12. Accounting Arrangements
12.1 Financial year
The University’s financial year will run from 1 August until 31 July the following year.
12.2 Basis of accounting
The consolidated financial statements are prepared on the historical cost basis of accounting and in accordance with applicable accounting standards.
12.3 Format of the financial statements
The financial statements are prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice Accounting for Further and Higher Education, subject to any specific requirements of HEFCE.
12.4 Capitalisation and depreciation
12.4.1 New land and buildings will be recorded in the balance sheet at actual build or acquisition cost, except where they are received as gifts, where they will be recorded at depreciated replacement value. Buildings will be depreciated in equal instalments over their estimated remaining useful life. Land will not be depreciated.
12.4.2 Expenditure incurred on refurbishment or extension of existing buildings will be capitalised where it can be demonstrated that the work represents an improvement to the original specification of the building.
12.4.3 Expenditure incurred on the acquisition of assets other than land and buildings will be recorded in the balance sheet where the acquisition cost per item is £10,000 or more (including any irrecoverable VAT). Grouped items (eg a suite of computers) with a collective total value of £10,000 or more, will also be capitalised.
12.4.4 Capitalised assets other than land and buildings will be depreciated over their useful lives, details of which may be found in the University’s accounting policies.
12.4.5 Where capital assets are funded by a corresponding grant or donation, a capital grant balance will be established and will be released to income over the useful life of the asset.
12.5 Accounting records
12.5.1 The Treasurer shall prepare, document and maintain detailed financial procedures and systems incorporating the principles of separation of duties and internal control.
12.5.2 The Treasurer shall require in relation to any member of staff who carries out a financial function, that the form in which the records are kept and the manner in which that member of staff discharges their duties shall be to the Treasurer’s satisfaction. No changes to the form of accounting records or procedures shall be permitted without the prior approval of the Treasurer.
12.5.3 Members of the Treasurer's staff will have a right of access at all times to all University records, information and assets and are entitled to require from any member of staff of the University such information and explanations as they consider necessary for the proper performance of their duties.
12.5.4 Unless expressly provided for in these regulations, facsimile signatures may not be used to authorise any financial transaction.
12.5.5 The Treasurer shall keep accounting records which are sufficient to show and explain the University's transactions and are such as to disclose with reasonable accuracy, at any time, the financial position of the University at that time and to enable the Treasurer to ensure that any accounts comply with the requirements to prepare accounts.
12.5.6 The accounting records shall in particular contain entries from day to day of all sums of money received and expended by the University and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place and a record of the assets and liabilities of the University.
12.5.7 The Treasurer shall prepare and submit an annual report to Council for approval, including the annual financial statements of the University, as soon as possible after the end of the University’s financial year on 31 July.
12.6 Retention of records
12.6.1 The Treasurer is responsible for the retention of financial documents in accordance with the University’s retention of records policy. Details are given in the Records Retention Schedule. Retained records should be kept in a form that is acceptable to the relevant authorities.
12.6.2 The University is required by law to retain prime documents for six years. These include:
- official purchase orders
- paid invoices
- invoices issued
- bank statements
- payroll records, including expense claims
12.6.3 The Treasurer will make appropriate arrangements for the retention of electronic records.
12.6.4 Members of staff should ensure that retention arrangements comply with any specific requirements of funding organisations such as regional development agencies. Additionally, for auditing and other purposes, other financial documents should be retained for three years or as determined by the funder.
12.7 Public access
Under the terms of the Charities Act 1993, the Council is required to supply any person with a copy of the University’s most recent financial statements within two months of a request. The Act enables the Council to levy a reasonable fee and this will be charged at the discretion of the Treasurer. The University will also make financial statements available on the University’s website.
The Treasurer is responsible for providing advice as required on all taxation issues, in the light of guidance issued by the appropriate bodies and relevant legislation as it applies to the University. Therefore the Treasurer will establish procedures for compliance with statutory requirements including those concerning VAT, PAYE, national insurance, corporation tax and import duty. The procedures will include provision for maintaining the University’s tax records, making all tax payments, receiving tax credits and submitting tax returns by their due date as appropriate.
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