US GAAP Reporting For Universities

US GAAP reporting

With increasing numbers of US students completing or supplementing their higher education in the UK, there are important implications for how universities report their annual accounts.

All UK universities are obliged to publish an annual report and statement of accounts, as stipulated by Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in the UK (UK GAAP). However, universities that offer places to US students may in some cases have to prepare financial statements under the US GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principles) to be filed with the US Department of Education.

Reporting thresholds

The requirement to prepare financial statements under US GAAP only becomes mandatory if a university’s intake of US students has borrowed an aggregate of $3 million from the American government to fund its overseas study. A summary of the reporting thresholds is in the table to the left of this text.

Until recently, this only applied to a handful of universities in the UK, but due to the recent increase in the numbers of American students, more now find themselves in a position of needing to prepare US GAAP compliant financial statements in addition to their UK GAAP compliant financial statements.

Supporting universities with US GAAP

At Scrutton Bland, we have experience of working with UK universities and US GAAP, allowing us to compile accounts for universities with a large quota of American students. Our team also stays up to date with all changes to US GAAP regulations, which can impact universities’ annual reporting requirements.

By engaging Scrutton Bland to complete this process on their behalf, universities, and their finance departments, can save time and money that would otherwise be spent getting up to speed with the complexities of US GAAP. We will ease the burden placed on internal resources, allowing for an increased focus on the fundamentals of day-to-day operations. Universities will also benefit from added peace of mind that US filing deadlines will be met in a timely manner and communications with auditors will be managed efficiently.

Our specialist university team makes us unique among other advisory firms, both on a regional and national level. With our knowledge of higher education and the intricacies of accounting in the sector, including US GAAP, we are well positioned to assist universities that have a large cohort of US students, or may do in the near future.

Need help? Contact one of our advisers