Controls and governance

The University Council

The University Council governs the University. This is structured very differently to commercial companies. The Council relies on reports received and work performed by responsible members of staff throughout the institution to protect the University against loss and error.

University Status

The University is a corporation formed by the Royal Charter with charitable status.

The University is governed by Council which is responsible for:

  • Overall administration and management
  • Audited financial statements

To do this it considers:

  • University statutes
  • Combined code on Corporate Governance
  • Office for Suudents Accounts direction
  • Governance Code of Practice and General Principles

Full details are included in the University financial statements.


Legislation and Regulation

Relevant to finance are:

  • Office for Students Financial Memorandum
  • Statement of Recommended Practice on Accounting for Further and Higher Education Institutions (SORP)
  • Accounting standards
  • Company Law

Obligations for Financial Statements

The Council has to ensure:

  • suitable accounting policies are selected and applied consistently
  • judgements and estimates are reasonable and prudent
  • accounting standards have been followed
  • it is appropriate that the financial statements are prepared on the going concern basis
  • funds from Office for Students are used in accordance with the purpose and conditions prescribed
  • appropriate financial and management controls safeguard public funds and funds from other sources
  • safeguarding the University's assets and the prevention and detection of fraud
  • economical, efficient and effective management of the University's resources and expenditure

Assurance and Control

Council achieves assurance through reports received, work undertaken by University Committees and the University system of financial control which includes:

  • comprehensive planning processes, supplemented by detailed annual income, expenditure, capital and cash flow budgets
  • regular reviews of performance and financial results involving variance reporting and updates of forecast outturn
  • comprehensive Financial Regulations, approved by the Audit Committee, Finance Committee and Council
  • clear definitions of the responsibilities of staff and defined formal requirements for approval and control of expenditure
  • Investment decisions involving capital or revenue expenditure are subject to formal appraisal and review according to levels set by Council
  • professional Internal Audit Service whose annual programme is approved by the Audit Committee
  • self assessment Controls Assurance Certificates (staff log-in required) certification completed by managers responsible for key systems of financial control; reviewed by the Internal Audit Service and the results reported to the Audit Committee
  • any system of internal financial control can only provide reasonable, but not absolute, assurance against material misstatement or loss.




General Finance enquiries

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