College accounts direction updated for 2018-19

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has issued the 2018-19 college accounts direction setting out financial reporting requirements for sixth form and further education colleges

The guidance sets out how to prepare and submit annual report and financial statements’ accounts, including audited accounts, which must be completed using the college finance record template. There are a number of changes this year, including additional reporting and transparency requirements.

It is mandatory for sixth form and further education colleges, including FE corporations that operate one or more colleges.

The accounts direction outlines the requirements to prepare audited accounts to 31 July 2019; submit accounts and associated documents to ESFA by 31 December 2019; and publish accounts on the college’s website by 31 January 2020.

Key changes in 2018-19 version

There are a number of revisions in the latest version, including:

  • emphasis that colleges are at risk of ESFA intervention if they do not submit their audited accounts and associated documents by 31 December 2019;
  • new corporations incorporated on or after 1 January 2019 must apply the updated underlying accounting framework;
  • corporations in existence up to 31 December 2019 can adopt early, the updated underlying accounting framework
  • corporations and their auditors need to be aware of the new insolvency regime in preparing accounts
  • clarifying that the scope of the ‘statement of regularity, propriety and compliance’ (annex B) and ‘statement of responsibilities of the members of the corporation’ (annex C) includes all public funds; and
  • annex D has been substantially updated to include additional reporting and transparency requirements.

For some reason, ESFA has removed the submission arrangements from the document, stating that these ‘will be published separately’.

The college accounts direction does not apply to specialist post-16 institutions, non-maintained special schools or independent learning providers. Academy trusts with post-16 provision should use the academies accounts direction.

ESFA College Accounts Direction 2018-19

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