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19th June 2019

Weekly Digest
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Another brilliant Tax Conference... Matt Sisson

Last week saw the HE tax world descend on Burleigh Court in Loughborough for another brilliant BUFDG Tax Conference. As usual, the presentations from the event can be found on the tax pages. Also on the microsite you’ll find our review of the Year in Tax, details of the fantastic Tax and PEG Group members, and a thank you to our generous sponsors; PWC, Centurion, and KPMG.

BUFDG Pro - we are all getting excited about it Rachel McLone

We’ve been talking to lots of members in June via meetings, conferences and working groups about BUFDG Pro and it seems many of you are just as enthusiastic as us! If you don’t know yet, from the beginning of August, staff in BUFDG member HEIs will be able to access a further 12, HE-specific e-learning modules, via the PHES e-learning platform. They include: Introducing VAT in HE, Corporation Tax - General Exemptions, Category Management, Finance for Non Finance Managers, and VAT reliefs in HE.

The modules (and more to follow in subsequent years) are what we’ve decided to call BUFDG Pro – a subscription-based service. They’ll be available through an additional charge of between £495 - £1,250 per HEI, depending on the size of your institutionYep, that’s just £1,250 for as many people as needed at your institution to take any or all of these modules, for the whole year.

If you’d like to know more, please contact Rachel.

HMRC has published a packed June Employer Bulletin Caroline Jones

HMRC published its latest Employer Bulletin on 13 June 2019. This issue contains topics such as expenses and benefits, supply chain fraud and re-enrolment of staff into a workplace pension scheme.

Bank mandate fraud - policies and procedures Matt Sisson

A gentle reminder to anyone involved in processing invoices and payments to ensure you are correctly following your institution’s policies and procedures. We’ve been alerted to a number of recent fraud attempts where fraudsters have issued false bank detail changes to divert payments for construction companies working on campus. In each case these have been picked up by the institution by making a phone call to the company to check. Simple, but easy to ignore.

Similarly, it’s about this time each year when there’s a mysterious spike in attempts to catch HEIs out by phishing for self-service payroll access. You should require face-to-face contact, or at least a phone call, before approving any staff bank detail changes.

Remember that you can post details of any attempted frauds – successful or not – on the Counter-fraud discussion boards, to alert colleagues at other HEIs. If you’d like to post anonymously, just tick the anonymous box.

HMRC webinar - expenses and benefits for employers – phones, internet and homeworking Caroline Jones

The rules for tax and NIC can be complicated when employees are provided with mobile phones, home internet etc. HMRC’s latest webinar, which takes place on 15th July at 12pm and lasts for approximately an hour, includes one for those employers who provide or pay for mobile phone costs, internet connection or pay homeworking expenses to their employees. During the webinars you will be able to ask questions using the text box.

Does your role involve any risk management? Matt Sisson

This is a reminder that there is a budding HE Risk network which, as part of the PHES family, BUFDG is helping to get off the ground. Risk is an interesting area in that it cuts across many (if not all) of the different university professional services, and risk is managed in different ways in different institutions.

The Risk Network is formally part of HESPA (the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association), with a web page on the HESPA website which links to useful resources, and a brand spanking new discussion board. It means that, if you’d like to be part of the Risk group and access the boards then you’ll need access to the HESPA website. Fortunately most BUFDG institutions are members of HESPA, so all you need to do is drop membership@phes.ac.uk an email, and we can quickly tweak your account so you can also log in to the HESPA site using your normal BUFDG/PHES email address and password.

There’s a Risk Management survey on the go at the moment, which only takes 3 minutes to complete. This will help the group understand the range and remit of members’ expertise and work, and help shape the future work of the group. Please help out if you can.

Designing and implementing a DC pension scheme Matt Sisson

If you’re currently thinking through how to design and implement a DC pension scheme, then Barnett Waddingham have a timely webinar for you. At 11am on Tuesday 25th June you can join Partner and Head of Higher Education, Paul Hamilton and Principal and Chartered Financial Planner, Martin Willis as they look at how organisations deal with rising costs of schemes, as well as how they use DC schemes to control future costs whilst offering flexible structures that employees value. The session will also feature a sector case study from an institution that has been there and done that. For more information and to sign up, visit the BW website.

National Minimum Wage – naming and shaming suspended Caroline Jones

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) consultation on National Minimum Wage and possible changes to the NMW rules in relation to salaried workers and salary sacrifice schemes, ended on 1 March 2019. It asked for input from employers on areas where they felt NMW rules "unfairly penalise them without generating any benefit or protection for workers"

We are still awaiting the outcome of the consultation but in the meantime it was confirmed, in the House of Commons last week, that the scheme for the naming of employers found to be in breach of the UK's national minimum wage (NMW) has been suspended while the Government reviews the scheme. It seems that the Government may be considering options to limit appearances on the list to those employers who deliberately break the rules, rather than those who are substantially compliant but may breach them accidentally.

Commodity coding risk analysis Matt Sisson

The sector’s Responsible Procurement group has been busy, and are pleased to share a useful risk analysis tool based on commodity codes. The spreadsheet shows the level of risk for a variety of sustainability measures, including ethical, social and environmental, and now including a new column detailing modern slavery.  It will be helpful when writing tenders or liaising with suppliers throughout their supply chains.

For background; most of the work was undertaken by the procurement and sustainability team at UWE, and the MS risk was added by Marisol Bernal, the Responsible Procurement Officer at LUPC. 

The next meeting of the RPG is on 17th July.

Job of the week Jemma Ladkin

This week’s job is for a Deputy Head of Finance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. The university are looking for "an ambitious, self-motivated and experienced accountant" who "will play a key role in finance and strategic and operational management including business proposals, purchasing, receivables and reporting within a busy finance team." Suitable applicants will have "financial analysis, management reporting and forecasting experience as well as excellent communication skills are essential to be able to provide a high level of customer focussed support to all staff and in particular, our budget managers". The closing date for this job vacancy is 8th July 2019.

There are lots of other vacancies listed on the BUFDG jobs page.

 

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