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Academy financial reporting qualifications

Our book-keeping and financial reporting for academies courses are customised for people working in schools

As a financial manager in an academy, you will need to learn how to manage complex and specialised financial arrangements.

You will need to understand the accounting framework under which an academy operates and the specific accounting rules that an academy follows.

We run two courses on academy finance: the Certificate in Financial Reporting for Academies and the Introduction to Book-keeping.

These two unique qualifications give you the expertise and skills you need for a key role in the fast-growing area of academy financial management. 

Two unique qualifications tailored for people working in academies finance

Interested in earning a financial qualification? Our book-keeping course covers all the essentials for your first role in finance.

Introduction to Book-keeping Course

This short course has been designed for those who wish to brush up on their book-keeping skills before progressing onto the Certificate in Financial Reporting for Academies, but it can also be purchased as a standalone course.

What is the programme?

It consists of study materials, online tuition sessions, and access to a CIPFA tutor for help understanding the materials.

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at students who are enrolled on the Financial Reporting for Academies course and require a refresher of basic bookkeeping techniques before starting their studies.

By completing this course, you will be well placed to apply this knowledge to an academy when you commence the main Financial Reporting for Academies course. The Introduction to Bookkeeping materials include recorded online sessions where a tutor takes you through a number of exercises.

Read the course brochure

What does the course cover?

This course will cover:

  • overview of book-keeping and financial statements
  • double-entry book-keeping
  • adjustments to final accounts (accruals, prepayments, fixed assets and bad debts).

Further information

Contact CIPFA Education and Training Centre on T: 020 7403 4300 or E:

How do I enrol?

Complete the enrolment form

Gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in financial reporting for academies.

Certificate in Financial Reporting for Academies

The Certificate in Financial Reporting for Academies provides the knowledge and skills required to carry out a key role in academy financial management.

It assumes a basic knowledge of double-entry book-keeping and aims to provide an overview of the financial statement of an academy.

It includes generic accounting techniques and concepts and examines the structure and format of the financial statements of an academy.


The programme takes on average 50 hours to complete and participants have up to six months to sit their assessment from the point of registration. There is flexibility to spread learning over timescales that suit individual learning styles.

Who is the course for?

Anyone who:

  • has, or plans to have a key role in the management of school/academy finances
  • currently works in a local authority, the Department for Education, an academy, or a school that is intending to convert to an academy within 12 months.

All prospective applicants are strongly advised to undertake the self-assessment test and, if needed, complete the CIPFA Introduction to Bookkeeping online programme.

Take the self-assessment test


£600 plus VAT (non-refundable). If your organisation is paying your fees, please confirm in writing that you do have the support of your headteacher/principal (in the case of applicants working in a school or academy) or line manager and how billings should be addressed.

What’s involved?

Online units and a single final assessment supported by a one-day face-to-face introductory workshop, a mock examination and a pre-assessment revision workshop. 

There are seven online units: for full details of the course content and structure read our summary of the units.

The programme is accredited by CIPFA and participants gain a qualification broadly equivalent to NVQ level 4 on completion.

How to apply