Guide to Education Services

Bishops Chartered Accountants can help Academies, Schools and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) to reduce their tax liabilities and safeguard their long-term futures. We ensure that your finances are in order, minimising any risks so you can focus on your students’ education.


During the March 2016 Budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced a target for all schools to either become Academies, or have in place official plans to do so, by 2020.

At Bishops, we can provide the expert advice needed to guide you through the conversion process and offer ongoing support once your institution has converted.

Academies are outside Local Education Authority (LEA) control, which means that they can manage their own budgets, curriculum and staffing decisions. However, the academy structure and independence also has associated challenges and new responsibilities.

There are many factors to consider when choosing to become an academy. We can advise on the best approaches to efficiently make the transition while also ensuring you comply with Department for Education (DfE) and Education Funding Agency (EFA) regulations.

Our professional approach and experience mean that we can help our education clients achieve the best possible results.

We can advise on:

  • Incorporation and structuring, in line with the Companies Act.
  • The financial issues that could have an impact on the conversion process.
  • VAT registration, filing of returns, payments due to HMRC, and recovery of VAT.
  • Preparing accounts that comply with the Charities’ Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP).
  • Budget and cash flow management.
  • Governance, internal controls, and risk management.
  • Staff payroll, remuneration and pensions.
  • Setting up accounting systems or improving existing systems.
  • Monitoring cash flow, financial projections and budget.
  • Audit and business advisory services, to ensure your academy is performing effectively.
  • Trustee reports.
  • Training in-house staff on annual account preparation.
  • Valuation of assets such as land and buildings on transfer.

Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs)

Whether you are keen to convert to Academy status, or are already an established academy, and are considering joining a chain, our experts at Bishops can help you on your path to forming part of a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT).

Our experienced team are well versed in the intricacies involved in setting up MATs and our specialists can advise you on deciding on your MAT structure and governance.

We can also offer essential assistance on meeting awkward MAT reporting requirements and evaluating options for funding.

The full list of services we can provide include:

  • Accounts preparation
  • Committee structure advice
  • Financial software advice
  • VAT services
  • External and internal audits
  • Central trust contributions advice

For further information on all of our Education services, please consult Bishops full Guide to Education Services.

Education Specialists

David Evans
Steven Swindlehurst