Challenger MAT

PS Financials driving efficiency for Challenger Multi-Academy Trust

Previously spending days each month completing laborious, manual tasks, including payment runs and filing invoices, as well as having excessive printing and storage costs, Challenger Multi-Academy Trust were keen to find school financial management software that would alleviate these pressures to save both time and money.

When System and Finance Manager, Helen Dowsett, first joined the trust, cheques were being used as the main payment method, meaning all invoices being paid by each cheque had to be written down on a compliment slip and then individually posted out. The slip and cheque were then photocopied and filed away. As many as thirty cheques were processed on each payment run per school, per week, with timescales for this task reaching a full day, and becoming one of the most labour-intensive tasks being carried out by the finance team.

The sales invoicing process was even more labour-intensive, requiring the use of an Excel invoice template altered by each school per invoice, meaning there was a large amount of time being inefficiently used.  Once the sales invoice was paid this would then be keyed in using a Nominal Receipt, meaning another compliment slip would be handwritten, copied and filed away before being posted out to the customer, leaving room for error and an increased amount of inefficient resource allocation.

In addition to the high printing costs, the trust was spending large sums on paper printing and storage. On joining Challenger Multi-Academy Trust, Helen identified this as an immediate area of concern and one that could be quickly addressed by the Document Emailer application, to give a rapid return on investment and a quick win for the trust.

Being part of a Trust means there are multiple academies required to adhere by one set of specific rules and regulations. To ensure no downtime and seamless integration between academies, the trust required sophisticated software with a simple user interface.

The Document Emailer has advanced functionality which allows for bulk emailing and printing of purchase orders, as well as sales invoices and remittance advices. Additional development to the Document Emailer allows for sales statements to be sent and credit control letters can be attached to unpaid invoices to bad debtors.

“The installation was completed quickly with no downtime at all and we needed little to no training. It has revolutionised the way the team send financial documentation to our customers.”

The time saving alone made an immediate and massive positive impact to the workloads of every school in the trust. In addition to this, the cost savings in printer paper, ink and storage has ensured a very rapid return on investment for the trust, with the finance department now able to complete payment runs in less than 1 hour with all documentation automatically sent to suppliers.

Helen describes the wider benefits of the software. “My business managers now have more time to focus on other parts of their role. The feedback we have received is fantastic and universally positive, the new product has been well received by all users. I would recommend the Document Emailer to any school or trust; it’s such a simple but helpful tool that saves hours of labour, delivers real business efficiency and improves the quality and professionalism of our interactions with suppliers and customers at the click of a button.”

If you’d like to see how IRIS Financials can help your school or multi-academy trust, contact us today.