Finance software options - student unions

Looking for suggestions of finance software

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Hi All

I've started working for a student union & my first job is to change the software. The options available all seem slightly OTT. I'm used to Xero & wondered whether anyone has successfully used this software within a student union, which also caters for quite a few student societies.

Many thanks

Replies (5)

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By CJaneH
25th Nov 2022 11:48

I am assume the student union has annual accounts prepared by an outside accountant. Ask what they might recommend/be happy with working with. You could try contacting other student unions and see what they use. Also I think what you are looking for is what accountants would call bookkeeping software.

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Replying to CJaneH:
By Martin Pope
25th Nov 2022 12:07

Thanks for your reply.
Yes, the stat accounts are currently prepared externally, even though I may bring them in house. I've sent the same query to the NUS Finance Mgt forum. However, I haven't checked with the auditors . . . I'll do that, thanks for the advice.

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By Bobbo
25th Nov 2022 12:44

What system does the union currently use?

What options have you looked at already which seem OTT and why?

Are retail and bar activities carried out by the union or by a subsidiary company? If they're in separate companies this may simplify the software each company needs but if all in the union then you need a software that can handle reporting the various activities.

Agree contacting other unions may be an idea. The firm I work for does deal with some unions, but unfortunately I don't personally deal with any so couldn't comment.

FYI by using your full name here a quick Google gives away which union you work for... unless it's a completely coincidental pseudonym.

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By Paul Crowley
25th Nov 2022 13:01

Have you been instructed to change the software, or just do not like it?
Are the current accountants happy with it and are your changes going to give rise to an increase in fees
Do all the clubs and societies run their own different software? Their own accounts?

Your response suggests that there are both auditors and external accountants, that latter you are thinking of dumping and doing it all yourself.
Best to get all the ducks lined up before doing something dramatic.
Ask all the external people that charge fees what you could do to save them time, or at least being on the other end that is what I would do to save costs from day one of being appointed
Next question would be is it a good idea to change the entire accounting system part way through the accounts year?
Then look to decide what problem you are looking to resolve? Why do you want to change the software?

Software is not often the real problem. It is the users and often unrealistic expectations that are the problems

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Hancox and Co
By Hancox and Co
25th Nov 2022 16:07

My vague memory for my SU days was what a nightmare the spilt between charity activity and trading activity was, especially the implications it had on VAT treatment. We used Sage back then, although it was before the 'cloud' days.
If it's your first role in an SU, my biggest tip would be not to rush to change software just yet. They are a strange beast to work within, and whilst change is often needed I found taking smaller steps got you further. There will be lots of support within the national SU network - the competitive nature of higher education never stifled sharing good working practises. Good luck, and enjoy!

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