How can we help?

We provide the following annual compliance services:

  • Assistance with the preparation of annual accounts and trustees report
  • Audit work under Companies Act and regularity audit work as required by the ESFA
  • Assistance with completion and certification of ESFA Annual Accounts Return
  • Review of Budget Forecast Returns
  • Audit of contributions to Teachers Pension Scheme
  • Teaching schools – certification of grant returns to the National College for Teaching and Learning
  • Review of compliance with Academies Financial Handbook

We also provide tax and advisory services:

  • Advice on corporation tax status of generated income and on establishment of trading subsidiary company if necessary
  • Employment taxes – advice and support
  • Financial due diligence in relation to schools joining a trust; or the trust which a school is proposing to join
  • Training for academy trustees, governors and members of Senior Leadership Teams
  • Conversion to academy status

Internal audit

  • External auditors cannot also be the Internal Auditor of an Academy Trust. We have extensive expertise in the provision of internal audit services to  an increasing number of non-audit client trusts, which is provided by a specialist team. Contact us for more details.

Here to help

How our academies team can assist:

  • Assisting and supporting schools during the conversion process
  • Advising on organisational structure in Multi-Academy Trusts
  • Choosing suitable accounting systems and structuring the chart of accounts to make the production of financial reports and ESFA returns relevant to your trust
  • Developing appropriate monthly management information for your finance team to present to your Audit Committee
  • Supporting the finance team as it develops necessary additional skills
  • Reviewing and advising on financial regulations and annual changes to the Academies Financial Handbook and Academies Accounts Direction
  • Tailoring the Kreston Academies Benchmark Report to your trust

As we are a member of Kreston International; a network of leading independent firms of Chartered Accountants from around the world, we are able to provide the most comprehensive benchmark survey for academies each year. The UK Kreston firms provide advisory and compliance services to over 360 academy trusts and free schools.

Kreston Benchmarking Report
We are pleased to announce the 2023 Kreston Academies Benchmark Report. The report is prepared using data from over 320 academy trusts dealt with BHP and other members of Kreston UK. Click here to view the report.

Academy Accounts Direction 2022-2023 – What is new?
The Academies Accounts Direction 2022-23 and related documents applying to financial statements for the year ended 31 August 2023 were published in April 2023.

ESFA published a supplementary bulletin to the AAD in 2020/21 which covered reporting of Covid-19 impacts and Academy Trusts are reminded that this remains applicable.  The key implication is disclosure of Covid recovery grants in the income note, as in previous years, together with related explanation of its usage in the Trustees Annual Report. Read more in our blog.

Academies Trust Handbook 2023 – What is new?

The Academies Trust Handbook 2023 applies with effect from 1 September 2023. Read more in our latest blog of the key changes.

Tax advice for Senior School leavers – ASCL partnership

We are proud to partner with the Association of School and College Leaders. The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) is the leading professional association and trade union for all school and college leaders. ASCL support and represent over 19,000 school and college leaders of primary, secondary and post-16 education from across the UK.

At BHP we have a dedicated team of tax professionals advising senior school and college leaders on all aspects of taxation.

This includes the completion of tax returns in addition to capital gains tax, including the new legislation for disposal of residential property,  and inheritance tax.

The pension legislation can be particularly complex and daunting for education professionals, and many find to their surprise that they have historical pension issues that they were completely unaware of, until they receive the letter from Teachers Pensions Authority advising them of the position. This letter can go back several years and if there is a pension breach, then a tax charge could arise for more than one year.

We work closely with a financial advisor who is also an expert in this field, and together we produce a calculation of pension contributions and pension breaches, and then discuss the options available regarding taxation of these breaches, which includes a request for Scheme Pays or paying HMRC via your Self Assessment tax return.  We can help you understand your options and the likely tax consequences. Please contact


“BHP are a fantastic firm to work with for the completion of our annual audit and regularity report. Their experience of working with some of the biggest and most successful academy trusts in the county is testament to their brand and the quality of their staff. They are very professional in conduct, whilst exuding an extremely relational approach to how they challenge and support clients to achieve best financial practice and control. I would highly recommend BHP”

Mark Hughes, One in a million Free School

“Trinity Multi Academy Trust (MAT) have worked with BHP for a number of years over several different projects during our continued MAT growth. The external audit process is extremely useful for us and we have had several robust discussions which has helped move our trust forward. The team are flexible in working round the day to day time constraints within academy life and the tight accounting year-end deadlines we have to work with. The information flow is smooth and the process is set out and adhered to from the Partner down to the junior auditors that come out to do testing. I would recommend including BHP in your next tender to give them the opportunity to show the layers of skills available to you and to give other tenderers a value for money service to benchmark against.”

David Sheard, Trinity Multi Academy Trust

Key Contacts

Areas of expertise