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It is always important to have a clear picture of financial plans, both income and expenditure. Financial Regulations state that "Departments are required to keep their expenditure within the resources available. In effect this is saying that expenditure should not exceed income (or budget allocated). This also links in with the HEFCE requirement that in the medium term the University's total planned expenditure should not exceed its expected income.

Ideally income and expenditure should be matched against each other in the same financial year, but this is not always possible due to timing differences. Where appropriate this gives rise to the need for accruals and pre-payments.