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An overview

The University’s financial year-end is 31 July, the date being set by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) 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 departmental accounts and records.
  • Submit the financial statements to the Finance Committee and to Council for approval prior to submission to HEFCE.
  • Submit its audited financial statements to HEFCE no later than 1 December.

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

May / June

  • Preparation by departments for the year-end
  • Issue of year-end instructions


  • Year-end seminars
  • External audit: interim visit
  • 31 July year-end


  • Departments processing final transactions by mid-August for the financial year-end
  • Sub-ledgers (UFS modules) for the July period are closed down


  • Departments finalise their own departmental accounts
  • General Ledger is closed for July
  • First draft of University level Financial Statements prepared


  • Departments sign off their own departmental accounts
  • Final external audit visit


  • Final set of consolidated Financial Statements are prepared and external audit is completed
  • Financial Statements are approved by Finance Committee and by Council
  • Financial Statements are signed and submitted to HEFCE

A number of important aspects should be taken into account by departments as they prepare for year-end, these include the following.

Year-end instructions

By complying with these instructions the most relevant actions will be undertaken in the preparation of a department’s year-end accounts.

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

Departments 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 Department is responsible for the final sign-off of the Department’s annual accounts, which is an essential step in the year-end process. In signing off the accounts the Head of Department is helping to discharge his / her responsibilities under University Statutes and Ordinances.


These 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 a department’s year-end accounts.
  • A list of staff contacts to provide advice and assistance.