Finance & Procurement

Budget monitoring and costing

The Section is responsible for preparing estimates, budget monitoring, salary forecasting, estimating tuition fees, financial planning, University resource allocation model and completing various returns e.g. HESA, TRAC, five-year HEFCE planning.

The section also write financial reports on the financial system and answer ad hoc queries.

Budget monitoring procedures

General queries

If you have a general financial query, you should contact your faculty accountant or financial contact in the first instance, see list below:

Faculty Contact
Engineering Faculty Vicky Ody & Sarah Hext
Humanities Faculty Becky Docton & Laura King
Science Faculty Rachel Tomson & Suk Trippier
School of Management Dawn Lloyd & Laura King
Accommodation & Hospitality Dawn Lloyd
Tuition fees Dawn Lloyd
Resource allocation model Tom Williams
Professional Services Vicky Davis

Budget monitoring reports

Each month, the MIS produce a summary budget monitoring report, which compares, for each budget, the actual expenditure (or income) to the end of the period with the phased budget. (see Annex A for example). The budget phasing represents the pattern of expenditure (or income) over the 12 periods and may be calculated on different bases. Pay expenditure is spread evenly over the year. Non pay expenditure (or income) initially is phased on the pattern of expenditure over the previous year. However, since the phasing may differ between years budget holders may change the phasing at any time during the year.

Reporting on budget variances

The summary circulated by MIS will contain some highlighted variances where an explanation of the variance is required. The aim of the monitoring is not to create a great deal of work, it is to ensure budget holders are looking at their budgets, can explain variances and confirm that they are going to stay within their budget. With the summary, an explanation of major variations form is circulated. (See Annex C for example). The form has a number of boxes that have to be completed.

Explanation of variance

For pay variances budget holders may need to talk to their Faculty Accountant who will have access to the salary costing database and a breakdown of the budget.

For non-pay variances budget holders should use the Agresso reports which are produced at month end.

Remedial action required

Budget holders should enter what action they are going to take. This may be to re-phase the budget or journal expenditure to another code. Budget holders should try to do this before the next period so the same explanation is not required.

Effect over a full year

It is important budget holder consider what the impact of any variance will have on the budget for the year. Where an overspend is forecast it is important that this is quantified and reported so that the estimates may be updated if necessary. Note even where variances are not highlighted if budget holders anticipate an overspend they should report this on the form.

Budget monitoring documents

Costing - Programme costing tool

A prospective costing tool has been developed by the Management Accounting Team to be used to support new course proposals.

Please contact your Faculty Accountant for support in applying the tool to existing programmes.

Financial assumptions

The indirect costs include the following items:

  • academic time in departments spent supporting PGT (eg DoS) as reported in the time allocation exercise
  • faculty support time: Split of all staff in Faculties as agreed by Faculty accountants and Deans
  • non-pay costs: This is taken from TRAC. Specific items of expenditure on courses have been excluded so this only includes general costs for PGT (eg PGCE, APT3, MBA etc…)
  • central costs: These are based upon the TRAC return where the time allocation data was used to prepare the TRAC return with a split between UG & PGT. The central costs are split between those that are student related (gen ed, registry, student facilities, library, BUCS, Admin & Finance). The student numbers are from TRAC and these are sourced from the HESES return. Please note that TRAC also includes specific as well as general expenditure so this will need tweaking (eg UKOLN in library).
  • there are also central costs for staff – BUCS and personnel costs. This is added to the above on the basis of staff time.

The Estates costs include the following items:

  • Utilities, Maintenance, Other estates costs such as Security, Cleaning, depreciation and interest. The TRAC Infrastructure adjustments are NOT included.
  • Costs are per hour per room and the category eg small, medium and large are based on student numbers for GTA (<20, 20-50, 50+) and by sqm for lab.