This section outlines the financial procedures for clubs and societies and includes various documents that you may need to use throughout the year. It will also explain how you can earn money for your group!

Quick links:

Using your money

How to access your Student Group Accounts:

Every student group has two financial accounts: Subs and Grants. As a part of the Students’ Union, you are not allowed to set up an external bank account for your group. Money should not also be going into your own personal bank account. Any money from a sponsorship or donation should be paid into your subs.

Subs Account

This is the main account you will use. Any money you gain through membership sales, ticket sales, and sponsorships will go into this account.

When you can use it: You can use this money on anything to do with your Student Group, for example paying instructors/coaches, buying food for your members, and subsidising events for members.

Grants Account

You also have a grants account, where any money you gain through funding or grants goes into. For more information on what grants and funding you can apply for, see the ‘Gaining money’ section below.

When you can use it: If you have been given money from a grant, this must be spent for the purpose you’ve stated when applying for a grant and within the set deadline given. If you do not spend the money by the deadline, the money will be recalled and reallocated.

Find out how much money you have in these accounts by getting in contact with your staff support.

Get in touch

If you gain any money for your group, for example if you sold cash tickets to an event, it needs to be paid into your subs account right away – you should not be keeping any of this money in your personal or in an external bank account. This is financial mismanagement which can lead to restrictions or even disaffiliation of your student group.

Looking how to gain money for your subs? Scroll below to the ‘Gaining Money’ section.

Payment Methods
  • Cash: You can pay in cash to the following locations - it doesn’t matter which campus your group is based on. You will be asked to count the money with the receptionists there and to complete a receipt form.
    • Mile End: QMSU Reception, Students’ Union Hub
    • Whitechapel: BLSA Reception, BLSA Building
  • Bank Transfer (BACS): If you're getting a company or students to transfer money into your group's account, you can do this via bank transfer. We particularly recommend this option if you're paying in large amounts. Please get in touch with your relevant staff support for more details.
  • Cheques: Any cheques made to your society needs to be addressed to ‘Queen Mary Students’ Union’, not the name of your group or Queen Mary University. Please hand it in either the QMSU or BLSA Reception (it does not matter which campus you are based in).

These accounts do not work like other bank accounts, and you do not have direct access to them. Instead, your staff support is there to help you process your finances. All groups must use our online finance system to process expense claims, income requests and expenditures. Committee members can access the online finance system via the QMSU website.

Once you know that you have enough money in the account you wish to spend from, you can spend it through the following options:

Option 1: Reimbursement

This is where you pay with your own money and claim the expense back from the account. To submit an expense form, go onto the online finance system by visiting your group’s admin tools (found on the top right-hand corner of the website), and then click on ‘finances’.

Note: Only the Treasurer in your group can approve these expenses. If the Treasurer is the one making the claim, the President can approve these expenses.

Acceptable Proof of Purchase Evidence:

Expenses will only be processed if you can provide proof of purchase. Acceptable proof includes:

  • Original Receipt: If you are buying from somewhere that only issues handwritten receipts, please make sure it has:
    • The name of the business and contact details e.g. phone number
    • The date of purchase
    • Lists the items/services you have paid for and how much it costs
    • How much you have paid
    • A signature
  • Online Email Confirmation or Invoice and Bank Statement: If you have purchased something online or have received an invoice for something you have purchase, you will also need send in a bank statement showing proof of purchase. Please make sure the bank statement clearly has the claimant’s name on the top of the statement. Purchases on the statement that are not relevant to the claim can be crossed off.

Option 2: Invoices

If your group is looking to make a large purchase, the Students’ Union can purchase it on your behalf if you can obtain an invoice from the business. For it to be processed, the invoice must clearly state when it needs to be paid and be addressed correctly to:

Queen Mary Students’ Union
Students’ Union Hub
329 Mile End Road
E1 4NT

Once you have obtained your invoice, submit a paying out request on the online finance system (you can access this by visiting your group’s admin tools found on the top right-hand corner of the website, and then click on ‘finances’).

Please submit invoices as soon as you can – do not leave it to the last minute as this will delay invoices being paid out.

Paying a business for the first time?
If this is the first time your group are paying a business, we also need to set them up as a supplier on our finance systems so we can pay them out. To do this, we need a letterhead from the business that confirms the following information:

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • Bank Details
  • Company Number
  • VAT Number

Paying an individual for the first time?
If you are paying an individual, for example a coach or an instructor, please make sure their National Insurance Number is listed on the invoice so we can set them up as a supplier and pay them.

To check if the invoice has all the information we require, download our blank invoice template below.

Invoice template
Option 3: Credit Card (For exceptional circumstances only)

Finally, the Students’ Union also has a credit card that groups can request to use if you are unable to use Options 1 or 2. To use the credit card, get in touch with your relevant staff support.

Get in touch

Whenever you use money from your subs or grants, you also need to factor in VAT (Value Added Tax). VAT must be accounted for in everything that goes in and out of your accounts, including memberships and tickets. In the UK the standard VAT rate is 20%.

Please note that this does not apply to any Malta Societies.

Money Going In

When money goes into your account*, VAT is taken out. To calculate the amount you end up with, divide the amount by 1.2.

You sell 100 memberships at £5
Total amount: 100 x £5 = £500
Amount going into subs: £500/1.2 = £416.67
*There can exemptions, such as when you receive donations

Money Going Out

However, as a Students’ Union we can claim back VAT on anything you spend if you provide us with a VAT receipt. This means whenever you spend money, only the net amount (the amount minus VAT) is charged to your account. Often, you’ll be able to find the net amount before the total amount is calculated whenever you purchase something, but if you need to calculate this amount yourself, divide the final amount by 1.2.

You hire out a venue for an event for £12,000 (and will be paying for it using your subs). This amount includes VAT
Amount leaving your group’s subs: £12,000/1.2 = £10,000

If you are not sure how VAT is going to affect your account, or want to talk to someone about it, contact your relevant staff support.

Get in touch

Gaining money

There are plenty of ways you can earn money for your group, which can then help you run future events and activities at a lower cost by subsiding prices for your members. These ways include:

To help fund your events and activities the Students’ Union has several grants and funds that can help you – click on the link below for more information!

Check out the funding section on the Committees’ Hub to find out more.


If you are a Sports Club, Society, or a Student Media Outlet, you are expected to fund most of your activities through memberships. You can only change your Annual Membership Price for your group once a year during the handover period, but you can:

  • Have ‘Associate’ memberships, where non-students can join such as alumni and Queen Mary staff. This membership should be more expensive than your standard membership.
  • Have an introductory price membership: Many groups have Welcome Week offers where if a student purchases their membership during a set period, their membership is discounted.
  • Introduce Semester Long Memberships: This is particularly appealing to exchange students who may only be studying here for a Semester
  • Have flash sales: If you want to drive up more sales throughout the year, you can have limited time offers.

If you are holding events that will cost to organise, for example needing to pay a deposit for a meal at a restaurant, or travel to a venue, you should charge your members to pay towards these activities. To do this, you can sell tickets on your Student Group’s page so members can pay straight into your group’s accounts. To set up these tickets on your webpage, complete the form below.

You can also run events where you profit from selling tickets to members. For information, visit the Event Ideas page.

Ticket request form Ticket income calculator

Sponsorships are a great way of securing money for your group. For hints and tips of how to find companies, pitch to them, and to write a contract, read below.

A sponsorship is where businesses or organisations, known as the sponsor, offers support or benefits to a group and the group will be required to offer something in return. Often this exchange would involve the sponsor funding a group with money, in return for the group to promote that organisation in their events and advertising.

Sponsorships are a great way for your group to earn money, whether it’s to support your group as a whole or to help with an event or activity you are running.

The Process
  1. Research sponsors & prepare your proposal
  2. Contact the sponsor & present your proposal
  3. Reach an agreement & complete the sponsorship agreement document
  4. Send the document to your staff support to review and to sign on your behalf
  5. Send signed document to sponsor to sign off
  6. Fulfil sponsorship agreement
Sponsorship guidance Sponsorship agreement
Receiving a Donation?

If a company wants to give you money, and does not expect anything in return, this can be classed as a donation and it will also be VAT exempt. Find out more below.

If you come across any alumni, individuals, or even businesses wanting to donate money to your group, then they can do so through two ways:

Friends of the SU Scheme

On that page people can choose to donate to the Students’ Union or specify that they want money to be given to a student group.

Find out more
Income Request Form

If the donor wants to be sent an invoice for their records, then please complete the Income Request Form so our Finance Team will send out an invoice to them.

Donations are exempt from VAT meaning that you will receive all the money that is given to you.

To submit an income request, use the online finance system found in your group’s admin tools (click on the top right-hand corner of the website).

Finally, you can hold fundraising events such as a bake sale (as long as you follow food safety guidelines – see the activities & events section for more information to raise money in your subs.

Looking to fundraise for a charity? Visit our RAG page.

Monitoring your money

To keep track of your finances we have created a few resources for you to use:

Blank Balance Sheet

Use this balance to sheet to track all the income and outgoings from your subs.

Balance Sheet (Blank)
Ticket Income Calculator

Running an event where you will be selling tickets to help fund the event? Use this calculator to help you work out how much many tickets you will need to sell in to break even (it will also factor in VAT for you - for more information see ‘Understanding VAT’ under Using your Money).

Ticket Income Calculator
Budget Plans

Need somewhere to work out your income and expenditure for your event? Use these budget plans – they also account for VAT. For more information see ‘Understanding VAT’ under Using your Money.

*Please note that for societies it is a requirement to submit a budget plan if you are going to spend more than £250 to

Use the simple Budget Plan (for events costing up to £999.99)
Use the detailed Budget Plan (for events costing over £1000)

Budget Plan (Simple) Budget Plan (Detailed)

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