UK ESFA College Financial Handbook


On Mar. 20, UK ESFA published college financial handbook 2024.


  • UK ESFA issued letter from Chief executive of the Education and skills funding agency, to accounting officers in colleges notifying of a new College financial handbook.
  • Follows UK ESFA Jan. 2023 guides to aid colleges on requirements, see #161737.
  • Handbook
  • Handbook is outcome of extensive joint work with the sector and aims to bring together key elements of financial management, governance framework for colleges.
  • Comprises elements that have been in place for a number of years, combined with new elements arising from reclassification of the sector in late 2022 (see 2022 letter).
  • The handbook doesn’t introduce any new significant requirements but draws on those already included in the series of bite size guides, published in early 2023.
  • Handbook is in force from Aug. 1, 2024 and will form part of accountability agreement.
  • However, handbook is being published in Mar. 2024 so there is adequate time for accounting officers to ensure financial regulations and procedures comply.
  • Also provides opportunity to ensure existence of the handbook and its requirements are shared others in college, who need to know – finance professionals, procurement teams, finance committee, audit committee, governance professional and others.
  • So they can use it to support delivery of financial governance, management duties.
  • Structure
  • The handbook is structured into 7 parts including Part 1: roles and responsibilities.
  • Part 2: main financial requirements; Part 3: audit committee and internal review.
  • Part 4: annual accounts and external audit and Part 5: delegated authorities.
  • As well as Part 6: the regulator and intervention and Part 7: further reading.
  • Accounting Officers
  • Handbook particularly important for accounting officers as it emphasises importance of accounting officer to framework of accountability under which colleges operate.
  • Responsibilities of the accounting officer are not new, and notion of accountability has long been the hallmark of leaders of complex organisations but handbook identifies this quality as cornerstone of the financial control and governance regime in colleges.
  • Webinar
  • UK ESFA has produced a webinar to enable colleges to help ensure full compliance.
  • Details of webinar and where to find it will also be in weekly UK ESFA update, Mar. 20.
  • This is the first edition of the handbook and it will likely be updated on regular basis.
  • Suggestions to make it even more useful are welcome using customer help portal.

Regulators UK ESFA
Entity Types Corp; Fiduciary
Reference Lt, Gd, 3/20/2024
Functions Accounting; Audit; Compliance; C-Suite; Financial; Legal; Reporting
Countries United Kingdom
Category
State
Products Corporate; Education
Regions EMEA
Rule Type Final
Rule Date 3/20/2024
Effective Date 8/1/2024
Rule Id 205449
Linked to Rule :161737
Reg. Last Update 3/20/2024
Report Section UK

Last substantive update on 03/25/2024