Digital coffee with Gert Renkema, Head of Financial Economic Affairs/Business controller of FGGA
FGGA's Financial and Economic Affairs department is always busy with... finances. It is an important department that directly and indirectly affects everyone within the faculty. Yet, for many of us, it is not clear what exactly it entails. How is the faculty doing? And what can we expect in the coming period?
Time to have a coffee (online) with Gert Renkema, Head of Financial Economic Affairs/Business Controller of FGGA, to tell us more about this. And the good news is: 'things are going well'.
The budget for next year is ready! It has been approved by the Executive Board. The good news is that we have the whole budget process behind us and we can start working on the plans for 2022. The other good news is that we have issued the second forecast for 2021. And we expect to finish 2021 with a positive result.'
The prognosis for 2021
Gert's department makes a prognosis twice a year, in May and in September. Each section within the university must make a prognosis, and this is all added up so that a complete picture emerges of the university's financial picture.
Of course, there are always uncertainties in a prognosis, but it looks very positive. The financial result of 2021 is a lot better than the budget we had and also a lot better than the negative result of 2020. Last year, we really had a negative setback because of the corona crisis and fortunately, this year we are much less affected by that. In addition, we have received additional funds from the National Education Programme.'
FGGA has grown 7.5% more in 2021 than predicted in the budget. This is largely due to the strong increase in research projects, but also to the large increase in student numbers.
'The overall development for the faculty is good, of course there are some points in parts that we need to look at carefully.'
Influence of corona on faculty finances
That the corona virus has had an impact on the finances in recent years is obvious. On the one hand, less money was spent, but on the other, less money came in.
Because of corona, less money was spent on business trips and renting examination rooms. But the costs for the coffee machine and copying were also considerably lower, of course. On the other hand, we also had much less turnover last year. This is mainly due to external assignments that were postponed. At LUC we also had extra costs because double rooms had to be used as single rooms.
For the guidance of students, extra money was spent as well, but we are happy, also from our department, that the faculty board has taken this decision.
The multi-annual budget
The budget that is made is a multi-year budget, for four years. In practice, the focus is always on the first year. After one year, the budget is reviewed and adjusted if necessary, for example because of the inflow of students, which can fluctuate greatly. If the number of students were to decline, measures would have to be taken with regard to the number of teaching staff. We are in the situation that we are growing and that means that we have to take on extra staff. '
Now that the budget has been approved, we can work it out in detail. We then also put the budgets in our SAP system so that activity holders and budget holders can receive their budget reports.'
In the coming period, the Financial and Economic Affairs department will deal with the year-end closing. From the end of February, the final figures will be known and then we will certainly come back to this.