Finance Community

All colleagues across the University working in financial administration (including relevant research administration) are invited to join the Finance Community.

The aim of the Finance Community is to create opportunities to come together, meet other people doing similar jobs, learn, support each other, and share good practice. We particularly hope to provide opportunities for finance officers or assistants to get involved. 

In 2020 we launched the Mid-Year Roadshows, and took the opportunity to obtain input from colleagues and have developed a 2020-21 programme on this basis. We will continue to welcome input, and if you have any suggestions, please contact  financial.assurance@admin.ox.ac.uk.

FINANCE COMMUNITY EVENTS

Based on the feedback gathered at the 2020 Mid-Year Roadshows, we are putting in place an exciting programme of events for 2020-21, to which everyone involved in financial or research post-award administration is invited.  

Please note, at present we are planning to hold events online. We hope to be able to hold more in-person events in the future, to give people a chance to meet each other and network. 

Please click through the sections below for information and dates of the next events. Please use the booking form if you would like to book onto an event and receive a meeting invitation.

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The seminars/workshops offer a more in depth look at particular subjects.

November 2020: The International Working Policy and Brexit - **Cancelled**

Phil Jukes, Global Mobility Manager, is currently launching the new International Working Policy with divisions. This is another opportunity to hear about key risks of international working, with specific examples, and the University’s approach to managing them, plus any impacts arising from Brexit. 

Who should come: anyone that may be involved in supporting colleagues working overseas, including identifying when the risks become relevant. 

  • Wednesday 18 November - 10-11am: **Cancelled**
  • Thursday 19 November - 2-3pm: **Cancelled**

December 2020:  Managing the Impacts of Brexit 

With a focus on movement of goods, movement of people, and impact on research, this seminar will help you understand the impacts of Brexit and how we can best manage them internally. Join the Tax Team, the Purchasing Department, Research Accounts and the Immigration Team.

Who should come: anyone who’s work support purchasing and research might be affected by Brexit.

  • Wednesday 9 December - 10-11am: via Teams
  • Thursday 10 December  - 2-3pm: via Teams

Managing the Impacts of Brexit presentation slides  (pptx)

January 2021: Best practice forecasting at the University

This seminar will highlight good practice in departmental forecasting identified across the divisions, with an emphasis on how forecasting works at the University.

Who should come: anyone involved in budgeting and forecasting.

  • Tuesday 12 January - 2-3pm: via Teams
  • Friday 15 January - 11.30am-12.30pm: via Teams

Best practice forecasting at the University presentation slides  (pptx)

March 2021: Understanding the role of the Purchasing Department

The Purchasing Department plays a number of important roles in the University, including helping the University purchase wisely and harnessing the University’s spending power. Come and learn more about the work of the Purchasing Department and good practice relevant across the University.

Who should come: anyone involved in supporting colleagues making purchases in departments.

  • Thursday 25 March - 11am-12pm: via Teams

Understanding the role of the Purchasing Department presentation slides (ppxt)

May 2021: Recognising and Managing Fraud Risk

Attempted fraud can provide a wealth of information on how effectively controls are operating – and where there might be gaps. We will be looking at where risks might lie and how we can learn from them.

Who should come: anyone interested in managing risks and implementing effective processes

  • Tuesday 18 May – 2-3pm: via Teams
  • Wednesday 19 May – 10-11am: via Teams

Recognising and Managing Fraud Risk presentation slides (ppxt)

October 2021: Finance Community Seminar: Introduction to non-EC Audits

Join us for an exploration of the mysteries of audit. Answer existential questions like why audits are among us and learn how to prepare for the arrival of your audit. Understand the different stages in the life of an audit with special emphasis on formative phases like evidence provision and query resolution. The event will include an exclusive guest appearance of timesheets and will close with the awarding of the coveted audit certificate. Optional equipment: Calculator.

Who should come: anyone who would like to learn more about audits

  • Tuesday, 19 October 2021, 2-3pm
  • Thursday, 28 October 2021, 10-11am

Introduction to non-ec audit (ppxt)

January 2022: Feedback from the Departmental Self-Assurance Return 2021

This seminar will share insights from the analysis of the Departmental Financial Self-Assurance Return completed by all departments as part of the year end activity.

Who should come: anyone interested in the self-assurance results and managing financial risk.

February 2022: VAT Research Tool Revisited

This seminar is designed to help departments manage their VAT on research projects. It will look at how to decide on the VAT status of a project and how to minimise any VAT cost, where possible.

Who should come: anyone responsible for the financial budget and management of a research project.

  • Thursday, 17 February 2022, 2.00pm-3.30pm

March 2022: Making Payments to Individuals

This seminar is designed to help finance teams understand the options for making payments to individuals while ensuring the University meets relevant obligations to withhold tax. We will highlight a number of challenging scenarios and factors to consider. This will include paying individuals working overseas.

Who should come: anyone responsible for supporting decisions on the appropriate route to make a payment to an individual.

May 2022: International Research - All things Tax

This seminar will cover how to manage the tax costs and overseas reporting requirements when working overseas and sending staff from your department overseas. It will consider what additional taxes may be incurred and how to manage these to a minimum.

Who should come: anyone responsible for the finances of overseas research projects

  • Thursday, 12 May 2022, 2.00pm-3.00pm

June 2022: VAT and Monthly Oracle Checks

This seminar will look at how monthly VAT checks should be carried out in departments, what to do and how to draft a monthly statement of practice.

Who should come: anyone who carries out departmental monthly checks

  • Thursday, 16 June 2022, 2.00pm-3.00pm

 

These are run annually around February and are open to everyone. They cover a range of topics and are an opportunity to receive updates on key things happening in finance. The programme will be finalised nearer the time.

Who should come: providing short updates on a range of issues, the roadshows are suitable for anyone working in financial administration and we hope to see a cross-section of colleagues in different roles.

 

The Year-End Roadshows are well established, and run in June/July. They primarily cover key information to help you prepare for year end and the Annual Departmental Financial Self-Assurance Return, with updates on other topics as appropriate. These are now organisation with divisional teams. Further information and dates will be published nearer the time.

Finance Conference 2021

The first Finance Conference was held on 24 November 2021, building on requests and feedback received from colleagues across the University. With different sessions intended to be of interest to a range of people (including non-finance staff), we hope there will be something for everyone!

Selected highlights:

  • Meet out new Chief Financial Officer, Simon Boddie
  • Interested in the Finance Division improvement programme? Come and hear about the latest developments.
  • Ever wondered where we get most funding or how the University is affected by what is happening outside? Here’s your chance to find out.
  • If you’re considering a career in finance, come and hear about various routes colleagues have taken.
  • Got a question? Join our first Q&A session – as requested, an opportunity to get all your questions answered.
  • And more…

Please view the agenda to find out more about the programme.

Please find below links to the conference presentations:

Compliance update

Introduction to the University's Financial Landscape

Introduction to the University's Financial Landscape (slide set 2)

Managing import and export Tax post Brexit

Update on Finance Division projects and improvements programme

If you have any queries, please contact finance.communications@admin.ox.ac.uk

CAREER SUPPORT

The Finance Division is developing various mechanisms to provide support across the Finance Community.

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The ‘Finance Professional Trainee Community’ brings together finance colleagues from across the University who are studying, or wishing to study, a professional qualification, whether in accountancy or another discipline. This is part of an initiative to improve career development and study support for finance staff and we hope that our events, learning resources and communication will support you with your studies.

We also hope that colleagues who are fully qualified will be involved in our events and community.

We will send out regular mailings with details of events and information, and have set up a community platform on Microsoft teams to allow members to share information and knowledge, and get in touch with each other.

Please email finance.communications@admin.ox.ac.uk to sign up.

For a number of years the Finance Division has had the status of Platinum Level ACCA Training. This means that the Finance Division can sign off a student’s experience, removing the need for the student to complete a “practical experience requirement” (PER).

The PER lists detailed examples of how studiers have gained experience in a number of different areas. Completing it is a lengthy and time consuming process; coming at the end of years of study, it is a step which sometimes gets neglected, left to the last minute or in some cases never achieved.

Finance is now able to extend this service and exemption from the PER to the wider Finance Community. If you are in a finance role anywhere in the University you have the option to be exempt from completing the nine Performance Objectives required for membership. Those studying should work closely with their line manager and/or mentor to meet the ACCA requirements and should engage with the nominated Practical Experience Supervisor who will have the authority to sign off the exemption throughout the training period. 

Our Practical Experience Supervisor is Katherine Gardiner (Head of Financial Assurance). If you would like to discuss the exemption with her, or require further information please contact her directly. You are encouraged to make contact early in your training so that you can work together to ensure that you get the right experience.

We are excited to announce that the Finance Division is participating in a scheme being established across the administrative service providing all professional services staff with access to a mentor. The scheme has been launched by the Focus on People programme (FoP) to provide an opportunity for mentors and mentees to form mentoring partnerships within and across professional services. The scheme aims to support mentees in achieving personal and professional growth and mentors to enhance their own skills in addition to gaining satisfaction from helping others to develop.

If you are interested in participating in the scheme or have any questions or feedback about the pilot get in touch via professionalservicesmentoring@admin.ox.ac.uk 

KEEP INFORMED

The Finance Division sends out a number of newsletters to share information and updates. Please contact finance.communications@admin.ox.ac.uk if you would like to receive one of these.

  • Finance Bulletin – a monthly update on key financial processes.
  • Purchasing News – regular updates from the Purchasing Department, including details of offers and upcoming training.
  • Research Accounts News – issued as required with updates on key research post-award administration matters.
  • Financial Systems Support Update – issued monthly to users of Oracle Financials with updates on changes to Oracle, reports and other system matters.
  • Tax Newsletter – updates from the Tax Team, including information on international working.
  • Year-End Updates – issued weekly during the year-end period with information about key tasks to be completed that week and tasks completed centrally. 
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Contact us


 : Finance Division
      University of Oxford
      23-38 Hythe Bridge Street

      Oxford, OX1 2ET

 : financial.assurance@admin.ox.ac.uk

 : 01865 (6) 16206

 Financial Assurance Team