The use of K accounts is governed by the University's Financial Regulations, Other regulations and the Procurement Policy. University staff should be familiar with the regulation document prior to the establishment or operation of a General Fund.
- Funds in K accounts belong to the University, and can only be used to support University business, all items acquired through General Funds remain the property of the University.
- General Funds may not go into deficit. If a deficit does arise the department will be required to clear it.
- The Finance & Procurements Office must be notified when a General Fund account is no longer required so it can be closed.
- Unless an exception has been approved by both Head of Departments and Director of Finance no transfers should be made into General Funds from departmental operating budgets.
- General Funds may be used for short term bridging of positions in certain circumstances, please see notes below
Types of general fund (K account)
KA projects are set up in the name of individual academic members of staff who may use the funds therein, subject to HoD approval, to further their University activity.
The named individual must be on a current academic contract of employment with the University (G8 or above). There are no exceptions to this.
If the named individual ceases to be an employee any balance on the account will be transferred to a departmental K account. (Funds must remain in the University - a leaver may not withdraw/spend or take balances with them)
Academic KA accounts may be credited with personal fees which have been irrevocably waived from consultancy or short course activity (The contract must be between the University of Bath and the third party)
KB projects are set up in the name of the Department or a group or Centre within the department. They may be set up for general or specific purposes. Examples of specific activities are: for operating department or shared facilities, for managing internal awards, CPD development awards, or surplus on CPD projects and annual fund awards.
Departments KB accounts may be credited with research overhead and project surpluses, and debited with project shortfalls.
The HoD may use funds on Departmental KB accounts to cover the costs (eg travel consumables) of visiting or honorary staff (Including Professor Emeritus) who are furthering the academic work of the department on a Pro bono publico basis.
Specific allocations to visiting academics eg on Fellowships may be administered through a KB account. However, irrespective of the source of funding, the University policies and regulations will apply to the use of the funds.
KC projects are set up in the name of individual members of staff who are not eligible for a KA account, and for whom an individual award/allocation has been made. They may use the funds therein, subject to HoD approval, to further their University activity, and in accordance with any specific purpose, including a personal consultancy for which they were awarded.
The Finance and Procuement Office (F&PO) will consider and authorise or reject a request to set up a KC project account.
The named individual must, without exception, be on a current contract of employment with the University.
If the named individual ceases to be an employee any balance on the account will revert to the originator (internal) or will otherwise be transferred to a departmental K account. (Funds must remain in the University - a leaver may not withdraw/spend or take balances with them).
It is expected that credits to the KC account can only result from awards, personal consultancy or allocations e.g. L&T, they are not expected to arise from project surpluses or fees waived.
Guidance on charging staff to K accounts
As a rule staff should not be appointed on K accounts as the University does want staff cost commitments on projects where there is no University budget or no external income grant or contract to fund them. The exception is where there is a requirement to bridge a short term funding gap as set out below:
Less than 3 months - To bridge the short-term funding gap for a fixed term or casual appointment for a period not exceeding 3 months against a General Fund already built up by the department requires the following approval and authorisation process set out below:
Discuss the proposal with your HR Manager. If it is agreed to proceed with this request your HR Manager will refer this to the Head of Department (HoD) for approval.
The HoD will confirm or not their approval for this proposal and will explain the available funds already existing in the account and costs of the bridging of the staff appointment, together with an undertaking to underwrite the cost from the department’s operating budget if the costs exceed the funding available in the account.
Approval of the arrangement by Finance & Procurement Emma Hoar.
The Finance Department will transfer the funding from the original K account into a dedicated K account for this purpose.
More than 3 months - If the department wishes to make or extend an appointment for a period exceeding 3 months, then the case will need to go to the Director of HR and Director of Finance for approval.
Additional funding or support for a student
A department cannot award a FULL studentship from any fund other than the URS. However, it may be possible to provide top ups and short term funding from K accounts subject to the conditions below
- The approval of the HoD has been obtained
- Approval of the arrangement by Studentship Accountant in the Finance and Procurement Office.
Finance will transfer the funding from the original K account into a dedicated E (studentship) account for this purpose.