The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Finances & Grants

+ Essential Reading

Getting Started

Our Introduction to Finance gives a brief overview of how finance works for your group.

Treasurers should find the Treasurer Role Description, this guide to Keeping Financial Records and an overview of Financial Reports helpful.


Student groups are not included within the Students' Union's main VAT registration so you do not need to charge VAT on top of your group's income.

Bank Transfers

If making a bank transfer into your group's account, you must include your group's 3-letter code and name in the reference so that it is allocated correctly. For account details, contact the Student Services Team (

Student Services Finance Drop-In Sessions

We've noticed that student groups often need help with some financial processes. We are more than happy to spend extra time with individual groups to answer any questions you may have relating to the financial running of your club/society.

The drop in sessions will take place twice a week: every Monday between 3-5pm and Wed 11am -1pm.

The sessions will cover:

  • Using the eXpense365 app
  • The process for members to make expense claims, and how you can approve them
  • How you can pay money into your SU club/society account
  • Requesting to withdraw a cash float
  • Handling invoices

If you'd like to meet with us, please email us

+ Budgeting

Annual Budget

We encourage groups to complete an Annual Budget Template to plan their finances over the year.

Due to the additional finances sports clubs often encounter, our Annual Budget Template for Sports Clubs and budget template guide may be helpful.

Budgeting for Events

The Event Budget Planner can help manage the different costs involved in an event and help you set a suitable ticket price.


+ Claiming Expenses

If a member has spent their own money to pay for something for your group (with the group's permission), they can claim expenses. Expenses must be authorised by the President/Club Captain or Treasurer.

eXpense365 App

The eXpense365 app can be used to submit expense claims which Presidents/Club Captains and Treasurers can authorise or decline. Presidents/Club Captains and Treasurers can also use the app to view the income and expenditure reports for their group.

The app can be downloaded through the App Store or the Google Play Store.

The eXpense365 Members Guide explains how to set up and register on the app and make an expense claim.

The eXpense365 Presidents/Club Captains/Treasurers Guide explains how to approve or reject claims and how to view financial reports.

Other Expenses

Instead of using the app, the Expenses Claim Form can be completed and emailed to the Student Services Team (


+ Invoices

An invoice is a document that lists the goods sent or services provided and how much money is owed for them.

Paying an Invoice

If a company provides you with an invoice, send it to the Student Services Team ( with the following details:

  • Supplier name
  • Supplier address
  • Customer name (your student group or Bristol SU)
  • Customer address (all invoices should be addressed to Bristol SU, not the University of Bristol)
  • Details of purchase/service
  • Total
  • Subtotal if more than one item is applied
  • Bank details
  • Contact information/additional instructions (if applicable)
  • VAT registration number (if applicable)

Please note that it usually takes 5-10 working days to process an invoice.

Creating an Invoice

To invoice a company for goods or services your group has provided OR to send out an invoice for a sponsor to pay, please submit a response to this form:

Click here if you are having any difficulties accessing this embedded form.

+ Dealing with Cash/Cheques

Taking Cash Out

To take cash out of your group's account, go to the Reception Desk on Level 3 of the Richmond Building and complete a Float Request Form. Anyone can complete the form and take the cash out but they must bring their UCard and the President/Club Captain or Treasurer must authorise this either in person or by emailing the Student Services Team ( Groups can take out a maximum of £200 cash from their account.

Paying Cash In

To pay cash into your group's account, go to the Reception Desk on Level 3 of the Richmond Building and complete a Paying In Form. Anyone can pay money into your group's account but please note that it usually takes 5-10 working days for cash paid in to be processed.


If you need to pay in cheques please follow the steps layed out for paying in cash.

Please note that in order for us to process cheques they need to be addressed to the 'University of Bristol Students Union'. On the back of the cheque you can add your student group name and department code (if you know it!).

We can also make payments to suppliers via a cheque. If a supplier requires this they should specify it on the invoice that is submitted for payment.


+ Sponsorship

Sponsorship is an agreement between your group and an external company where they offer cash and/or in-kind support in return for a reward or service from your group.

Use our sponsorship guide, contracts guidance and template sponsorship contact to help you find and secure a suitable sponsorship agreement.

If you are successful in securing sponsorship, please complete the Invoice Request Form so that the Finance Team have all the details they need to invoice your sponsor.


+ Grants

Grants are non-repayable funds given by one party to another for a particular purpose. Use our grant writing guide to make a compelling case when applying for grant funding.

Bristol SU Group Grants

Bristol SU Group Grants are available for student groups to support student activities. There are four grant rounds each year when groups can apply for up to £3,000.

Bristol SU Volunteering Grants

Bristol SU Volunteering Grants are available for student-led volunteering projects. Such grants cover their essential annual costs to help volunteering projects deliver their annual activities.

Activity Hardship Fund

The Activity Hardship Fund supports students who wouldn't otherwise be able to participate in their chosen activity due to cost. Students can apply for up to £100 per year to cover joining fees, trips and other costs.

Other Grants

The University's Alumni Grant supports extra-curricular activities that enhance the student experience. There are also many grants available outside the University that your group may be eligible for so it is worth doing some research.

If applying for an Alumni Grant or an external grant, we encourage you to get in touch with the Development Team ( who are happy to read over a grant application before you submit it.


+ Fundraising & Donations

Many groups organise fundraisers to raise money and RAG (Raising and Giving, the charity fundraising arm of Bristol SU) can help in many ways as detailed in this group fundraising guide.

Please be aware that (other than RAG) Bristol SU affiliated Clubs & Societies cannot directly donate to other charities in order to comply with Charity law.

Therefore, if you are raising money for a charity (rather than for your group), you must bank donations through RAG. Contact the Student Services Team ( to arrange this.