MANAGING YOUR SOCIETY FINANCES
Looking after your society's finances across the year is one of the committee's most important responsibilities. The member of your society committee most responsible for this is the society's Treasurer. The University Union has several finance processes to help you maintain your society's finances accurately and confidently. Our primary processes and your society coordinator's role in our process are outlined below. Full training is provided on these processes at our Student Leaders Conference on Saturday the 14th of September.
THE ROLE OF YOUR SOCIETY COORDINATOR IN FINANCE
Your society coordinator plays a key role in assisting the society to manage it's finances. Whether it's solving finance problems, making payments, chasing payments or helping you financially plan for the year, it is very important you know who your society coordinator is and how they work in partnership with you to support the society in it's financial actions throughout the year.
Importantly though, the responsibility to ensure the society is financially healthy and capable of sustaining itself is the committee's and not your society coordinator's. Your society coordinator can hold or query a payment if they are concerned the society does not have the finances to honour the actions it is trying to make.
Your society coordinator will ask to see up to date statements on the society's account three times a year in order to assist the society to remain financially sustainable.
YOUR SOCIETY FINANCE CODE & PROCESS
Every registered has a code that identifies its account at the University Union. This code also becomes important when receiving bank transfers into the society or when making a query to your society coordinator. Your finance code will generally consist of 2 letters and 2 or 3 numbers. (e.g: AB123). It should be known by at least the society's treasurer and chair. If you are a new treasurer of a society re-registered for the 2019/20 you should be able to get this code from the society's previous treasurer, however if you are unable to attain this code from your previous treasurer you can contact your soceity coordinator who will be able to provide this code for you. If you are a new society for the 2019/20 year, your society coordinator will assign you a code at the beginning of the academic year.
MAKING PAYMENTS OR REIMBURSMENTS
The finance process consists of three primary mechanisms: expense payments, invoice payments and internal society transfers. Each will in some way involve your society coordinator. Each individual process is further explained below.
The most common payments processed from your society's account will be expense payments. These are generally small purchases made by members of the committee on behalf of the society that they wish to reimburse from the society. There are two methods of undertaking this:
Payment Request Form
You can download a payment request form from the "Useful resources" page. This should be completed and handed to your society coordinator with copies of the receipts for your purchase. Receipts can either be paper copies handed in with the form or electronic copies emailed to your coordinator. If the amount your are claiming is less than the total amount of the receipt your are submitting you must highlight the items that being reimbursed which must match the amount that you are claiming.
Important: the form will need be signed by either your society's chair or treasurer. If it is the chair or treasurer claiming a reimbursement, the signatory must be the role not claiming. (i.e: the chair signs for the treasurer and vice versa). You cannot sign for your own expense claim.
In 2018/19 we introduced a new expenses app to help make this process easier and reduce paper usage. This app is called eXpense365 and is available from most app stores and is free to download. This app allows you to submit expense claims without the need to come into office and submit forms. Any member of this committee could have this app however it is up to your own chair/treasurer on how the use of the app will work for the society. Full training on the use of the app will be provided at the Student Leaders Conference 2019 and it is important that at least one members of your committee is aware of how it functions. You can though ask your society coordinator at any time if your are uncertain and they will happily take you through this process.
Important: have access to this app is dependent on being a registered committee member on the University Union website. This will be set up by your society coordinator who will contact you over the summer period to instruct you further on this. Once your coordinator has confirmed you are registered on our website, you should download the app and register with your university email address.
The other primary mechanism for making payments is through invoicing. This is for when the society (as an entity) wishes to pay a person or an organisation. Commonly you will receive an invoice for such things as venue hire, instructor hire, merchandise etc. If you need to process an invoice payment you should submit this to your society coordinator either in person or by email. From there these will be processed internally and transferred to the University Union's finance team for payment.
PAYING ANOTHER SOCIETY
If you need to make a payment to another society this would be done as an internal transfer. In order to do this you would contact your society coordinator to arrange a transfer who will process this and send it to our finance team for payment. Alongside either a receipt or a request of payment from the receiving society, your coordinator will also require the society codes for both of the societies involved in the transfer.
WHEN ARE PAYMENTS MADE?
Currrently, society payments are only made on Wednesdays. In order to process any payment, it should be sent to your society coordinator or uploaded onto the eXpense365 app by the end of Tuesday each week. We cannot guarantee any payment request that reaches us after this will be paid on the same week. Your society coordinator will include this as part of society training in September. You should allow up to 48 hours from Wednesday for the money to be transacted. Urgent on-the-same-day payments are only possible with sufficient reason and will only be granted by your society coordinator.
PAYING MONEY INTO YOUR ACCOUNT
There are a handful of ways that money can be paid into your society account, here's a quick run through of them.
Your society coordinator will provide your treasurer with account details for transacted money into the society account at the start of the academic year. Included in these details will be the society's finance reference code. This code MUST be included in the reference of any transaction made into the account as it is how we identify that the money belongs to the society. If you forget to include this reference in a payment to the society, you should contact your society coordinator who will work on trying to ensure the money is deposited into the account.
It is possible to deposit cash into your society bank account. If you taking cash from any activities or events that you run you should bring it to the Student Engagement Office which can be located on the 1st floor of the Union Building on the left handside of The Hive next to the picnic bench through a double glass door. During term time, you will be greeted by a member of our student staff team on reception who will be able to deposit cash into your account. You should have counted the money before coming into office so that our staff members can double check the amount before depositing money. You will receive a receipt after a cash deposit has been made and it is important that you keep this receipt for the society's records.
Tickets or merchandise sold through the University Union website:
All registered societies have the ability to sell event tickets through the University Union website. This can be set up through the society's dashboard which your society coordinator will grant you access to over the summer period. Training on how to set up these events and tickets will be provided to you at the Student Leaders Conference on September 14th 2019. Any money from website ticket sales deposit into the society's account on a monthly basis (ordinarily the middle of the month) and will automatically show on your account statement available through the eXpense365 app.
Tickets or merchandise sold through external website or provider:
If your society uses an external ticketing platform such as Eventbrite or other alternative it is important to ascertain what the reference of those payments will be. Frequently these platforms do not allow you the ability to edit the reference given when depositing into a bank account meaning you will not be able to attach the society's reference code to any payment. If you discover that this will impact you, contact your society coordinator to inform them that you are expecting payments from a platform, when these payments will be made and the amounts you are expecting.
WHAT'S NEW IN 2019/20
The society coordinators work in partnership with our student leaders and finance team each year to help make improvements to our processes for greater ease in make payments, resolving queries and managing your society's finances. Here's what will be new heading into 2019/20.
Treasurer Account Statements
It will be a requirement of all society treasurers to keep full accounts of the society's financial actions that are separate to the account statements provided by the eXpense365 app alongside keeping copies of invoices and receipts that should be maintained and passed on to future committees. This is in response to challenges faced by occasional missing payments on statements and will help us improve the speed at which we can resolve errors that can sometimes occur with account statements. The treasurer will report to their society coordinator 3 times across the academic year to review the society's finances.
Issue Reporting System
The society coordinators on working on installing a new, more fluid system for submitting issue queries regarding society finances. This is in response to feedback received from society leaders this year and will help the coordinators keep track of the status of finance queries as well as gain feedback on the common issues that arise throughout the year.
STILL HAVE A QUESTION?
This page provides a brief overview of society finance systems. Full training on how to operate these systems and how to manage your society finances will be provided at the Student Leaders Conference on the 14th of September 2019.
However, if you have any questions regarding society finance you can contact your society coordinator or email email@example.com