This is the time of year when stress levels rise even higher in many Academies as they are usually working on their BFRO (budget forecast return outturn) submissions for the ESFA. However, because of the Covid-19 crisis the BFRO will not be required this year.
The Department for Education said the return, which details the state of academy finances as of March 31, had been cancelled.
As a result, it has been confirmed that the next scheduled financial return will be the three-year Budget Forecast Return (BFR3Y).
This information is to be submitted online and the form will be available to use from 23rd June 2020. The information you provide will enable the ESFA to review financial trends in the sector and forecast future financial years.
Many questions asked about the BFRO
As we help a number of schools and academies with their financial management, we often get asked lots of questions about the BFRO. Here are a few of our most asked: –
- What happens with the BFRO data?
- Why do Academies have to complete a BFRO?
- How can I complete my BFRO more easily?
What happens with the BFRO data?
The BFRO is a return giving information on what has happened in your Academy for the year ending 31st March. The ESFA compile the data you submit and submit a large amount of it to HM Treasury. They also use it, in conjunction with BFR data to examine the health of the Academies sector as well as predicting the financial health of your academy.
Why do Academies have to complete a BFRO?
So that government can be satisfied that money they invest in the sector is being used wisely. The ESFA’s year end is 31st of March, so you need to complete it for this deadline.
In essence it’s a summary of income and expenditure, which is good practice for Academies (like every business) to have anyway. Without the ability to see what you’ve spent differently to budget and previous years it’s very hard to improve your financial status and make the money go further (which is something we help Academies with).
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