About the memorandum of assurance and accountability
The memorandum of assurance and accountability (HEFCE 2016/12) took effect from 1 August 2016.
We use the memorandum to agree funding arrangements with individual institutions each year. The memorandum should be read in conjunction with an individual institution’s own Part 2 of the funding agreement, which gives:
- conditions specific to the institution
- the funding available to the institution
- the educational provision the institution has agreed in return for those funds.
Each institution must have proper systems for managing and controlling its finances, and must submit annual audited financial statements.
Our aim is to minimise our demands on institutions and as far as possible to rely on data and information that they have produced to meet their own needs.
Annual accountability returns
Institutions' finances are monitored through regular financial returns and contact with our staff. This helps us to identify and minimise any risks at an early stage.
As far as possible we concentrate the accountability process between HEFCE and institutions into an exchange of documents and dialogue known as the annual accountability return.
Accounts direction and other publications
We issue an annual 'Accounts Direction' detailing the information institutions must disclose in their annual financial statements.
- HEFCE's Accounts Direction to higher education institutions for 2015-16 financial statements (Circular letter 21/2015)
- HEFCE's Accounts Direction to higher education institutions for 2016-17 financial statements (Circular letter 19/2016)
From time to time we may issue other publications relating to specific aspects of assurance:
Audit Code of Practice
Our Audit Code of Practice sets out our requirements for institutions' internal and external audit arrangements and gives the broad framework in which they should operate.
The code is published as an annex to the memorandum of assurance and accountability.