New World New Numbers
How university financials are changing, and why
On 1st December university leaders, governors, unions, journalists, regulators, and other key stakeholders converged on BAFTA in central London for a joint BUFDG/HEFCE event explaining the new accounting rules. New World, New Numbers was a non-technical look at how the FE and HE Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) impacts on the way university finances are measured and recorded. The exact effect will be different for each HEI but, combined with changes to pension schemes, the challenges of Brexit, and new policies and regulation, the figures universities use to reflect their financial resources and sustainability could suddenly look very different. The videos below include a short 20-minute highlights reel, as well as 9 short clips covering specific questions from the panel session.
Watch the highlights
For BUFDG members only, we have uploaded the full 40 minute video of Andrew Connolly and Clare Partridges's presentation, which can be viewed here.
Andrew Connolly, CFO, University of Exeter and Clare Partridge, Partner, KPMG
Making sense of the numbers - How the new standard impacts “the bottom line”. How a university reports its financial performance (surpluses and cash flow) and its financial position (assets and liabilities). Mixed messages - What the options are, how universities decide what choices to make, and why.
The big picture
Nolan Smith, Director of Finance, HEFCE
What’s the wider impact? - What does this mean for the sector position? How are the regulators and funders keeping track, and how will they communicate to government and other stakeholders? What is the current view on sustainability?
Briefing and Programme
We’ve also produced a briefing to accompany the event, which is available here. It’s a very short and accessible introduction to the new rules, and contains examples on how the changes might impact the accounts of older and newer universities. If you have any questions about the event, drop Matt an email.
You can also download a copy of the programme here.
Question 1: Why can't universities just spend the surplus, and why was the number that was apparently so reliable before, now so unreliable? Does that mean we have less resource to spend?
Question 2: What are the University governors going to have to think about - is it a completely different approach to running the University?
Question 3: How are the funding councils going to report risk assessments on HEIs?
Question 4: Is there anything different in the way that FRS102 is going to impact on devolved governments and funding councils?
Question 5: The banks don't share the same approach that 'this is all just about presentation' and how does this affect bank covenants?
Question 6: Could we hear a bit more about Integrated Reporting and how it relates to earlier efforts such as Balanced Scorecard?
Question 7: What might the basket of indicators be, that tells the most coherent story?
Question 8: Its not just the figures, it's about the story that we tell
Question 9: How stable is the new standard, or are there more changes to come?
If you have any questions about the event, please email Matt Sisson, or ring him on 01509 228852.