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An overview

The University’s financial year end is 31 July, the date being set by the Office for Students (OfS) and it applies to all higher education institutions. At the end of each financial year the University is legally required to:

  • Prepare a set of financial statements (with a prescribed format and content) which includes a Statement of Comprehensive Income and a Balance Sheet.
  • Be subject to an external audit, to enable the auditors to form an opinion on the financial statements. The auditors will examine not just the preparation of financial statements, but also whether or not funding has been used for the purpose that it was given. This will include a review of institution accounts and records.
  • Submit the financial statements to the Finance Committee and to Council for approval prior to submission to the Office for Students.
  • Submit its audited financial statements to the Office for Students.

The financial statements provide important information on the financial position of the University and they can be used as a basis for future financial planning.

Summary year-end timetable

  • Issue of year-end instructions
  • Year-end seminars
  • External audit interim visit
  • 31 July year end
  • Institutions process final transactions by mid-August for financial year end
  • Sub-ledgers (UFS modules) for the July period are closed down
  • General Ledger 2023/24 is closed
  • Institutions finalise their own accounts
  • First draft of University level Financial Statements prepared
  • Final external audit visit commences
  • Institutions return their own signed-off accounts
  • Consolidation and external audit commences
  • Final set of consolidated Financial Statements is prepared and external audit is completed
  • Financial Statements are approved by Finance Committee and by Council
  • Financial Statements are signed and submitted to the Office for Students

A number of important aspects should be taken into account by institutions as they prepare for year-end, these include:

Year end instructions By following the instructions outlined within these procedures, and respecting the checklist completion dates, institutions will ensure that they have accomplished the most relevant actions and facilitated a successful financial close for the University
Financial regulations By following Financial Regulations and relevant accounting procedures during the year the integrity of financial information will be assured
Funding expenditure from specific income streams Institutions may receive funding from a range of sources which is used to fund different activities. By making appropriate use of the funding and ensuring that the expenditure is accurately recorded against the relevant Source of Funds, the integrity and accuracy of the financial position for each funding source will be assured.
Accuracy of transactions By focusing on the accuracy and completeness of transactions the quality of a department’s accounts will be assured.
Year end certificate

The Head of Institution is responsible for the final sign-off of the institution’s annual accounts, which is an essential step in the year-end process. In signing off the accounts, the Head of Institution is helping to discharge their responsibilities under University Statutes and Ordinances.


The year-end instructions include:

  • Detailed instructions for all relevant aspects of the year-end process.
  • A summary checklist to be used to monitor progress in completing an institution’s year-end accounts.
  • A list of staff contacts to provide advice and assistance.

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