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15th August 2018

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USS - FRS102 Financial Statement Disclosures Matt Sisson

The USS modeller for 17/18 year end can be downloaded here.  This modeller calculates the value of the USS provision as at 31 July 2018.  It is based on the existing recovery plan and does not allow for any changes to recovery plans agreed after 31 July 2018.

The updated guidance for discount rates based on market conditions as at 31 July 2018 has now been issued and can be downloaded here.  In summary actual discount rates derived as at 31 July 2018 are broadly similar to those derived as at 28 February 2018, although the impact varies slightly at different durations.  This will result in broadly similar provisions at the 2018 year end to those estimated using 28 February 2018 market conditions.

Chinese VAT exemption clarification Amanda Darley

Hot on the heels of the recent change to the permanent establishment rules for overseas universities in China, the Chinese tax authorities issued additional guidance on the VAT education exemption, clarifying that officially-recognised Chinese-foreign cooperative education projects delivering education leading to recognised qualifications are exempt from Chinese VAT. The clarification updates regulations set out in 2016, which specified that officially approved education institutions providing education at the primary, lower secondary, high school or higher education (diploma, bachelor’s, master’s and PhD) levels were exempt from VAT but did not specifically address Chinese-foreign joint programmes or institutes.

We will shortly be publishing a revised tax guide for UK higher education institutions in China produced by Grant Thornton.

New Legal Resource – Contract Templates Emma Keenan

I am pleased to confirm that HEPA now have a set of contract templates which are available for your use.  

The templates will be useful for all persons in England and Wales. Procurement teams in Scotland should contact APUC who have and will provide you with alternative versions appropriate for Scottish procurement law.

The templates reflect recent changes in law with regards to GDPR and also include references to Modern Slavery and Brexit.  They include:  

  • A template for Purchasing Goods and Services,
  • A professional services appointment template,
  • A template deed of variation
  • A template letter to vary an agreement
  • A letter of consent of parent guarantee. 

For the full information please click here.

Gmina Ree-ye-vo & Capital Goods Scheme Amanda Darley

Martin Scammell assures me this is the correct pronunciation of the name of a recent CJEU judgement, Gmina Ryjewo. The judgement would suggest that an HEI is entitled to a Capital Goods Scheme (CGS) repayment where:

  • it incurs capital expenditure on a property initially used entirely for non-business purposes,
  • it does not rule out later using it also for business purposes, and
  • it does in fact use it for some taxable business purposes within the CGS adjustment period.

This has not been HMRC’s view to date (see Notice 706/2 para 5.4). We don't yet have any comment from HMRC on this judgement, but Martin is raising it with them. There may be some relevant situations in universities, possibly including where HMRC have refused an adjustment in the past.

Exploring the value of universities Dominic Fryer

The Higher Education sector has been working hard to communicate the invaluable ways it contributes to UK society.

BUFDG has contributed to this effort by supporting finance directors to improve financial communication, assisting the development of value reporting (in particular the use of Integrated Reporting <IR>), and developing our own educational materials.

These materials include a series of six short videos exploring the value of universities. The first four of these can be found here. The remaining videos will be added in the coming weeks. Please feel free to share them. 

Increasing Efficiency - One Day Accuracy Course Rachel McLone

Do you want to increase the efficency of your team? Simple mistakes happen often in the workplace. In a busy environment with large volumes of information and what seems like constant change, they are even harder to control. What if you could be taught why they happen and how to avoid them? You could even take a number of top tips back to your team. This course will help prevent mistakes in the workplace and therefore reduce the inevitable cost and resource to correct them. This one-day practical workshop is for people who want to improve their attention to detail and not make mistakes in their tasks. Participants are introduced to accuracy fundamentals and learn how to apply key principles for error free working. Course objectives include:

  • The cost of mistakes and why they happen
  • Introducing and implementing accuracy skills
  • Dealing with distractions and how to ‘SuperConcentrate’
  • Mitigating the causes of error
  • Ways to Improve document checking skills and ‘structured checking’
  • Time management techniques to prevent oversight and error

The course takes place on Monday 5th November at Woburn House, Tavistock Square, London.  For more details and to book, click here.  For any queries, please contact Rachel.

Management Accountants Conference 2018 Rachel McLone

Don't miss out on a place at the 2018 BUFDG Management Accountants Conference.  The London conference takes place on Thursday 4th October and is already nearly full and the Leeds conference takes place on Thursday 11th October.   Following the success of last year, we will be keeping to the format as a mixture of plenary and breakout sessions. The theme for the conference this year is ‘value’ and we will be understanding the huge value our Management Accountants can play in their HEI and how to maximise this on an individual level. Each conference will include: 

  • Keynote sessions from Vice Chancellors on the Higher Education Landscape.
  • The changing role of the Management Accountant, the role and the resources they have to add increasing value to their HEI, with views from a panel. 
  • People, Communication and Influence, top tips for Management Accountants to have more impact and influence.
  • How to create reports that bring analysis to life and the importance of putting the reader first. 
  • Breakout sessions will include, resource allocation models, the conversion of student number data into tuition fee income, management reports to add value and business partnering.   

For more details and to book, click here for the London Conference on Thursday 4th October, or here for the Leeds Conference on Thursday 11th October.  For any queries, please contact Rachel

BUFDG Credit Control Working Group meeting Rachel McLone

On Tuesday 4th September, BUFDG are holding their next Credit Control Working Group meeting.  This will be taking place at the University of Salford.  This is new working group that has been formed to ensure BUFDG can meet the needs of those working in Credit Control.  In this next meeting and following our first Credit Management Conference this year, we will be looking at what the next event could look like.  We will also be talking around topical issues and sharing best practice.  If you would be interested in attending, please get in touch with Rachel to find out more and to help shape the right activities and support for your area.

National tax group meeting minutes Amanda Darley

The minutes of the most recent meeting of BUFDG's national tax group, held on 5 June, are now available on the website here.

What is eCertis and do I need to use it? Emma Keenan

e-Certis is the information system that helps persons identify different certificates requested in procurement procedures across the EU. If you are a European company wishing to participate in a public procurement procedure, or if you are a public buyer that has to evaluate bids received from various Member States, eCertis can help you understand what evidence is requested or provided by the other party. You can simply enter the description of the document used for proving the fulfilment of the exclusion or selection criteria in a given procedure.

We commissioned legal firm Clyde and Co to provide some guidance for the sector on the use of eCertis and if the changes regarding electronic communications in the procurement regulations coming into force on 18th October will mean we need a better understanding of that system.  You can read the guidance note, which will be helpful UK wide, here.

Job of the week Jemma Ladkin

This week’s job of the week is for a Financial Training Manager at the University of Nottingham.

“An exceptional educator is sought to develop and deliver financial training for the Finance Department of the University of Nottingham, on a part time basis for 18 hours per week. We are looking for an experienced finance professional with superb communication skills who is able to impart information in an engaging and practical way to give our staff the skills they need to enact the University’s financial processes”.

“This is not an isolated role, you will need to consult with finance teams around the University and listen to feedback to ensure that our suite of courses remains interesting, modern and relevant. You will need to be innovative in your adaptation and use of training systems and techniques”.

Closing date: Wednesday5th September 2018

There are lots of other vacancies listed as usual on the BUFDG website.


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