Notes to the Financial Statements
Note 1: Statement of accounting policies for the year ended 31 December 2008
The Reporting Entity
The University of Waikato (the University) is a public benefit entity constituted as a university under the University of Waikato Act 1963 for the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination and maintenance there of by teaching and research.
These accompanying financial statements are presented in accordance with Section 203 of the Education Act 1989 which refers to the provisions of the Crown Entities Act, and Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in New Zealand (NZ GAAP) as adopted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand. They comply with the New Zealand Equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards (NZ IFRS) and other applicable financial reporting standards as appropriate for public benefit entities.
The financial statements were authorised for issue by Council on 18 March 2009.
The financial statements cover all the activities of the University including those of:
- WaikatoLink Limited and Group, a wholly owned subsidiary company, and the results for the year ended 31 December 2008 have been fully consolidated into the University group results.
- The University of Waikato Foundation, incorporated as a Charitable Trust in 1992, and the results for the year ended 31 December 2008 have been fully consolidated into the University group results.
- The University of Waikato Alumni Association, incorporated in 1990, and the results for the year ended 31 December 2008 have been fully consolidated into the University group results.
- The Student Campus Building Fund Trust, incorporated as a Charitable Trust in 1971, and the results for the year ended 31 December 2008 have been fully consolidated into the University group results.
- The University of Waikato Research Trust, incorporated as a Charitable Trust in 2007, and the results for the year ended 31 December 2008 have been fully incorporated into the University group results.
- U Leisure Limited is 50% owned by the University. The remaining 50% is owned by the Waikato Students' Union (Incorporated). U Leisure Limited commenced operations from 1 August 1996, replacing the Student Union Services Management Board. Equity Accounting methods have been used to report the results of U Leisure Limited which has a balance date of 31 December.
- LCo New Zealand Limited is 24% owned by the University. The remaining 76% is owned by three other New Zealand universities. LCo New Zealand Limited was incorporated December 2003. Equity Accounting methods have been used to report the results of LCo New Zealand Limited which has a balance date of 31 December.
All of the University's subsidiaries and associates are incorporated in New Zealand.
Basis of Preparation
These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with NZ GAAP. They comply with NZ IFRS, and other applicable Financial Reporting Standards, as appropriate for Public Benefit entities.
The accounting policies set out below have been applied in preparing the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2008, the comparative information presented in these financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2007.
The general accounting principles recognised as appropriate for the measurement and reporting of financial performance and position on an historical cost basis, adjusted by the revaluation of certain property, plant and equipment, are followed by the University.
The financial statements are presented in NZ dollars and all values are rounded to the nearest thousand dollars ($'000). The functional currency of the University is NZ dollars. Foreign currency transactions are translated into the functional currency using the exchange rates prevailing at the dates of the transactions. Foreign exchange gains and losses resulting from the settlement of such transactions are recognised in the income statement.
Basis of Consolidation
The purchase method is used to prepare the consolidated financial statements, which involves adding together like items of assets, liabilities, equity, income and expenses on a line-by-line basis. All significant intragroup balances, transactions, income and expenses are eliminated on consolidation.
The University's investment in its subsidiaries are carried at cost in the University's own "parent entity" financial statements
The University consolidates as subsidiaries in the group financial statements all entities where the University has the capacity to control their financing and operating policies so as to obtain benefits from the activities of the entity. This power exists where the University controls the majority voting power on the governing body or where such policies have been irreversibly predetermined by the University or where the determination of such policies is unable to materially impact the level of potential ownership benefits that arise from the activities of the subsidiary.
The University measures the cost of a business combination as the aggregate of the fair values, at the date of exchange, of assets given, liabilities incurred or assumed, in exchange for control of the subsidiary plus any costs directly attributable to the business combination.
Any excess of the cost of the business combination over the University's interest in the net fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities is recognised as goodwill. If the University's interest in the net fair value of the identifiable assets liabilities and contingent liabilities recognised exceeds the cost of the business combination, the difference will be recognised immediately in the income statement.
The University accounts for an investment in an associate in the group financial statements using the equity method. An associate is an entity over which the University has significant influence and that is neither a subsidiary nor an interest in a joint venture. The investment in an associate is initially recognised at cost and the carrying amount is increased or decreased to recognise the University's share of the surplus or deficit of the associate after the date of acquisition. The University's share of the surplus or deficit of the associate is recognised in the University's income statement. Distributions received from an associate reduce the carrying amount of the investment.
If the University's share of deficits of an associate equals or exceeds its interest in the associate, the University discontinues recognising its share of further deficits. After the University's interest is reduced to zero, additional deficits are provided for, and a liability is recognised, only to the extent that the University has incurred legal or constructive obligations or made payments on behalf of the associate. If the associate subsequently reports surpluses, the University will resume recognising its share of those surpluses only after its share of the surpluses equals the share of deficits not recognised.
The University's share in the associate's surplus or deficits resulting from unrealised gains on transactions between the University and its associates is eliminated.
The university's investments in associates are carried at cost in the University's own "parent entity" financial statements.
Budget figures are those approved by the Finance Committee on 21 November 2007. The budget figures have been prepared in accordance with NZ GAAP and are consistent with the accounting policies adopted by the Council for the preparation of the financial statements.
Cash flow Statement
Cash and cash equivalents
Cash means cash balances on hand, held in bank accounts, demand deposits and other highly liquid investments in which the University invests as part of its day-to-day cash management. Cash equivalents are not subject to a significant risk of change in value, and have a short maturity of three months or less.
Operating activities include cash received from all income sources of the University and record the cash payments made for the supply of goods and services.
Investing activities are those activities relating to the acquisition and disposal of non current assets.
Financing activities comprise the change in equity and debt capital structure of the University.
Revenue is recognised at the fair value of consideration received. Donations and Bequests to the University are recognised as income when money is received, or entitlement to receive money is established; except where fulfilment of any restrictions attached to these monies is not probable.
Research revenue derived from research contracts is recognised in the Income Statement based on the stage of completion of the research project at balance sheet date. The unrecognised revenue is recorded as a liability in the Balance Sheet to recognise the future obligation to complete the research project.
Government Grants are recognised as revenue on entitlement.
Student tuition fees are recognised as revenue on a course percentage of completion basis.
Surpluses generated from externally funded research projects and which are committed to fund continuing research are transferred to the University of Waikato Research Trust as a grant. The University of Waikato Research Trust account for these grants as revenue.
Borrowing costs are recognised as an expense in the period in which they are incurred.
Trade and Other Receivables
Trade and other receivables are initially measured at fair value and subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method, less any provision for impairment.
A provision for impairment of receivables is established when there is objective evidence that the University will not be able to collect all amounts according to the original term of the receivables. The amount of the provision is the difference between the asset's carrying amount and the present value of the estimated future cash flows, discounted using the effective interest method.
Provision is made for benefits accruing to staff in respect of the University's liability for wages and salaries, and annual and sick leave where it is probable that settlement will be made and they are capable of being measured reliably. These provisions are calculated using the current rates of pay.
The University recognises a liability for sick leave to the extent that absences in the coming year are expected to be greater than the sick leave entitlements earned in the coming year. The amount is calculated based on the unused sick leave entitlement that can be carried forward at balance date, to the extent that the University anticipates it will be used by staff to cover those future absences. The sick leave provision is only calculated for those staff with a fixed sick leave provision in their employment contracts. The majority of University staff have an unlimited sick leave entitlement.
Additionally provision has been made, where applicable, using an actuarial valuation for retirement gratuities and long service leave. This valuation, as at 31 December 2008, was undertaken by Mercer Human Resource Consulting Limited (Actuaries). The actuarial valuation determines the extent of anticipated entitlements payable under employment contracts and brings to account a liability using the present value measurement basis, which discounts expected future cash outflows.
Obligations for contributions to defined contribution superannuation schemes are recognised as an expense in the income statement as incurred.
To the extent that it is anticipated that the liability will arise during the following year the entitlements are recorded as current liabilities. The remainder of the anticipated entitlements are recorded as non-current liabilities.
Equity is the community's interest in the University and Group and is measured as the difference between total assets and total liabilities. Equity is disaggregated and classified into a number of reserves to enable clearer identification of the specified uses that Council and Group make of its accumulated surpluses. The components of equity are:
- General Equity
- Asset Revaluation Reserve
- University Created Reserves
- Restricted Reserves
- Hedging Reserves
Accounting for derivative financial instruments, hedging activities and foreign currency transactions
The University uses derivative financial instruments to hedge its exposure to foreign exchange risk arising from its operational activities. The University does not hold or issue these financial instruments for trading purposes. The University has not adopted hedge accounting.
Derivatives are initially recognised at fair value on the date a derivative contract is entered into and are subsequently remeasured to their fair value at each balance date. Movements in the fair value of derivative financial instruments are recognised in the income statement.
Foreign currency transactions (including those for which forward exchange contracts are held) are translated into New Zealand dollars using the exchange rates prevailing at the dates of the transactions. Foreign exchange gains and losses resulting from the settlement of such transactions and from the translation at year end exchange rates of monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are recognised in the income statement.
Income Tax has not been provided for in these accounts as the University has been recognised as a charitable organisation by the IRD and is therefore exempt from income tax.
Goods and services tax
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is excluded from these financial statements, with the exception of accounts receivable and accounts payable.
Patents, trademarks and licences
Patents, trademarks and licences are finite life intangibles and are recorded at cost less accumulated amortisation and impairment. Amortisation is charged on a straight line basis over their estimated useful lives of 20 years. The estimated useful life and amortisation method is reviewed at the end of each annual reporting period.
Computer software is amortised on a straight line basis that will write off the cost within four years. Computer software for the student enrolment and library systems are amortised on a straight line basis that will write off the cost within ten years.
Internally generated intangible assets for finite life intangibles are stated at cost less accumulated amortisation and impairment, and are amortised on a straight-line basis over their useful lives as follows:
Expenditure on research activities is recognised as an expense in the period in which it is incurred.
Development costs incurred on development projects (relating to the design and testing of new or improved products) are recognised as intangible assets when the following criteria have been fulfilled:
- it is technically feasible to complete the intangible asset and use or sell it;
- management intends to complete the intangible asset and use or sell it;
- there is an ability to use or sell the intangible asset;
- it can be demonstrated how the intangible asset will generate probable future economic benefits;
- adequate technical, financial and other resources to complete the development and to use or sell the intangible asset are available; and
- the expenditure attributable to the intangible asset during its development can be reliably measured.
Other development expenditures that do not meet these criteria are recognised as an expense as incurred. Development costs previously recognised as an expense are not recognised as an asset in a subsequent period. Capitalised development costs are recorded as intangible assets and amortised from the point at which the asset is ready for use on a straight-line basis over its useful life.
Inventories held for distribution or consumption in the provision of services that are not supplied on a commercial basis are measured at the lower of cost (determined on a weighted average basis) and net realisable value. This valuation includes allowances for slow moving and obsolete inventories. No account is taken of other minor stocks in academic schools and administrative departments, which are expensed as issued.
Inventories held for use in the production of goods and services on a commercial basis are valued at the lower of cost and net realisable value. The cost of purchased inventory is determined using the FIFO method.
The write down from cost to net realisable value is recognised in the Income Statement.
The University classifies its financial assets into the following four categories: financial assets at fair value through the income statement, held-to-maturity investments, loans and receivables and financial assets at fair value through equity. The classification depends on the purpose for which the investments were acquired. Management determines the classification of its investments at initial recognition and re-evaluates this designation at every reporting date.
Financial assets and liabilities are initially measured at fair value plus transaction costs unless they are carried at fair value through profit or loss in which case the transaction costs are recognised in the income statement.
Purchases and sales of investments are recognised on trade-date, the day on which the university commits to purchase or sell the asset. Financial assets are de-recognised when the rights to receive cash flows from the financial assets have expired ar have been transferred and the University has transferred substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership.
The fair value of financial instruments traded in active markets is based on quoted market prices at the balance sheet date. The quoted market price used is the current bid price.
The fair value of financial instruments that are not traded in an active market is determined using valuation techniques. The University uses a variety of methods and makes assumptions that are based on market conditions existing at each balance date. Quoted market prices or dealer quotes for similar instruments are used for long-term debt instruments held. Other techniques, such as estimated discounted cash flows, are used to determine fair value for the remaining financial instruments.
The four categories of financial assets are:
- Financial assets at fair value through the income statement
- This category has two sub-categories: financial assets held for trading, and those designated at fair value through profit or loss at inception. A financial asset is classified in this category if acquired principally for the purpose of selling in the short term or if so designated by management. Derivatives are also categorised as held for trading unless they are designated as hedges. Assets in this category are classified as non-current assets unless the University intends to dispose of these investments within 12 months of the balance sheet date.
- After initial recognition they are measured at their fair values. Gains or losses on re-measurement are recognised in the income statement.
- Assets in this category for the group include listed securities.
- Loans and receivables
- These are non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market.
- After initial recognition they are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method. Gains and losses when the asset is impaired or derecognised are recognised in the income statement. The University includes in loans and receivables, trade and other receivables, loans to U Leisure Ltd and LCoNZ, and prepayments. The University also categorises it's loan to Hamilton Fibre Network Ltd in non-current loans and receivables.
- The University holds some short term deposits with a maturity date greater than three months which fall into this category.
- Held to Maturity Investments
- Held to maturity investments are assets with fixed or determinable payments and fixed maturities that the University has the positive intention and ability to hold to maturity.
- After initial recognition they are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method. Gains and losses when the asset is impaired or derecognised are recognised in the income statement.
- Financial assets at fair value through equity.
- Financial assets at fair value through equity are those that are designated as fair value through equity or are not classified in any of the other categories above.
This category encompasses:
-Investments that the University intends to hold long-term but which may be realised before maturity; and
-Shareholdings that the University holds for strategic purposes.
-The University's investments in its subsidiary and associate companies are not included in this category as they are held at cost (as allowed by NZ IAS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements and NZ IAS 28 Investments in Associates) whereas this category is to be measured at fair value.
- After initial recognition these investments are held at their fair value with gains and losses are recognised directly in equity except for impairment losses, which are recognised in the income statement. In the event of impairment, any cumulative losses previously recognised in equity will be removed from equity and recognised in income statement even though the asset has not been derecognised.
On derecognition the cumulative gain or loss previously recognised in equity is recognised in the income statement.
Impairment of Financial Assets
At each balance sheet date the University assesses whether there is any objective evidence that a financial asset or group of financial assets is impaired. Any impairment losses are recognised in the income statement.
Investment property, which is property held to earn rentals and/or for capital appreciation, is measured at its fair value at balance date. Gains or losses arising from changes in the fair value of investment property are included in surplus or deficit in the period in which they arise.
Finance leases, which effectively transfer to the University substantially all the risks and benefits incidental to ownership of the leased item, are capitalised at the lower of fair value or present value of the minimum lease payments. The leased assets and corresponding liabilities are disclosed and the leased assets are depreciated over the period the University is expected to benefit from their use.
Operating lease payments, where the lessors effectively retain substantially all the risks and benefits of ownership of the leased items, are included in the determination of the operating profit in equal instalments over the lease term.
Property, Plant and Equipment:
In 1996 the land occupied by the University campus was transferred by the Crown to Waikato-Tainui, as part of the Crown's settlement of the Raupatu claim. The University leases back the land from Waikato-Tainui. Compensation was paid to the University in 1996 by the Crown to fund the University's financial obligations under the lease.
The majority of buildings recognised in the financial statements, including the previous Hamilton Teachers' College buildings, are still subject to the legal transfer of ownership from the Ministry of Education. The University is of the opinion that as at 31 December 2008 it is in substance the owner of these Buildings and assumes all the normal risks and rewards of ownership.
Land and buildings are revalued when there has been a significant movement in the fair value. The fair values are recognised in the financial statements and are reviewed at the end of each reporting period to ensure the carrying value of land and buildings is not materially different from their fair value. Land and buildings were revalued as at 31 December 2006 by Attewell Gerbich Havill Limited in conjunction with DTZ New Zealand (registered valuers), on a fair value basis. The value of land and non specialised buildings was determined using market based evidence. All other buildings were valued at optimised depreciated replacement cost.
University owned infrastructural assets are revalued when there has been a significant movement in the fair value. The fair values are recognised in the financial statements and are reviewed at the end of each reporting period to ensure the carrying value of Infrastructural assets are not materially different from their fair value. Infrastructural assets were revalued as at 31 December 2006 by Opus International Consultants Limited on a fair value basis using the optimised depreciated replacement cost method.
The Library collection is valued on the basis of historical cost less accumulated depreciation. Additions between valuations are recorded at cost less accumulated depreciation.
Assets Under Construction/Work in Progress
Assets under construction/work in progress is valued on the basis of expenditure incurred and certified gross progress claim certificates up to 31 December. Work in Progress is not depreciated. The total cost of a project is transferred to the relevant asset class on its completion and then it is depreciated.
Other Property, Plant and Equipment
All other property, plant and equipment are valued at historical cost less accumulated depreciation.
Land is not depreciated.
Buildings are depreciated on a straight line basis that will write off the cost or valuation of buildings over their estimated total useful life. The useful lives and residual values as a percentage of replacement cost for buildings are estimated as follows:
- Structure 35–100 years
- Services 25-35 years
- Fitout 20-25 years
Infrastructural assets are depreciated on a straight line basis that will write off the cost or valuation of the infrastructural assets over their estimated total useful life:
- Infrastructure 25–80 years
The Library Collection is depreciated on a straight line basis that will write off the cost over its useful life. The useful lives are estimated at 35 years for books and 15 years for periodicals.
Teaching and research equipment is depreciated at 15% per annum on a diminishing value basis.
Computer equipment excluding servers is depreciated on a straight line basis that will write off the cost within four years. Computer servers are depreciated on a straight line basis that will write off the cost within five years.
Other Property, Plant and Equipment are depreciated on a diminishing value basis dependent on their assessed useful life and at rates which vary from 5 to 20%.
Revaluation of plant, property and equipment is carried out on a class of assets basis. Any revaluation increases arising on the revaluation of assets are transferred to the asset revaluation reserve for that class of assets. A decrease in value relating to a class of assets is recognised in the Income Statement in the period it arises where it exceeds the increase previously recognised in the asset revaluation reserve. In subsequent periods, any revaluation surplus that reverses previous revaluation deficits is recognised as a credit to expenditure in the Income Statement up to its original value.
Impairment of non current assets
At each reporting date, the University reviews the carrying amounts of its tangible and intangible assets to determine whether there is any indication that those assets have suffered an impairment loss. If any such indication exists, the recoverable amount of the asset is estimated in order to determine the extent of the impairment loss (if any). Where the asset does not generate cash flows that are independent from other assets, the University estimates the recoverable amount of the cash-generating unit to which the asset belongs.
Recoverable amount is the higher of fair value less costs to sell and value in use. In assessing value in use, the estimated future cash flows are discounted to their present value using a pre-tax discount rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and the risks specific to the asset for which the estimates of future cash flows have not been adjusted.
If the recoverable amount of an assets (or cash-generating unit) is estimated to be less than its carrying amount, the carrying amount of the asset (cash-generating unit) is reduced to its recoverable amount. An impairment loss is recognised in the income statement immediately, unless the relevant asset is carried at fair value, in which case the impairment loss is treated as a revaluation decreased.
Where an impairment loss subsequently reverses, the carrying amount of the asset (cash-generating unit) is increased to the revised estimate of its recoverable amount, but only to the extent that the increased carrying amount does not exceed the carrying amount that would have been determined had no impairment loss been recognised for the asset (cash-generating unit) in prior years. A reversal of an impairment loss is recognised in the income statement immediately, unless the relevant asset is carried at fair value, in which case the reversal of the impairment loss is treated as a revaluation increase.
Provisions are recognised when the University has a present obligation as a result of a past event, the future sacrifice of economic benefits is probable, and the amount of the provision can be measured reliably.
The amount recognised as a provision is the best estimate of the consideration required to settle the present obligation at reporting date, taking into account the risks and uncertainties surrounding the obligation. Where a provision is measured using the cashflows estimated to settle the present obligation, its carrying amount is the present value of those cashflows.
When some or all of the economic benefits required to settle a provision are expected to be recovered from a third party, the receivable is recognised as an asset if it is virtually certain that recovery will be received and the amount of the receivable can be measured reliably.
Provisions for restructuring are recognised when the University has developed a detailed formal plan for the restructuring and has raised a value expectation in those affected that it will carry out the restructuring by :
- starting to implement the plan – OR
- announcing its main features to those affected by it
Trade and Other Payables
Creditors and other payables are initially measured at fair value and subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method.
Borrowings are initially recognised at their fair value. After initial recognition, all borrowings are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method.
Changes in Accounting Policies
There have been no changes in accounting policies for the year ended 31 December 2008.
Critical accounting estimates and assumptions
In preparing these financial statements the University has made estimates and assumptions concerning the future. These estimates and assumptions may differ from the subsequent actual results. Estimates and judgements are continually evaluated and are based on historical experience and other factors, including expectations or future events that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. The estimates and assumptions that have a significant risk of causing material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the next financial year are discussed below:
- Actuarial valuations have been obtained in order to determine the value of Long Service Leave and Retirement Leave provisions.
- Estimates have been made as to the completed portion of external research projects in determining the value of income in advance.
- At each balance date the University reviews the useful lives of those assets that are subject to revaluation.
Critical judgements in applying the University's accounting policies
Management has exercised the following critical judgements in applying the University's accounting policies for the period ended 31 December 2008:
- In conjunction with the University valuers it has been determined that market based evidence does not support the revaluing of Land and Buildings and Infrastructural Assets of the University.