South Shields Community School

About South Shields Community School

South Shields Community School (SSCS) is a maintained comprehensive school for students aged between 11–16, with 630 pupils currently enrolled. Located in Tyne and Wear, South Shields is an amalgamation of 2 schools, Brinkburn Comprehensive and King George Comprehensive, having merged in 2007.

The issue

Limited payment options and inadequate reporting Phil Archer, Finance Manager at SSCS, decided to review their existing financial software as it was no longer fit for purpose. Downfalls of the system included limitations with the method and flexibility of paying suppliers and insufficient reporting capabilities.

“We could only pay by cheque. This coupled with having inadequate reporting capabilities and data integrity were the biggest hurdles. We needed a sophisticated reporting system to get a complete picture of the school’s finances.”

The solution

Simplifying processes and saving time

Having met with IRIS Financials, the Finance Team were extremely impressed: “We came out of the presentation and there was no comparison. We all had the same instinct that IRIS Financials was going to be the best software solution. We had a follow up meeting and concluded that they were our preference – their approach and ease of use were deciding factors. IRIS Financials met all of our requirements for a new system.”

The Finance Manager is particularly impressed with IRIS Financials’ reporting capabilities. He is able to carry out powerful analysis using accurate, detailed data in real time: “The IRIS Financials Standard Education Suite gives us access to all reports that we need. We are confident this will give us further insight to manage our school more effectively. IRIS Financials has brought us into the 21st Century.”

“IRIS Financials has brought us into the 21st Century.” Phil Archer, Finance Manager – South Shields Community School

The IRIS Financials system has also helped simplify the purchase ordering and payment processes, which has reduced time and effort spent by the Finance Team: “Our internal processes are now much faster. I don’t have to keep chasing people to sign cheques.”

Invoices can be tracked easily, which has helped resolve supplier issues and significantly increased the efficiency of the Finance Team: “The system is much faster and we love it. We know what we’ve paid to suppliers, which makes it easier for us if a supplier calls up and says an invoice hasn’t been paid. We can now refer them back to the remittance advice and even link that back to our bank statement to see if the payment has cleared.”

The transition

A straightforward implementation process

Using a new system can be quite daunting, particularly for the Finance Team who were used to their previous system. However, the IRIS Financials Education Team reassured them and answered any questions they had. The implementation process was “straight forward” and the on-site consultant was “very knowledgeable” and explained things clearly, particularly the extensive reporting capabilities.

The post live support has been positive. The IRIS Financials Team are always available and able to answer any queries: “The helpdesk is really helpful as they always come back with a resolution. They’ve been brilliant.”

The future

Increasing efficiency with the ideal software solution Phil has been delighted with IRIS Financials and would recommend the software to other schools.

“I am extremely pleased with the service I have received. I cannot fault the staff; and the system itself has been very beneficial. As a single, maintained school, IRIS Financials is the ideal solution because of its ability to generate instant reports and support our processes. The software has made our jobs so much easier and made us much more efficient.”

“I am extremely pleased with the service I have received. I cannot fault the staff; and the system itself has been beneficial. As a single, maintained school, IRIS Financials is the ideal solution.” Phil Archer, Finance Manager – South Shields Community School

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