According to a report from Nucleus Research, the average organization’s payroll error rate is 1.2%. Now that figure may not seem significant, but the potential for dollars lost adds up quickly when you do the math.
For an average school district with 500 employees, that error rate equates to about $1 million – gone. When combined with the fact that 51% of organizations in the U.S. still use paper timesheets, that chance for error – and the number of dollars lost and unaccounted for – keeps going up.
Running employee payroll is a process all districts must carry out as accurately and efficiently as possible. Staff members and educators depend on their district’s finance and HR teams to effectively complete this task. But what if running payroll wasn’t accurate or efficient? What if multiple spreadsheets, paper timesheets, human math errors, or even the risk of fraudulent activity turned the entire payroll process into one giant headache for administrative staff involved?
Frankfort School District 157C in Illinois faced these payroll pains, with inefficient paper-based processes and outdated finance software to top it off. Executive secretary to the superintendent and board of education, Char Ruhbeck, explained how these unproductive approaches worked against the district’s best efforts.
“The software that we were using before did not always update and implement the necessary changes that were needed in order to comply with changes in state and federal laws and regulations,” Ruhbeck said.
As a result of the inefficient systems, the district not only risked compliance, but also wasted valuable time, since payroll took several days to complete. With compliance and efficiency of utmost concern, administrators decided to take action. Frankfort began its search for an ERP solution that would aid administrators’ efforts in increasing payroll efficiency, while achieving state and federal compliance.
"ELIMINATING TIMECARDS HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SAVINGS."
Frankfort School District 157C selected and implemented Skyward’s School Business Suite, after narrowing its search down to two prominent ERP vendors. “Just like anything new, we did struggle at first, but the support received from Skyward helped greatly,” Ruhbeck said.
Now with about four years under their belts, administrators at Frankfort say using Skyward’s School Business Suite for finance and human resources tasks is second nature.
“Reports are much easier to compile and tailor,” Ruhbeck said. She explained how the district also uses a purchasing card program, which helps make financial management more efficient. “This has saved us a lot of time,” she added. “Before we would have to key in every transaction including the amount, date, vendor and account number. Now we just import the information from our bank and update anything if needed.”
In addition, Skyward’s Employee Access and Payroll applications have streamlined employee time tracking and payouts.
“Previously we would have employees complete a timecard, submit it to their building principal, and then submit to the assistant superintendent for approval,” Ruhbeck explained. “The time would then need to be entered into payroll as well as time off.”
With the district’s implementation of Skyward’s True Time and time-off features, all employees at Frankfort can now simply clock in and out, submit weekly timesheets for approval, and request time off through Employee Access in Skyward – online and anytime.
“Approvals are done by the building principal – no paper,” Ruhbeck said. “For payroll week, it used to take a day and a half just to print timecards and then enter the hours. Now, it is a day to completely process payroll.”
"[EMPLOYEE ACCESS] IS AVAILABLE 24/7. NO LONGER DO THEY NEED TO WAIT TO GET A COPY OF A CHECK STUB OR SEE WHAT DAYS OFF THEY HAVE REMAINING."
Follow-up resource: School Business Suite
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