This is a financial guide for all club and society executives - or even for students who wonder what happens with the membership fees!
The funds raised from membership enable executives to organise great events for students.
Here are some suggestions and frequently asked questions to help guide executives planning events for their term in office.
Firstly: consider what are the aims / ambitions of your society this year? Your ambition shouldn’t be to make money. Societies charge for entry so that students will invest in their events. It is better to have a great event that brings lots of people together than one that makes lots of money.
What is my society’s balance?
The Students’ Union Administrator works with the Finance team to keep an eye on the society balances. The SU records all money going in and out of the society accounts and the Finance team double check this and make sure everything is correct.
We ask that societies keep an eye on their balance, so you act as a third check: i.e. ask the last exec what the balance is, check this with the SU and then keep tabs on your income and outgoings.
If you are ever unsure, we have receipt books for cash in the office, records of payments from the online payment portals and keep digital copies of invoices we have received.
Some things to note: some payments (including membership) going into the account will have VAT deducted at 20%.
What do I do if my society hasn't got enough money?
The Students' Union supports club and society events, both in terms of planning and we sometimes help financially too. If you need funds, submit a grant form. This will be considered by the SU Exec; make sure to give as much detail as possible, and to submit it in advance of any planned activities / events.
Can I buy things directly from the society account?
This can be done:
- The easiest way is to email the SU team to coordinate a time that we can pay this with the SU debit card. You can request the debit card with this form or email us to find out more.
- The other option is via Bank Transfer (but this depends on how you are sourcing the items, i.e., you wouldn’t be able to with Amazon) – please talk to the SU.
You will need the details of the company you intend to pay.
As with a bank transfer, it might take up to 2 weeks to sort the payment.
How do I get reimbursed?
If you have paid money on behalf of the society, as approved by two society executives, please fill out an invoice form. Please confirm your society's balance before spending money: we cannot reimburse you if the society has no funds. We will also email the society executives to confirm they're happy with the payment.
How do DJs / external providers get paid?
DJs and external providers must be approved by either the Bar Manager or the Student Activities Coordinator (depending on what your event is).
Given social distancing measures, we ask societies to discuss any ideas they have with the SU in advance.
Usually, we ask external providers to send an invoice to the Students’ Union. We will need an invoice form too, so we know the society execs are happy for the money to be spent. Please note that the invoice will only be paid once they have provided a service (i.e., after a party / event). Please see questions below in regards to turnaround time.
What happens when I am waiting for money to be paid into my account?
The SU aims for a 2-week turnaround time.
The invoices are uploaded every Wednesday and are approved by 2 members of staff (usually the Sports and Student Union Manager and a member of the Finance team). Provided all the details are correct the money is transferred to your account on the following Wednesday.*
*Sometimes, payments are delayed; if you let us know, we will help you! email@example.com
Ideally, we would ask students to use the SU debit card where possible, so no one is waiting to be reimbursed.
Why does it take so long for me to get paid?
The finance team usually deal with huge sums of money & therefore pay in weekly instalments. Where possible, please order items with the Student Union card, direct from the society account to save having to wait for reimbursement.
I need a float for my activity / party
Email the SU Administrator – both when your party/event is confirmed & as a reminder on the day.
How can I plan what money my society will need?
- While venues have to limit the number of people gathering, consider meeting with your members virtually. Would an online subscription help your members?
- Do you need to buy decorations? The outlay for a party is significant: after decorations are bought and security paid for, hundreds of pounds has been spent. Think about teaming up with another society to split the cost.
- Hiring: private hire, be it transport or a venue, is very expensive. If you are looking to book a trip, consider public transport and look to book tickets in advance.