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Academies accounts return

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Academies accounts return 2020/21

The academies accounts return (AR) is now available for trusts to complete their 2020/21 return. The deadline for submission is 25 January 2022. Trusts may also view their AR for 2019/20

Accounts return login

Additional guidance for trusts who are automating their AR is available on the Academies chart of accounts and automating the accounts return webpage.

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 2020/21 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 2020 to 31 August 2021 will be expected to complete an AR for the financial year 2020/21.

New trusts need to register for an IDAMS account to ensure they can access the accounts return online live form later in the year.

Closed trust and academies transfers

Academy trusts that ceased operating or whose academies all transferred to a new trust between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021, must submit a final AR. We will contact these trusts directly.

1st September 2020 transfers

For trusts that ceased operating on 31 August 2020 and all academies transferred to another trust on 1 September 2020, 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 2020, as if the trust were operational on that day. This 1-day AR should be submitted via the AR return Excel workbook by 1 January 2021.

In-year closures 2020/21

Trust 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.

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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 2020/21, is available to help users prepare their AR, it can also be used for closed and transferred trusts to complete their accounts return.

Pension guidance

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.

AON – Example actuarial result schedule (PDF, 872KB, 8 pages)
Barnett Waddingham – Example actuarial result Schedule (PDF, 724KB, 18 pages)
Hymans Robertson – Example actuarial result schedule (PDF, 1.44MB, 9 pages)
Mercer – Example actuarial result schedule (PDF, 619KB, 7 pages)

MS Teams calls and web chat service

We are hosting MS Teams calls and web chats to give you the opportunity to ask questions about the AR.

For MS Teams calls you can either use:

the MS Teams app using this link: click here

or dial in using this number 02033 215 238 and when prompted enter this conference code: 398 973 635#

For web chats we will be using sli.do. Please enter #AR2021 to access the web chat forum. Please check back for a response to your question regularly, we will be responding to questions several times a week.

Dates and times of the MS Teams calls and web chats can be found below:

Date
Service
Time
30 November 2021
MS Teams call
13:00 – 14:00
9 December 2021
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
14 December 2021
MS Teams call
13:00 – 14:00
21 December 2021
MS Teams call
13:00 – 14:00
30 December 2021
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
4 January 2022
MS Teams call
13:00 – 14:00
6 January 2022
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
10 January 2022
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
11 January 2022
MS Teams call
13:00 – 14:00
12 January 2022
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
13 January 2022
MS Teams call
13:00 – 14:00
14 January 2022
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
17 January 2022
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
18 January 2022
MS Teams call
13:00 – 14:00
19 January 2022
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
20 January 2022
MS Teams call
13:00 – 14:00
21 January 2022
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
24 January 2022
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
25 January 2022
Web Chat
10:00 – 11:00
26 January 2022
MS Teams call
13:00 – 14:00

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