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Audit, Finance and Risk in Higher Education

Providing assurance for the sustainability of the institution – including financial health and risk management – is a core function of the governing body and its committees.

Audit committees play a key role in offering assurance to the governing body with regard to internal controls, risk management and governance. Boards provide consideration and interrogation of financial planning, risk management and the strategic direction of the institutions. This includes the annual budget and financial forecast ensuring the institution’s financial health and solvency.

Kim Ansell picture frame
Organisational values, ethics, standards and sustainable practices (economic, social and environmental) all coalesce to support the Board in its endeavour to drive the strategic agenda and balance risk and opportunity. Audit (and Risk) is the glue that enables the institution to protect and create value in the interests of the institution, staff and students.”

Kim Ansell,

Senior Adviser and Managing Consultant

Want to know more about Audit, finance and risk?

The information pack that covers audit, finance and risk contains links to all the resources and content available on this page plus more.

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Audit, finance and risk reports, publications and resources

Advance HE has curated a number of resources to better understand what is required in audit, finance and risk for governing bodies in higher education. These cover guides on codes of governance, governing body effectiveness and research resources and are available to download below.

Governance Briefing Note: 8 Risk management

The governing body exercises oversight of the provider’s risk management and seek assurances from the executive that key risks have been identified and are being effectively managed. This briefing note highlights a number of topics in relation to risk management.

Download the Briefing Note.

Governance Briefing Notes: 11 Monitoring performance

Once a provider’s strategic plan has been agreed, the role of the governing body is to monitor its delivery, and the achievement of the planned outcomes. To facilitate their role, governors will typically agree with management a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to be monitored. This briefing note includes topics such as ‘Holding the executive to account’ and ‘Why measure and monitor?’.

Download the Briefing Note.

Governance Briefing Note: 14 The work of an audit committee

The audit committee plays a key role in offering assurance to the governing body with regard to internal controls, risk management and governance. This briefing note covers a number of topics with links to guidance to resources to support audit committees.

Download the Briefing Note.

Governance Briefing Note: 18 Finance

This briefing note examines the area of finance. Higher education institutions (HEIs) are independent entities and governing bodies need to oversee the institution’s financial health. They need to ensure the institution is both solvent and sustainable.

Download the Briefing Note.

Supporting good governance

Find out more about the ways in which we can support good governance through a range of consultancy services.

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GDP Audit & Risk Committees

This event looks at the role and function of audit and risk committees, considering approaches to take an appropriate overview of the major risks facing institutions, scenario planning and how risk assurance frameworks are evolving and more.

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