top of page

Help and guidance

Assistance for students and admin teams.

To help you get the most from Student Expenses, we have collated a number of questions below to guide you through frequent queries.  You'll find sections on getting started, claims, approvals, reporting and links to video and PDF resources.  For quick access - you can also search all our FAQs.

se_web_devices.png
  • What is Student Expenses?
    Student Expenses is a specialist software solution, designed to help Student Finance teams manage expense claims from their students. The main function of the app is to sit as a bridge between the Student Management system (SUMS, MSL, Union-Cloud, MemPlus) and the financial accounting system (Iplicit, Exchequer, Access etc). It's key role is to handle the student expense claim submission, approval, management and payment process, which ultimately results in a payment by the finance system. Integrated with your SU system, the app automatically pulls in the students registered clubs and societies, and lets them create claims, add receipts and submit for group approval. Approval requests are automatically sent to club approvers, treasurers and presidents, and when fully approved, we integrate with the finance system to generate accounting entries, ready to be paid. With direct finance system integration throughout, students are notified of claim approval and payment. For group management, we also provide real-time income and expenditure reports to help them control finances. The Student Expenses app is a mobile-first solution, with apps for iOS, Android, Mac, iPad, tablets and modern web browsers. On all platforms, the functionality is the same, but we typically adjust the screen layout slightly where we have room to make your UI experience even better.
  • Do I need a licence to use the app?
    Student Union finance teams licence our solution and then make it available to their students to use. You can download the app and explore using the demo login option, but to use the app for your actual student union claims, your Student Union or organisation will need to have subscribed to our service. Individual users therefore do not need a specific licence, but your Student Union (or Organisation) does. If you are unsure whether your SU has a licence, please contact your SU team or drop us a message and we will review for you.
  • Can I enable face-id and touch id for faster login?
    Yes, we fully support biometric authentication on mobile devices, so you can use face-id and fingerprint recognition to authenticate your user if your device supports it. On mobile devices, we detect whether your device can support biometrics and, when initially logging in, ask if you would like to enable face-id/fingerprint authentication in the future. If you select Yes, then we will attempt to use this next time you need to authenticate. Irrespective of whether you initially enabled biometrics, you can manage the state of biometric usage in your own user app settings (on or off). From the home page, tap your user avatar and select "change your settings".
  • Can we use the app for our Student Services admin team expenses?
    Although our app is designed for your students to enter expenses against their registered clubs and societies, you can also configure your SU system, and our app, to handle expense entry for your your admin team as well. In order to handle this, you simply need to add an additional club/society on your SU system, and then set it to be available only to specific admin team users. You can then then also configure who approves these expenses via group approval setup. Configuring your admin team expense this way, means that you then have all the controls that are available for your student's expenses. For increased flexibility, you can add any number of groups and approval routes this way, so you could add groups "Student Admin - Finance", "Student Admin - HR" etc, so as to cover all configurations and approval routes. Reimbursement wise, each Student Admin user will control their bank details via the app, in the standard way (via user/setup). They will paid via the payment routines configured on the integrated finance system.
  • Where do I download the app?
    The app is available on the mobile app-stores, as well as on the student expenses website. We have apps available for iOS, Android, Mac, iPad, tablets and modern web browsers. In all cases, the functionality is the same, but we adjust the screen layouts slightly where we have room to make the UI experience even better. For links to the app locations, please visit the available apps page. Feel free to install the apps on all your devices, as this will provide you with true any device, any time access.
  • What email address do I use to sign in to the app?
    When registering for the first time, you will usually enter your student email address and click register new user. From this address, we will then look to match it with a licenced organisation site; and register you accordingly. If we cannot match your email address, either because it is not a licenced SE site, or you are using a non student-union organisation email (Gmail, Outlook etc), then we will offer a list of universities for you to pick from. When you manually select your University, we will then attempt to then match it your Universities "manual" student email address list. (This is an option that some universities optionally configure for named users.) If neither approach allows you to register, please contact your student admin team to investigate further.
  • What is MFA (multi factor authentication)?
    MFA is multi-factor-authentication and Student Expenses uses this security technology as standard. In short, MFA provides an extra level of security and is used when logging in to a new device (phone, laptop, browser etc) for the first time. MFA with email will send a code to your registered email address and require you to enter it with the login details. Once in the application, you can enable SMS and Authenticator app support for MFA. but during registration, authentication by email is required.
  • Is there a demo version I can log in to without a licence?
    Yes, all our apps have a built in demo mode that is available across all platforms (iOS, Android, Web etc). At the login, simply select "Register or try demo", then select "Try demo login". - For links to the app downloads, please visit our available apps page. When in the app, as a user or demo user, you can add claim entries, scan receipts with AI, add mileage with maps etc. Using the demo mode will let you to get a feel for the app functionality.
  • First login: what is on the home screen?
    Great - you have logged in, but you are not sure what is displayed on the home page screen. In short, this home screen provides the headline information from other areas of the app - recent notifications, approval requests, and a visual analysis of your claims to date. These areas can all be clicked, swiped etc - and the best way of thinking about these are that they are shortcuts to the "full" areas. With notifications for example, we show your recent 3 messages, but click on the section header and you will go to the whole list. - Alternatively, you can also just navigate by the footer menu...!
  • Why do I need to login again when returning to the app?
    For advanced security, we ask a user to re-enter their password when returning to the app (from a background state or other app usage). This is a user setting that can be changed in the user app settings, but we set this as a default (on) for security. To maintain security, yet have a smooth re-authentication, we suggest enabling biometrics if you have it on your device. Enabling this will effectively automatically authenticate you (with face or touch) as soon as you switch back to the app. Alternatively, if you wish to not use this feature, you can turn it off in user app settings.
  • Can I install the app on all my devices?
    Yes, feel free to install the app on all your devices. You can then access your data from all your devices, so you have true any device, any time access.
  • Can I update my bank details when they have changed?
    Yes, you can update your bank details at any time and the changes takes effect across all of our apps. Bear in mind however that the bank details are passed in to the finance system (with your claim detail) when it is approved. - You may therefore need to be aware of any prior claims still pending approval or payment. For any queries of this nature, please contact your student finance team.
  • What are trusted devices - and why would I revoke them?
    Security is important to us at Student Expenses, and as such, we use MFA (multi-factor authentication) as standard. With MFA, we are essentially applying an extra level of security to a user/password login and verifying that you are aware that they are being used to login on a new device (phone, tablet, web-browser etc). Verification is done using your preferred MFA method (email, text, app). When verified by MFA, we log the device as being trusted by yourself (as you approved it). This list of "trusted devices" is then reviewable on your user settings page. Here we will show you which devices you trusted, along with the last time and IP address they were used. Trusted devices are then not challenged for MFA again when used next time. This trusted device list is automatically maintained by SE, but if you spot a device you do not recognise, or you change phone for example, and wish to untrust the old one, you can swipe left and choose to revoke the device trust. - When untrusted, the device will be prompted for MFA again on its next use.
  • Can I enable face-id and touch id for faster login?
    Yes, we fully support biometric authentication on mobile devices, so you can use face-id and fingerprint recognition to authenticate your user if your device supports it. On mobile devices, we detect whether your device can support biometrics and, when initially logging in, ask if you would like to enable face-id/fingerprint authentication in the future. If you select Yes, then we will attempt to use this next time you need to authenticate. Irrespective of whether you initially enabled biometrics, you can manage the state of biometric usage in your own user app settings (on or off). From the home page, tap your user avatar and select "change your settings".
  • Setting your out of office message and return date
    For approver users within SE, you may wish to set your "out of office" status when away for a period of time, so that anyone wishing to send you an approval is aware that you are not available. When you are set to "out of office", the claim user will see you in the approvers list (when selecting to send for approval), but when they try to select you, it will notify that you are unavailable for approval requests. If you have set a date and message, this will also be displayed. A typical message could be "on holiday until XX-XX-XXXX, refer to XYZ for approval requests".
  • How do I access my user settings?
    You access your personal user settings by tapping the avatar image at the top right of the home screen. Upon selection, you will see a pop up menu, where you can select to "Change your settings". Please note that when changing user settings, you will be asked to revalidate your user with your password (or biometric) as an extra level of security.
  • Why do you need my bank account details?
    To enable claims to be reimbursed, you will need to provide the app with your bank account and sort code. These bank details are then passed in to the finance system when your claim has been approved for payment, so the payment can be made. If you do not use the app for claim reimbursement, either as an approver only user, or a user that only enters purchase order/invoice claim entries, then you will not need to provide bank details (as they are not required). The app will let you enter claims in draft without entering bank details, but at the point of submitting for approval, the request will be stopped for personal claims, and you will be prompted to go and enter your bank details first. Your bank details are stored within the solution, and as such, are used across all apps (iOS, Android, Web etc). If your bank details change, you can return to this screen and change as required. The new bank details would then be used on your next approved claim submission.
  • How do I setup MFA by text or authenticator app
    MFA is initially setup for all users to be by email. This means that when a new device is used to login to your account, we will email your account email address and provide you with an MFA code. This MFA code then needs to be used to allow login on the new device. As well as using email, you can also setup to allow MFA by text or authenticator app. These provide the same functionality, but are preferred by some users due to their increased security. To set up additional methods, visit your user settings area and tap to setup. When setup, you can also choose to revoke this method if no longer required.
  • How do I set or change my user avatar picture?
    You can change your user avatar picture by tapping the avatar area in the top right of the app home screen. Initially, this may display as your initials (AB etc), but once set, this will show your current avatar picture. Your avatar picture will be used across all your apps, and will be visible to users that see your claims (for approval etc).
  • How do I change the app colour theme (dark/light mode)?
    You can change your theme preference via the user settings menu, which is activated by tapping the user avatar area, in the top right of the home screen. From the theme selection dialog you can choose a colour and specify your light or dark theme preferences. The theme preference is device specific, so you can choose your style per device (phone, tablet, web etc) and it will pickup once you login.
  • Why do I need to login again when returning to the app?
    For advanced security, we ask a user to re-enter their password when returning to the app (from a background state or other app usage). This is a user setting that can be changed in the user app settings, but we set this as a default (on) for security. To maintain security, yet have a smooth re-authentication, we suggest enabling biometrics if you have it on your device. Enabling this will effectively automatically authenticate you (with face or touch) as soon as you switch back to the app. Alternatively, if you wish to not use this feature, you can turn it off in user app settings.
  • How can I change my password?
    You can change your password via the user settings menu. You access your user settings by tapping the avatar image at the top right of the home screen and selecting "Change your settings". Please note that when changing settings and password, you will be asked to revalidate your user with your password (or biometric) as an extra level of security. Password changes apply across all apps, so you may have to update the password used (re-enter it again), when logging in on one of your other installed apps (phone, tablet, web etc).
  • Selecting a club or society for your claim
    By default, your club memberships are pulled in automatically from your SU system (MSL, SUMS, Union-Cloud, MemPlus). These memberships are then selectable from the claim header. If you do not see all your memberships, you should raise a query with your SU finance team. On the header of your claim, you simply tap to select the appropriate group. Depending upon your SU configuration, you may optionally be offered a "sub-group" category. If the group in question has a logo/avatar picture, this will display on your claim entry throughout the app for easy identification.
  • Submitting a claim for approval
    When ready, you can choose to send your claim for approval. To do this, open up the claim (locating it from "My Expenses"), if not already open, and then select the action icon at the top right of the claim screen. When open, you will see the available approvers for your chosen group. If appropriate, choose the designated approver, and select "send for approval". If there are no approvers available, or all the approvers are set to "out of office", please contact your SU finance team for assistance.
  • Reordering lines with drag and drop action
    Feature wise, the expense claim supports re-organising the lines and receipts. To activate and use this feature, simply press and hold an item, and then drag it to the required position. If the drag requirement is longer than the screen space, do the re-position as a couple of drag/drop movements. Note: Reordering is only allowed for draft/in-progress claims. Once a claim has been submitted, approved or paid, the lines are locked.
  • Swipe to delete or duplicate lines on a claim
    Feature wise, the expense claim supports swipe gestures on the line to offer the option of deleting, or duplicating the line in question. For deletions, you will be asked to confirm. For duplications, the line is simply copied to the end of the line list. On web browsers, the swipe action is available (in case you have a touch-screen), but you will also see a three-dot "more" option on the right hand side of the line. This "more" action is the mouse-click shortcut to open up the slide option. Note: Swiping to delete or duplicate is only allowed for draft/in-progress claims. Once a claim has been submitted, approved or paid, the lines are locked.
  • How do I add an expense claim?
    From the home page screen, select the "Expenses" icon at the foot of the screen, which will take you to the "My Expenses" area of the app. Within this area, you have the option to review "In progress", "Approved" or "Paid" expenses. Ensuring that you are on the "In progress" tab, you will see a "New" button in the bottom right of the screen. Tapping this will create a new blank expense entry, and open it ready for entry. An expense claim entry consists of 3 key areas: Claim header Specify the claim type (personal, credit card, purchase order, invoice) Specify the club or society that the claim relates to. Set the claim date (the date you are making the claim for) Specify the currency (if applicable) Provide a reference to help you track it (August expenses etc) Claim details Enter as many lines as required to support your claim (tap Add) Each line requires you to identify its category (as best you can). Tap the AI button at the top if you want to use AI to scan a receipt. Tap the journey option if you chose a mileage category. Review or enter the line amount details and narrative. Receipts Add as many receipts are required to substantiate your claim. Any AI scanned receipts or journey maps will add automatically. When done, select SAVE to save the claim, or the cancel (X) if you wish to discard any changes made. By default, your claim is in "draft" status until you are ready to submit it for approval. When saved in draft you can simply return to it at a later date. If you believe your claim is complete, select "send for approval" from the action menu (top right of screen). This will validate and offer you a list of approvers.
  • Overview of claim types; personal, credit card, purchase order and purchase invoice
    In addition to the standard student expense claim, Student Expenses also supports 3 other claim types. The most common type used will be personal expense, but additional types can be made available by your organisation. - Selection of claim type is made on the claim header, and can activate (or hide) required input fields. 1: Personal expense (default) This expense type is for personal claims, where the approved claim will be payable to the students personal bank account. The student maintains their bank details within the app and the details are passed into the finance system upon expense approval. Expenses are then paid via the usual BACS/standard payment runs within the finance system. 2: Supplier order This expense type is for where the student is requesting goods or a service and needs a purchase order to give to the supplier. The expense order is created in the usual way, but the type includes the supplier details. When selecting a supplier, the user chooses from a list (pulled from finance system), or, if a new supplier is required, they can create a new entry – consisting of mandatory and optional detail fields (address, email etc). Upon approval, the order is created in the finance system. If the supplier was a new supplier, a new supplier record will also be created, applying details such as bank account, and then it is used on the purchase order. – To complete the process, the originator will then receive an email to confirm the creation of the PO, providing PO number, and attaching a POR print (PDF). To close the loop for the finance team, there is also an additional option available in the app where the originator can set the PO status to “part delivery”, “full delivery” or “invoiced”. As well as setting the status, the user can optionally attach new receipt attachments such as goods received or purchase invoice photos. – The finance system PO record will be updated to show its new status (in a data field) as well as being updated with any new attachments. When the supplier sends in the purchase invoice, it is assumed it could be sent to finance department, or the PO originator. If sent to the PO originator, the process above ensures the status and images are updated back into the finance system for completeness - our goal being to ensure Finance have all they need to understand the position of the PO – delivered, invoiced etc; ready for payment. To close the process, the expenses solution will also automatically monitor the status of the PO in your finance system. When we see it has been paid (via BACS etc), we will mark it as “paid” in the app screen. 3: Purchase invoice This expense type is for submitting a supplier invoice that your have received for goods or service (without a purchase order being raised above). The expense is analysed in the usual way (category lines), and it is recommended that the invoice is attached as a receipt (photo) image. In a similar way to supplier orders, the invoice requires a supplier be selected. When selecting a supplier, the user chooses from a list (pulled from finance system), or, if a new supplier is required, they can create a new entry – consisting of mandatory and optional detail fields (address, email etc). Following approval, the entry is made into the finance system, complete with attachments and references – where it is ready for payment on the finance system BACS run. 4: Credit card expense The credit card expense type follows the same input and approval process as personal expenses, but upon approval, the resulting invoice is located on the (system setting) company credit card account. Transactions, and attachments, are then handled by the finance team when reconciling the credit card statement within the ledgers.
  • Cancelling an approval request (changed your mind)
    Once you have sent a claim for approval, the editing of the claim is locked. If you decide that you wish to cancel the approval request however, you can open up the claim, and select the action option to "cancel approval request". If you have cancelled approval to make changes, you can easily cancel the request, make the changes, and then resend for approval.
  • Adding receipt images (or PDF's) to a claim
    Receipt images can be added by simply selecting the "Receipts" tab of the claim and selecting the "Add" option at the bottom. When adding, you will have the option to take a photo, select from the camera roll/gallery, or browse for files. When browsing for files, we only allow the selection of images (JPG, PNG etc), along with PDF documents. Note: Receipts cannot be added once a document has been "approved" for payment, or has been paid. Receipts can however still be added whilst out for approval, as it is assumed that additional images/documents may need to be attached during the approval process.
  • Add lines to a claim (manual, AI auto-entry or journey)
    To add a new line to a claim, open up the claim, change to the "Details" tab (in the footer) and select "Add" to bring up the line entry. Once on the line, select the "Expense type" option and choose your best-fit category from the list presented. Once selected, additional fields will be enabled for entry, such as date, amount, description etc. Complete these and select "save" when done. Option: Using AI receipt scanning (auto-entry) For non mileage lines, you have the option of using the AI (artificial intelligence) receipt scan option. To use this, select the "AI magic" icon at the top right of the screen. When pressed, you will be presented with a receipt capture option, where you can take a photo or browse for an image. When processed, the line will auto populate with the scan information, and attach the receipt to the claim. Option: Using google map journey routing for mileage If you choose a mileage expense type category, the AI scanning option is not applicable, and instead, you have a journey route option. Selecting the journey option allows you to enter a start and destination location, and the journey mileage and map can be calculated. Upon confirmation, the line is populated and the map automatically added as a receipt. Note: If you are unable to add new lines (no add button present), check that the claim is not waiting approval, or has already been approved or paid. The claim status is shown in the header above the claim number.
  • Why are the claim fields locked - showing a padlock?
    When a claim has been submitted for approval, is approved or paid, the details will be available to view, but not change. To show this locked status, the padlock symbol will be shown. If this is a claim that is out for approval, and you wish to now make alterations to it, you could choose to action, "cancel approval request" - where you can then re-edit and re-send for approval again as required.
  • Approver: Reviewing my historical approval actions and history
    TBC
  • Student: Cancelling a claim approval request
    TBC
  • How do approvals work in Student Expenses?
    TBA
  • Approver: Reviewing, approving and rejecting student claims
    TBC
  • Student: Sending a claim for approval
    TBC
  • Reading and actioning your notification messages
    TBC
  • Notification badge count explained
    TBC
  • What are notifications and how will I get them?
    TBC
  • Report: Income and expenditure statement
    TBC
  • Report: Income and expenditure forecast
    TBC
  • Student Expenses Overview [PDF]
    Introductory guide detailing the key features of the student expenses app. View document in new window.
  • Student Expenses Overview [Video]
    A quick 3 minute overview video, designed to help you familiarise yourself with the key features of the Student Expense app. Covers logging in, user settings, entering a claim using AI receipt scanning, google maps for mileage, and then ultimately, submitting your claim for approval.
bottom of page