusts that ceased operating or whose academies all transferred to a new trust between 1 September 2022 and 31 August 2023, must submit a final AR. We will contact these trusts directly.
1st September 2022 transfers
For trusts that ceased operating on 31 August 2022 and all academies transferred to another trust on 1 September 2022, we must be able to identify the transferring balances to the receiving academy trust. This requires the closing trust to complete a 1-day stand-alone AR for 1 September 2022, as if the trust were operational on that day. This 1-day AR should be submitted via the AR return Excel workbook by 19 January 2023.
In-year closures 2022/23
Trusts that cease to be operational at any other time in the year must also complete a closing AR. Again, this should be prepared using the AR Excel workbook until such time that the AR online form is available in the Autumn. From that point on, all returns must be submitted online.
Your auditors must sign off the closing AR and it must reflect all of the transferring/closing balance of the trust. This can be completed whilst preparing the final financial statements for the trust.
Detailed guidance for academy trusts and auditors on preparing and auditing academy trusts’ annual financial statements can be found on the Academies Accounts Direction GOV.UK page.
AR Excel workbook
The AR Excel workbook, for accounting year 2021/22, is available to help users prepare their AR, it can also be used for closed and transferred trusts to complete their accounts return.
The pension guidance will help users complete the pension sections within the AR.
For illustration purposes only, we have mapped the four actuarial reports of AON, Barnett Waddingham, Hymans Robertson and Mercer to the AR online form using the form’s referencing. These example reports have been annotated by the AR team to show the translation to your final pension actuarial statement. This should help you complete the pension information tables which can be found within the balance sheet funds and disclosure section of the AR.
How to contact us if you have queries
MS Teams Calls We will be hosting a series of weekly MS Teams calls with the sector to answer any of your questions about the accounts return. Please dial in using this number 02033 215 238 and when prompted enter this conference code: 846 509 774# Alternatively, can sign-up online to attend the call Each call will a short presentation at the beginning to cover specific topics; with time for other question following this. The questions do not have to be related to the topic of the day for you to join the call. Web Chat service You can submit any questions you may have on accounts return to the webchat on the sli.do forum . Please enter #AR2022 to access the webchat forum. Please check back for a response to question regularly, we will be responding to questions several times a week. If you have any queries about the AR process please contact us via ESFA questions.
For all enquiries for the Education and Skills Funding Agency
Update for the deadline to submit the academies accounts return (AR) 2021/22 has now passed.
We have published version 1.1 of the academies accounts return 2021/22: Excel workbook.
We have updated this page as the academies accounts return (AR) 2021/22 is now available for all trusts to complete their return.
We have updated this page with guidance and resources to help academy trusts complete their academies accounts return 2021/22
Update to notify the availability of the draft trust financial statements download via the accounts return for those trusts using automation.
We have published the academies accounts return 2021/22 updates and additional information requirements.
We have updated this page to confirm the schedule for the 2021/22 accounts return. The online form will go live on 18 October 2022. The deadline for submission is 19 January 2023.