Sometimes we keep things in our lives because they work. They’re not ideal. But you know what they do for you and what you can count on.
The West Feliciana School Board had several systems in place for managing HR, Payroll, and Finance; that Budgetary Specialist Denise Smith referred to simply as “ancient”.
“Some things we had to do by hand, such as manually updating records and keeping up Excel spreadsheets,” Denise explains. “Our HR system operated in its own world. It was an ancient system even among ancient systems!”
While the School Board had functioned successfully for many years using these existing systems to manage their 350+ employees, the burden of manual data collection and lack of integration with other key systems finally reached a tipping point.
Using Technology to Streamline & Improve HR & Finance Functions
The School Board began integrating technology in key areas of the organization starting in 2007. During that time, they took what Denise describes as a “huge leap” with the help of the support team at SYGNVS and implemented Abila Software to manage their Accounting and Finance Departments.
Then, the organization integrated Laserfiche into their operations for streamlined document management.
And in 2009, the School Board expanded their use of Abila to include Payroll and HR Management functions. The integration of HR with Payroll and Finance quickly solved some incredibly painful issues for the organization on a day to day basis.
”I love the reporting, says Denise. “I love the fact that we don’t have to have someone here every day to pull the data. We can get our own data.”
“But without a doubt,” Denise continues, “my favorite aspect of Abila is the workflow module for budgets.”
Before switching to Abila, the budgeting process which takes place every fall involved printing out every line of the budget and manually updating it.
Doesn’t sound so bad does it? Well, when you consider that their budget has more than 44,000 line items, you can imagine how time consuming the process used to be!
“Let’s just say we would spend a lot of nights up here (at the office) this time of year,” says Denise. “Now we simply need to adjust those items which need attention and we’re ready to go live for the current year!”
Taking Those Critical First Steps
Having used a largely manual system for so long made the organization hesitant about switching
over to an integrated software system.
According to Denise, the process started with understanding their options. “We had to get ourselves to take a look at it first. Then, once we saw what it could do, we got really excited about HR and Payroll running parallel in one spot.”
Denise also notes that having the right partner in place made the transition much easier. “SYGNVS walked beside us and lived with us for a couple of weeks during the transition”, she says. “They did a lot of behind the scenes work such as importing and extracting data so everything didn’t have to be done manually. They worked very closely with our HR supervisor and her staff to make sure they had everything they wanted it to do and were ready to go!”
Successful Integration Means Ease of Use
Today, the organization not only runs more efficiently but provides better customer service to their employees as well.
Gone are the days of manually coding 44,000 lines of a budget, or managing data with Excel spreadsheets.
If the organization needs something for one employee, all of their records are in once place instead of having to hop around to 3-4 different databases. Employees’ insurance information is tracked in HR Management and automatically pushed to Payroll.
Additionally, the School Board uses the Employee Web Service (EWS) which allows employees to view all of their W2s, Check Stubs, and request changes to their general information.
All in all, life is simply better for School Board administrators and employees thanks to the team at SYGNVS and Abila Software.
Sygnvs is committed to working with our local and state governmental agencies to objectively identify and implement the best tools to effectively execute processes in the business office. Our certified consultants work with clients that result in a high level of client satisfaction and superior client loyalty.
Abila is the leading provider of software and services to associations and nonprofit organizations that help them improve decision making, execute with greater precision, increase engagement, and generate more revenue. Abila combines decades of industry insight with technology know-how to serve nearly 8,000 clients across North America. For more information, please visit abila.com. To subscribe to our blog, visit Forward Together at blog.abila.com