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12th December 2018

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Treasury Management Conference - 24th June 2019 Rachel McLone

BUFDG will be holding a Treasury Management Conference on Monday 24th June in London. As we start planning for the event, we are keen to get your views on the sessions that will be valuable to you. We have created a list of potential topics - please review these and let us know your preferences. Contact Rachel for any queries. 

Brexit Watch Matt Sisson

If you missed last Friday’s KPMG webinar on the impact of a Hard Brexit, you can re-watch it using the link. The session helps participants understand the impact of, and provides advice on developing mitigation plans for, a No Deal scenario. KPMG also has a useful webpage on Navigating Brexit, with lots of additional resources.

In related news, The Scottish Funding Council has published a report describing how Brexit could impact Scotland’s colleges and universities. The report examines the implications leaving the European Union could have for staff and students. It also looks at research collaboration between Scottish and European institutions and the support colleges receive through the European Social Fund.

BUFDG Credit Control Working Group meeting Rachel McLone

On Thursday 17th January, BUFDG are holding their next Credit Control Working Group meeting.  This will be taking place at the University of Northampton. This is still a relatively new working group that has been formed to ensure BUFDG can meet the needs of those working in Credit Control.  Whilst agenda sugesstions are still being taken, 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.

Reporting Fraudulent Activity to the Office for Students Emma Keenan

Speaking to the OFS this week, I was reminded of the reporting requirements for universities around fraudulent activity. Within the OFS Terms and conditions of funding for HE institutions document it is a requirement that institutions report any “material adverse event” – in this document, that is defined as fraud with a value of over £25k.

For institutions already signed up to the new regulatory framework, paragraph 494 outlines what is required (part c refers to fraud). A value is no longer provided however the wording does now cover suspected as well as actual fraud. The OFS have confirmed that they do not plan to issue any regular report detailing examples of Fraud in the sector.

Introduction to HE Data Rachel McLone

HESPA havea organised a new training event for anyone interested in learning about the higher education data landscape. This might include student records, finance, HR, estates, academic school and other professional services staff.

The ‘Introduction to HE data’ seminar is designed to provide colleagues new to data roles with a comprehensive overview and induction to the world of Higher Education data. The seminar will give attendees an understanding of best practice when analysing HE data, and offer ideas for how their learning can be used in practice. Whilst a broad range of data sources will be covered, there will be a particular focus on HESA data and how it can be used to inform decision making across your organisation.

The day will be delivered through a combination of presentations and group tasks/discussion, and will provide delegates with the opportunity to discuss the key issues with colleagues from other providers, and ask questions in an informal setting. For any queries, please contact Rachel.

MTD Update & Additional PwC Offer for BUFDG members Amanda Darley

With the changes recently announced to the Making Tax Digital timeline, now would be a great time to reconsider your MTD plans. Do you know your MTD deadlines for each of your entities? Does it now make more sense to consider a single-step process?

We’ve got some extra information on PwC’s GITC tool for you to consider, along with the updated MTD software comparison table.

And PwC has also provided an additional offer for BUFDG members – if you believe that you only require a digital bridge or e-file to submit your VAT return initially, PwC also has a digital bridge option costing approximately £90 (plus VAT) per VRN per annum.

But where universities decide they wish to go forward with GITC, PwC will refund fees incurred in relation to the digital bridge/e-file upon implementation of GITC. There’s plenty more information on all of this over on our website.

AHUA - Professional Service Directors’ Programme Rachel McLone

The next iteration of the AHUA’s Professional Service Directors’ Programme will start in March 2019 with a deadline for applications of 11 January 2019. This successful and popular programme, (previously called ‘Impact and Influence’), now in its fifth iteration, is aimed at Directors and Heads of Professional Services in HE – for example Directors of Finance, Estates, HR, Student Services, Research, etc with one to three years’ experience in the role.

The programme provides participants with the opportunity to reflect on their current leadership skills, to develop their ability to influence more effectively at senior level and thereby to have greater impact across the institution. It focuses on:

  • organisational culture in HE and its impact on individual and team effectiveness;
  • what makes a high performing team, and how to maximise individual and team strengths;
  • how best to navigate the sometimes tricky interface between the professional and academic communities.
  • how to lead and deliver cross organisational transformation effectively

In addition to input from facilitators and speakers, participants are provided with 1-1 coaching and membership of an action learning set in which to explore current business issues with a new network of peers from across the sector. Feedback from those who have sponsored participants on previous programmes suggests that institutions gain more engaged and better networked leaders with increased self-awareness and a new range of key contacts across organisations and specialisations.

For further information, click here for the brochure and here for the application form.  Or you can visit the AHUA’s website, or speak to Catherine Webb, AHUA Executive Secretary, on 0161 275 8095.

Procurement Value Survey - Now Live Emma Keenan

We are pleased to confirm that the Procurement Value Survey (PVS) is now open.

The Procurement Value Survey replaces the historic Efficiency Measurement Model survey (EMM).  The system is used annually to gather institutional and sector-wide efficiency data from procurement teams in line with the sector benefits methodology. The survey is open for completion until 31st January 2019 and collects data from the 2017/18 financial year.

Heads of procurement can access the PVS simply by following the link and logging in.  If you are responsible for completion of the survey in your institution and are not in a head of procurement role, please contact me directly so that I can enable access for you. A reminder that we recorded our webinar explaining how to complete the survey and also have developed a help page both of which will support you if you have any questions.

Book something to look forward to in the new year Amanda Darley

A holiday perhaps? Or something cheaper and of much more lasting benefit? A place on our Corporation Tax course on 23 January (we have a few spaces remaining, so to ensure your place, book now as an early Christmas gift to yourself!).

The course is presented by Harriet Latham of the Open University and will take place in Birmingham. This practical one day course is suitable for anyone responsible for tax within their university, including tax managers, VAT managers, or accountants. The day will cover:

  • An introduction to how corporation tax works (compared to VAT)
  • A clear summary of what is exempt and what is taxable and how to calculate the profits or losses arising
  • An overview of other HMRC filing obligations
  • An overview of the implications of non-UK activities
  • Advice on developing processes to manage corporation tax compliance

The course costs £300 (inc. VAT), and you can find out more and book here.

Job of the week Jemma Ladkin

This week’s job is for a Deputy Tax Manager at the University of Birmingham. The successful candidate will “work together with and support the Tax Manager across all areas of UK and overseas tax for the University and will be required to deputise where necessary for the University Tax Manager”. It includes:

  • Day-to-day management and support on tax compliance and reporting obligations across taxes for UK and other territories;
  • Engaging directly with Colleges and Departments – support on day-to-day queries, training and providing support and guidance around tax issues;
  • Significantly and importantly, being involved in the development of new processes around VAT and tax compliance as a result of the new HR & Finance system being implemented in February 2019 – this will include transformation of current processes to include designing, implementing and testing robust forward-thinking tax reporting and data analytics for tax.

The closing date for this role is 20th December 2018. Please visit the BUFDG website where you can find other vacancies listed on our jobs page.


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