It is probably safe to say that the annual results for 2020, whether we are looking at businesses, organizations, higher education institutions or hospitals, are likely to diverge from their budgets at the beginning of the year.
CBS’s annual result is no exception.
“CBS has left 2020 with a higher result than anticipated. And that is due mainly to the effects of corona,” writes Kirsten Winther Jørgensen, University Director at CBS, in an email to CBS WIRE.
CBS ended with a surplus of DKK 80 million as opposed to the DKK 22 million surplus projected at the beginning of 2020. CBS’ costs in 2020 dipped DKK 62 million below budget, while its realized income was DKK 4 million below the forecast at the beginning of the year, leaving CBS with a surplus of DKK 58 million.
Especially the expenses for traveling and conference activities and recruitment are the key explanations for CBS’ annual results, explains Kirsten Winther Jørgensen.
“We have had to cancel, postpone or down-size a range of activities due to the coronavirus restrictions. Especially participation in research conferences has been hard hit. Consequently, we have had fewer expenses, but also fewer activities in this area,” she writes.
At the beginning of the year, CBS had hoped to recruit new employees – both VIP and TAP. CBS had budgeted on spending DKK 470 and DKK 380 million on VIP and TAP staff, respectively, but ended up with salary costs that were DKK 19 million lower than projected.
“We have not been able to recruit new employees at the pace we had set, which is why recruiting expenses were lower,” says Kirsten Winther Jørgensen.
In fact, the University Director expects the coronavirus effects to stay for a while. She explains that the budget for 2021 has already been adjusted to reflect the situation.
“In the 2021 budget, we expect January through August to be marked by coronavirus, so that, for example, travel and conference participation will remain at an absolute minimum, while we assume the situation from September and onwards will normalize somewhat. Time will tell if this assumption is right,” she writes.
Looking even further ahead, Kirsten Winther Jørgensen expects employees’ travel patterns to change.
“The lockdowns have showed that we can do far more online than, at least I myself, thought was possible at the beginning of 2020. Long journeys for short meeting are likely to be replaced by online meetings. But we also have activities that cannot be moved to the virtual space cost free. For example, field work and research conferences cannot always be conducted online, and those are the things I look forward to reopening. Also at CBS, as they are essential for the research conducted here,” she writes.
According to Kirsten Winther Jørgensen, the surplus CBS has generated this year will be spent on carrying out some of the many activities that have been postponed due to the coronavirus, as well as on strategic initiatives in the coming years.
“We plan for significant strategic investments in the coming years, and some of the money will go into the budgeting process,” she writes.
You can read the full annual result here.