Academy accounts: a guide for trustees

Your trust must submit its annual accounts to the ESFA by 31 December. Get up to speed on the process so you know what to expect.

Last reviewed on 29 April 2022
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School types: Academy · School phases: All
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  1. Summary and deadlines
  2. What your trust needs to produce
  3. What's changed for 2021-22?
  4. Model accounts and examples
  5. Who should prepare the draft accounts?  
  6. The process from drafting the accounts to approving them

Summary and deadlines

For every financial year (ending on 31 August), academies must produce:

  • An annual report
  • Financial statements

These are collectively known as ‘the accounts’, and must be audited by an independent, registered auditor.


  • 31 December: submit accounts to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) via the online form
  • 31 January: publish accounts on your trust’s website
  • 31 May: file accounts with Companies House

As well as the accounts, your trust needs to submit an annual accounts return by 19 January 2023 (for the 2021-22 accounts). Read about this here.

What your trust needs to produce

The information you need to include is made very clear in the Academies Accounts Direction document, which this article is based on. If you have questions on the specific details, we’d recommend you ask your accountants or auditors.

Trustees’ report: covers the governance and management arrangements of the trust, a strategic report and a financial review. It must