Financial Sustainability: End of year spend

Message from Jane Higham, Director of Finance

As you will be aware from the Vice-Chancellor’s recent update, we expect a significant shortfall in our income as a result of the impact of COVID-19 which adds to our already challenging underlying financial position. If we do not take steps to mitigate this, the University will eventually run out of money and be unable to meet its commitments. As I have said before, we can all take steps to help the University through this difficult period and budget holders have a critical role to play through continuing to minimise spend.    

Most urgently, we need your support in ensuring we significantly reduce end-of-year outlay. In previous years we have seen an increase of up to £5m in spending as budget-end nears. This cannot happen this year and therefore any unspent budget for 19/20 must only be used where absolutely essential. Put simply,  as a result of the losses to our income brought about by the COVID pandemic, we cannot afford to spend as we have in the past and we need to conserve all financial resources to support our sustainability in the coming months.    

I appreciate budget holders will continue to get purchasing and expenditure requests from within their School or Department and encourage them to share this with staff as required to help respond In order to assist with our planning, it would be appreciated if budget holders could notify our Procurement team of any significant essential spend that they may be aware of that needs to be incurred between now and year-end, so that we can discuss this in good time.  Similarly, any queries relating to this can also be forwarded to the Procurement Team, who will be closely monitoring spend between now and the end of July.   

Thank you for your continued support with this.