Academy Accounting Officer
Academy boards should now be aware of the need to appoint an Accounting Officer, a role usually taken on by the Principal. He/she will have personal responsibility to Parliament for ‘regularity, propriety and value for money’. Broadly, these terms mean that the Accounting Officer must ensure that funding to the Academy is spent for the purposes intended by Parliament and in an honest and appropriate way.
The Academies Financial Handbook offers advice on suitable financial systems and controls that Academies should have in place to meet the expected standards of accountability.
The Academies’ Accounts Directive 2011/12 sets out new reporting requirements for the Accounting Officer to provide a personal statement on regularity, propriety and compliance.
This is an onerous responsibility for Principals taking on this role and it is essential that a programme is in place to ensure that adequate financial systems and controls are put in place to safeguard the finances of the Academy.