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Data Collections Financial Accountability

The Financial Accountability (FA) collection enables all approved authorities to certify the Australian Government financial assistance has been spent, or committed to be spent for the purpose of providing school education.

Approved Authorities who receive recurrent funding must complete the FA collection to meet their requirements under the Australian Education Act 2013 (the Act) and Australian Education Regulation 2013 (the Regulation). The FA consist of an Acquittal Certificate for all approved authorities and a Block Allocation Report for approved authorities that operate more than one school.

Independent qualified accountants submit FA via SchoolsHUB by 30 June annually for the previous calendar year's financial assistance received.

Special Circumstances and Local Schools Community Fund

The Acquittal Certificate is updated for Approved Authorities in receipt of funding under Special Circumstances (including the School Hygiene Assistance Fund) and the Local Schools Community Fund.

When completing Acquittal Certificates, qualified accountants will need to ensure that any funding received under Prescribed Circumstances is correctly captured and reported in the areas of the Acquittal Certificate.

Additional columns have been added to the Block Allocation Summary to allow Approved Authorities for more than one school to report how much Prescribed Circumstances funding was distributed to schools last year under one or more of the following allocations:

  • Additional financial assistance for low growth non-government schools for 2018
  • Additional financial assistance for system weighted average SES schools in 2018
  • Adjustment funding for low-growth non-government schools for 2019
  • Additional financial assistance for non-government schools (2016 census data arrangements) for 2019
  • Additional financial assistance for non-government schools of approved system authorities (system weighted benefit) for 2019
  • Local Schools Community Funding for 2020

Prescribed Circumstances summary table

A new table has been added to the Block Allocation Summary to help Approved Authorities report Prescribed Circumstances funding distributed to schools. This table displays the total funding currently reported to schools and the amount that needs to be allocated for each Prescribed Circumstances funding element as confirmed by the independent qualified accountant.

The FA collection has two parts, the Acquittal Certificate and the Block Allocation Summary.

About the Acquittal Certificate

The Acquittal Certificate is an assurance declaration provided by a qualified person to:

  • Confirm the total amount of recurrent funding received by the Approved Authority from the Australian Government; and
  • Provide assurance that the funding was spent or committed to be spent for the purpose of providing school education.

About the Block Allocation Summary

The Block Allocation Summary is applicable where an Approved Authority operates more than one school. The Block Allocation Summary reports the funding distributed to each school.

An Acquittal Certificate is required by all Approved Authorities in receipt of financial assistance from the Australian Government under the Act.

Only an independent account can submit a Financial Acquittal Certificate for a non-government school. To be recognised as a qualified account, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • a qualified accountant as defined in the Corporations Act 2001
  • a person registered (or taken to be registered) as an auditor under the Corporations Act 2011
  • a person approved by the Minister as a qualified accountant

A statement about the qualified accountant’s independence from the approved authority is included with the Acquittal Certificate declaration.

There are two types of Approved Authorities that must complete a block allocation summary, Approved Authority Collectives and Approved System Authorities.

An Approved Authority Collective is a body that operates more than one school not recognised by the department's a System Authority. This type of body must distribute funding to schools as directed by the Department and cannot retain any funding for administrative purposes.

An Approved System Authority is a body that operates more than one school recognised by the department as a System Authority to re-distribute funding per a needs based funding model. This type of body may retain funding for administrative purposes.

Only users with Data Reporter or Authorised Representative roles for an Approved Authority can access or complete the Block Allocation Summary.

For step-by-step instructions on accessing, submitting and reviewing your FA reporting, refer to the FA user guide for either accountants or approved authorities.

The FA Collection is due on 30 June annually. 

All FA financial data must relate to the previous calendar year. For example, the 2021 FA refers to data from 1 January to 31 December 2020.

School education means relating to provision of school education (foundation to year 12) at a school. Please refer to separate guidance on the use of financial assistance funding for further information.

Funds are spent when paid.

An Approved Authority commits to spend recurrent funding where:

  • an authority has entered into a new legal arrangement under which the authority will be liable to pay an amount; or
  • an amount will become due or payable under a liability under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or a Territory that the authority is required to meet; and
  • the payment is not yet payable.

Examples of 'spent' would include payments made in the year of funding for school staff salaries, school rent, internet charges or electricity. An example of a commitment to spend would be entering a new contract for stationary, but the stationary had not been delivered to the school by 31 December. The amounts spent or committed must be related to school education.

To find out more about Commonwealth financial assistance for schools, please refer to the Australian Education Act 2013

To find out more about the reporting requirements for schools, please refer to the Australian Education Regulation 2013

To find out more about schools funding in Australia, refer to the How are schools funded in Australia page.

Both the Acquittal Certificate and Block Allocation Summary can be saved and printed after submission.

For step-by-step instructions to Print or Save, refer to the FA user guide for either accountants or approved authorities.

For a step-by-step instructions about completing your FA reporting, refer to the FA user guide for either accountants or approved authorities.

For assistance in completing the FA, contact the SchoolsHUB helpdesk on 1800 677 027. Available Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (AEST).