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Report of the Council on accounting arrangements of the University Press

The COUNCIL beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. In their Annual Report for 2003-04 (paragraph 16, Reporter, 2004-05, p. 308) the Council announced that the University accounts for 2003-04 would be consolidated to include those of the Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) and that those for 2004-05 would also include the accounts for Cambridge University Press together with some other institutions associated with the University. This would mean that the form of the University's accounts followed the guidelines of the relevant Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting for Further and Higher Education (the SORP). The financial statements for 2003-04 which were published on 15 December 2004 included the accounts for UCLES.

2. The current form of Statute F, I, 1(d) requires the Council to prepare and publish an abstract of the annual accounts of the University, excluding the accounts of the Press. The Council therefore propose an amendment to the Statute in order to publish consolidated accounts. The Press Syndicate will still be required to publish separately an Annual Report (under Statute J) and an abstract of the Press's annual accounts (under the regulations for the Syndicate). The Local Examinations Syndicate also, as required under the regulations for the Syndicate, make an Annual Report to the Council to which is attached the audited Annual Accounts of the Syndicate: the Annual Report and a summary of the accounts are published.

3. In order to minimize the time and cost of the consolidation process, the Press Syndicate have recommended to the Council that the financial year of the University Press should be aligned more closely with that of the University. The University's financial year ends on 31 July while that of the Press ends on 31 December. If these dates remained unchanged, additional recurring costs would be incurred to produce a new set of Press accounts to cover the same period as the University's financial year. For commercial reasons, the Syndicate have proposed that the Press's year end date should be changed immediately from the current date of 31 December to 30 April (this would be within three months of the University's year end date which is acceptable for accounting purposes). The Council are therefore recommending to the University a change to the regulations for the Press Syndicate to amend the year end date. The result of this change will be that the Press's next published accounts will be for the sixteen months from 1 January 2005 to 30 April 2006, with accounts for subsequent years being for twelve-month periods ending on 30 April each year.

4. The Syndicate have, in addition, proposed that consolidation should be deferred for one further year, in order to avoid the inconsistency of incorporating different accounting periods in consecutive years. The Council have consulted the Finance and Audit Committees, who have advised that this proposal be approved. For the year ended 31 July 2005, this will mean that, as previously, the accounts of the Press will be attached as an appendix to the financial statements; for the year ended 31 July 2006, the accounts of the Press will be incorporated into the financial statements.

5. The Council accordingly recommend:

I. That Regulation 5 for the Press Syndicate (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 134) be amended so as to read:

5. The financial year of the University Press shall end on 30 April.

II. That subject to the approval of Her Majesty in Council, the Statutes of the University be amended as set out below, and that this amendment be submitted under the Common Seal of the University to Her Majesty in Council for approval.

Statute F


Chapter I

financial matters

Section 1.

By amending subsection (d) so as to read:

(d)to prepare and to publish the annual accounts of the University in accordance with UK applicable accounting standards such that the accounts give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the University;


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Cambridge University Reporter 14 December 2005
Copyright © 2005 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.