Finance

Illinois District Streamlines Accounting Operations

An Illinois school district has parlayed its long-time use of a financial system into building a culture focused on continuous improvement. North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park adopted applications from Skyward for accounts receivable and fiscal management in 2011.

In 2016, when Christopher Wildman joined the district as the chief financial officer, he sought new ways to use the technology, which he had had experience with in a previous job. For example, the school system maintained 12 bank accounts, one for each of its 12 schools. The business office has streamlined cash handling activities, consolidating those 12 accounts into one fund. The office now handles all check writing and cash handling processes through Skyward's accounting system.

"That's 12 accounts that don't need to be reconciled every month and 12 accounts that don't need to be monitored by 12 people," said Wildman in a press release. "It's just one fund that can be tracked by one accountant versus 12 people — now that's a real time saver."

The business office has also sought out other ways to improve operations. "We collaboratively ask questions of our current processes and where we need to improve, then we use Skyward to help us strengthen and build those processes," he explained.

Skyward offers school business suite with tools for accounting, human resources, payroll and timeclock, employee self-service and asset management. The company also has a student information system with functionality for student and classroom management, student services and family engagement.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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