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Accountants for Academies

Academy Schools
Converting to an academy gives schools significant freedoms from Local Authority control resulting in many more decisions being made internally. Whilst presenting exciting opportunities for schools there are a number of challenges ahead for them. To ensure the conversion process occurs as smoothly as possible our vast experience will guide you all the way.

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. It is therefore important that academies consult early in the process and choose advisers who have the experience and expertise to help them meet these challenges and add value for them going forward.

James Cowper Kreston is one of the leading charity advisers in the south of England with a portfolio of over 200 charities and education clients. A large number of academies including free schools; special schools; UTC’s; studio schools; primary and secondary schools; colleges and multi – academy trusts are being advised by James Cowper Kreston. . Our specialist charities and education team has fully trained staff members that all have the experience and expertise to help academies meet new challenges and responsibilities as they arise. We are also founder members of the Kreston charities group, which comprises charity and education specialists from other UK members of our international network, Kreston International. The group advises over 1,000 charities, including a significant number of academies, and works together to share experiences and expertise in the charities and education sector.

As specialist academy accountants we are able to offer a full service including the following:

Pre conversion consideration

We can advise on the financial and regulatory issues applicable to a school considering a move to academy status. 

During conversion

In the run up to conversion we can advise on the following issues:

  • The accounting practicalities of dealing with the conversion, including dealing   with the surplus or deficit at conversion and valuation and accounting treatment of transferred assets (and liabilities)
  • Establishing and advising on key financial policies and procedures
  • Setting up accounting systems and choosing appropriate accounting software
  • The requirements of the Academies Financial Handbook
  • Setting up a payroll scheme
  • Considering pension issues
  •  Banking requirements
  • The responsibilities of governors

Post conversion

We can provide assistance with the day to day running of the new academy to ensure it is effective and efficient and meeting your new regulatory responsibilities. Our services include:

  • Preparation of annual accounts in the required format
  • Annual audit of the accounts
  • Pension scheme certificates
  • Preparation of budgets, business plans, management accounts and returns to relevant bodies
  • VAT recovery and compliance advice, including property transactions and ancillary “trading” income
  • Advice on other taxes such as corporation tax and employment tax
  • Training and guidance for governors; business managers and other members of your finance team.


With offices in NewburyOxfordReading,  Southampton,  Henley-on-Thames and London, and a firm wide team of 180 people, James Cowper Kreston are well placed to advise academies on a wide range of issues.