Annal Nayyar – provides an update on Academies regularity audit reporting arrangements 2012/13

Annal Nayyar – provides an update on Academies regularity audit reporting arrangements 2012/13

The EFA can confirm that the arrangements for a regularity audit report will continue in 2012/13.

 Academies enjoy freedoms to manage resources so they can focus on supporting students in achieving their aspirations. This is balanced with high standards of accountability and transparency in the use of public funds. The annual external audit is a key component in creating a strong assurance framework for academies.  

 To help ensure that assurance arrangements are robust and efficient, EFA have created an Academies Finance and Assurance Steering Group.

 The steering group includes representatives from a range of different types of academies as well as overarching academy representative bodies. It is leading the development of the finance and financial assurance products outlined in the recently published Academies Business Cycle Planner 2013.

 One of the first tasks of the group is to review the regularity audit reporting arrangements. The EAF introduced these in 2011/12 as part of our move towards a more proportionate, less bureaucratic assurance framework.

 The regularity audit allowed the EFAs to replace the detailed and lengthy Financial Management and Governance Evaluation (FMGE) that every academy had to submit each year.

 The group is considering whether any further guidance on the regularity audit may be helpful to support academies and their auditors. This will be covered in the Academies: Accounts Direction 2012/13 due to be published in May.

 At this early stage, we can tell you that the arrangements for a regularity audit report will continue in 2012/13. Specifically, the audit will remain as a limited assurance engagement reporting jointly to the Education Funding Agency and the academy.

 The EFA would encourage you to discuss this with your external auditors to help plan for an efficient audit that minimises any disruption to your academy.

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