The University's Accounting Policy

Accounting guidance

The University's Accounting Policy is in line with the Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting for further and higher education (SORP) which applies to all further and higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. SORP itself adapts UK generally accepted accounting practice (UK GAAP) to the extent that it is meaningful and appropriate for further and higher education institutions.

The University must also comply with the financial memorandum between the Office for Students (OfS) and the University and OfS's accounts direction.

Basis of accounting

SORP requires that:

  • The University adopts accounting policies that are judged to be the most appropriate for giving a true and fair view and should keep such policies under review.
  • The financial statements be prepared in accordance with applicable accounting standards on an accruals basis. Income from earmarked sources is accounted for in the income and expenditure account in line with the associated expenditure, as the University has no right to the income until it has complied with the conditions attaching to the earmarked source by incurring the qualifying expenditure.
  • The financial statements be prepared using the historical cost convention as modified for the revaluation of certain assets and contain a positive statement that they are prepared in accordance with applicable accounting standards and the SORP. Any material departures therefrom must be explained clearly in the financial statements.
  • The consolidated financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Group and the University at the balance sheet date and of the group's results and total recognised gains and losses and cash flows for the year then ended, whether channelled through the University or through one or more associates or subsidiary undertakings.

Further information

The full Accounting Policies for the University of Oxford can be found Accounting Policy 2018 (136kb) (available to staff at the University of Oxford only). 

Appendices to the Accounting Policies Guide: