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The role of Finance Business Partners and Institution Heads of Finance in budgetary planning and control

The University operates an annual Planning Round, one aspect of which is to collate financial forecasts from institutions (usually around December each year) covering all funding streams.  For Chest activity the financial forecast relating to the subsequent financial year, together with prior year actual financial results also form the basis for determining the Chest allocation and budget.

Finance Business Partners and Institution heads of finance are generally responsible for collating and submitting institutional financial forecasts. For some this process operates top-down (with a forecast prepared for a group of institutions as a whole), for others the approach is bottom-up (institutional level forecasts prepared that then need to be consolidated). Your Finance Business Partner or Institution head of finance can advise which approach is adopted for your institution.

Finance Business Partners and Institution heads of finance are also responsible for providing the details for the Chest allocations budget by institution, subject to approval by the relevant body (e.g. School Council), which are subsequently consolidated by a central finance team and published in a collected budget document. The Institution head of finance’s involvement in budgetary control includes general oversight by reviewing financial reports at least monthly for their areas of responsibility and raising issues with the local institutions as appropriate.

Finance Business Partners and Institution heads of finance can advise on producing budgets for non-Chest sources of funding, such as research and trading activity. Research Operations Office (ROO) deal with Research grants and contracts, and monitoring against individual research project budgets. Finance Business Partners’ and Institution heads of finance involvement in budgetary control for non-Chest activity will vary depending on the policies adopted by institutions. The monthly review of financial reports means these roles monitor non-Chest activity regularly.

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