The University is facing significant financial challenges, but it is managing those challenges well. The uncertainty of funding remains a constant concern.
The University’s budgets are tools used to allocate funds it is relatively certain it will receive during the coming fiscal year. In Ontario, there is a fair bit of uncertainty in university funding from one year to the next. When the University receives additional funds beyond the funds included in the budget, these will be reflected in the financial statements. These additional funds do not mean the University has unrestricted cash surpluses. The funds have pre-planned uses and are allocated strategically to avoid significant budget cuts. In many cases, the party giving the funds to the University designates the funds for an specific purpose, such as research grants, and the University must allocate the funds according to the purpose identified.
While a budget serves as a guide based on the best available information at the time, a financial statement reflects what actually happened during the financial reporting period.
It is important to consider that financial statements denote a cash position at a point in time, which can change significantly as expenses are paid. To get a clearer picture of the University’s cash position, all other current commitments on cash and deposits at year-end should be considered. In other words, there are still financial obligations to be paid after the date of the financial statement that are drawn from the amount of cash shown in the financial statement.
For more details about the University’s financial challenges, please visit the following links:
• University’s response to Item 1 in WLUFA’s Jan 6, 2012 newsletter
• University’s response to Item 5 in WLUFA’s Jan. 4, 2012 newsletter
• University’s response to Item 2 in WLUFA’s Nov. 30, 2011 bargaining advisory
• University’s audited financial statement as at April 30, 2011
• Dominion Bond Rating Service report
• Finance & Administration budget kick-off presentation, Jan. 11, 2012