Section 6: Finance Division
- Finance Division responsibilities
- Administrators' finance responsibilities
- Finance Division support to Administrators
Finance Division responsibilities
The Finance Division is responsible for providing sound financial advice and timely information to academics, researchers, administrators, and other stakeholders. It is also responsible for advising Council on financial regulations and accounting policies for the University (not colleges).
Administrators' finance responsibilities
Administrators have a range of responsibilities for departmental and University finances for which the Finance Division provides support.
Financial Planning and Reporting:
Financial Planning and Analysis is the internal service to the University's divisions, providing financial information to assist them in their decision-making, particularly around planning and control. Administrators are responsible for inputting into the budget cycle, quarterly forecasts and year-end processes.
Monthly reporting processes that departments, divisions, and the Finance Division carry out during month-end are supported by the Reports Library, the month-end timetable and detailed processes.
The financial year at the University runs from 1 August until 31 July. The year-end process therefore usually starts - for departments - around mid-July, and ends in September. For the Finance Division, the preparations for year-end start much earlier, around May each year, and the Financial Statements are approved by the external auditors in November.
Purchasing and Paying:
The University Purchasing Department (UPD) is responsible for the negotiation and administration of all University-wide tenders, contracts and agreements. On the Purchasing web pages guidnace can be found for University staff involved in buying and paying for goods/services at the University, covering the steps required when ordering, receiving and paying for goods and/or services on behalf of a department.
The majority of University departments hold at least one research project. The larger departments have sizeable, complex research portfolios. There are several thousand research grants in operation at any one time, covering a wide range of research sponsors, each with distinct terms and conditions. Administrators are responsible for carrying out research accounting processes.
The individual departments through a variety of channels carry out the Sales Process at the University. In this, the Credit Control and Cashiers Teams at the Finance Division support them.
Cash management support is provided by the Treasury team who provide advice and support in investment management, banking services, insurance and risk management, and accounts receivable.
Finance Division support to Administrators
All the university accounts are managed using Oracle Financials software.
Training for administrators on Oracle Financials and finance processes and procedures are available through Finance Training.
The Communications Team is responsible for all finance-related communication and information at the University. The team produces a monthly Finance Bulletin, weekly system update email to inform all users of Oracle Financials what is happening that week, and any other ad hoc information. It is important that new administrators inform Finance Communications of their contact information so that they can receive important information and updates.
Finance Processes and Guides
Managing Departmental Projects
A 'departmental project' in Oracle is a project set up to collect cost information that is not Capital Building or Research related, although the Oracle functionality is very similar, it may be externally or departmentally funded.
- Departmental projects guidance on the Finance website.
Capital Projects Guidance
The processes set out in the guidance answer three key questions for each project:
- How does the project contribute to the University's strategic objectives and is it the best option available?
- Can the University afford the project and where are the financial and other resources coming from?
- Will there be additional running costs as a result of the project and how will these be met?
- Capital projects guidance on the Finance website.
Information on the University's online management process for capital building projects is provided by Estates Services (see section 8).