Altus Dynamics Blog

Maintaining Ministry Standards: Best Practices for K12 Reporting

Posted by Natalie Khan on Aug 18, 2016 10:30:00 AM

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Sometimes it seems as though K12 school boards spend the majority of their time creating reports. From internal reporting, to reports for your funders and for the Ministry, the process is often tedious and time consuming. But that's not the only challenge school boards are facing when it comes to reporting. They are also dealing with the constant struggle to keep up with changing Ministry requirements.

So the question is, is there a way to make reporting easier and less time consuming for school boards while balancing the constant changes from the Ministry? The good news is, there is! This blog will give some insight into how to use a financial management solution to keep current with the constant Ministry changes and improve your overall reporting processes.

The Challenge

reports.jpgThe nice thing about K12 financial reporting is that it’s scheduled - you know what you need to report on and when you need to do it by. You have to provide the Ministry with statements of financial position, operating expenditure, and operating revenue reports on a monthly basis. You’re also publishing your usual reconciliation reports: budget vs. spending, actual spending, and POs and commitments. It’s a process that you’re familiar with.

But even though your team may be wizards at K12 reporting, there’s still one challenge that school board finance managers continue to face: the changing reporting requirements of the Ministry of Education.

Why this is such a challenge? The main problem is that keeping up with Ministry reporting requirements takes time away from your already-busy finance team. Suddenly your team doesn’t just have to filter through a large amount of data, but they also have to take the time and care to make sure the information matches the Ministry’s (possibly new) requirements.

This might seem like an unstoppable time-guzzler, but it doesn't have to be.

The Solution

The easiest way to lift the weight of the Ministry off of your department is to use your financial management solution to its fullest potential. Below we’ve listed two ideas for using financial management systems to improve reporting efficiency:

  • Quick Reporting Add-ons: At Waterloo Catholic District School Board, the finance team has used Jet Reports along with their existing finance solution (hyperlink) to speed up the reporting process. Using these solutions, WCDSB mirrors the Ministry’s annual reporting requirements so they can stop focus on formatting and focus more on reporting.
  • Existing Functionality: The finance team at Sudbury Catholic District School Board found a way to match the Ministry using an existing function in their financial software. With the “Analysis By Dimensions” function in their Altus Finance Solution, the team has set up the dimensions to match the Ministry’s with a simple click. Before using this function, this task would take an entire day, but now they can filter exactly how they want in minutes!

The changing requirements will always be a struggle, but know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Even though you cannot stop the constant changes in reporting requirements, there are many ways that you can properly plan and improve your reporting processes at your school board to maintain effieciency.

Want to know more? Our upcoming webinar on September 22nd will show you how to easily manage changes to K12 reporting requirements and how to become more efficient at Ministry reporting overall.

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