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Accountants & Business Advisers


We are one of the leading charity, education and not-for-profit advisors acting for a number of academies including free schools; special schools; UTC’s; studio schools; primary and secondary schools; colleges and multi – academy trusts

Services for Academies

It is important academies consult early in the conversion process and choose advisers who have the experience and expertise to help them meet challenges and add value for them going forward. New decisions will include adapting to a new accounting and financial reporting regime and dealing with the requirements of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and other regulatory responsibilities. As specialist academy accountants we are able to offer a full service.

How can we help?
Audit Tendering Documents

Good governance drives the need to ensure that as an Academy you continue to receive best value for the services you purchase, which includes the provision of audit and accountancy services.

To help you through the tender process, we have produced several documents which you can download, customise and use when inviting responses to a competitive tender process.

If you would like to speak to us about audit tendering, please contact us.

Internal assurance

The Academies Financial Handbook continues to stress the importance of the audit committee (or equivalent) playing an active role in assessing and managing the risks facing the Trust. Internal assurance plays an important part in assessing and devising a plan to respond to any risks and to ensure that the academy has sufficient, robust and appropriate controls.

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Kreston Academies Benchmark Report 2023

We are pleased to announce the publication of this year's Academies Benchmark Report which we hope you will find of interest.

This year the report includes over 320 Trusts representing over 2,400 schools and has been conducted by the UK Academies Group of Kreston Global - the global network of independent accountancy firms.

The benchmark report aims to provide an insight on the significant surpluses which are being reported in the sector, per pupil income has increased by just 1% in the last year against a backdrop of inflation rates of more than 10%, increased energy costs and teacher pay hikes. As a result, 88% of trusts are expecting future reductions in surpluses and reserves.

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We will support you during the year, rather than just restricting our involvement to the year-end audit.

We believe in open relationships and so will be in contact with you on a regular basis to keep in touch with your progress and developments, and to advise you of the emerging issues affecting the sector. Many of our clients send us minutes of trustee meetings throughout the year which enables us to keep in touch more effectively and address issues as they arise.

With offices in NewburyOxfordReading,  Southampton and London, and a firm wide team of 200 people, James Cowper Kreston are well placed to advise academies on a wide range of issues.