Accounting for managers
PART A 60% (1,200 words approximately)
The University sector in the UK is in a time of uncertainty. The introduction of a new tuition fee
system and the lifting of student number limits mean that there is increased competition for
UK/European Union students. Potentially the new fee system may mean that fewer students from
the UK and/or European Union decide to attend university. Political, social and economic unrest in
different parts of the world also brings uncertainty to global markets. League table results have
become very important; universities are measured on the standard of their teaching and research,
the employability of graduates but also the quality of buildings (estates) and facilities provided to
students. The first students on the new tuition fee system attended university in the 2012/13
academic year and in 2013/14 the income at the University of Heraldfield began to drop for the
first time in a long time. This trend continued in 2014/15 and although the drop in income was only
slight (2%) it has led to worries that past results may not necessarily be an indication of future
performance and income may drop further if no action is taken.It would be difficult to further control
costs in the short term. Infact, although the 2015/16 financial year has not finished as yet, initial
indications are of a further 2% drop in income and 2% increase in staff costs and other operating
The University is located in the North West of England; and would traditionally have considered its
competitors to be universities located in local cities: Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford and
York; but in the new environment the Senior Management Team now consider that the competition
could be located anywhere in the UK.
Traditionally universities have received significant levels of government grants to help fund capital
expenditure on new buildings and estates but generally now these opportunities are no longer
available. In order to fund capital requirements on a standalone basis, some universities are
looking to debt to finance capital investment in the estate whilst others are funding the investment
via their own resources by retaining an adequate level of sur to generate the cash required for
these major investments.
In a quest to remain competitive in this new marketplace the University of Heraldfield is
considering investing in capital expenditure. The Senior Management Team believes that the
University of Heraldfield will attract and retain a larger market share of students if it builds new
state-of-the-art teaching and learning, and sports and leisure facilities. The facilities could cost in
the region of £40m which represents a major investment for the university.
As the Finance Director advising the Senior Management Team (Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice
Chancellor, Director of Teaching and Learning, Director of Human Resources, Director of Estates,
Director of International Recruitment) you are tasked with preparing a report as follows:
You are requiredtoprepare a report to the Senior Management Team which critically evaluates
the options for financing the funding of the new facilities. Your evaluation needs to include:
- Research into two other UK universities to identify their strategies for investing in
capital expenditure (estates, buildings and facilities) including how they are
funding them. You will find this information in the narrative sections of
universities’ annual reports.
- Calculation and explanation of relevant ratios and/or use of horizontal analysis
techniques on relevant figures for your selected two universities for five
consecutive years to discuss what you consider as influencing factors upon the
financial performance/position.This should be undertaken for the five years up
to and including themost recent publicly available published financial
statements which will be available on-line.
- Page references to the published financial statements should be made to
indicate where the information used was taken from.
- Clear mention of any assumptions that you have made.
The introduction to the report and your concluding recommendations are included in the word
PART B 40% (800 words approximately)
You are required to critically evaluate the role of the finance function inbudgeting and the
budgetary control process inorganisation/organisations of your choice.
The introduction and conclusion to the question are included within the word count.
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