Financial Regulations

1. Introduction

1.1. Background

1.1.1. The University is an exempt charity by virtue of the Charities Act 1993. Its structure of governance is set out in its charter and statutes. The University management and administration is responsible to the University Council for the activities of the Organisation.

1.1.2. The regulations, policies and procedures included here form part of a system of accountability established by the University. They are to be read in conjunction with the Regulatory Framework for Higher Education and the Terms and Conditions of Funding for higher education institutions issued by the Office for Students.

1.1.3. The University’s financial regulations are the principles for the conduct of the financial affairs of the University. It is anticipated that these regulations will change only periodically whilst the supporting procedures will be updated more frequently.

1.1.4. The financial regulations are subordinate to the University’s Charter and Statutes.

1.1.5. The University Council on 7 November 2018 approved this document.

1.2. Purpose of Financial Regulations

1.2.1. The purpose of these regulations is to provide control over the totality of the University’s (including subsidiary organisations) resources and to provide the University Council and management with assurances that resources are being properly applied for the achievement of the University’s strategic plan and the business objectives:

  • Financial sustainability
  • Achieving value for money
  • Fulfilling its responsibility for the provision of effective financial control over the use of public funds
  • Ensuring compliance with relevant legislation
  • Safeguarding assets

1.3. Scope of Financial Regulations

1.3.1. Compliance with the financial regulations is compulsory for all staff within the University and failure to comply may result in disciplinary action being taken. It is the responsibility of Heads of Departments to ensure that their staff are made aware of the existence and content of the University’s financial regulations. These regulations apply to the University and its Subsidiary Companies (“the group”) (see Appendix One). The University subsidiary companies have their own separate regulations that apply to their operations, which must comply with these regulations.

2. Corporate Governance

2.1. Court

2.1.1. The Court is the statutory body representing the interests of the University’s constituencies. It appoints the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellors on the nomination of Council. The annual audited Accounts must be presented to the Court and members of Court are entitled to ask questions on the Accounts or any other financial matter.

2.2. University Council

2.2.1. The University Council is responsible for the management and administration of the University.

2.2.2. In addition to the responsibilities set out in the terms of reference, the Council has a number of powers and functions that are set out in Statute 11.

2.2.3. Whilst Council has responsibility for the University’s affairs, it has approved a formal scheme of delegation.

2.2.4. Council may delegate its powers to authorise specific expenditure to a sub‐group of its members. Such sub‐groups may exercise the powers of Council in respect of that expenditure (in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation and Decision Making) but may not further delegate their responsibilities.

2.2.5. Committees authorised by Council to exercise powers are required to provide regular reports on their use of those powers. Council also requires to be regularly given sufficient financial information to provide an appropriate context within which it can judge the use of delegated authority and to assess the on‐going financial position of the University.

2.2.6. The University Council has ultimate responsibility for the University’s finances, but delegates specific powers and processes to the committees detailed below. These committees are accountable to the University Council.

2.2.7. The Urgent Decisions Group is a sub-committee of Council, which makes decisions on a between-meetings basis on matters where an urgent decision is required by externally imposed requirements. Any decisions made by the group will be reported to the next meeting of Council.

It is comprised:

Chair of Council; Vice-Chancellor & President; Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost; Treasurer; Deputy Treasurer; A Pro-Chancellor; An academic member of Council; Finance Director ; Registrar & Secretary; President of the SU (except for items of reserved business); President of the GSA (except for items of reserved business).

2.2.8. The quorum shall be a minimum of five members, comprising:

  • Vice-Chancellor & President or Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost,
  • Chair of Council or another Pro-Chancellor (but not the Deputy Treasurer if this individual is also a Pro-Chancellor),
  • Treasurer or Deputy Treasurer,
  • Registrar & Secretary or Finance Director,
  • An academic member of Council.

2.3. Senate

2.3.1. The Senate is the supreme academic authority in the University. It has no direct responsibility for finance but may make recommendations or reports to the Council on any financial implications of the academic policy of the University.

2.3.2. The sub-committees of Senate are listed: Senate sub-committees.

2.4. University Executive Board

2.4.1. The University Executive Board assists the Vice-Chancellor & President in overseeing the strategic direction for the University and delivering its vision. The Board ensures there is effective leadership, management and co-ordination of all the major academic and support activities undertaken by the University.

2.4.2. Regular reports are made to both Senate and Council.

2.4.3. The sub-committees of the University Executive Board are listed: University Executive Board sub-committees.

2.5. Accountable Officer

2.5.1. The Vice‐Chancellor & President is the University’s accountable officer and is responsible for ensuring that the administration of the University is conducted in accordance with the Regulatory Framework issued by the Office for Students.

2.5.2. The Vice‐Chancellor & President is responsible for the items set out by the Office for Students in their letter accepting the Vice-Chancellor & President as the accountable officer. . The Vice-Chancellor & President may be required to justify any of the University’s financial matters to the Public Accounts Committee.

2.6. Treasurer

2.6.1. The Treasurer is a member of Council and is responsible to Council for maintaining an overview of the University’s financial policies. The Treasurer acts as the Chair of the Finance Committee.

2.7. Regulatory Framework

2.7.1. The Terms and Conditions of funding for higher education institutions issued by the Office for Students sets out the terms and conditions on which the Office for Students grant is made to the University. The University Council is responsible for ensuring that the conditions of the grant are met.

2.7.2. The Office for Students grant is provided to support:

  • the provision of education
  • the provision of any facilities and the carrying on of any other activities which the Council of the University considers it necessary or desirable to provide or carry on for the purpose of, or in connection with, education.

2.7.3. The UKRI provides grants to carry out research into science, technology, humanities, new ideas and to support knowledge exchange. There are terms and conditions that are associated with receiving these grants.

2.7.4. The Terms and Conditions of funding for higher education institutions set outs the responsibilities of the University in connection with the following areas:

  • Regularity and probity
  • Governing bodies
  • Accountable officer
  • Financial sustainability
  • Financial commitments
  • Material adverse events
  • Quality of provision
  • Provision of information to Office for students

2.7.5. The Office for Students issues an annual “Accounts Direction” which sets out the information that should be included in the University’s annual accounts. It also sets out the requirements concerning the publication of accounts and submission of financial information to the Office for Students.

2.8. Register of Interests

2.8.1. All Council members shall ensure that the register of interests maintained by the Registrar & Secretary is up to date.

3. Responsibilities of Staff

3.1. Introduction

3.1.1. The University is committed to the highest standards of openness, integrity and accountability. It seeks to conduct its affairs in a responsible manner, having regard to the principles established by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (formerly known as the Nolan Committee), which staff at all levels are expected to observe.

3.1.2. The University expects staff (including those employed by subsidiary entities) at all levels to:

  • carry out duties diligently and to the best of their ability;
  • comply with all lawful and reasonable instructions of the University including University rules and regulations;
  • promote the interests and reputation of the University;
  • act in good faith towards the University;
  • take all possible care not to damage any of the University's property or equipment.

3.1.3. In addition, in connection with University funds all members of staff shall:

  • ensure that funds are used economically, effectively and efficiently;
  • know and abide by the authority limits contained in the delegated authorities approved by Council;
  • know the University’s financial authority limits including the value of those purchases for which quotations and tenders are required;
  • make available any records or information to the Finance Director, or his or her authorised representative, or the University Internal auditors, or the University External auditors relevant to the implementation of the University’s financial policies, or to carry out the requirements of University Council;
  • notify the Finance Director when any matter arises which involves, or is thought to involve, irregularities concerning, inter alia, University cash or property;
  • use University property or resources only for University business.

3.1.4. Additionally, members of the University Executive Board and any staff involved in procurement must disclose any interests in the University’s register of interests maintained by the Registrar & Secretary. They must ensure that entries in the register relating to them are kept up to date regularly and promptly. In particular, no person shall be a signatory to a University contract where he or she also has an interest in the activities of the other party.

3.2. Whistle blowing

3.2.1. Whistle blowing, under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, is disclosure by an employee (or other party) of actual or suspected malpractice in the workplace.

3.2.2. Normally, any concern about a workplace matter shall be raised with the member of staff’s immediate line manager or Head of Department / Head of Support Service. However, the University recognises that the seriousness or sensitivity of some issues, together with the identity of the person the member of staff thinks may be involved, may make this difficult or impossible. Therefore, a member of staff may make the disclosure under the “Speak Up” policy, which is located: Speak up (public interest disclosure).

3.3. Bribery (including receiving gifts or hospitality)

3.3.1. The University policy on Bribery is located: Financial Regulations and Policies.

3.3.2. The policy covers:

  • offering/giving a bribe so a person performs a relevant function improperly;
  • requesting, accepting or receiving a bribe to perform a relevant function improperly;
  • bribing a foreign public official (including state education sector employees) to gain a business advantage (whether intentional or not); and
  • a 'corporate offence' of failing to prevent bribery taking place.
  • The guiding principles for all members of staff are:
  • the conduct of individuals should not create suspicion of any conflict between their official duty and their private interest
  • the action of individuals in their official capacity should not give the impression (to any member of the public, to any organisation with whom they deal, or to their colleagues) that they have been (or may have been) influenced by a benefit to show favour or disfavour to any person or organisation.

3.3.3. Staff shall not accept any gifts, rewards or hospitality (or have them given to their family) from any organisation or individual with whom they have contact in the course of their work, that would cause them to reach a position whereby they might be, or might be suspected by others to have been, influenced in making a business decision as a consequence of accepting such hospitality.

3.3.4. The frequency and scale of hospitality staff accept should not be significantly greater than the University would be likely to provide in return. When it is not easy to decide between what is and what is not acceptable in terms of gifts or hospitality, the offer should be declined or advice sought from the relevant Head of Department/ Head of Support Service or the Finance Director.

3.4. Freedom of Information

3.4.1. The Freedom of Information Act applies to the University. The publication scheme is located at: Publication Scheme.

3.4.2. Staff should be aware that information, including financial information might be released in accordance with the University Publication Scheme, subject to the restrictions outlined in the Act.

3.5. Fraud, corruption and financial misconduct

3.5.1. It is the duty of all members of staff, management and the University Council to notify the Finance Director immediately whenever any matter arises which involves, or is thought to involve, irregularity, including fraud, corruption or any other impropriety. Matters can be reported directly to the Finance Director or via the “Speak Up” policy.

3.6. Data Protection

3.6.1. The University data protection policy (including GDPR) and related guidance is located at: Data Protection Legislation.

4. Financial Forecasts and Budgets

4.1. Financial Forecasts

4.1.1. The Finance Director is responsible for preparing annually a rolling five -year financial forecast that is consistent with the strategic plans approved by Council.

4.1.2. The financial forecast shall be approved by Council on the recommendation of the Finance Committee and before submission to the Office for Students.

4.2. Budget preparation

4.2.1. The Finance Director is responsible for preparing each year an annual budget, financial projections and a capital investment plan. These shall be approved by Council on the recommendation of the Finance Committee. University Executive Board recommends the budgets, financial projections to Finance Committee.

4.2.2. The budget includes income and expenditure estimates, cash flow forecasts and a projected year-end balance sheet.

4.2.3. The Finance Director must ensure that the detailed budgets are consistent with the medium and long-term planning process and that these budgets are communicated to Budget holders.

4.3. Budgetary control

4.3.1. All budgets are allocated to a University department or section. The corporate budgets are allocated to University Executive Board. The control of income and expenditure within an agreed budget is the responsibility of the designated budget holder within that department or section. The designated budget holder must ensure that day-to-day monitoring is undertaken effectively and is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the economic, effective and efficient use of resources allocated to them.
  • Expending the funds on the purposes for which they were given.
  • Ensuring that expenditure does not lead to overspending, unless previously authorised.
  • Ensuring that where Heads of Departments delegates control to members of staff, such delegation is given in writing and indicates limits of authority.

4.3.2. The scheme of delegation is located at: Financial Regulations and Policies.

4.3.3. The Head of Department / Head of Support Service concerned must report significant departures from agreed departmental budgetary or margin targets immediately to the Finance Director.

4.4. Revised Forecasts

4.4.1. During the year, the Finance Director is responsible for submitting quarterly revised forecasts for the University and the Group to the annual budget to the University Executive Board for recommending to Finance Committee for approval.

4.4.2. Heads of Departments are responsible for submitting revised forecasts each quarter and providing explanations of variances from budgets and previous forecasts in line with the timetable.

4.4.3. Heads of Departments are responsible for managing their budgets and taking the necessary action to ensure the delivery of the financial targets.

4.4.4. If significant variances occur between quarterly forecasts then these should be brought to the attention of the Finance Director.

4.5. Financial information

4.5.1. Budget holders are assisted in their duties by financial information provided by the Finance Director. The Finance Director is responsible for supplying budgetary reports on all aspects of the University’s finances to the University Executive Board.

4.5.2. The Finance Committee receives regular reports on actual performance and revised forecasts. Summarised financial reports are presented to Council, which has overall responsibility for the University’s finances.

4.6. Revenue maintenance projects

4.6.1. All revenue maintenance projects over £200k, (excluding the Revenue Maintenance Programme and the Revenue Campus Improvement Programme) must comply with the Capital Planning Procedures.

4.6.2. Revenue maintenance projects are defined as:

  • Initiatives with a beginning and an end;
  • Having a determinable implementation period;
  • Having a determinable implementation cost;
  • Having measurable and pre-defined objectives / initiatives to achieve.

4.6.3. The revenue maintenance projects must be approved in line with the following limits (all limits include VAT).

  • Over £4m - Council approval required; these schemes must be submitted first to Finance Committee.
  • £1m - £4m - University Executive Board authorisation required. If the project is “Novel” then University Executive Board can refer the scheme to Council for approval.
  • £200k - £1m – Authorised by 
    1. one of the (Vice-Chancellor & President or Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost) and
    2. one of (Registrar and Secretary or Finance Director).
  • £20k - £200k and Estates related - Authorised by the Director of Estates and Campus Services and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
  • £20k - £200k and IT related - Authorised by the Director of Information Services and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
  • £20k - £200k and Academic department related - Authorised by the Dean of Faculty and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).

4.6.4. When schemes are presented for approval, they should have:

  • A statement demonstrating the consistency with the strategic plans of the University and the University Executive Board or Council approved financial forecasts for the University;
  • A budget for the project including professional fees, VAT and funding source;
  • A financial evaluation of the plans including the impact on revenues and costs, investment appraisal, cash flow forecast, (all including VAT) and consideration of alternatives.

4.6.5. The Revenue Maintenance Programme and the Revenue Campus Improvements Programme of the University held by the Directorate of Estates and Campus Services will be authorised annually as a programme so long as no single activity (capable of definition as a project by itself) exceeds £200k. These programmes are monitored by the Capital Management Group and signed off by University Executive Board.

4.6.6. All schemes are subject to the normal University processes for procurement e.g. tendering.

4.6.7. All significant changes, as defined in Capital Planning and Project Approval procedures, shall be approved in line with the Capital Planning and Project Approval procedures.

4.6.8. Actual expenditure on schemes is monitored by the Capital Management Group.

4.7. Capital budgets

4.7.1. The capital programme includes all expenditure on land, buildings, equipment, furniture and associated costs, whether funded from capital grants or funded from the University’s own resources.

4.7.2. The medium term and long-term plans for the University shall include details of capital schemes being considered or evaluated. The outline capital schemes must be approved in line with the following limits (all limits include VAT):

  • Over £4m - Council approval required, these schemes must be submitted first to Finance Committee
  • £1m - £4m - University Executive Board authorisation required. If the project is “Novel” then University Executive Board can refer the scheme to Council for approval.
  • £200k - £1m – Authorised by
    1. one of the (Vice-Chancellor & President or Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost) and
    2. one of (Registrar and Secretary or Finance Director).
  • £20k - £200k and Estates related - Authorised by the Director of Estates and Campus Services and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
  • £20k - £200k and IT related - Authorised by the Director of Information Services and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
  • £20k - £200k and Academic department related - Authorised by the Dean of Faculty and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).

4.7.3. When schemes are presented for approval, they should have:

  • A statement demonstrating the consistency with the strategic plans of the University and the University Executive Board or Council approved financial forecasts for the University;
  • A budget for the project including professional fees, VAT and funding source;
  • A financial evaluation of the plans including the impact on revenues and costs, investment appraisal, cash flow forecast,(all including VAT) and consideration of alternatives.

4.7.4. All capital schemes are subject to the normal University processes for procurement e.g. tendering.

4.7.5. All significant changes, as defined in Capital Planning and Project Approval procedures, shall be approved in line with the Capital Planning and Project Approval procedures.

4.7.6. Actual expenditure on capital schemes is monitored by the Capital Management Group.

4.8. Academic department business developments

4.8.1. Any new academic department business developments should be presented as part of the strategic or medium term planning process by the Head of Department. Where an opportunity arises outside the strategic or medium term planning process then it should be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor & President or Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost for consideration.

4.8.2. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost can approve business developments up to £100k.
The Vice-Chancellor & President can approve business developments over £100k.

4.8.3. The University Council approves the establishment of new academic departments.

4.8.4. Where an initiative involves recommending the establishment of a company or joint venture or other entity then the Head of Department shall seek advice from the Finance Director and have regard to any guidance issued by Office for Students (see section 18).

4.8.5. The Subsidiaries Management Group, on behalf of Council, can approve the establishment of all new companies, joint ventures and other entities. New entities shall be reported to University Executive Board and Finance Committee.

4.9. Non-academic department business developments

4.9.1. Any non-academic department business developments shall be submitted to the Registrar & Secretary who will make recommendations to the University Executive Board.

4.9.2. Where an initiative involves recommending the establishment of company or joint venture or other entity then the Head of Department/ Head of Support Service shall seek advice from the Finance Director and have regard to any guidance issued by Office for Students (see section 18).

4.9.3. The Subsidiaries Management Group, on behalf of Council, can approve the establishment of all new companies, joint ventures and other entities. New entities shall be reported to University Executive Board and Finance Committee.

4.10. Budget Transfers

4.10.1. Budget transfers are only approved as part of the quarterly reforecasting process.

4.11. Treatment of year‐end balances

4.11.1. From the Financial Year starting 1 Aug 2017 any over/ under performance by a department compared to its financial target will be allocated to a department reserve. The reserve can be used to support specific initiatives, which will be approved during the budget approval process.

4.11.2. Departments with Accumulated Surpluses are allowed to spend against those surpluses so long as:

  • The proposed expenditure is in line with the Departmental Strategic Objectives
  • The proposed expenditure is in line with the University’s Strategic Objectives
  • The University has the cash resources

4.11.3. The process for releasing the reserve surplus is:

  • Up to £25k the Head of Department and the Faculty Finance Manager may approve.
  • Between £25k and £50k the relevant Dean and the Assistant Director of Finance (Accounting) may approve.
  • Between £50k and £200k the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost and the Finance Director may approve.
  • In excess of £200k the University Executive Board may approve.
  • The above amounts are cumulative for each Department – so new requests add to the next and so small additional requests may take a request over the limit.
  • The reserve can be used for both capital and revenue investments.
  • The reserve cannot be used to balance out future or historic underperformance.
  • It is recommended that the requests to use reserves are made around quarter forecasts and for large requests (in excess of £200k) as part of the annual planning cycle or as part of a large capital investment proposal.

4.11.4. Accumulated deficits: Departments should as part of the annual planning process develop plans to eliminate the accumulated historic deficits over the MTP period.

4.11.5. Any balances held for restricted grants, restricted donations and endowments will be carried forward.

5. Accounting and taxation

5.1 Annual Accounts

5.1.1. The Finance Director is responsible for preparing the University’s Annual Accounts and for ensuring that audited accounts are presented to Council. The accounts will previously have been presented to the Joint Audit and Finance Committee, which is responsible for recommending their approval to Council.

5.1.2. The University prepares consolidated accounts for the Group, which includes all subsidiary entities, in accordance with UK generally accepted accounting principles and complies with the Higher and Further Education SORP.

5.1.3. The University’s financial statements are published at: Corporate print marketing.

5.2. Retention of accounting records

5.2.1. The Finance Director is responsible for the retention of financial documents.

5.2.2. The University is required by law to retain prime documents for six years. These include purchase orders, purchase invoices, sales invoices, bank statements, receipts, cheques, BACS records, payroll records and expense claims.

5.2.3. Other financial records shall be retained for three years or, where relevant, as determined by the funder.

5.2.4. The Finance Director will make appropriate arrangements for the retention of electronic records. Staff shall ensure that the retention arrangements comply with the University corporate records management policy, which is located: Records Management Policy.

5.2.5. Staff shall also adhere to any document retention requirements for specific funders e.g. EU.

5.3. External Taxation

5.3.1. The Finance Director is responsible for advising the University Executive Board and Council on all significant external taxation issues (e.g. PAYE, VAT), in the light of guidance from the appropriate bodies and relevant legislation. Heads of Departments shall seek advice from the Finance Director on taxation matters.

5.3.2. The Finance Director is responsible for maintaining the University’s tax policy, tax records (e.g. VAT, PAYE, Corporation Tax, Gift Aid etc.), making all tax payments, receiving tax credits and submitting tax returns by their due date as appropriate.

6. Audit

6.1. Introduction

6.1.1. The Office for Students requirements for external and internal audit arrangements and the broad framework in which they shall operate are set out in the Terms and Conditions for funding higher education institutions.

6.2. External audit

6.2.1. The appointment of external auditors is the responsibility of the University Council, advised by the Audit & Risk Committee.

6.2.2. The primary role of the external auditors is to report on the University’s financial statements. The external auditors carry out an examination of the statements and underlying records and control systems to reach their opinion on the statements and to report on the appropriate use of funds. Their work complies with the Office for Students Terms and Conditions for funding higher education institutions and the Auditing Practices Board’s statements of auditing standards.

6.2.3. The Audit & Risk Committee must approve any non-audit work undertaken by the University’s external auditors.

6.3. Internal audit

6.3.1. The University Council on the recommendation of the Audit & Risk Committee appoints the internal auditors.

6.3.2. The internal auditors are responsible for conducting an independent appraisal of the University’s activities, financial and otherwise. They provide the University Council, Audit & Risk Committee, the Vice‐Chancellor & President and senior management with assurances on the adequacy of the internal control system, risk management and value for money.

6.3.3. The internal auditors have direct access to the Chair of Council, Vice‐Chancellor & President and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee.

6.4. Auditors’ access

6.4.1. External and Internal auditors are officers of the University and have authority to:

  • access University premises at reasonable times;
  • access all assets, records, documents and correspondence relating to any financial and other transactions of the University;
  • require and receive such explanations as are necessary concerning any matter under examination;
  • require any employee of the University to account for cash, stores or any other University property under his or her control;
  • access records belonging to third parties, such as contractors, when required.

6.5. Other auditors

6.5.1. The University may be subject to audit or investigation by external bodies such as Office for Students, National Audit Office, European Court of Auditors or H M Revenue & Customs. These bodies have rights to seek evidence and explanations as required to complete their work.

7. Treasury Management

7.1. Introduction

7.1.1. The Finance Director is responsible for developing, recommending and monitoring the execution of the policies for cash management, investments and borrowings.

7.1.2. The University’s overall treasury management objectives apply across the institution. The objectives are:

  • to ensure the most competitive return on surplus cash balances;
  • to ensure the availability of flexible and competitively priced funding to support the University’s capital programme;
  • to identify and manage financial risks, including interest rate and foreign currency risk, from all areas of the group’s operations;
  • to ensure compliance at all times with banking covenants and the Office for Students Terms and Conditions for funding higher education institutions.

7.1.3. The Finance Committee monitors the performance of the investments.

7.2. Borrowing and Leasing

7.2.1. The University’s borrowing strategy, limits and associated risk management shall be decided by Council on the recommendation of the Finance Committee. This shall include the use of financial instruments such as interest rate swaps. The management and execution of loan and financial contracts should be subject to monitoring and scrutiny by the Finance Committee. The Finance Director is responsible for determining the procedures on the use of interest rate swaps, forward currency contracts and other financial instruments.

7.2.2. All contracts to borrow or lease once approved in line with limits below shall be signed by the Finance Director.

7.2.3. Leases must be approved in accordance with:

  • Over £4m - Council approval required.
  • £1m - £4m - University Executive Board authorisation required.
  • £100k - £1m – Authorised by
    1. one of the (Vice-Chancellor & President or Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost) and
    2. the Registrar and Secretary and
    3. one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
  • £20k - £100k - Authorised by the Director of Estates and Campus Services and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
  • £0k -£20k – Head of Department.

7.2.4. The value of a lease shall be the total of the cash payments including VAT, excluding any implicit interest payments (if known) over the life of the lease up to any break clause.

7.2.5. The University must obtain the prior written consent of the Office for Students before entering financial commitments that need approval under the Terms and Conditions for funding higher education institutions.

7.2.6. The University may enter into long-term agreements subject to:

  • obtaining consent from Office for Students, the conditions of which are set out in Terms and Conditions for funding higher education institutions;
  • ensuring that any new arrangement does not breach the existing loan covenants.

7.2.7. In the case of short-term borrowings, the University may need consent from Office for Students. The conditions under which this consent is required are set out in the Terms and Conditions for funding higher education institutions. The Finance Director is responsible for arranging short-term borrowing up to sums agreed by Council on the recommendation of the Finance Committee at competitive rates, to cover day-to-day cash shortfalls as necessary.

7.3. Banking arrangements

7.3.1. The University’s banking arrangements shall be decided by Council on the recommendation of the Finance Committee.

7.3.2. All day-to-day arrangements with the University’s bankers concerning the University’s bank accounts, the collection and payments of monies, the transfer of funds, shall be made by the Finance Director.

7.3.3. No other employee shall under any circumstances open or operate a bank account (including PayPal or similar electronic money accounts) in the name of the University or of an entity holding itself out to be part of the University.

7.3.4. No individual other than those mandated by Council under the scheme of delegation shall be empowered to give instructions to the University’s Bankers.

7.3.5. All bank accounts shall be in the name of the University.

7.3.6. The Finance Director is responsible for ensuring that all bank accounts are subject to regular reconciliation.

7.4. Guarantees

7.4.1. Guarantees may be issued by the University and they are normally sealed in accordance with these regulations. If a guarantee is not sealed then it must be signed by Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director.

7.4.2. Guarantees must be approved in accordance with these following limits (including VAT):

  • Over £4m - Council approval required.
  • £1m - £4m - University Executive Board authorisation required.
  • £100k - £1m – Authorised by:
    1. one of the (Vice-Chancellor & President or Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost) and
    2. the Registrar and Secretary and
    3. one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
  • £20k - £100k - Authorised by the Director of Estates and Campus Services and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
  • £0k -£20k – Head of Department.

7.5. Investments

7.5.1. The Finance Committee is responsible for recommending to Council the investment policy and for considering and adjusting any such arrangements.

7.5.2. The Finance Director is responsible for maintaining records of investments, for ensuring safe custody of all relevant documents, and for reporting investment performance to the Finance Committee. No investment of University monies shall be made other than in accordance with arrangements approved in writing by the Finance Director.

7.5.3. The University’s ethical investment policy is located: Financial Regulations and Policies.

8. Income

8.1. Introduction

8.1.1. The Finance Director is responsible for ensuring appropriate procedures exist to enable the University to receive all income (including tuition, accommodation fees) to which it is entitled.

8.1.2. The Head of Department is responsible for ensuring that all claims for funds, including research grants and contracts, and specific grants are made by the due date. RGC perform this task on behalf of departments.

8.1.3. Heads of Departments must ensure that any agreements negotiated by their department with external bodies cover any legal liabilities to which the University may be exposed. Such agreements must be reported to the Finance Director to ensure all financial and legal implications have been considered.

8.1.4. The scheme of delegation indicates the persons who are authorised to sign contracts on behalf of the University. In particular, no person shall be a signatory to a University contract where he or she also has an interest in the activities of the other party. The following document sets out the authorisation for non-research and research contracts: Finance Regulations and Policies.

8.2. Receipts

8.2.1. The format and wording of all receipt documents, sales invoices, sales credit notes, tickets and electronic collection systems (including on line payments) must have the prior approval of the Finance Director.

8.2.2. All monies received by departments from whatever source must be recorded by the department on a daily basis, together with the form in which they were received; for example: cash, cards and cheques.

8.2.3. All monies received by departments must be paid to the Cash Office promptly. The custody and transit of all monies must comply with the requirements of the University’s insurers.

8.2.4. All sums received must be paid in to the Cash Office and accounted for in full, and must not be used to meet miscellaneous departmental expenses or be paid into the departmental petty cash float. Personal or other cheques must not be cashed out of money received on behalf of the University.

8.2.5. The Finance Director is responsible for the prompt banking of all funds received in the Cash Office.

8.2.6. The arrangements to receive credit or debit card payments using terminals or on-line must be approved by the Finance Director who will ensure that the funds are paid into a University bank account.

8.2.7. The Finance Director and the Director of Information Services & University Librarian are jointly responsible for ensuring compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.

8.2.8. Any arrangements to collect funds using direct debits or standing orders must be approved by the Finance Director who will ensure that the funds must be paid into a University bank account.

8.3. Invoices

8.3.1. Heads of Departments are responsible for ensuring that the Finance Department is informed promptly of all income due to the University and providing sufficient information to the Finance Director to enable collection. All requests for monies due to the University shall be rendered on official invoices or grant claims issued through the Finance Department.

8.4. Credit arrangements

8.4.1. The Finance Director is responsible for establishing the credit arrangements that indicate the periods in which different types of invoice must be paid.

8.5. Collection of debts

8.5.1. The Finance Director is responsible for making arrangements to promptly collect debts, ensure effective action is taken in collecting overdue debts and to ensure that outstanding debts are monitored.

8.6. Debt write offs

8.6.1. All debts s up to £20k can be written off on the authority of the Deputy Finance Director or the Assistant Director (Finance Shared Services). All other requests to write off debts must be authorised by the Finance Director.

8.7. Refunds

8.7.1. Where refunds are required they shall be made to the original payer and follow the method by which the money was received in order to minimise the opportunities for money laundering in accordance with Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

8.8. Student tuition and accommodation fees

8.8.1. All students are required to enrol at the start of each academic year of their programme of study and following any period of suspension of studies.

8.8.2. The University Executive Board must approve tuition and accommodation fee levels.

8.8.3. The Finance Director must approve the procedures for raising, collecting tuition and residence fees.

8.9. Payment of Fees

8.9.1. Tuition fees are due in advance at the beginning of each session. Details regarding methods of payment are included in the enrolment documentation for each year.

8.9.2. Accommodation fees and charges are due in accordance with the University Tenancy Agreement. Details regarding methods of payment of fees are included in documentation provided at enrolment and in information on the University website.

8.9.3. The University may allow, as a concession, self-paying students to pay their tuition and accommodation fees in instalments. Any changes to this concession for individuals should be approved by Assistant Director (Shared Services).

8.10. Student debts

8.10.1. Failure to pay fees and other accounts or to make a satisfactory arrangement to pay or to give a satisfactory explanation for non-payment to the Fees Office may result in the case being reported to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost who, acting on behalf of the Council, may suspend the student from registration at the University until payment has been received.

8.10.2. The University may take legal action or employ agents to recover amounts due.

8.10.3. Before the receipt of an award parchment, all students are required to make suitable arrangements with the Finance Department for the clearing of all tuition fee debts.

8.10.4. Any student who has not paid their tuition fees to the University shall be prevented from re‐enrolling at the University.

8.11. Student Loans

8.11.1. Appropriate records will be maintained to support all transactions involving student loans.

8.12. Student Bursaries, Scholarships

8.12.1. All payments to students for bursaries, scholarships or reductions in tuition fees must be authorised by Head of Department unless they relate to the Office for Students Access Agreement scheme.

8.12.2. All bursaries, scholarships or reductions in tuition fees offered under the Office for Student Access Agreement scheme will be authorised by the Director of Student Services.

8.13. Emergency or hardship loans

8.13.1. The University scheme for emergency and similar loans is set out at: Hardship and emergency funding.

9. Research Grants and Contracts

9.1.1. All bids for research grants and contracts must be prepared in accordance with the University’s procedures, which are located at: Applying for funding.

9.1.2. No submission shall be made or commitment entered into before the approval process is completed.

9.1.3. All applications for research grants and all research contract proposals are made on behalf of and in the name of the University. The Research Grants and Contracts Office checks the costings in the proposal, ensures compliance with the funder’s and University’s rules and criteria, and, once the University authorisation and signature(s) for the proposal are obtained submits all bids. At the point of application departments shall confirm that research governance and University polices have been followed. In particular, no person shall be a signatory to a University research contract where he or she also has an interest in the activities of the other party.

9.1.4. Where the contract involves overseas subcontractors or people then it is important to check that the University does not breach UK Government sanctions, embargoes and restrictions lists.

9.1.5. Authorisation limits for the approval of research related applications and for the acceptance of research related contracts are located: Financial Regulations and Policies.

9.1.6. Funders normally have their own rules on the administration of awards, including financial management and reporting requirements. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure compliance with all of the funders’ rules. The Research Grants and Contracts Office are responsible for issuing statements or invoices to the funder in conjunction with the Principal Investigator.

9.1.7. All University Financial Regulations and Procedures, including those on procurement, apply to research grants and contracts and it is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure compliance with these rules. The Principal Investigator is responsible for adequate control of pay and non-pay expenditure.

9.1.8. If the University sub‐contracts work to an external organisation, then the Principal Investigator must ensure that:

  • this is on the basis of a written contract which allows access to detailed records;
  • appropriate monitoring procedures are in place to ensure that the outputs are achieved and the provision is of suitable quality;
  • payments are only made against detailed invoices with supporting purchase orders.

9.1.9. Any loss to the University resulting from a failure to meet the conditions of funding is the responsibility of the Department and will be charged to departmental budgets.

10. Other Income Generating Activities

10.1. Introduction

10.1.1. All other income‐generating activities should generate surpluses after all direct, indirect and taxes have been taken into account. Where a loss is anticipated, the reason for engaging or continuing the activity must be agreed by the Head of Department/ Head of Support Service and the Finance Director.

10.1.2. Other income generating activities include:

• Short courses (all non-graduating courses outside the University prospectus)
• Conferences
• Consultancy
• Materials or component testing
• Laboratory services
• Use of facilities
• Any other activities which are not teaching or research

10.1.3. Other income‐generating activities organised by members of staff must be costed and agreed with the Head of Department/ Head of Support Service before any commitments are made. Provision must be made for charging both direct and indirect costs, including the recovery of overheads.

10.1.4. Any deficits incurred on Other Income Generating Activities will be charged to the relevant department.

10.1.5. Any proposal that involves additional payments to members of staff shall be supported by a schedule of names and amounts to be paid and must be approved by the Head of Department/ Head of Support Service, and in the case of a Head of Department the Dean of Faculty, and either the Vice‐Chancellor & President or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost, in consultation with the Director of Human Resources. Any additional payments must be processed through the payroll system.

10.1.6. Where other income generating activity involves overseas subcontractors or people then it is important to check that the University does not breach the UK Government sanctions, embargoes and restrictions list.

10.2. Off‐site collaborative provision or franchising

10.2.1. Any contract or arrangement whereby the University provides education to students away from University premises, or with the assistance of persons other than the University’s own staff or with independent contractors (partner organisations), must be approved by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning).

10.3. Matched funding

10.3.1. All proposals where matched funding is included in the project must be authorised by the University Executive Board.

10.4. Sub-contracting work

10.4.1. Where the University sub‐contracts work to external providers, the relevant Head of Department must ensure that:

  • all University Financial Regulations and Procedures are followed, including those on procurement;
  • this is on the basis of a written contract which allows access to detailed records;
  • appropriate monitoring procedures are in place to ensure that the outputs are achieved and the provision is of suitable quality;
  • payments are only made against detailed invoice with supporting purchase orders.

10.4.2. When engaging a sub-contractor it is important to adhere to the guidance issues by Human Resources concerning “contracts for services” and the employment status of individuals.

10.5. Intellectual Property Rights and Patents

10.5.1. Certain activities undertaken within the University may give rise to ideas, designs or inventions that may be patentable. These are collectively known as ‘intellectual property’ and are governed by the University’s Ordinances and Regulations. Further guidance can be found at: Regulation 12: Intellectual Property.

10.6. Fund-Raising and Gifts Received

10.6.1. Significant fund-raising campaigns shall only be undertaken with the approval of and under the guidance of the Director of External Relations who will consult the Finance Director on the appropriate accounting treatment for the income.

10.6.2. The Director of External Relations in conjunction with the Finance Director is responsible for maintaining financial records of gifts, benefactions and donations, advising on the conditions of their use and initiating claims for recovery of tax where appropriate.

10.6.3. Individual Benefactions of between £1k and £100k shall be approved by the Director of External Relations or the Registrar & Secretary. Individual Benefactions over £100k shall be approved by the Vice-Chancellor & President.

10.6.4. Gift and benefactions will only be accepted if they are from appropriate sources. Guidance on the acceptance of donations, gifts and similar funding is available at: Policy and Guidance on the Acceptance of Philanthropic Donations.

10.6.5. Gifts (monetary and non-monetary) offered to members of staff must be treated in accordance with University guidance on bribery, hospitality and gifts: Financial Regulations and Policies.

11. Non Pay Expenditure

11.1. Procurement

11.1.1. Procurement of all Goods, Services and Estates Works, irrespective of the source of funds, shall always be undertaken with the objective of optimising Value for Money (VfM). Heads of Departments are responsible for ensuring that all procurement activities are conducted in accordance with the regulations on buy goods, services, and equipment.

11.1.2. In particular, no person shall sign or authorise a University Purchase Order or Contract where he or she also has an interest in the activities of the other party.

11.1.3. Before procurement commences consideration should be given to whether it is viable to repair or refurbish any assets to be replaced, whether a loan or lease is more appropriate and whether the item is available from another University department (e.g. furniture re-use scheme).

11.2. Responsibility for Purchasing

11.2.1. Heads of Departments/ Head of Support Sections are responsible for purchases within their department and they shall ensure that they have sufficient budget before allowing the purchase of Goods, Services or Estates Works. This purchasing authority may be delegated to named individuals within the department.

11.3. Goods and Services

11.3.1. The ordering of Goods and Services shall be conducted in accordance with these Regulations and guidance located at: Buying goods, services and equipment.

11.3.2. Preferred supplier contracts and framework agreements exist for supplies of Goods and Services that are purchased regularly. These contracts have been established in compliance with Public Contract Regulations and shall be used. Where a contract/framework exists for a particular item/service, the purchase order shall be placed with the preferred supplier indicated. Where no preferred supplier is indicated, quotations should be sought from all capable suppliers listed in the particular contract/framework. The list of existing agreements is located on the Contracts Database: Preferred suppliers, contracts and agreements.

11.3.3. Where no preferred supplier contract or framework agreement exists for the required Goods or Services, then quotations or tenders shall be obtained in line with process and thresholds below.

11.3.4. The Procurement Office shall be contacted at the outset for all complex procurements e.g. those procurements which might involve intellectual property rights, EU funds, TUPE issues, cross-border interest, leases, novel contractual issues (e.g. incentive pricing or milestone payments) or other high risks (e.g. health and safety). Additional/alternative procedures may apply to complex procurements – the Procurement Office will advise.

11.3.5. Official University orders shall be raised via York E-Purchase (YEP) placed for the purchase of all Goods and Services except for those items purchased using purchasing cards or categories of spend that are detailed on the purchase order exemption list, located at: Buying goods, services and equipment.

11.3.6. Expenditure shall not be incurred without authorisation. Purchase orders shall be raised prior to committing to a supplier. Advance payments shall not be agreed without the prior approval of the Procurement Office.

11.4. Estates Works

11.4.1. All Estates Works (for activities impacting on the building fabric or infrastructure services) contracts are placed and administered by the University’s Director of Estates and Campus Services in consultation with the Finance Director. All Estates Works, regardless of size or nature, shall first be referred to the helpdesk (Ext.5555 or via planon). Orders shall be placed via YEP for the purchase of all Estates Works.

11.5. Purchasing Cards

11.5.1. The operation and control of the University’s purchasing cards is the responsibility of the Assistant Director of Finance – Procurement.

11.5.2. Holders of purchasing cards shall only use them for University related purchases and in accordance with the detailed conditions of use set out in the Cardholder Rules and User Guide that are located at: University Purchase Card.

11.5.3. Cards shall not be loaned to another person, nor shall they be used for personal or private purchases. Transactions on a purchase card shall not be authorised by the person conducting the transaction. Transactions should be approved by the cardholder’s line manager or their nominee.

11.5.4. The Head of Department / Head of Support Section’s written authorisation is required for all purchasing card applications.

11.6. Quotations and Tenders

11.6.1. Heads of Departments and delegated budget holders shall comply with the University’s quotation and tendering procedures, (limits are excluding VAT):

11.6.2. £0- £5k Proceed with the procurement using the preferred supplier contract or framework agreements where they exist. Where no preferred supplier or framework agreement exists, use an approved supplier already set up on YEP if possible.

11.6.3. £5k- £25k Use the preferred supplier contracts or framework agreements where they exist. Otherwise, competitive written quotations shall be sought from at least three suppliers, where the market structure allows. Contract award decisions, including any award without competitive quotations shall be documented in the internal comments field in YEP. Contract award decisions shall take into account all costs that are incurred over the life of the goods or services.

11.6.4. £25k - £100k for Goods and Services and £25k- £500k for Estates Works. Use preferred supplier contracts or framework agreements where they exist, complying with any framework agreement call-off and further competition procedures. Otherwise, procurement shall be made using the University’s tendering process and templates. Tenders shall be sought from at least three suppliers via the University’s electronic tendering portal where the market structure allows for competition. The Procurement Office shall be consulted at the outset, where advice is required, for example on the specification’s content, tender strategy/structure, tender evaluation and eventual award. The award decision shall demonstrate consideration of applicable whole life costing elements and achievement of value for money. A suitable tendering scoring framework shall be used.

11.6.5. For procurement above £25k that are not subject to competition for genuine and legitimate reasons, e.g., only one supplier can meet the defined performance requirements, then the procurement is conditional upon completion and approval of the Single Tender Action form. This approval does not negate the tender process with a sole supplier or the requirement to advertise the contract awarded under the Public Contracts Regulations.

11.6.6. Over £100k for Goods and Services. Use the preferred supplier contracts or framework agreements where they exist. All applicable procurements shall be made using the University’s electronic tendering portal and the Government’s equivalent (Contracts Finder), where appropriate, and using University templates. The Procurement Office will lead all procurements with the support of the relevant departmental personnel to ensure compliance with Public Contracts Regulations and framework agreement procedures. The award decision shall demonstrate consideration of applicable whole life costing elements and achievement of value for money. A suitable tender scoring framework shall be used. The requirement and subsequent award decisions shall be made in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations. All procurement decisions (included justified deviances from regulations) and amendments to contract shall be recorded and retained in a standard format maintained by the Procurement Office.

11.6.7. £500k - £4.5m for Estates Works. All applicable procurements shall be made in compliance with the Public Contract Regulations and case law. Purchases shall be made using the University’s electronic tendering process and templates. Estates services will run the exercise with the support of the Procurement Office. The award decision shall demonstrate consideration of the application of whole life costing elements and achievement of the value for money. A suitable tender scoring framework shall be used. The requirement and subsequent award decisions shall be made in accordance with the Public Contract Regulations and case law.

11.6.8. Over £4.5m for Estates Works. All applicable procurements shall be made in compliance with the Public Contracts Regulations and case law. Procurements shall be conducted via open tendering on In-Tend/Contracts Finder or via compliant framework agreements and using University templates. Estates Services will lead the exercise with the support of the Procurement Office. The award decision shall demonstrate consideration of applicable whole life costing elements and achievement of value for money. A suitable tender scoring framework shall be used. The requirement and subsequent award decisions shall be made in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations. . All procurement decisions (included justified deviances from regulations) and amendments to contract shall be recorded and retained in a standard format maintained by the Procurement Office.

11.6.9. Tendering thresholds exclude VAT. Contract values shall not be artificially split to avoid a higher value tendering process.

11.6.10. Research subcontracting arrangements with other Higher Education institutions are exempt from tendering. The procurement of goods and services may additionally be subject to special rules imposed by funding bodies e.g. EU. Information on these arrangements may be obtained from the Finance Department.

11.7. Amendments to contracts

11.7.1. All amendments to contracts which add more than 10% of the total aggregated contract value shall be referred to the Procurement Office prior to any commitment being entered into.

11.8. Receipts of goods and services

11.8.1. All goods received shall be checked for quantity and/or weight and inspected for quality and specification, where it is practicable to do so on receipt. A delivery note shall be obtained from the supplier at the time of delivery, signed by the person receiving the goods and suitably annotated where full checks on receipt have not been carried out.

11.8.2. All goods and services received shall be recorded in the University financial system (currently YEP/ Agresso) by the person ordering the goods, when they are satisfied that the goods or service has been delivered to the required quality or specification.

11.9. Payment of invoices

11.9.1. Payments to UK suppliers will be by BACS transfer. Payments to suppliers with overseas bank accounts will be made electronically whenever possible.

11.9.2. The University operates under a policy of “No Purchase order No Payment” for goods and services. Any invoice issued to the University without a valid purchase order number will be returned directly to the supplier and not processed. It is the responsibility of the relevant Department requiring the goods or service to ensure that a purchase order is raised.

11.9.3. When goods or services are procured with an approved purchase order then the purchase invoices are automatically authorised for payment when both the following have taken place:

  • The goods have been receipted in YEP and this matches with the invoiced quantity;
  • The invoice price has been matched in Agresso and this matches with the approved purchase order within approved tolerance limits.

11.10. Authorisation of Invoices

11.10.1. In the following circumstances authorisation of invoices will be required before a supplier’s invoice is paid:

  • Where goods or services are on the purchase order exemption list and hence do not need to be acquired using a purchase order: PO Exemption List.
  • Where the cost of the goods or services invoiced is outside the tolerances set with Agresso for matching against the approved purchase order i.e. where the invoice cost is significantly more than the approved order. In these circumstances, the Department will be notified electronically and will be required to approve, reject or further investigate the differences prior to payment. Departments should only approve these when they are content with the additional cost they should approve the invoice for subsequent payment. If Departments are not content with the additional cost then they should resolve this with the supplier before any approval for payment takes place.

11.10.2. The authorisation of the purchase invoice confirms that:

  • the goods have been received, examined and approved with regard to quality and quantity, or that services rendered or work done has been delivered to the required specification;
  • invoice details (quantities, prices) are correct and in line with what was expected;
  • the invoice has not previously been passed for payment.

11.10.3. There should be adequate segregation of duties, between the person ordering the goods/ service, receiving the goods / service and approving the purchase invoice i.e. No one person can order, receive and approve a transaction.

11.11. Staff expenses

11.11.1. The University’s purchasing and payments procedures enable almost all expenditure for University business to be made without staff needing to incur any personal expenses.

11.11.2. However, when staff incur expenses on University business, they will be reimbursed provided they are in accordance with the relevant University policies. The Travel and Expenses policy is located at: How to claim expenses.

11.11.3. The Travel and Expenses policy lists items that can or cannot be claimed.

11.11.4. All claims for payment of subsistence, travel- related and incidental expenses shall be submitted within 3 months of the expense being incurred and in a form approved by the Finance Director.

11.11.5. Heads of Department expense claims should be authorised by Dean of Faculty.

11.11.6. Registrar & Secretary, Finance Director, Pro-Vice- Chancellors’ and Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s expense claims should be authorised by Vice-Chancellor.

11.11.7. Vice-Chancellor’s expense claims should be authorised by the Treasurer.

11.11.8. Expense claims cannot be self-authorised. Claims shall be authorised by the manager who has been authorised by Heads of Departments / Heads of Support Services (normally line manager) to certify expense claims. The certification confirms:

  • that any journeys taken were authorised;
  • that any expenses were properly and necessarily incurred on University business;
  • that expenses claimed are in accordance with University Travel and Expenses policy.

Claims that do not comply with the above list will rejected and returned to the claimant.

11.12. Staff - overseas travel advances

11.12.1. Advances to Staff for travel and subsistence must be jointly approved by the relevant Head of Department / Head of Support Service and:

  • If over £25k: Finance Director;
  • If between £5k and £25k: the Deputy Finance Director;
  • If under £5k: the Assistant Director (Finance Shared Services) or Deputy Finance Director.

11.12.2. Within one month of the trip being completed, the receipts must be submitted and any unspent balance repaid or claimed.

11.12.3. Under no circumstances will a second advance be approved when the repayment of an earlier advance for individual is still outstanding.

11.13. Loans to Staff

11.13.1. Staff loan schemes jointly approved by the Director of Human Resources and the Finance Director.

11.13.2. Any loans are approved in accordance with the scheme rules, and must be repaid in full before the employee leaves the University’s employment.

11.13.3. The schemes offered include Cycle to Work loans, bus and rail ticket loans, medical insurance and dental insurance. The full list is located: Employee benefits.

11.14. Expenses to Visitors

11.14.1. Visitors to the University who incur expenses on the University’s business may be reimbursed e.g. external examiners. All claims must be in accordance with the University’s Travel and Expense policy.

11.15. Expenses to Students

11.15.1. Expenses incurred by students on University’s business may be reimbursed on the production of receipts. All claims must be in accordance with the University’s Travel and Expense policy.

11.15.2. Expense claims cannot be self-authorised. Claims shall be authorised by the manager who has been authorised by Heads of Departments/ Heads of Support Services (e.g. supervisor, principal investigator, departmental administrator to certify expense claims. The certification confirms:

  • that any journeys taken were authorised;
  • that any expenses were properly and necessarily incurred on University business that expenses claimed are in accordance with University Travel and Expenses policy.

11.16. Student - advances

11.16.1. Advances to Students for travel and subsistence must be jointly approved by the relevant Head of Department/ Head of Support Service and:

  • If over £25k: Finance Director;
  • If between £5k and £25k: the Deputy Finance Director;
  • If under £5k: the Assistant Director (Finance Shared Services) or Deputy Finance Director.

11.16.2. Within one month of the trip being completed, the receipts must be submitted and any unspent balance repaid or claimed.

11.16.3. Under no circumstances will a second advance be approved when the repayment of an earlier advance for individual is still outstanding.

11.17. Payments to Volunteers

11.17.1. The University allows two types of payments to volunteers:

  • reimbursement of actual travel costs;
  • a small gift or thank you payment as a token of appreciation.

11.18. Payments to people involved in Research and similar studies

11.18.1. In many cases, research projects involve interviewing members of public or similar activities. Payments can be made to these participants as follows:

  • reimbursement of actual travel costs;
  • a small reasonable payment for the subjects’ time.

11.19. Payments to people for contracts for services

11.19.1. In some cases people may conduct work using a “contract for services”. The rule surrounding these arrangements at located at: Contracts for services.

11.20. Payments to members of Council

11.20.1. Any out of pocket expenses incurred by members of Council in performing their duties will be reimbursed. These claims will be authorised by the Registrar & Secretary.

11.21. Loans to Students

11.21.1. Loans may be given to students in the case of hardship. These loans will be recorded on the student’s account and must be repaid: Hardship and emergency funding.

11.22. Student bursaries and scholarships

11.22.1. The reduction of the tuition fees charged to students or the payment of bursaries, scholarships, stipends to students must be authorised by the Head of Department or Head of Support Service. In case of scholarships or bursaries offered under the Office for Students Access Agreement Scheme, the transactions will be authorised by the Director of Student Support Services.

11.22.2. The Finance Director will arrange to pay the relevant amount to the student’s bank account.

11.23. Petty cash

11.23.1. The University’s imprest petty cash account is maintained by the Finance Department. Cash floats up to a maximum balance of £300 may be requested by Departments to meet minor payments and disbursements. Such accounts are the responsibility of the member of staff to whom they are entrusted. Appropriate invoices or receipts must support payments from these floats or imprest accounts. The maximum transfer to petty cash is £300.

11.23.2. The petty cash guide sets out details of how to operate a petty cash float and what it can be used for.

11.23.3. The following types of expenditure are expressly forbidden:

  • Any goods or services which can be purchased using University Procurement systems (YEP);
  • Any individual item over £50;
  • Payments of salaries, wages, call-out payments, overtime payments, staff expenses, gifts in recognition of performance or other ad hoc remuneration;
  • Personal expenditure, loans or advances to employees or students, or for cashing personal cheques;
  • Gifts to staff, donations.

11.23.4. At the end of the financial year, a certificate of the balances held shall be completed by the member of staff responsible for the float and counter‐signed by the Head of Department / Head of Support service confirming the existence and value of the float.

12. Pay Expenditure

12.1. Appointment of staff

12.1.1. The process for the recruitment of staff is set out at: Recruitment.

12.1.2. All offers of employment by the University shall be made in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Director of Human Resources before work commences.

12.1.3. The process for the appointment of casual workers is set out at: Casual and temporary workers.

12.1.4. All new staff / workers must present evidence of their right to work in the United Kingdom before starting work.

12.1.5. Before recruiting new employees, Heads of Department should ensure that they have sufficient budgets to fund the appointments.

12.1.6. Where work is to be undertaken overseas then Human Resources should be involved as the University will need to comply with local laws, employment rules and taxation regimes.

12.2. Salaries, wages and other benefits

12.2.1. All University staff shall be appointed to salary scales approved by the University Executive Board

12.2.2. The University Executive Board determines what other benefits are to be made available, the basis of their provision (contributory or not) and the staff to whom they are to be made available.

12.2.3. The Remuneration Committee shall determine salaries and other benefits for senior management.

12.3. Terms and Conditions of Employment

12.3.1. The University Executive Board approves the standard contractual arrangements relating to all categories of staff within the University and provision is made within the arrangements for all matters affecting gross payments to employees.

12.3.2. All variations affecting salaries shall be authorised by the Head of Department / Head of Support Service in conjunction with the Director of Human Resources except for overtime payments, which shall be authorised by Head of Department / Head of Support Service.

12.3.3. Overtime payments are paid in accordance with University policy:

12.4. Payment of Salaries and Wages

12.4.1. The Finance Director is responsible for all payments of salaries and wages to all staff including payments for overtime or services rendered. Staff expenses are reimbursed through the Accounts Payable section of the Finance Department.

12.5. Payments of Fees and Expenses

12.5.1. The Finance Director is responsible for making payments to workers who are not employees (i.e. casual workers, visiting lecturers) and for informing the appropriate authorities (H M Revenue & Customs, Pensions authorities) of such payments.

12.5.2. These payments will be authorised by the Head of Department / Head of Support Service.

12.6. Payroll Records

12.6.1. The Finance Director is responsible for keeping all statutory payroll records, including those required by H M Revenue & Customs.

12.7. Sickness & Other Absences

12.7.1. It is the responsibility of the Head of Department / Head of Support Service to notify the Payroll Office of any absences through sickness.

12.7.2. Other absences, such as maternity, paternity, jury service and unpaid leave should be notified Human Resources and/ or Payroll in accordance with the relevant policy: Attendance, leave and absence.

12.8. Arrangements for Relocation

12.8.1. The University has limits for the payment of travel and other expenses incurred in the removal of household effects of a person moving their main place of residence to take up a post at the University: Relocation.

12.9. Employment of Temporary Staff

12.9.1. Departments are expected to follow the HR flow chart to determine when to use permanent or temporary staff and what sort of contract to issue: Casual and temporary workers.

12.9.2. Where there is temporary need for administrative support then the University Temp pool should be approached for the first source of non-academic staff.

12.10. Taxation

12.10.1. Responsibility for accounting for PAYE, NIC and any other taxes, and for making all statutory returns, rests with the Finance Director. Where payments for services rendered are made to individuals not employed by the University, the Finance Director is responsible for maintaining any records for tax purposes.

12.11. Pension schemes

12.11.1. The eligibility of staff for membership of the University’s Superannuation Scheme (USS) or other University of York pension schemes is set out in individual contracts of employment. The University Council approves the pension arrangements for staff.

12.12. Severance and similar payments

12.12.1. Severance payments shall only be made in accordance with relevant legislation. All severance payments shall be authorised by Director of Human Resources.

12.12.2. The University adopts the guidance issued by Office for Students concerning the disclosure of the severance payments to Senior Staff.

12.12.3. The redundancy process is located: Redundancy.

12.13. Private Work and Other Appointments

12.13.1. Members of staff must comply with the University’s policies when carrying out private work and other appointments as detailed here: University Policy on Work with Outside Bodies by Members of University Staff.

12.13.2. The requirements of this procedure include the need to obtain appropriate approval to carry out the work; consideration of any associated conflicts of interests; and recording of the work in the departmental register of private work.

13. Capital Expenditure and Assets

13.1. Definition

13.1.1. Capital expenditure is expenditure on approved capital schemes and equipment as set out in the Capital Planning Processes. It includes:

  • Projects greater than £20k.
  • Equipment purchases where the gross purchase price exceeds:
    • £200k - externally research funded;
    • £20k - all other equipment;
    • £20k - equipment (including externally funded research equipment), where the purchase of the equipment requires capital infrastructure work to accommodate it.
  • Capital long term maintenance projects greater than £20k.
  • IT infrastructure and equipment, and Audio Visual equipment development and upgrades greater than £20k.
  • Capital and maintenance project expenditure in subsidiaries greater than £20k.
  • Finance Leases for land, buildings and equipment where the expenditure has a gross present value exceeding £20k.

13.2. Budgeting

13.2.1. The capital scheme budgeting shall be conducted in line with the section on Capital Budgets (section 4.7) and shall include all costs (including VAT).

13.3. Security of assets

13.3.1. The Director of Estates and Campus Services is responsible for the Buildings and Estates function in the University, including custody and physical security of all University buildings and other resources related to this function.

13.3.2. Heads of Departments are responsible for the security and custody of all other University assets (including stores, cash, furniture, equipment etc.), whether tangible or intellectual.

13.3.3. Cash, stores and other especially valuable assets must be handled in accordance with the appropriate Financial Procedures issued by the Finance Director.

13.4. Personal use of assets

13.4.1. Assets owned or leased by the University shall not be subject to personal use without authorisation of the Head of Department / Head of Support Service.

13.5. Property purchases, leases, rentals and disposals

13.5.1. The purchase, lease or rent of land, buildings or fixed plant can only be undertaken with authority from the Council in accordance with the scheme of delegation.

13.5.2. Disposal of land and buildings must only take place with the authorisation of the University Council in accordance with the scheme of delegation.

13.6. Asset Registers

13.6.1. The Finance Director will maintain a central asset register for equipment with an initial cost over £20k.

13.6.2. Heads of Departments are responsible for maintaining an up to date departmental register (inventory) of all departmental equipment, regardless of the funding source of the purchase of the equipment.

13.6.3. Where an asset is stolen or lost then this should be reported to the police, insurers and the Capital Accountant. The asset registers should be updated with the loss.

13.7. Asset and Equipment disposals

13.7.1. Where equipment or other assets are surplus to requirements then they may be disposed of or scrapped. If the asset is to be sold then it shall be scrapped or sold at fair market value. When disposing of equipment an asset disposal form must be completed ensuring compliance with the Waste electrical (WEEE) regulations and VAT regulations.

13.7.2. Heads of Departments/Directors of Support Services shall authorise disposals of equipment where the net book value or proceeds are up to £1k.

13.7.3. Deans of Faculty shall authorise disposals of equipment where the net book value or proceeds are over £1k and less then £10k.

13.7.4. The Finance Director shall authorise the disposal of assets where the net book value or proceeds are over £10k and less than £100k.

13.7.5. The University Executive Board shall authorise the disposal of assets where the net book value or proceeds are up to £1m.

13.7.6. Disposals of assets over £1m require the approval of the Council.

14. Grants for capital equipment and capital projects

14.1. Definition

14.1.1. Grants received from external bodies to fund the purchase of capital equipment or capital schemes are treated as capital grants.

14.2. Authorisation

14.2.1. The application for capital grant funding for equipment must follow normal funding application process and be authorised in accordance with the scheme of delegation: Financial Regulations and Policies.

15. Stores

15.1.1. Heads of Departments are responsible for establishing adequate arrangements for the custody and control of stocks and stores within their departments, including stock checks.

15.1.2. Stock levels are to be maintained at an appropriate level ensuring financial outlay on stock held is minimised. Consideration should be given to purchasing stock items “just in time” via YEP rather than being held in stores areas.

16. Insurance

16.1.1. The Registrar & Secretary is responsible for the University’s insurance arrangements, including the provision of advice on the range of insurance cover available: Health and Safety Department.

16.1.2. All Heads of Departments shall bring to the notice of the Registrar & Secretary, all insurable risks relating to their areas of responsibility and shall inform the Registrar & Secretary immediately of all events giving rise to a claim under an insurance policy and provide promptly all information required in connection with any such claim.

17. Companies and joint ventures

17.1.1. In certain circumstances, it may be advantageous to the University to establish a company or a joint venture to undertake services on its behalf. Any member of staff considering the use of a company or a joint venture shall seek the advice of their Head of Department / Head of Support Service and the Finance Director, who should have due regard to any guidance issued by Office for Students.

17.1.2. The Subsidiaries Management Group is responsible for approving the establishment of all companies or joint ventures (including subsidiaries, associates and spin off companies) and the procedures to be followed.

18. Document and Key Security

18.1.1. Keys issued to safes or other similar containers must be kept securely, and the loss of such keys must be reported to the Finance Director immediately.

18.1.2. The Finance Director is responsible for ensuring the safekeeping of official and legal documents relating to the University including, signed copies of deeds, leases, agreements and contracts.

19. Students’ Union and Graduate Students Association

19.1.1. The Students’ Union and Graduate Students Association are separate legal entities from the University.

19.1.2. The University Executive Board shall determine the level of grant to be paid annually to the Students’ Union and the Graduate Students Association.

19.1.3. The University Executive Board requires the Students’ Union and Graduate Students’ Association to provide details of its proposed budget to assist in determining the appropriate level of grant.

19.1.4. The Students’ Union and the Graduate Students’ Association are responsible for maintaining their own bank accounts, financial records and preparing their annual financial statements, which will be audited by appropriately qualified auditors and will be presented to the Finance Committee for information.

20. Use of the University's seal

20.1.1. Where a deed or document requires the University’s seal, it must be sealed by one of the following the Finance Director, Registrar & Secretary, Vice-Chancellor & President, Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost or Treasurer.

20.1.2. A record is kept of all documents that have been sealed by the University by the Finance Director.

20.1.3. Documents will only be signed under seal if required by law or if they are of significant strategic importance.

Appendix 1: Financial Limits

This is a summary of the financial limits that are contained in the Finance Regulations. 

Revenue Maintenance projects (4.6.3), Capital Budgets (4.7.2), Leases (7.2.3), Guarantees (7.4.2)

The following financial limits (including VAT) apply: 

Over £4m Council approval required
£1m - £4m University Executive Board authorisation required
£200k - £1m

Authorised by

  1. one of the (Vice-Chancellor & President or Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost) and
  2. one of the (Registrar and Secretary or Finance Director).
£20k - £200k and Estates related Authorised by the Director of Estates and Campus Services and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
£20k - £200k and IT related Authorised by the Director of Information Services and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
£20k - £200k and Academic department related Authorised by the Dean of Faculty and one of the (Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director).
£0k - £20k Head of Department


Academic Department Business developments (4.8.2)

£0k - £100k Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost
£100k + Vice-Chancellor & President


Year End Balances (section 4.11.3)

£0k - £25k Head of Department and Faculty Finance Manager
£25k - £50k Dean of Faculty and Assistant Director of Finance (Accounting)
£50k - £200k Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost and Finance Director
£200k + University Executive Board

 

Debt Write-offs (section 8.6.1)

£0k - £20k Deputy Finance Director or Assistant Director (Shared Services)
£20k + Finance Director

 

Donations (section 10.6.3)

£1k - £100k Director of External Relations or Registrar & Secretary
£100k + Vice-Chancellor & President

 

Purchasing (Section 11.6)

The following financial limits (ex VAT) apply:

£0k - £5k Use normal procurement
£5k - £25k Competitive quotations
£25k - £100k Goods and Services - Tenders
£25k - £500k Estates - Tenders
£100k + Goods and Services - Tenders and compliance with public procurement regulations
£500k + Estates - Tenders and compliance with public procurement regulations
£4.5m + Estates - Tenders and compliance with public procurement and case law

 

Staff Overseas Travel Advances (11.12) and Student Advances (11.16)

Advances to Students for travel and subsistence must be jointly approved by the relevant Head of Department / Head of Support Service and

  • If over £25k: Finance Director
  • If between £5k and £25k: the Deputy Finance Director
  • If under £5k: the Assistant Director (Finance Shared Services) or Deputy Finance Director

 

Petty Cash (11.23)

Maximum float £300.00

Maximum individual item £50.00

 

Capital expenditure (13.1)

Capital expenditure is projects / equipment over £20k.

Asset register contains items over £20k.

Disposals of equipment:

£0 - £1k Head of Department
£1k - £10k Dean of Faculty
£10k - £100k Finance Director
£100k - £1m University Executive Board
£1m + Council

Appendix 2: Scope of Financial Regulations

The University, its subsidiaries, joint ventures, trading names and associated bodies employ many people and it was thought useful to set out to whom the financial regulations apply to.

  • The University of York uses the financial regulations in the front of this document – “UY Financial Regulations”.
  • The University subsidiary companies have regulations which are based on UY Financial Regulations with changes to reflect the different governance arrangements (e.g. Board of Directors rather than University Council) – “UY Companies Financial Regulations”.

Subsidiaries

1. York University Energy Supply Company Limited – this is a subsidiary company of the University that supplies electricity, gas and heat to the University. It has no employees.

  • The company should use UY Companies Financial Regulations.

2. York University Property Company Limited – this is a subsidiary company of the University that looks after property. It has no employees.

  • The company should use UY Companies Financial Regulations.

3. York University Development Company Limited – this is a subsidiary company of the University that looks after property. It has no employees.

  • The company should use UY Companies Financial Regulations.

4. Amaethon Limited– this is a subsidiary company of the University that looks after intellectual property. It has no employees.

  • The company should use UY Companies Financial Regulations.

5. York Sports Village LLP

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to Sports Village and the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • Sports Village employed staff should use UY Companies Financial Regulations, which are very similar to UY Financial Regulations.

6. York Conferences Limited

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to York conferences – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • York Conferences employed staff should use UY Companies Financial Regulations, which are very similar to UY Financial Regulations. This applies where the York Conferences Staff are recharged to Sports Village, University and other University of York Subsidiaries.

7. York Health Economics Consortium Limited

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to YHEC – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • YHEC employed staff should use UY Companies Financial Regulations, which are very similar to UY Financial Regulations.

8. York Science Park Limited

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to YSP – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • YSP employed staff should use UY Companies Financial Regulations, which are very similar to UY Financial Regulations.

9. PC-MIS Health Technologies Limited

  • University of York employed staff are seconded / recharged to PC-MIS – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • PC-MIS employed staff should use UY companies Financial Regulations, which are very similar to UY Financial Regulations.

10. The Biorenewables Development Centre Limited – this is a subsidiary of the University and should be using “UY Companies Financial Regulations”.

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to BDC – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • University of York employed staff are buying goods/ services which are then used by BDC then the University of York regulations apply.
  • University of York employed staff are buying goods/ services which are then sold to BDC then the University of York regulations apply.
  • University of York employed staff are buying goods/ services on behalf of BDC (acting as agent) then UY Companies Financial Regulations apply.
  • BDC employed staff should use UY Companies Financial Regulations, which are very similar to UY Financial Regulations.

11. Biovale Limited – this is a joint venture/ associate of the University (owns 25%) and has its own financial regulations.

Joint Ventures

12. Student Accommodation LLP, Student Accommodation Two LLP, Student Accommodation Three LLP – these are joint ventures with Evans and operate Goodricke, Constantine and Langwith accommodation. They have no employees.

  • These entities have their own financial regulation and do not use the University of York regulations

13. University of York International Pathway College LLP – this is a Joint Venture with Kaplan to provide educational services.

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to the IPC – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff
  • IPC employs its own staff and the IPC Financial Regulations apply to these staff

Sections of University of York

14. Stockholm Environment Institute York – this is part of a University Department, it is a trading name. The University has contracted with the Stockholm Environment Institute [Stockholm] to provide services.

  • The staff are employed by the University of York and the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.

15. Norwegian Study Centre – this is a contract delivered by the Department of English. The University of York has contracted with University of Bergen to provide services.

  • The staff are employed by the University of York and the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.

Partnerships

16. Hull York Medical School (HYMS) – this is a partnership between University of York and University of Hull. Staff from both Universities work on HYMS activities.

  • Where a University of Hull member of staff works for HYMS then the University of Hull financial rules and regulations apply.
  • Where a University of York member of staff works for HYMS the University of York Financial regulations apply.

17. White Rose Consortium – this is not a legal entity, but a trading name of a group of Yorkshire Universities’ that is hosted at the University of York.

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to White Rose – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • White Rose employed staff should use their own White Rose regulations.

Other Entities

18. York Cares – this is a separate charity from the University. The University hosts the charity.

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to York Cares – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • York Cares employed staff should use their own York Cares regulations.

19. University of York in America – this is a separate entity based in the USA for collecting donations. There are no employees.

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to University of York in America – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • University of York in America employed staff should use their own University of York in America regulations.

20. York University Students Union (YUSU) – this is a separate legal entity from the University of York.

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to YUSU – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • YUSU employed staff should use their own YUSU regulations.

21. Graduate Students Association (GSA) – this is a separate legal entity from the University of York.

  • University of York employed staff are seconded/ recharged to GSA – the University of York Financial Regulations apply to these staff.
  • GSA employed staff should use their own GSA regulations.

Contact us

Ian Smallwood
Financial Accountant and Compliance Officer
ian.smallwood@york.ac.uk
+44(0)1904 322123
Group Financial Accounts, Heslington Hall