Budgets and Forecasting

Section F

40.  Planning Round

Governance and strategic Planning (GASP) are responsible for setting the timetable for the planning round. The pattern for this is:

a.  Setting of strategic priorities

b.  1st round of planning

c.  Strategic review and direction

d.  2nd round of planning

e.  Review and refinement

f.  Approval and confirmation

Budget holders must create a clear plan to achieve strategic objectives. They must focus on net income growth and optimise expenditure.

41.  Budgets

A budget is an estimate of income or expenditure over a period of time. Regularly reporting actual income and expenditure against estimated helps the University manage and control its business. A detailed explanation of Budgetary Processes is on the Finance website.

42.  Resource allocation

Court must approve an annual budget for the University before the new financial year starts.

Before Court approves the budget it must approve the resource allocation recommended by the Policy and Resources Committee (PRC). The PRC recommendation is based on a paper prepared by the Governance and Strategic Planning department (GASP).

43.  Resource allocation model

GASP is responsible for the resource allocation model. No activities can be funded which are not agreed under the model.

44.  Budget Control

The Head of College or Support Group is the designated budget holder for their respective College or Group.

The control of income and expenditure within an agreed budget is the responsibility of the designated Budget Holder who must ensure that day-to-day monitoring is undertaken effectively.

45.  Budget reports The Director of Finance is responsible for supplying budgetary reports on all aspects of the University's finances to the University Court and its Committees, in particular the Policy and Resources Committee (PRC).
46.  Reporting variances

Significant departures from agreed budgetary targets, incurred or prospective, must be reported immediately to the Director of Finance by the Head of School/Department concerned and, if necessary, corrective action taken.

47.  Forecasts

In addition to budget control, the University regularly forecasts its expected results. This helps to keep track of any issues that could arise. By identifying difficulties which may arise in future months and how such issues can impact on the University corrective measures can be put in place at an early stage to mitigate their impact.

During the year, the Director of Finance is responsible for submitting revised forecasts to the Policy and Resources Committee for consideration before submission to Court for approval.

48.  Capital planning

The University has capital as well as revenue resources. These regulations apply to both capital and revenue expenditure. The limits for approval are in the Delegated Authority Schedule.

The Policy and Resources Committee (PRC) approves the estates capital plan as part of the business planning process, advises the University Court on any matters of concern and recommends to Court any proposals for significant subsequent amendments to the agreed estates programme.

The Estates Committee has Delegated Authority to approve land & property transactions/projects consistent with the direction of the estates capital plan up to £10m. Estates Committee does not have authority to approve projects which require resource outwith the estates capital plan. Such projects must be referred to PRC and Court for approval.