The University is required by its Statutes and by HEFCE to appoint an external auditor to provide an independent opinion on its annual financial statements. The financial statements provide a summary of the University's financial performance during the year by showing its income and expenditure, and its assets and liabilities, together with a number of reports, statements and supporting information.
The Council, on the advice of the Audit Committee, appoints the external auditor. The Audit Committee will also advise Council of the key issues arising from the external audit process.
The current External Auditor for the University is
To establish an opinion on the University's financial statements, the external auditor will undertake audit work in both departments and the central Finance Division. This audit process will involve several departmental audits each year. Any department selected will be notified in advance of the audit visit and also on the specific issues to be covered during the audit. The external auditor will be testing the operation of the financial controls in the department but will not usually issue a specific report for that department.
The Financial Memorandum, between HEFCE and the institutions it funds, sets out the terms and conditions for payment of HEFCE grants.
As with internal audit, the external auditor has the right to access all accounting records and information and departmental staff must support the auditor by providing information and explanations to questions.