NUI Galway Students’ Union Finances


  • Introduction

  • Bank Accounts

  • Income

  • Expenditure

  • Audit

  • Reporting

  • Financial Reserve

  • Students’ Union Companies





NUI Galway Students’ Union is a non-incorporated entity which exists “to represent its members and promote, defend and vindicate the rights of its members at all levels of society.”

The Union’s Board of Trustees holds all assets of the Union in trust for its members.

The Union is a registered employer and employs three full-time officers and six full-time staff. It also has various contracts and commitments in its own name.

On that basis, the Union is required to manage its finances responsibly to ensure it can pay its debts as they fall due, and that it can meet its responsibilities as an employer.

The Union is a private sector entity and is not bound by public procurement procedures. We have the ability to negotiate prices with any suppliers and we constantly review our relationships with the small number of suppliers we engage with to ensure we get the best price and service. Where possible, we also support local suppliers.



Ryan McGinty Limited

Chartered Certified Accountants and Registered Auditors

TaraRock 7

Galway Technology Park





Hammond Gold Solicitors

HG Legal Chambers

Thomas Davis Street


Co Cork



Bank of Ireland

NUI Galway


Bank Accounts


The Union manages its finances through a current account held in Bank of Ireland,

NUI Galway.

The Union has one credit card for incidental purchases and online bookings. etc. The

card is held by the General Manager. All credit card transactions require a receipt or invoice.




The Students’ Union has an annual budget of approximately €900,000 which comes from the following sources:


Student Levy

All NUI Galway students pay a levy in addition to the €3,000 student contribution. The levy was first introduced in 1997 and has been increased several times since then to fund necessary services for students. The levy currently stands at €140.00 and is distributed as follows:


€40.00                         Students’ Union

€25.00                         Societies

€25.00                         Clubs

€14.00                         CÉIM Peer Learning

€3.00                           Áras na Mac Léinn Maintenance

€22.00                         Student Health Unit

€6.00                           FlirtFM Campus Radio

€5.00                           Student Projects Fund


The student levy contributes approximately €650,000 directly to the Students’ Union.

The €14 CÉIM levy (228,000) is also collected by the Students’ Union for the management of the CÉIM Programme.


Students’ Union Commercial Services

The Students’ Union owns a company which manages some of the services provided by the Students’ Union. This company comprises of Sult, the SU Shop, and Smokey’s Café. A portion of any profits made by those services is used to fund the representational activities of the Students’ Union.  The remainder of the profit is retained by the company to develop services on campus.

In addition to the profit share, Sult makes an annual contribution of €30,000 to the Students’ Union, regardless of profitability. This is a condition of the licence agreement between the University and Sult.


Students’ Union Services

In addition to the services operated by Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd, the Students’ Union also generates some income from Lockers, The Second-hand Bookshop, Student Leapcards and Leapcard Top Ups. The amounts generated from those services are modest.


The sources and methods of payment for all income are outlined below.


Item Description Method of Payment
Student Levy Portion of Student Levy allocated to Students’ union Invoice issued to University and paid by electronic transfer
Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd Contribution to the Students’ Union from SUCS Ltd. Paid electronically by standing order
Student Leapcards Commission (€3 per card) paid by Fimak Ltd for Leapcards issued by NUIGSU Invoiced monthly and paid by electronic transfer
Life Skills Fees for Life Skills courses provided by NUIGSU, such as Sign Language and Self Defence Paid by students when booking online via Eventbrite
Locker Rentals Income from campus locker rentals. Paid online via PayPal when students book lockers using Yourspace
Second-hand Bookstore NUIGSU sells books on behalf of students. €2 is deducted from the sale price of each book. The remainder is paid to the students Sales via cash or credit / debit card. Recorded in Daily Cashsheets.

Approximately 120 transactions per year

Student Leapcard Credit Leapcard Topup is sold from the SU Office via Payzone. The Union earns 2.6% commission on transactions. Sales via cash or credit / debit card. Recorded in Daily Cashsheets.

Reconciled with daily Payzone Batch Reports



The majority of transactions for students’ union services are completed online or by debit / credit card. Cash is accepted for book payments and leapcard credit only, however this is reducing more and more every year.

Cash income is recorded on a cash register at reception and details of cash and card income are recorded in daily cash sheets with daily reads from the cash register.

Cash is stored in a safe in the SU Office until it can be lodged to the Union’s Current Account.




• The Students’ Union issues payments by electronic transfer only. Electronic payments provide an audit trail of where each payment has been transferred.


• Payments are only made on receipt of an invoice.


• The Union does not have a cheque book and does not make any cash payments.


Events / Campaigns

• The Students’ Union does not allocate direct funding budgets for campaigns/projects. Each campaign/project is funded based on its merits. Submissions for funding will require a brief application to be made outlining the goals, activities and projected costs associated with the campaign to the President. The Union has a limited amount of funding available for campaigns/projects, however, officers are encouraged to introduce new campaigns into the Union, particularly if it relates to their role.


• Officers are not permitted to place any orders on behalf of the Union.


• In the event of ticket sales for an event, all tickets are sold online via Eventbrite. There are no cash sales.


Officer Expenses

• Officers must claim expenses using the Expenses Claim Form. Receipts, tickets etc., should be attached to these when seeking reimbursement. If submitting the form electronically, a scanned copy of receipts, tickets etc is acceptable.


• Expenses forms mainly apply to normal travel and accommodation expenses such as travelling to USI Congress / USI National Council Meetings. Where possible, accommodation and transport is booked in advance by the General Manager.


• Payment of expenses will be by electronic transfer only.



• The Union’s payroll is managed by the HR Department of Students’ Union Commercial Services ltd.


• The payroll is mostly made up of salaried staff but from time to time the Union employs casual staff to work in the SU Cloakroom or the Union’s Information Desk in North Campus. The Assistant Manager records all hours worked by casual staff and submits the hours to SUCS Ltd HR.


• Weekly payroll is submitted to the Revenue Commissioners and payslips are issued to all employees.


• Monthly payments for statutory deductions are made to Revenue by Direct Debit.



• All bills are recorded as they are received


• The Union aims to pay all bills promptly


• Regular suppliers are paid by Direct Debit


• Payments are only made by electronic means


• For irregular items such as campaign materials quotes must be received in advance


• All orders must be approved in advance by the General Manager


Contracts with External and Internal Bodies

The General Manager and the President must sign off on all contracts which Officers propose entering in to with external or internal bodies. A contract is any agreement written or verbal that Officers may enter into which involves a commitment of Union resources such as money, staff, officers, space, an endorsement or time. Officers must apply for approval in writing for anything they propose agreeing to which would leave the Union financially or legally liable. Included in this would be agreements (no matter how casual) with internal bodies or external bodies such as trainers for courses or campaigns.




The Union’s finances are audited on an annual basis by Ryan McGinty Chartered Certified Accountants and Registered Auditors

Audited Annual Accounts are available here




The Union has a Finance Committee which is made up of three trustees and three members of the Executive Committee.

Monthly updates on income and expenditure are issued to members of Finance Committee.

NUI Galway Students’ Union Accounts are presented at the AGM which typically takes place before a meeting of the SU Council. The accounts are emailed to all class reps and are also available from the SU website.

The Union’s Annual Report which is emailed to all students includes an update of the previous year’s Income Statement.


Financial Reserve


Over the past thirteen years the Union has accumulated a reserve of €0.5m. The Reserve is a rainy day fund and exists to ensure the Union can continue to provide a service to its members even if unexpected costs arise, or if an issue arises between the Union and the University which would affect the collection of the Student Levy.

The Reserve is listed on the Union’s Balance Sheet, but is managed by a Union owned company, SCML Teoranta.


Students’ Union Companies


The Union owns three limited companies:

· NUI Galway Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd

Company Registration No: 361674


· Students’ Union Publications and Promotions Ltd

Company Registration No: 629183


· SCML Teoranta

Company Registration No: 618455



NUI Galway Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd

NUI Galway Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd (SUCS Ltd.) is a company which manages a number of SU services. Those services are:

  • Sult
  • Students’ Union Shop
  • Smokey’s Café

The company has one share which is held by the NUI Galway Students’ Union Board of Trustees.


Students’ Union Publications and Promotions Ltd

Students’ Union Publications and Promotions Ltd (SUPP Ltd) is a company which manages promotional opportunities and some SU publications such as Sin Newspaper and the SU Diary. The company has no employees and has an annual turnover of approximately €50,000. Approximately 60% of the company’s turnover is a portion of the Student Levy (€2 per student) which is allocated to the union’s publications. The remainder is generated through the sale of advertising.

The company has one share which is held by the NUI Galway Students’ Union Board of Trustees.


SCML Teoranta

SCML Teoranta was formed to manage the Union’s financial reserve. It has no employees.

The company was initially created to facilitate a commercial opportunity which had been offered to the Union. However, that opportunity did not come to pass. In March 2020, SCML Teoranta invested €200,000 in a Bank of Ireland Index Linked Securities scheme. The remainder of the Union’s reserve (approx €300,000) is held in the company’s  bank account.

The Union is actively seeking suitable investment opportunities.