The Path to Success
COMPLIANCE WITH EDUCATION AND SKILLS FUNDING AGENCY HANDBOOK
The Academies Financial Handbook (AFH) is revised and re-issued each financial year. It sets out the financial management, control and reporting requirements that apply to all academy trusts. It describes a financial framework for trusts that focuses on principles rather than detailed guidance and reflects the Accounting Officer's accountability to Parliament and to the public.
Compliance with the handbook is a condition of each trust's funding agreement.
It sets out how the Accounting Officer is personally responsible to Parliament for the effective use of public money, refers to effective governance and the Governance Handbook including how Governors should assess their effectiveness and address skills gaps.
Under the Companies Act 2006, all academies must appoint auditors and produce statutory accounts. As part of this, auditors must produce a report on regularity, propriety and compliance in which findings arising from the audit are reported to the ESFA.
It is important academy trusts interpret the AFH and comply with both it and their own financial management policy.
As a School Business Manager I was approached by the ESFA to be on their working party reviewing the AFH and as such am fully conversant with the requirements. I am therefore well placed to review systems and procedures either prior to annual audits or because of issues raised by the accountants to make recommendations regarding compliance.
I am also available to work with Governing Bodies, assisting with and an evaluation of skills audits.