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Introduction to financial regulations

An introduction to the University's financial regulations, including instructions for use and a glossary of terms.


Introduction by the Vice-Chancellor and President.

The Financial Regulations (Regulations) set out the fundamental principles that underpin all financial transactions undertaken by or on behalf of the University and they are supported by Policies and more detailed operational procedures. Should there be a conflict between the Regulations and Policies and procedures, then the Regulations will take precedence.

The Regulations are approved by Finance Committee on behalf of Council.

The University is operating in a highly regulated environment and has obligations to conduct its financial and wider affairs appropriately; mindful of its obligations under;

  • Office for Students (OfS) Regulatory Framework for Higher Education in England and the associated Regulatory Advice Notices, particularly Regulation Advice 9 (Accounts Direction) and Regulatory Advice 10 (Accountable Officers) and Terms and Conditions of OfS funding for higher education institutions.
  • Charity Law;
  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rules;
  • The wider corporate context including UK Companies Act compliance, Modern Slavery Act, Bribery Act, Criminal Finances Act Anti-Money Laundering Act;
  • International regulatory compliance in the jurisdictions in which it operates;
  • UK and international sanctions requirements.

The Regulations apply to the operation of the University, its subsidiary companies and all staff employed by these bodies. Full compliance with the Regulations is mandatory for all members of Council, employees, and students. For all those included in the above they must ensure that they are;

  • conversant with these Regulations and associated policies and adhere to them as relevant to their role;
  • conduct themselves and represent the University in line with the guidance set out below;
  • seek appropriate guidance prior to engaging in financial areas with which they are not familiar;
  • consider and declare any potential conflict of interest and seek advice as necessary;
  • co-operate with all reasonable requests from internal and external auditors;
  • familiarise themselves with how to report suspected fraud, bribery, corruption, or other serious matters of concern and to take action if they have such concerns.

Links below are for the Anti-Bribery Policy, Raising Serious Concerns and Disclosing Public Interest Disclosure Matters (Whistleblowing) Policy, Criminal Finance Act Policy and Anti-Money Laundering Policy.
Anti-bribery Policy
Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblowing) Policy
Criminal finance act policy
Anti-money laundering policy

Heads of Department are responsible for determining which staff should undertake the training where provided for each of the above.

Support and guidance on the application of the above policies and training requirements can be obtained from the Standing Group for Financial Probity.

The University is committed to the highest standards of openness, integrity, and accountability, and expects that its staff will act in good faith, impartially and in accordance with their positions of trust.

All individuals covered by these Regulations, particularly those with the responsibility for the financial administration or management of the University, should never use their authority for personal gain and should always seek to uphold and enhance the standing of the University. The University expects staff of all levels to observe the University’s code of conduct. This reflects the seven principles of public life (Nolan principles) of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership.

How to use the Regulations.

The Regulations are approved by Finance Committee on 23 June 2021 and recommended to Council at their July 2021 meeting.

The Regulations set out the general principles of good financial management, it is unlikely that they will change very often.

Financial Policies set out the university direction or guiding principles governing an area, these are usually administrative in nature and can be as result of specific legislation or external regulation. Policies development can include wide stakeholder engagement, in some instances including the Students’ Union and Trade Unions. Policies will consider equality and climate impact and will be approved by UEB and then Finance Committee.

Policy framework

Financial Procedures describe, involving linked action steps) how to do something, to ensure consistency of best practice, often supports a Regulation or Policy and developed and written with the user/customer in mind, in the case of financial procedures this is often budget holders. Procedures will necessarily change over time to accommodate changing practice and be subject to approval by the Director of Finance and can be found on the Finance & Procurement Office (F&PO) web pages and will carry the date of the last revision and name of the contact for that page.

It is the personal responsibility of Deans and Heads of Department to ensure that their staff are aware of the content of the Regulations, Policies and Procedures and where appropriate have undertaken the training provided by the University.

Members of staff in the F&PO are always willing to assist staff in Departments who have queries concerning any matter relating to the Regulations or Financial Procedures. If staff have any concerns or are unsure about a particular aspect of them, please contact the named individual named on the relevant web page.

Similarly, if Departments are undertaking a new activity which it is felt is not adequately covered within the Regulations, please contact the F&PO at an early stage so that advise, and support can be provided.

Glossary of Terms

The following terms are among these found in the Financial Regulations and in financial reports generally.

Accountable Officer – individual nominated by Council as defined by the Office for Students (OfS).
Acting – where a position is given as “Acting” this position retains the full responsibilities of the substantive position.
Annual Reports & Accounts (AR&A) comprises the annual report, external audit report, statement of consolidated income and expenses, consolidated balance sheet, the cash flow statement, movement in reserves and notes.
Authorised Signatory is the member of staff committing funds for and on behalf of the University.
Revenue Budget is the output from the annual planning and budget setting process to support the University’s Strategic Plan objectives, it is updated from time to time and approved by Finance Committee. Original budget is the allocation of funds to be generated and/or spent on the operation of an activity as delegated by a Dean or Head of Department and recorded within the finance system. Forecast is the term for the subsequent revisions of budget that take place during the year. Financial management by budget holders is managed against budget. Budget might will be net of any under or overspends brought forward from previous years as allocated by the Dean.
Capital Budget are specific projects approved by Finance Committee where over £2m or the Director of Finance where less than £2m and is supported by an approved Lilac form.
Budget Holder this is the individual nominated by the Dean or Head of Department as being responsible for the financial transactions recorded against the budget and for ensure they compile with these Regulations, Policies and Procedures.
Departments are the major budget centres in the University. They include academic departments (and school), professional service and support and self -financing units. Each department has a head of department responsible for its financial administration, operation, and compliance.
Employee is a person employed, whether part-time or full-time, by the University or subsidiary under a contract of employment.
Endowments (Permanent) are those bequests and gifts where the express or implied intention of the benefactor is that the capital should be retained for the ongoing (generational) benefit of the institution.
Endowments (Expendable) are those endowments where the use of the capital and income, or only the income, is for a specific purpose or activity so designated by the donor and which can only be used for that purpose or activity.
Faculties are groupings of academic departments in related disciplines. All references to Faculties include the School of Management. Each faculty is led by a Dean, who is responsible for the budgets set within the Faculty and delegating these to academic departments within the faculty.
Financial Administration is the preparation of accounts, management information, monitoring and control of expenditure against budgets and all financial operations.
Fixed Assets are those assets intended to be held for use on a continuing basis in the activities of the University, with a value greater than £25,000.
Forecasts are revisions to the original annual budget as approved by Finance Committee and recorded and reported against actual expenditure/income.
Income (General) is that which can be applied to any activity of the institution at the discretion of the institution. Examples of such income are OfS and other grant funding, students' tuition fees and income from general donations and commercial income.
Income (Restricted) is that which can only be applied to a specific purpose or activity so designated by the grantor or donor. Examples of such income are OfS and other funding grants for specific purposes, most research grants and contracts and income from endowments.
Intellectual Property is a collective term covering inventions, discoveries, literary works, software, images, designs, trademarks, and plant varieties. Ownership of rights in IP generally provides the owner with a right to prevent others using it unless they have permission or a licence. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Patents Act 1977 are the principal relevant legislation.
Inventory Equipment is any items of plant, computers, etc with a value in excess of £1,000.
Investments are financial assets into which the University has placed funds to generate a return, it can included direct contributions to spin outs, monies held by banks and other financial institutions as governed by the Investment Policy and reported in the Treasury Management Strategy.
Provisions are amounts set aside as being reasonably necessary to provide for a liability or loss that is likely, or certain, to be incurred, but is uncertain as to amount or timing.
Reserves are the accumulated gains of income over expenditure, including revaluation and endowment reserves. Revaluation reserve is the sum of unrealised gains arising from the revaluation of the institution's land and buildings by an external independent valuer.
University Company/subsidiary is any company over which the University has control.


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