Professional Services

Finance Division

Black and white photo of Paul GowdridgeWe are the Finance Division. We manage the University’s financial activity and are responsible for supporting the delivery of our ambitious strategic plan. We ensure that the University has appropriate financial controls and is financially sustainable, and deliver a number of services.

Finance comprises the Financial Performance, Operations and Controls, and Procurement teams.

The Division is led by Chief Financial Officer, Paul Gowdridge.

Financial Performance

We are responsible for the management and reporting of the University’s financial performance. This includes financial forecasting, planning and budgeting, plus co-ordinating the financial aspects of an integrated five-year plan. Our I&E, balance sheet and cashflow insight provide strategic input to key stakeholders, including identifying opportunities and risks.

We produce robust monthly, quarterly and annual financial performance reporting, along with pro-active and insightful financial performance management support. This is via the provision of business partnering for all budget holders. An ethos of focussing on continuous improvement across all areas of the institution is promoted. We also ensure that all major University projects have appropriate finance support (including the capital programme and operations).

The team comprises our management accountants who support professional services, devolved colleges and our commercial non-academic areas. Our consolidation team supports the internal reporting of performance, budgets and forecasts. Other specifics include the compilation of reporting requirements to our regulator the Office for Students and support for our Research and Enterprise division.

Adam Baynes headshotLeadership

Operations and Controls

We are responsible for collecting student, commercial and other income, making supplier, staff and student payments, managing University investments and foreign currency accounts, running the payroll, and providing pension, systems, tax and accounting support across the University. Teams include Financial Accounting, Treasury, Tax, Finance Systems, Accounts Payable, Student Fees and Income Management, Payroll and Pension Operations and Pensions Strategy.

The Financial Accounting team coordinates the annual financial accounts and covenant reporting cycle, manages the relationship with internal and external auditors, oversees capital accounting and provides technical accounting support across the University.

The Treasury team maintains oversight of the University’s investments and working cash balances, including endowments.

The Tax team provide operational and strategic tax support across the University on a wide range of topics with the in-house team specialising in employment taxes, corporation tax, VAT and import/export duties. The team also lead the relationship with external advisors for international taxes. Read the University of Leicester tax strategy and policy (PDF, 178kb).

The Finance Systems team works across the University alongside the Digital team to support the various finance systems including SAP and Smarter Purchasing.

The Accounts Payable team process invoices, expenses, stipends and other outgoing payments and are a key contact for the University’s supplier base.

The Student Fees and Income Management team collect all student tuition and accommodation fees, commercial income and anything else coming into the University’s bank accounts. The team also works with colleagues in Welfare to support students who may be struggling to pay their fees.

The Payroll and Pension Operations team manage payroll and pension processing for University and Leicester Services Partnership staff, and provide support if there are issues with pay.

The Pensions Strategy team provide support with technical pension queries and oversee governance of the University’s three active pension schemes: Universities Superannuation Scheme, Aviva Stakeholder and the NHS pension scheme; as well as the legacy Pension and Assurance Scheme. Find out more about the University of Leicester Pension and Assurance Scheme: Implementation Statement (PDF, 228kb) and the Statement of Investment Principles (SIP) (PDF, 175kb)


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The University spends £100m each year across a diverse range of goods and services, including IT software, laboratory supplies, cleaning supplies, research equipment, consultancy services and large-scale construction. It is crucial that we purchase via the right routes to maximise value for money, ensure compliance with public sector procurement law and manage risk.

Procurement is responsible for setting out the University’s procurement strategy and regulations, and leading high value/risk (£50,000+) procurement exercises. The unit employs a category management approach whereby our procurement professionals specialise in the markets relevant to the University’s operations and co-ordinate the requirements and spend across departments and divisions.

Within departments and divisions, individuals undertake low value (below £50,000) procurements, supported by appropriate Category Managers where necessary, and based on templates and training produced and delivered by the Procurement unit. 

James Trotter headshotLeadership

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