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16th January 2019

Weekly Digest
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Tax and Payroll information? Matt Sisson

If you’re wondering where the tax and payroll articles are this week, they’re being stockpiled (though that may be exaggerating a little!) for our NEW dedicated tax and payroll email comms next week. We’re hoping to send this out fortnightly to all our members who have indicated that their primary or secondary interest is in tax and/or payroll. So, if you want to receive this, check that your preferences are up to date in the ‘My BUFDG’ section on our website (more details below).

The dedicated emails will include more articles and more detail on tax and payroll than the Weekly Digest, for those who want it. But don’t panic if you don’t want to receive all that information but you do want the main tax/payroll headlines, we’ll still be putting some articles on tax and payroll into the Weekly Digest, just not as many as currently and at more of a high level of awareness rather than detail. We’ll see how this experiment goes and ask for some feedback in a few weeks.

To update your preferences on your ‘My BUFDG’ page so that you receive the newsletter – make sure you have tax and/or payroll show in your primary or secondary interest (about half way down the page). Also, while you are there, take the opportunity to review the other information in there, in particular selecting your ‘Primary Role’ (near the bottom of the page) and reviewing your membership database preferences (near the top), as it is always great for members to be able to contact each other directly if they need help.

Finance Business Partner Training Rachel McLone

Places are available on our upcoming Developing as a Finance Business Partner in Higher Education courses.  This course allows delegates to understand the role, realities, and competencies required of a HE Finance Business Partner, using real university examples. It will help you work more strategically, identify and practise ways to communicate with stakeholders and develop better relationships.  You will also work with a set of tools to develop and prioritise your activities, and will leave the session with a personal action plan to put into place on your return. Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the role of finance business partner within a Higher Education institution, illustrated with HE examples.
  • Explore the role and realities of the finance business partner, mapping current activities and competencies.
  • Identify ways to operate more strategically.
  • Identify strategies and behaviours for working and communicating with non-finance professionals across a large organisation.
  • Identify what it means to add value as a finance business partner and how to demonstrate value.
  • Work with a set of tools to plan and prioritise activity as a finance business partner.
  • Practise some key partnering skills including communicating the role confidently.

The course costs £350 plus VAT.  Book your place on either 1st March in London or 14th May in Leeds. For any queries, please contact Rachel.

Finalysis Treasury blog Matt Sisson

Tim from Finalysis writes: "Happy New Year from everyone at Finalysis. Some of you will recall that our bi-monthly Treasury Newsletter was discontinued last year. So that we can continue to keep the BUFDG readership aware of market and industry developments, a blog section was developed on our website where articles are published - http://www.finalysisuk.co.uk/blog.  Although this has been running for some time, a number of fresh articles have been added in recent weeks. These include an update on challenger banks, news on Open Banking, Student Debt Collection and much more.  There will be regular additions so make sure you check for updates. We would welcome feedback via the comment facility and your ideas for subject matters of interest. Thanks."

TEC - Brexit and energy, and the CRC scheme Matt Sisson

TEC, the sector’s Energy Consortium have had an excellent 2018, with 8 new members joining. The tally now stands at 135 members, who between them spent £172million on energy. The latest TEC newsletter looks back over the year, and also includes useful articles on supplier management, Brexit and the EU energy trading scheme, and the CRC energy efficiency scheme. To find out more visit the TEC website.

Top-up fees to be reintroduced? Matt Sisson

Speculating on the conclusions of the Augar Review is clearly a mug’s game, but it hasn’t stopped the FT joining the club this week, and suggesting that the review will see HE-style loans extended to the FE sector. The FT suggests the review is “likely to recommend maintaining the £9,250 currently paid to universities for each student, while reducing the proportion paid for through loans”. To meet the shortfall, the review is “ considering ways to top up the difference by direct funding from government” that “would ensure that universities received their current levels of funding per head while helping to cut the overall burden of debt incurred by students”.

The FT believes the new leaks are not necessarily incompatible with previous claims about the possible introduction of differential fees, as the introduction of a top-up element could “give the government more discretion to modify the level of funding… depending on the cost of particular university courses or those seen as strategic priorities, such as science and technology programmes”.

Latest Rating Revaluation update Matt Sisson

There's another Rating Revaluation update to share with you, correct as of the end of 2018. This one details the progress made following the initiation of the Group Pre-Challenge Review (GCPR). As with previous updates, it is suggested that institutions seek independent advice so that individual circumstances can be properly considered. However, high-level guidance is provided in this update to help both English and Welsh colleagues consider their situation.

Members can download the update here.

New Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) consultation Matt Sisson

This week sees the introduction of a consultation on the new Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), run by UKRI. The framework aims to “evaluate and benchmark the contribution UK higher education institutions (HEIs) make to the exploitation of the knowledge they generate”. The consultation concludes on Thursday 14th March, and all relevant documentation is available on the Research England website.

As usual, the subject is well covered on Wonkhe, with a high-level summary, and articles on how it will benefit universities and their knowledge exchange staff, and improve recognition of the HE sector as a significant economic actor.

Final call for AHUA's Professional Service Director's Programme Rachel McLone

The next iteration of the AHUA’s Professional Service Directors’ Programme begins in March and there is a final opportunity to join.  This successful and popular programme, (previously called ‘Impact and Influence’), now in its fifth iteration, is aimed at Directors and Heads of Professional Services in HE – for example Directors of Finance, Estates, HR, Student Services, Research, etc with one to three years’ experience in the role.

The programme provides participants with the opportunity to reflect on their current leadership skills, to develop their ability to influence more effectively at senior level and thereby to have greater impact across the institution. It focuses on:

  • organisational culture in HE and its impact on individual and team effectiveness;
  • what makes a high performing team, and how to maximise individual and team strengths;
  • how best to navigate the sometimes tricky interface between the professional and academic communities.
  • how to lead and deliver cross organisational transformation effectively

In addition to input from facilitators and speakers, participants are provided with 1-1 coaching and membership of an action learning set in which to explore current business issues with a new network of peers from across the sector. Feedback from those who have sponsored participants on previous programmes suggests that institutions gain more engaged and better networked leaders with increased self-awareness and a new range of key contacts across organisations and specialisations.

For further information, click here for the brochure and here for the application form. Or you can visit the AHUA’s website, or speak to Catherine Webb, AHUA Executive Secretary, on 0161 275 8095. Interest must be registered by Tuesday 22nd January.

Job of the Week Jemma Ladkin

This week’s job is for Deputy Director of Finance at University of Dundee. The university is looking for “candidates who have held senior financial leadership roles within comparably large and complex organisations. Higher Education and/or international experience would be useful but is not essential and we welcome applications from all sectors. A proven track record of delivery and a solutions-focussed approach combined with visible and clear leadership ability are highly desirable”. The closing date for this vacancy is 31st January 2019.

You can find further job vacancies listed on the BUFDG jobs page.

 

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