Finance and controlling service

Head: Alessia Neviani
Finance and controlling service
Since the creation of SUPSI as an autonomous organisation, we have had the yearly obligation of preparing a correct balance sheet and income statement, and more generally of maintaining appropriate bookkeeping procedures.

The Inspector of State Finance is in charge of all annual auditing.

During 1999 a new accounting programme was introduced: “Concorde”, a software programme used by at least two other SUPs (Eastern Switzerland and Central Switzerland). The accounting for SUPSI includes all aspects, i.e. general accounting, debits, credits and liquid assets. For a better distribution of tasks and responsibilities, and to create the best possible synergy, a series of functions and duties of an accounting nature has been centralised at the Accounting Service:

  • the billing and accounting entries of registration fees for all courses, of the various services and research carried out, of subsidies for expertise, etc.;
  • the checking of punctual payment of issued invoices (including reminders);
  • the punctual payment and accounting entries of invoices which the various sections of SUPSI receive for purchases;
  • the management of the liquidity of bank accounts;
  • IVA calculations, tax declarations, etc.;
  • the preparation of estimates, the checking and analysis of balances and estimates.

For quality work it is essential to have close contact with the Administrative Services of departments and institutes, which must furnish the necessary data for accounting (calculated and approved invoices to pay, invoices to send out, etc.). Apart from the centralised entry and management of accounting data on the part of the Accounting Service, the various sections of SUPSI have been supplied with work stations through which to expertly examine the accounting situation (account balances, verification of estimates, debit and credit situations, etc.).

The Controlling Service is available for all departments and institutes for detailed clarification of aspects of analytic accounting, estimates and final balances. With the introduction of analytic accounting it is possible to establish the cost of the various services of the several sections of SUPSI (e.g. a basic education course of study, a postgraduate continuous education course or studies, an applied research project or a provision of service).

Equally important, the analytic accounting introduced at SUPSI allows us to assign responsibility for budgets to departments, institutes, laboratories and interdepartmental services, and within them a cost centre. Such budgets may be regularly requested of the Controlling Service, thus allowing a timely comparison with final balances for individual sections (or for a cost centre).

The Federal Office of Professional Training and Technology (UFFT) requires all Swiss Professional Universities (SUP) to apply a precise model of analytic accounting, with the aim of attributing costs and revenues from fees for courses of study, for which SUPSI requests federal recognition. Such a model allows us, for each course of study and sector of activity, to define costs and revenues within the four fundamental activities of each SUP:

  • first level education: it is possible to calculate the average cost per student and per SUPSI course of study. Such a cost may thereby be compared and interpreted with the valid cost at the other Swiss SUPs, and also represents the basis for a calculation of the average Swiss cost, in its turn important for establishing the amount of the suitable federal subsidy;
  • continuing education: it is possible to establish the financial results of each individual postgraduate study or course;
  • applied research: it is possible to determine the financial result of each individual research project;
  • services: it is possible to determine the contribution of each individual service task performed.