Peninsula Medical School (PMS) Accounting
Aspects of service
The provision of Research, Management and Financial Accountancy services to the
Peninsula Medical School.
Level of Service:
? Provide advice (in conjunction with the Research Services Team within the
School) on the costing of grant applications and other research proposals, to
include assistance in:
o the interpretation of grant terms and conditions and eligibility of
o the interpretation of the Full Economic Costing guidance
o the application of VAT to research projects ? Review where necessary the robustness of the costing calculations for grant
and other project applications
? Sign all applications as the administrative authority
? To interpret the financial implications of all grant awards and research
contracts and to advise the grant holder accordingly
? Deal with the transfer of grants to/from the University for academics leaving or
joining the University
? Provide regular standard statistical reports on the number and value of
research applications and awards and to provide additional statistical
information on request
? Update the income and expenditure reports on all research and other
services rendered grants to ensure eligibility of expenditure and to provide
monitoring information to grants holders
? Check PMS staff appointment forms for all posts (University of Exeter,
University of Plymouth and NHS contracts) to be funded from external
research income to ensure sufficient resources are available to fund the
proposed appointment and to authorise payments to students when funded
from external research projects
? Calculate overheads, fEC surpluses / deficits and staff recharges and arrange
for these to be transferred to the School‟s management accounts. Arrange all
other accounting entries required to ensure the reporting of research income
and expenditure in line with appropriate accounting standards. ? To complete statistical returns for HEFCE on research activity and to provide
support to the process of compiling information for the Research Assessment
? To compile claims for the reimbursement of expenditure on research projects,
to authorise such claims where required and to provide final financial reports ? To organise the audit of grant claims as required by sponsors
? To process allocations from the University Research Fund
? In conjunction with the University of Exeter‟s full economic cost accounting
team, to advise the School on key strategic / policy messages arising from the
annual attribution of costs to each of the five activities – Teaching (publicly
and non-publicly funded), Research (similarly split) and Other activities.
? Treasury Management (in conjunction with Financial Accounting) and
cashflow of the PMS bank account („Community Chest‟) including investment
of surplus funds to maximise any interest earned, reconciling all income and
expenditure occurring within both Universities and termly reporting on
cashflow/balances to the PMS Finance Committee.
? Reimbursing of approved PMS expenditure out of the Community Chest,
including evidence based overheads
? Ensuring invoices are raised to recover any element of SIFT expenditure paid
by either of the Universities on agreed cost share arrangements Financial and Statutory Accounting
? Advise on the treatment of VAT within both core activities and within
? Review the 5 year financial forecast for the School produced by the PMS
? Prepare the Income and Expenditure account, Balance Sheet and supporting
notes for the published Statement of Accounts of both Universities (from PMS
Agresso database – including reconciliation to control accounts within
University of Plymouth Agresso and University of Exeter Aptos system)
? Calculate the statistics for the HESA return.
? Monthly download and manipulation of PMS financial transactions posted in
the University of Exeter‟s Aptos system into a format suitable to load onto the
University of Plymouth‟s PMS Agresso system to enable reporting of total
School activity against budget.
? Support to PMS Finance manager for PMS budget preparation (including
calculation of Exeter staffing baseline), and calculation of an evidence-based
overhead charge to the School for each discrete administrative service
provided by the University of Exeter.
Management of Research and Endowment Funds
? Monitoring (in conjunction with PMS Finance Manager) of Research Funds
and any endowment income held within Exeter for the School with reporting
of activity to budget holders.
? Provision of financial information for, and attendance at, the PMS Finance
Committee including a financial statement and notes for publication within the
annual financial statements of each University, cashflow forecasts, outcomes
of internal audit reviews, and reports on policy / strategic issues such as the
implications of full economic costing.
? Liaison with internal and external auditors. Presentation of reports on PMS
activities to the University‟s audit committee and PMS Finance Committee.
Background / Scale of Activity:
The Peninsula Medical School is a joint medical school established as an equal
partnership of the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth. PMS is not a separate legal
body but is answerable through the Joint Board of Management to the Council/Board
of Governors of the University of Exeter and University of Plymouth respectively.
Service level agreements set out arrangements with NHS institutions.
The financial policies, practices and management of PMS are designed to reflect and
enshrine the jointness of the School and the equitable and transparent use of funds.
In particular, HE monies relating to PMS students (undergraduates and
postgraduates) of PMS received by either of the two Universities will be assigned to a
common „Community Chest‟ or quasi-trust fund and spent against an approved
budget, and SIFT or NHS capital funds falling to the NHS institutions in respect of
PMS will be dispensed within a strategic framework agreed by the Joint Board of
Management and confirmed by the Council/Board of Governors of the Universities
and relevant NHS authority. The Community Chest is administered by the UoE
under its financial regulations in compliance with the approved PMS budget.
The UoE and UoP operate different accounting systems. Consequently the
Universities have agreed that the management of their PMS-related transactions will
be shared, and that wherever possible only one finance system will be used to
handle particular transaction cycles, such as invoicing or purchasing. The full set of
PMS transactions is captured on the University of Plymouth‟s Agresso system to
enable the preparation of management information and annual financial statements.
During 2003/04, the total income of the School amounted to ?14.6m. including
?4.675m relating to research grants and contracts.
? Elapsed time: provision of advice (pre submission) on grant applications and
other proposals to include advice on terms and conditions, full economic
costing directives, VAT etc. *
? Elapsed time: Sign grant application (or electronic approval via JeS for
Research Council applications) to include checking or reviewing calculations
and a review of the financial aspects of the application *
? Elapsed time: provide advice (post receipt of award) on financial implications
of award or contract, and establish appropriate budget monitoring
? Elapsed time on provision of income and expenditure reports to grantholders*
? Elapsed time: Check PMS staff appointments *
? Calculate overheads, fEC surpluses / deficits and arrange accounting entries
? Raise claims and invoices to sponsors *
? Interest earned on investments compared to LIBID and the average bank
? Elapsed time – periodic reconciliation of University control accounts and
dataload to Agresso
? Compliance with agreed invoicing timetable for recovery of SIFT expenditure
from NHS colleagues.
* These indicators are included as a guide to our planned level of service.
Performance will be monitored based on feedback and through customer surveys.
? Response to requests for advice to be provided on all grant applications
within 2 days of receiving request *
? All applications to be checked/reviewed and approved within 5 days of receipt
of project costing form and application subject to alternative agreement where
time allowable *
? All awards to be reviewed and appropriate budget monitoring arrangements
established within 10 days of receipt of award documentation / signed
? Income and expenditure reports to grant-holders to be provided quarterly *
? PMS staff appointment forms to be checked/responded to within three days of
? Overheads, surpluses and deficits to be recharged quarterly *
? Claims and invoices to be raised according to sponsor requirements
? Interest earned on investments to be at least equivalent to the averaged
weekly LIBOR rate
? 100% adherence to timetables agreed with UoP and PMS for monthly data
uploads to Agresso (except where circumstances are outside the control of
? 100% compliance with formally agreed timetables for the recovery of SIFT-
related reimbursement from NHS colleagues
In the event that these service levels cannot be maintained eg. due to unplanned
staff absence(s) the School will be advised of arrangements to prioritise the
workload and be given an assessment of when the “normal service” will resume.
? Catherine Serjeant, PMS Accountant ? Pam Gurney, Accounting Assistant ? Andrea Ward, Accounting Assistant ? Support from other Finance colleagues as necessary (including Deputy
Finance Director, Financial Accounting, Research Accounting, TRAC team)
Complaints about any aspect of the service should be channelled through:
? Catherine Serjeant, PMS Accountant, and if necessary escalated to
? Sue Gabbott, Deputy Director of Finance
Key Dependencies (Internal):
? Colleagues from the School, principally:
o The School finance team lead by Clare Featherstone (PMS Finance
Manager) – regarding liaison on all aspects of Management and
o Research and Development Services lead by Nick Church (PMS
Research and Development Service Manager) – for support to
Academics on application process including liaison with Institute
Directors and calculation of fEC costings; and provision of advice on
legal and IPR issues.
o Academics and support staff – it is anticipated that research staff will
submit applications for research projects at least 5 working days
before the deadline for the submission of the application; obtain
supporting School approval signatures for all applications, inform PMS
accounting of any changes occurring through the lifetime of the grant;
review quarterly grant statements and notify of any problems.
Key Dependencies (External):
? University of Plymouth colleagues
o Finance colleagues – liaison on various matters including support and
training on Agresso, application of full economic costing to School
activities, technical accounting requirements, arrangements for
internal audit, management of the Community Chest and
administrative computing systems
o Project Finance Team – support and liaison on use of Project Costing
and Billing Module within Agresso and other application and project
o IS support for maintenance of links to Plymouth Server to enable use
? NHS Partners – Liaison regarding SIFT income, capital funding, cashflows etc.
? The PMS Accounting Section may be affected by the availability of on-line
electronic submission systems, the timeliness of response of outside
sponsors to queries on terms and conditions and other contract matters, and
the timeliness of response of other HEIs to enquiries on research grant
Governing Policies / Strategies
? Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Exeter and University
of Plymouth in respect of the Peninsula Medical School (in particular, Annex
G, Financial arrangements)
? Decisions of the Joint Board of Management and PMS Finance Committee
? Financial Regulations and Procedures
? Financial Reporting Standards / Statements of Recommended Practice, etc.
? TRAC/fEC guidance and decisions of the TRAC Project Group
? PMS Initial Financial Plan (prepared by William Jennings)
Service Monitoring and Review
Day to day contact with the School and University of Plymouth provides
opportunities for feedback. It is intended to establish bi-monthly meetings
with a core team of School / Research staff to improve support and to provide
a formal forum for user feedback. The core membership will include Clare
Featherstone (PMS Finance Manager), Nick Church (Research and
Development Finance Manager), Catherine Serjeant (PMS Accountant), and
Sue Gabbott (Deputy Director of Finance). Other colleagues may attend for
specific meetings – eg. UoP colleagues for year-end and fEC matters.
In addition, monitoring is undertaken through the PMS Finance Committee
which receives routine reports on Financial matters.
Aspirations for future development
? A review of communication processes and workflow to ensure arrangements
are fit for purpose and meet the needs of the School and Universities
respectively (to include bi-monthly meetings of core staff to improve planning
and support to the School, identify key operational issues and as a forum for
bi-lateral discussion / feedback).
? Production of integrated management accounting, cashflow and balance
sheet information on a quarterly basis to enhance understanding and
management of HE/SIFT funding streams and their utilisation, cash balances
and financial performance.
? Documentation of administrative and financial procedures within a PMS
? Increasing use of IT to improve services and efficiency eg. automated budget
monitoring reports for research grant holders (reducing manual intervention).