The ASSU is securing University funding to transform myGroups, the financing app used by student groups, into a more streamlined interface for financial officers.
Over 700 voluntary student organizations (VSOs) depend on myGroups to secure funding, budget their initiatives and make deposits and reimbursements. The app also serves as many VSOs’ primary archives, as it holds each group’s financial records in a single database.
However, inefficiencies within the current myGroups app have left financial officers (FOs) confused and frustrated while struggling to grasp the workings of a convoluted app, according to Cenobio Hernandez ’18, chair of the ASSU’s Undergraduate Appropriations Committee.
For instance, myGroups’ reimbursement process to FOs operates slowly, so students face the burden of fronting money for their initiatives, Hernandez said. The app also lacks direct deposit capabilities.
“On my end, I have to go on myGroups, look at every single group and say, ‘You’re approved this much for that,’ for each one,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez anticipates that the update of myGroups will allow him to “click a single button and do it all in one go,” shifting his time away from tedious grunt work toward more important business.
Meanwhile, this updated version of myGroups will allow any students to submit documentation themselves with explicit instructions. Additionally, the new VSO debit card feature will take the weight off of students who have taken money out on credit cards to front initiatives, said Jelani Munroe ’16, the financial manager of the ASSU and CEO of Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE).
The ASSU has been aware of the app’s flaws since it was implemented in 2005, Munroe added.
“I am not the first ASSU financial manager to realize this is a huge issue, but things have aligned that make now the time to move forward ambitiously,” Munroe said.
The University’s information technology team, with support from accountants, computer science and design school students, has joined the ASSU to revamp the interface. Munroe anticipates completing myGroups’ update around January 2018.
The financial manager emphasized that, on a broad scale, the new myGroups will no longer “bog down financial officers with the question of how to handle the technical system.” Rather, he said, it will equip them with “the best information for smarter decision-making and better budgeting.”
Contact Claudia Pacheco at chapstic ‘at’ stanford.edu.