Report on the audit of the financial statements

Opinion

In our opinion, the University of Bath’s group financial statements and parent institution financial statements (the “financial statements”):

  • give a true and fair view of the state of the group’s and of the parent institution’s affairs as at 31 July 2020 and of the group’s and of the parent institution’s income and expenditure, gains and losses and changes in reserves, and of the group’s cash flows for the year then ended
  • have been properly prepared in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (United Kingdom Accounting Standards, comprising FRS 102 “The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland”, and applicable law); and
  • have been properly prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Office for Students’ Accounts Direction (OfS 2019.41)

We have audited the financial statements, included within the Annual Report and Accounts (the “Annual Report”), which comprise the Consolidated and University Balance Sheets as at 31 July 2020; the Consolidated and University Statement of Comprehensive Income, the Consolidated and University Statement of Changes in Reserves, and the Consolidated Cash Flow Statement for the year then ended; and the Consolidated and University Statement of Principal Accounting Policies; and the notes to the financial statements.

Basis for opinion

We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK) (“ISAs (UK)”) and applicable law. Our responsibilities under ISAs (UK) are further described in the Auditors’ responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements section of our report. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.

Independence

We remained independent of the group in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the financial statements in the UK, which includes the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)’s Ethical Standard, and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements.

Conclusions relating to going concern

We have nothing to report in respect of the following matters in relation to which ISAs (UK) require us to report to you when:

  • the Council’s use of the going concern basis of accounting in the preparation of the financial statements is not appropriate; or
  • the Council has not disclosed in the financial statements any identified material uncertainties that may cast significant doubt about the group’s and parent institution’s ability to continue to adopt the going concern basis of accounting for a period of at least twelve months from the date when the financial statements are authorised for issue

However, because not all future events or conditions can be predicted, this statement is not a guarantee as to the group and parent institution’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Reporting on other information

The other information comprises all of the information in the Annual Report other than the financial statements and our auditors’ report thereon. The Council is responsible for the other information. Our opinion on the financial statements does not cover the other information and, accordingly, we do not express an audit opinion or any form of assurance thereon.

In connection with our audit of the financial statements, our responsibility is to read the other information and, in doing so, consider whether the other information is materially inconsistent with the financial statements or our knowledge obtained in the audit, or otherwise appears to be materially misstated. If we identify an apparent material inconsistency or material misstatement, we are required to perform procedures to conclude whether there is a material misstatement of the financial statements or a material misstatement of the other information. If, based on the work we have performed, we conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, we are required to report that fact. We have nothing to report based on these responsibilities.

Responsibilities for the financial statements and the audit

Responsibilities of the Council for the financial statements

As explained more fully in the Statement of responsibilities of the Council set out on page 40, the Council is responsible for the preparation of the financial statements in accordance with the applicable framework and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view. The Council is also responsible for such internal control as they determine is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

In preparing the financial statements, the Council is responsible for assessing the group and parent institution’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless the Council either intends to liquidate the group and parent institution or to cease operations, or has no realistic alternative to do so.

Auditors’ responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditors’ report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs (UK) will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.

A further description of our responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements is located on the Financial Reporting Council’s website. This description forms part of our auditors’ report.

Use of this report

This report, including the opinions, has been prepared for and only for the Council as a body in accordance with the Charters and Statutes of the institution, and for no other purpose. We do not, in giving these opinions, accept or assume responsibility for any other purpose or to any other person to whom this report is shown or into whose hands it may come save where expressly agreed by our prior consent in writing.

Other required reporting

Opinions on other matters prescribed in the Office for Students’ Accounts Direction (OfS 2019.41)

In our opinion, in all material respects:

  • funds from whatever source administered by the institution for specific purposes have been properly applied to those purposes and, if relevant, managed in accordance with relevant legislation
  • funds provided by the Office for Students, UK Research and Innovation (including Research England), the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the Department for Education have been applied in accordance with the relevant terms and conditions

Under the Office for Students’ Accounts Direction, we are required to report to you, if we have anything to report in respect of the following matters:

  • The institution’s grant and fee income, as disclosed in the notes 1 - 3 to the financial statements, has been materially misstated; or
  • The institution’s expenditure on access and participation activities for the financial year has been materially misstated

We have no matters to report arising from this responsibility.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Chartered Accountants and Statutory Auditors
Bristol
26 November 2020