How to interrogate trust management accounts

Read our step-by-step guide to monitoring academy trust management accounts so you're clear on what the numbers mean, what to look out for and what questions to ask.

Last reviewed on 12 September 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 42922
Contents
  1. What are management accounts and what should they include?
  2. What to look for
  3. Example managements account: budget overview
  4. How to interrogate
  5. Approving invoices and orders
  6. Forward projection

What are management accounts and what should they include?

As a trustee, it's your job to keep a close eye on the finances, including monitoring the trust budget during the year.

You'll receive management accounts from your chief financial officer (CFO) before finance committee or board meetings.

Management accounts: requirements for trustees

Your trust's internal control framework includes the preparation of monthly budget monitoring reports, called management accounts.

If your board has delegated any financial monitoring to your local governing bodies or your schools have responsibility for some of their budget, you should expect some school-level finance reports too. This will all be set out in your scheme of delegation.

These must include:

  • The financial performance and position of the trust
  • Budget variation reports
  • An income and expenditure account
  • Cash flow and balance sheet

There must also be a narrative to support this (see section 6.1 of the ESFA's management accounting guidance). The narrative will: