“To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.”
– Winston Churchill
It has been said that complacency is the enemy of innovation. We conducted a survey through EdNET Insight in the fall of 2015 in the hope that we might uncover some information about the financial and HR priorities of K-12 school districts in the hope that the information would help us improve our ability to assist with the issues that matter most.
Our method: We sent survey invitations to 20,000 district-level leaders consisting of superintendents, business/finance/purchasing directors, teacher personnel directors, instructional technology directors, and information systems directors to learn about their business, finance, and HR priorities.
Districts’ areas for improvement: The top three initiatives districts are undertaking include streamlining workflow processes, reducing operational costs, and making data-driven decisions. Despite an improvement in the economy, many districts are still struggling to do more with less. They devote much of their time and energy to reducing costs, becoming more efficient, and staying within a tight budget. Roughly half of districts said they are working to improve efficiency in time tracking, budget management, data analysis/reporting, and payroll processing.
ACA compliance: For half of districts, the Affordable Care Act was a top priority. Only 25% of respondents feel totally prepared for the first year of ACA tracking and reporting. The ACA’s impact on districts will continue to be a major focal point going forward. In fact, we’ve created an ACA portal for our districts to serve as a one-stop-shop for updates, training, and documentation.
ERP loyalty: Districts spend a considerable amount of time on state and federal reports and are always looking for ways to become more efficient. 50% of districts surveyed are using our School Business Suite. Of these districts, the rate of satisfaction and loyalty was significantly higher than among the group not currently using Skyward. We're honored to know that our support and service is making a difference.
How will districts solve their problems? The right ERP solution can help districts alleviate the struggles they face. When asked the importance of various factors in selecting an ERP solution, 64% of respondents selected services and support as very important. The next most popular answer was features and functionality (55%). Ease of use followed closely behind at 51%. Needless to say, finding a total solution is extremely important, so all of these aspects are vital in a district’s decision to partner with an ERP provider.
The bottom line is this: Our survey helped us to gain a greater understanding of the challenges being faced by district leaders throughout the country. Do any of these pain points and priorities look familiar to you? Feel free to share your own insights in the comments below.
Could your district become more efficient with its finance and human resources procedures? Could you benefit from help with ACA compliance and state reporting? Contact us today to find out why Skyward is your total solution.
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