Academy trusts are required by a funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education to designate a named individual as the ‘accounting officer’ and this designation confers legal responsibility for financial and administrative matters. This delegation is made to our Trust Lead.
Internal Control and Risk Management
The accounting officer has a key role in ensuring that public money is safeguarded and only spent on the purposes for which it was intended. Our Trust Lead must assure the trust board of each academy’s compliance with the requirements of the EFA’s Academies Financial Handbook, its funding agreement and all relevant aspects of company and charitable law, including setting high standards of financial probity and financial management, and ensuring that these are communicated to staff.
To assist the Trust Lead in the accounting officer role, our Chief Operations Officer leads the implementation and maintenance of a framework of financial controls and procedures for managing financial risk, determines accounting processes and oversees financial management procedures that enable our trust to budget and manage within our overall resources.
Securing value for money (economy, efficiency and effectiveness) releases resources for higher priorities within our academy trust. Our accounting officer ensures that value for money is the concern of all operational managers, and our Chief Operations Officer takes the lead in co-ordinating and facilitating a culture of efficiency.
Academy trusts are required to keep proper accounting records and to prepare annual financial statements in accordance with the accounts directions issued by the funding body.