Funding councils offer accounting guidelines

August 15, 1997

SENIOR managers in higher education need a framework for working out the cost of what happens in their institutions, new funding council guidelines state.

The guidelines, produced jointly by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, will give academics and administrators the tools to work out the true costs of teaching and research.

Without these tools, institutions suffer unnecessary duplication of effort, waste academic staff time and can lose income through poor decision-making, the funding councils warn.

Becoming more aware of the cost of activities could help universities save money. It may also boost their arguments for more cash.

The guidelines lay down a five-step costing process: determine the cost objectives; identify activities that contribute to the cost objectives; assign resource costs to activities; link activities to the cost objectives; and analyse and report results.

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