Finance 2018/19: Support guides
This page provides an overview of the 2018/19 Finance collection (C18031).
This should be used alongside the C18031 coding manual, which provides more detailed, technical information about the collection.
Finance record overview
We collect data across a number of streams. These streams focus on different aspects of higher education.
The Finance stream collects financial information on the activities of Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish higher education providers. Details of what information needs to be returned to HESA are included in the Coverage document found in the Coding manual.
The data we collect on behalf of the sector is provided to governments and funding bodies in order to support the regulation of higher education. We also make data available to the public to enhance understanding of UK higher education and to support its advancement.
Our coding manuals provide you with all the necessary documentation to support your data return. The coding manual contains technical documents giving detailed information on the record's coverage, data specification and submission formats. Familiarising yourself with these documents will help you make an accurate and timely return.
Each collection has its own coding manual which can be found in the Data collection section of our site. By default, you will land on the open collection for each record; you can then select previous or future years.
The coding manuals will be updated throughout the data collection cycle and Record Contacts informed by email when new versions are made live. Be sure to check the manual's Revision history for a summary of changes.
You submit data via our Data Collection system. To access this, you will need to have an appropriate role in our Identity System (IDS). We publish an IDS user guide which includes information on creating and editing your account.
You will need to be given access to the Data Collection system by the relevant Record Contact at your provider.
Once you have access to the system you will be able to upload files, track the progress of your submission, view data quality issues and download reports. An overview of the submission and validation process is given below. Further details are provided in the Coding manual under the 'Submission process and quality assurance' section heading.
Our expert analysts have a thorough understanding of our records and processes. We are here to support you throughout the data submission process.
Please note the temporary phone number for the Liaison team: +44(0)1242 388531.
Data collection system: Release history and known issues
Key changes for 2018/19
HE providers in England will submit both actual and forecast finance data to OfS directly. Consequently, HE providers in England are not required to submit to C18031.
Accordingly, a number of changes have been made throughout the documentation to remove all references to England and OfS.
In addition, Table 2 has been removed at the request of the funding councils.
Providers can view the relevant accounts direction through the below links (providers in DfENI can contact the Department for a copy directly):
The Revision history provides an overview of changes to the collection in view of the first and subsequent releases of the coding manual. The Notification log summarises all communications associated with the 2018/19 Finance collection.
C18031 Finance record template
A non-functional template will be available from the coding manual, so that users can capture the information prior to submission. Providers will however need to return their finance data in their personalised provider template. This is available from the Data Collection System pre-filled with the provider’s UKPRN, name and country details, as well as prior year data in Tables 1 to 4 returned by the provider in 2017/18. Providers are able to restate these figures if necessary. To highlight where figures are restated the cells will change colour.
Collection user guide and supporting documentation
The coding manual provides detailed information on how to complete the tables for the Finance record. The Stages of data submission section below provides step-by-step guidance on how to submit data to HESA and the process of submission undertaken by providers. The diagram below shows the ordering and linking of the tables, and therefore indicates in which order providers should complete them.
Collection deadlines (update dates)
A full outline of the data collection timescales can be found here.
3 December 2019 is a key deadline. Providers must have sent complete data, and resolved all errors, in order to commit their file in the Data Collection System. A single validation failure will result in no data being imported into the system. Data which fails validation will not be considered to have been returned to HESA.
Providers are also requested to send a copy of their published accounts to Liaison at HESA as soon as they become available, and no later than 3 December 2019. This includes providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
BUFDG Discussion board
To assist providers with queries they may have relating to the new SORP and the HESA Finance record 2018/19, BUFDG have set up a dedicated discussion board on their website (www.bufdg.ac.uk). Colleagues are encouraged to make use of this discussion board to raise any issues encountered when completing the Finance Record. This discussion board is intended as a self-help tool but will be monitored by BUFDG FRG, the funding bodies and HESA, who will issue further guidance if deemed necessary.
Responding to Minerva queries
Data quality queries are raised through the Minerva system and providers are required to resolve all Minerva queries within the collection timeframe. As best practice providers should interact with Minerva and the HESA Data Collection System frequently throughout the collection period to gradually resolve issues either through providing explanations of genuine data or submitting revised data that corrects issues identified. Please note that this dialogue and iterative process can take a number of days. It is also good practice to check that you have resilience in place to ensure that a few people at your Provider have the Query role in IDS (please visit the IDS support guide for a reminder of each Role and what they mean). Through adopting this approach providers are able to improve the quality of their data and expose issues in a timely manner, leading to better quality returns.
Record Contact changes
The Record Contact is the first point of communication during data collection. If the details of the Record Contact have changed please ensure you notify [email protected] to prevent any delay in the receipt of important communications.
HESA Identity System
The HESA Finance Record Contact for each provider will have access to the HESA Data Collection System and through IDS will be able to invite additional colleagues to also have access to the system to submit data and view reports. Please ensure that the correct roles are in place to ensure the necessary access required by colleagues ahead of the collection opening.
The Identity System user guide provides detailed help with using HESA's single sign-on system.
Stages of data submission
A. Sending data
Data can be uploaded by clicking on the “Send Data” button.
Browse your computer to locate the file you wish to submit and upload the file to the Data Collection System.
- The template can be saved with any name
- Only one file can be sent at a time
- The system does not support Excel 2003.xls format or older. Please 'Save as Type' Excel 2007.xlsx files.
- Files must be returned using the most recent template (.xlsx) provided by HESA. The template for the Finance return can be downloaded from the Data Collection System under “Latest Reports and Downloads”.
Insert-stage validation checks will now run. To pass insert-stage validation the file must not trigger any validation errors. Validation errors and warnings are listed in cells D2 and D3 of the Excel templates. To pass validation these counts should be at zero.
i. What to do if the file fails validation
If the file fails validation the system will show the below status and reports. You should review the errors (and warnings if any). Make any necessary corrections to the data and resubmit.
To pass insert-stage validation you will need to resolve all errors listed within the report.
How to obtain a switch
When errors are triggered in the Data Collection system but the data has been checked and is genuine, you need to request a switch. This is because your file will not pass the validation requirements of the collection deadlines if there are any remaining errors.
Please email your switch request to Liaison, stating which rule is causing the error to be triggered and for how many records, together with an explanation as to why the data is genuine.
This will then be forwarded to your funding council/regulator for them to review. They may agree the switch, ask for more information or state how they wish the data to be returned so that an error is no longer triggered.
This request should be sent well in advance of any deadline, to allow sufficient time for a decision to be made.
When a switch has been agreed, it will be applied to your data for the count specified and the data will be reprocessed. This will resolve the error.
If the count increases, the rule will be triggered again, and you will need to request that the count on the switch be increased. This will be forwarded to your funding council/regulator for approval.
ii. What to do when the file passes validation
You should review any validation warnings in the webform to ensure that the submitted data is genuine or correcting and resaving the data where necessary.
If the file passes insert-stage validation it will generate the suite of reports. These reports should be reviewed to ensure that the submitted data is an accurate reflection of your profile. We will also review these reports.
To proceed to commit-level validation a valid file needs to have been submitted and passed insert-stage validation checks. The data will then be classed as “Committable”.
Once you are content with the data, you should commit your submission by processing a COMMIT transaction. This transaction will then send a copy of the submission to the HESA Data Quality Assurance team for us to undertake analysis of the return in parallel with you conducting your own analysis.
i. What to do if the file fails COMMIT?
If the file fails commit-level checks you should review the error report produced by the system, make any necessary corrections to the file and resubmit it.
Where you need to make amendments to data, upload a new file. Although all transactions are stored in the system, the new submission will replace the old one.
Why can't failed files be deleted?
Where a file fails insert-stage validation, the data contained within it is not uploaded to the HESA database and so will not be counted as part of the return.
ii. What to do if the file passes COMMIT?
A passed COMMIT transaction will lock the system to prevent the data from being amended and to allow the HESA Data Quality Assurance team to undertake analysis of the submission. To unlock the system you will need to request a DECOMMIT transaction from HESA. This will reverse the current commit and allow you to delete, resend and recommit data.
I need to amend my data, how do I get it decommitted?
You will need to contact Liaison either by emailing [email protected] or calling on 01242 211144 to request a decommit transaction.
Once your data has passed all the stages of validation, and any issues highlighted during credibility checking have been addressed, we will set the return to CREDIBLE. This produces the sign-off form.
When data is set to credible, a link to the sign-off form is automatically emailed to the head of the submitting organisation as well as the appropriate record contact. The form should be completed and signed by the head of the reporting organisation and returned to us by email or post. This verification offers both you and us assurances regarding onward use of the data.
Sign-off completes the data collection process.