It is that time of year again where the trustees’ report and governance statement must be prepared ready for inclusion in the audited financial statements for the year ended 31 August 2023.
It is important to note that the ESFA regularly checks the trustees’ report and governance statements submitted with the financial statements and the key things they check include:
- Headings – that all required areas of the trustees’ report and governance statement have been included.
- Content – that the wording included in the trustees’ report is not simply copied and pasted from the model accounts.
Areas commonly missed from the report, which are required by the Academies Accounts Direction, include the academy trust’s reserves policy, details of governance reviews completed, management of conflicts of interest, details of internal scrutiny and financial and non-financial key performance indicators.
It is also important to remember that if your academy trust has grown in the year and now has more than 250 employees, large company reporting is required and additional disclosures are needed within the trustees’ report as detailed in the model accounts.
Please note that the trustees’ report and governance statement must be audited by your external auditor to ensure it is consistent with the figures reported in the financial statements and in line with their understanding of the trust’s activities.
As such, it is important that the reports are prepared in advance of the year end audit starting so as to avoid any delay in the completion of the audit and preparation of the final accounts.