Coffee and a chat with Gert Renkema, Head of Financial and Economic Affairs/Business Controller
The department of Financial and Economic Affairs at FGGA is always busy with…..finances. It is an important department that impacts, directly or indirectly, everyone working at FGGA. Yet, for many of us, it is not always clear what it is that Gert and his team actually do. What is the financial status of the Faculty? And what can we expect in upcoming years?
Twice a year, Gert Renkema, Head of Financial and Economic Affairs/Business Controller, takes the time to have a chat with us and tell us more about the processes and ways finances are handled at FGGA. This time, Gert talks us through the first quarterly forecast (BFR1) and the processes surrounding the budget.
‘The Faculty Board has explicitly stated that we should start recruiting for the expected growth of our Faculty. If, as a result, the second forecast for 2022 will be slightly lower than the first, that won’t be a problem. In the interest of lowering the work pressure I’m very happy with this development.‘
The quarterly forecast
‘Twice a year, in September and in May, we make a quarterly forecast. We check to see if the ongoing developments are in line with the budget. This doesn’t apply to only the financial numbers, such as revenue and costs, but also to developments in FTE. We also provide forecasts on certain key numbers and we have to hand in a balance sheet forecast. These days, we also report on the ongoing developments of the ‘quality resources’ and the NPO funding (Nationaal Programma Onderwijs).
We have recently delivered the first quarterly forecast and that was more positive than we expected! We see that we’ve grown a bit more on the benefit-side, with 7%. In the budget we has estimated a growth of 6% against 2021. For all units of FGGA the financial picture is looking better than expected.
This year and also last year, we noticed a significant growth in the research portfolio. This is mostly to do with obtaining grants for research projects such as from the NWO and the EU. We notice a significant growth in projects that are being financed by ministries and the Municipality of The Hague. Last year, we received well over eight million for these types of projects, which is a lot of money.
I expect that the growth of the current educational programmes at FGGA will slow down. But FGGA is also starting new education programmes and I believe that that is where our growth will come from. At the moment, specific steps are being taken to create new programmes within FGGA that will start in 2025, when we will also have more space available because we will be renting the Spui building.
We are currently working on the budget 2023-2026 and the Faculty can expect to receive more money annually via the University Contribution from 2023 onwards. This gives us more room to hire new colleagues. ‘The Faculty Board has given a very explicitly stated that we should start recruiting for the expected expansion. If, as a result, the second forecast for 2022 will be slightly lower than the first, that won’t be a problem. In the interest of lowering the work pressure I’m very happy with this development.
As finance department we assist the institutes and centres with drawing up their budgets. We also try to create an overview of existing and new initiatives and do a financial run-through to get a clear picture of the revenues and costs. We also advice on financial policy and make analyses.
We tally the budgets of the institutes and Centres and that of the Faculty Bureau and Faculty Board. Which then needs to be approved by the Faculty Board and Faculty Council before it can be finalised as the official budget for FGGA. We have to finalise our budget by mid-August but we always try to have it ready before the summer holidays. After the summer the decision-making process starts. I can’t wait to you more about it in September!