End of the Year in the School Business Office End of the Year in the School Business Office

End of the Year in the School Business Office

#Business
Erin Werra Erin Werra Edtech Thought Leader
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How do school business officials rely on their enterprise resource system (ERP) to help close out the district’s fiscal year? With so many different reports, audits, and processes to keep track of, a trustworthy ERP works wonders at a pivotal point in recordkeeping. Here’s a high-level look at the multi-step process behind the scenes in the SBO.
 

Verify

Ending the financial year means tying up loose ends. The business office will verify that all accounts are closed and paid through accounts payable. As they close accounts and purchase orders, they may complete accounts payable check runs. They’ll double-check that cash deposits have cleared the bank. They’ll honor requests waiting for approval. 

Additional records left after this process must be verified in order to be completed, or leftover records that won’t be paid can be deleted. It’s a great time to address records made in error or that are otherwise not valid. 

On the human resources end, plan to verify time tracking, time off, position updates, benefits management, and payroll.

 

Process

Once verification is complete, it’s time to let your ERP do its thing. An ERP should be capable of automating most of the processing and heavy lifting. Automating processes not only frees up time spent doing manual labor and calculations, but also lowers the risk of errors. Lock the system while you’re working so no new requests can come in mid-process.  Create a new year’s record to begin the next fiscal year. Then perform your audits.

Workflow templates can be copied from year to year. Some records or requests may roll over to the next fiscal year. Finally, you’ll close out the old year after all corrections and rolling over are completed.

Clone calendar events and position assignments that will remain the same for employees in the new fiscal year.

 

Close and approve

Once the switch from old to new is completed, unlock the ERP system so users can return to their daily activities. Now you can set up accounts receivable, purchase orders, and security approvals for the upcoming year.

All this sets the stage for a sound year free of fraud. A trustworthy ERP makes this easy by facilitating mass additions and making reviewing users’ approval workflows transparent. 

Since many of the HR functions are cloned year after year, it’s important to perform maintenance in any employment codes. This might include salary and hourly rate changes, time off allocations, and adding new positions.

 

Reach out

The beginning of the fiscal year is a great time to remind employees to update their own personal information in their employee access portals. It’s an equally great time to perform some phishing and spear phishing drills. Work with your IT department to create a convincing email requiring immediate action, and measure the results of employees who respond. You’ll get a great set of data and remind employees that even midsummer, bad actors are looking for an entry point to your district network.

The business office is always busy, but never more than when buttoning up a fiscal year. 
 

Follow-up resource: Midyear in the SBO

As the world rings in the New Year, the SBO is plugging away in the middle of theirs. See what you can do midyear in the SBO.

Erin Werra Erin Werra Edtech Thought Leader
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