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FSR record 2014/15

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View the C12031 Check documentation guide for help with interpreting check documentation

FSR record 2014/15

FSR record 2014/15

Check documentation guide

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Version 1.0 Produced 2015-11-04

Introduction to check documentationBack to top

A successful COMMIT transaction will generate two reports containing management information that higher education providers (HEPs) will need to review to assess data quality. The check documentation is the most substantial of these reports.

Check documentation takes the form of an Excel workbook containing a series of tables which present much of the returned data to enable HEPs to ensure that their submission represents their HEP as expected. In part, check documentation provides a preview of some of the onward uses of the data. Therefore review of the check documentation should be undertaken by HEPs to verify their submitted data.

It is intended that all the sheets within the check documentation will be checked by both HEPs and HESA. Colleagues within HEPs are in an excellent position to recognise more detailed anomalies within their data, using local knowledge of the intricacies of their own HEPs, and are strongly encouraged to closely scrutinise the check documentation reports. The check documentation is also used by HESA to conduct data analysis and quality assurance of a data submission. Queries raised on these check documentation items form the basis of any data quality queries fed back to HEPs through the Minerva data quality database.

This guide deals each of the sheets in turn, providing details of the populations and fields used in their creation, along with guidance on interpreting the items and tips relating to common issues. Note that this guide is not exhaustive and HEPs are advised to review the check documentation extensively for their own purposes.

Item priorities:Back to top

Each check documentation item covered in this guide has been allocated a priority based on the data concerned (including the minimum data quality standards acceptable to HESA's Statutory Customers), the onwards use of the data and commonly found issues. However, the assigned priorities should be treated with caution as these are general estimates. Depending on the inserted data the actual severities assigned to data quality queries raised in Minerva may differ for individual HEPs.

What to do if you find issues within your check documentation:Back to top

Where anomalies are found you should record them on any relevant Minerva queries raised by HESA and flag the queries to be fixed on resubmission by selecting the 'Need to decommit' radio button. The HEP should then contact [email protected] to request that the FSR data is decommitted, in order that the necessary amendments can be made and the data resubmitted.

FSR check documentationBack to top

The finance check documentation consists of ten sheets of tables and items containing summary statistics, key financial indicators, automated credibility checking, year-on-year difference checks and cost centres. The figures in these tables and items come from the FSR template submissions this year and last year. These tables have ratio calculations and automatic query calculations built into the checkdoc sheets. All queries that are automatically triggered, then appear as an automatic query on the Front_Sheet.

Front_SheetBack to top

This sheet is designed as a useful check sheet for colleagues analysing the submitted data both at the HEP and at HESA. The Front-Sheet contains a checklist of the items from all sheets within the workbook and will be auto-populated with any automatic queries triggered on the rest of the sheets within the check documentation. The exception to this is 1 FSR v. Published Accounts check.

1 FSR v. Published Accounts check

This table is a quick reference point by which the comparability to the HEP's published accounts can be gauged. Checks should be carried out to:

  • Compare both the FSR submitted this year with the restated figures for last year, looking for any differences of a magnitude of +/-750 and a ratio of +/-2
  • Compare the submitted FSR to the HEP's published accounts to ensure commonality of reporting.

Checkdoc_1Back to top


This worksheet is designed to consider differences between the data submitted for the current and restated year and also year-on-year differences which could impact the Key Financial Indicators (KFIs).

Item 1 - Summary financial statistics

This table compares a key headline figures year-on-year between the current and restated figures to check for consistency. Automated queries will be raised on the front sheet where the difference is within the bounds of the ratio and difference below.

2014/15 & 2013/14 <> = 0, AND difference >750 or <-750 AND, Ratio >2 or <-2


2014/15 or 2013/14 = 0, AND difference >750 or <-750

Item 2 - Key Financial Indicators

This section details the Key Financial Indicators that will be published on heidi using the submitted data. These indicators should be checked to ensure that they correctly represent your HEP. Automated queries will be flagged on the check documentation where there is a high year-on-year difference. The specified difference varies for each ratio. These differences are listed in column U within the worksheet.

Checkdoc_2Back to top


This worksheet details key areas within the FSR to ensure correct completion.

Item 1 Queries where there is no expenditure in Table 7 'Total research grants and contracts', but income has been returned in Table 5b 'Total research grants and contracts', and vice versa.

Item 2 Queries where there is no expenditure in Table 7 'Total research grants and contracts' under a particular source, but income has been returned in Table 5b under that source, and vice versa.

Item 3 Queries where no recurrent (research) income has been returned. It is expected that most HEPs will receive research income from the funding bodies.

Item 4 Queries where funding council grants have been assigned to 'Residences and catering operations' (Table 8, Head 1 column 2). In most cases it is not expected that the funding councils will provide funding for these operations.

T1_T3_Difference, T5b_Difference, T6a_T6b_Difference, T7_Difference and T8_DifferenceBack to top


These sheets list comparative data between that data returned this year, the restated figures for the previous year and the figures that were returned in the previous year's submission. Comparison ratios are run to check the order of magnitude of changes between these three figures. Queries are raised where the difference is not within the bounds of the ratio and difference below.

(2014/15 & 2013/14 <> = 0 and AB ratio >2 or <-2 and AB difference >750 or<-750)


(2014/15 & 2013/14 <> = 0 and ABi ratio >2 or <-2 and ABi difference >705 or <-750)


(2014/15 & 2013/14 <> = 0 and BiB ratio >0.25 or <-0.25 and BiB difference >250 or <-250)



This sheet provides comparative analysis of cost centre data between the FSR, Student and Staff records for 2014/15. It is generally expected that for a cost centres where income/expenditure has been reported there will also be student and staff FTE attributed to the cost centre. Any mismatches should be investigated and rectified where necessary. 

It is strongly recommended that the Staff, Student and FSR record contacts liaise ahead of the data submission period to ensure all three returns are completed consistently; the submitted data will be the basis for publication and corrections cannot be made after the data collection closes.

The CCANALYSIS sheet can also be used to assess unit expenditure calculations between the FSR and Student records for each cost centre. Unit expenditure is calculated as Expenditure (£000s)/Student FTE.

Tip: in general unit expenditure is c.£10k per student, with cost centres 1-3 typically having generally higher expenditures.

FSR template visual checksBack to top


It is advised that the below visual checks are undertaken against the FSR to ensure that the template has been correctly populated. Most of these items are the basis of figures for the Key Financial Indicators. These are items which are commonly misreported.

Table 1

Heads 2b and 2c 'Other operating expenses' and 'Depreciation' are often inversely recorded on the FSR. These heads should be checked against the published accounts to ensure this is not the case.

Head 7 'Exceptional items' are often incorrectly recorded on the FSR. This head should be checked against the published accounts to ensure this is not the case.

Table 2

Head 13 'Closing reserves and endowments' should match the published accounts, or if not the accounting practices adopted in the notes to the published accounts.

Table 3

Head 7a should be checked by HEPs in Wales to ensure that this head is only completed where the institution has funds that are reimbursable to HEFCW.

Heads 13a and 13b 'Endowments: Expendable' and 'Endowments: Permanent' are often inversely recorded on the FSR. These heads should be checked against the published accounts to ensure this is not the case.

Table 5b

HEPs are advised to check that UK-based charity income is split correctly between 'open competitive process' and 'other'.

Table 6a

HEPs are advised to check that income from research training support grant income in head 4 is split between 'Income for general research studentships from charities (open competitive process)' and 'Other research training support grants'.

Exception reportBack to top

Following a successful COMMIT transaction, HEPs are advised to review any warnings listed within the Exception Report. Any data items listed should be examined and amended and/or explained as necessary through Minerva.

Full details of the FSR Quality rules for C14031 can be found in the Quality rules page.

Exception warnings detail data that has passed validation but is highlighted because it does not correspond to other sources.

Exception reports are retained for each processed commit transaction to enable cross-comparison of exceptions between submissions.

The most commonly encountered exception warnings relate to Recurrent grant amounts for both teaching and research (Rules 31102 and 31103). These exception warnings involve a cross-comparison with the confirmed grant amounts sent to HESA by the funding councils. Where the level of difference between the funding council figure and that returned in the FSR is greater than £10,000 a warning will trigger.

Tip: Where one, or both, of the Recurrent grant exception warnings are triggered the submitted data should be checked to ensure that it has been reported in line with SORP. Note that it is not expected that an HEP will accrue funding council grants. Grants should be accounted for in the year in which they are received as set out in paragraphs 50 and 52 of the SORP.

Comparison of HEFCE Financial Tables to HESA FSRBack to top

A report will be generated at commit stage for HEPs in England and Northern Ireland. This report will provide a comparison between the HEFCE financial tables and the FSR. It is expected that there should be consistency between the HEFCE tables and the FSR and HEPs should review this report and explain or correct any anomalies in the tables.

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