The Comptroller and Auditor General is the appointed auditor of the Department for Education’s Academies Sector Annual Report & Account (SARA). The National Audit Office performs this audit on his behalf.
The Department for Education has revised the way that consolidated financial information for the academies sector is reported to Parliament. The Department are required to consolidate all academy trusts that were open during the 2015/16 academic year into a set of consolidated financial statements with a 31 August year-end, known as the Academies Sector Annual Report & Account (SARA).
The Comptroller and Auditor General is the appointed auditor of the SARA and the National Audit Office performs these audits on his behalf. We, as group auditors, have issued this document in relation to academy accounts for the period ended 31 August 2016. The amount and nature of the data that the Department is collecting from academies has not changed substantially from last year, therefore the degree of assurance work will be similar.
The document aims to provide an understanding of: an academy auditor’s role in the SARA; the NAO’s expectation of them as component auditors in the group; and an understanding of the risks of material misstatement in the group financial statements.
For more information:
Departmental announces SARA (external link to GOV.UK News Story) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/academies-sector-annual-report-and-accounts
Departmental guidance on Accounts Return (external link to GOV.UK Form) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academies-august-accounts-return-template-and-guide
Departmental updates to academies (external link to GOV.UK Guidance) https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/efa-e-bulletin
2 December 2016
The Department for Education is revising the way that consolidated financial information for the academies sector is reported to Parliament. The Department is finalising the content of the information in the accounts return. Once this is complete, the NAO will issue its “Communication with Academy Auditors 2016”. We have been informed that the amount and nature of the data that the Department will collect from academies will not change substantially from last year, therefore we expect the audit work will be similar.
31 October 2016