Matt Zdroik Business Suite Specialist Tweet 4 Skyward Tools to Make Budgeting Easier If you had access to tools that could make your budgeting process easier, you’d want to know about them, right? Unfortunately, many of Skyward’s School Business Suite features often fly under the radar, so today we’re highlighting four that can help you craft your best budget. Employee Management & Salary Negotiations: Planning with FTE Control Perhaps one of the first things you work toward in your budgeting meetings is the total number of FTE available at your district, building, department, etc. From there, you can start the planning process to see where additions and possible cuts can be made. Imagine coming up with a plan nearly everyone is on board with, only to later discover you’re over budget. (No wonder it was so easy for everyone to agree!) By entering the FTE cap into Skyward, you can be sure you’re never in this scenario – the system won’t let your plans go over. Salary Negotiations: “What If” Scenarios Speaking of prospective budgeting plans, everyone has their own ideas for what the budget should look like. Did you know it’s easy to run “what if” scenarios? With this feature, you can change variables, like giving step increases or trying different health plan coverages, so it’s easy to directly compare outcomes. You can then give these reports to the board, laying out exactly how specific changes would impact the budget. Once a final plan is approved, there’s no need to re-enter the information into Skyward. Numbers from your “what-if” scenario can be imported directly into the budget, saving time and eliminating the potential for human copy errors. Salary Negotiations: Vacant Position Budgeting When budgeting for a new year, you often have unfilled staff positions that must be accounted for. With vacant position budgeting, you can rest assured knowing you’re never leaving a position out of the budget. You can also use this tool to experiment with potential hiring options to see how each would affect the budget. Employee Letters: Salary & Benefits When hiring a new employee or sending a contract to a current staff member, you can use Salary Negotiations to create an employee letter containing both salary and benefit information. These letters are easy to make since you can pull the information directly from Employee Management or Salary Negotiations. (Note that you can create employee letters using Employee Management or Salary Negotiations, but you need to use Salary Negotiations in order to include benefit information.) Once you’ve created the letter, send it with Online Forms. On the other end, there’s no need for the recipient to print it. He or she can electronically sign the document and submit it back to you. There are a number of benefits to moving the employee letter process online. You’ll save money and be able to easily keep track of who signed and submitted documents and who might need a gentle reminder. You’ll also enjoy less paper in the office and an online storage set-up that is easy to search through for future references. Effective position control and personnel forecasting can be difficult to achieve at times. But by using the tools at your disposal, you can make the process smoother, simpler, and more accurate this year. Follow-Up Resources: Budgeting & Custom Forms If you're looking to build a better budget, check out our budgeting and custom forms tools. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions. We’re here to help!