Nottingham Students' Union says new software is going to help it cut its admin costs by 15 per cent, a key step in its plan to deliver better services to students.
The system in question is a new finance and mobile expenses app from Exchequer, one of the brands of the Advanced Computer Software Group family of IT companies and products, and is expected to go live in January 2015.
The mobile expenses app will automate the processing of 20,000 student expense claims each year while the back-end integrated finance system will also enable staff to streamline manual reporting procedures and help affiliated societies and clubs more effectively manage a combined annual budget of several million pounds.
"Our previous system was restrictive and cumbersome for the staff required to produce comprehensive management reports and plan for changing financial commitments and statutory reporting requirements," noted Maria Brown, Finance Manager at Union, who says the software was chosen over six other contenders due to its better charity sector reporting capabilities, the richness of data it provides and the ease of use reported by non-finance professional users exposed to in a trial.
Analyse current spend instantly
The finance solution will provide a consistent view of accounts for each society and club and will increase overall financial visibility and transparency across the organisation. This will make it easier for the charity to comply with evolving statutory reporting requirements, such as Statement of Recommended Practice (Sorps), while its integrated project job and time costing module will also enable managers to easily self-serve by extracting real-time financial information into Excel. As a result, managers will be able to analyse current spend instantly, which will improve budgetary control and replace the need to collate, print and post financial reports.
The Union is a student-led and independent charity, representing over 35,000 students from over 140 countries across all Nottingham campuses in the UK, Malaysia and China, supporting more than 300 societies and sports clubs as well as a magazine, radio station and TV station.
It obtained charitable status in 2010 and is overseen by a Board of Trustees made up of student-elected sabbatical officers and full-time staff.