Your school’s expenditures maximize learning. But it’s challenging to understand how line items impact the classroom experience without data-driven decision-making. Budgeting software that integrates with all aspects of your school operations can provide that data. So you can make better-informed decisions to help educate your community’s youth.
One unique challenge that school budgets face is that many parties are involved in the budgeting process. The school system also must justify and prove the value of the expenses they incur each year.
Coordinating Budgets Across Departments
School budgets require that various government employees own certain parts of the school budget. Without budgeting software, coordinating these inputs is challenging because it means that the budget must go from one person to another, making the process lengthy.
School budgeting software allows simultaneous inputs to speed up the process while allowing all necessary parties to be involved. Some examples of the individuals involved in the process include:
- Chief financial officers
- Department heads
Compiling spreadsheets from the various people is too time-consuming and inefficient. Instead, a digital public school budget process ensures everyone is looking at the most up-to-date version of the budget while collaborating on it.
Including workflows and approvals that guide large teams through the process helps ensure that you meet deadlines and all required parties sign off on the budget before finalizing it.
The Need For Integration With Financial, Payroll And CRM Systems
School budgets are just one aspect of annual governmental planning. Understanding how your school’s budget fits in with your entire municipality budget is important, but the only way to do that is to integrate your school budgeting process with your finance, payroll and CRM systems.
Pull over last year’s expenditures from the finance and accounting software to provide a starting point for budget planning. System integration can save tons of time in the process to allow your team to focus on preparing for the school year.
Integrate payroll and benefits data to understand how teacher and administrator salaries impact the total budget and update from year to year based on raises or merit increases.
Advanced Modeling For Revenue Projections
Changes in property taxes directly impact school budgets. Creating accurate models and projections based on current home values and anticipated tax collections will impact the total budget you have to work with for the school year.
This is another area where system integration plays an important role. When your school budgeting software integrates with your tax and utility billing software, you get an even more complete view of your income and its impacts on your school.
Home values and anticipated taxes will fluctuate from one year to the next. Choosing budgeting planning software for schools that includes advanced modeling can help you make even more informed decisions.
School Budget Planning Best Practices
The budget planning process is no small feat. But some school district budgeting best practices can simplify the process and help you get the most out of your budgeting planning software. Here are some of the most important practices you can engage in when preparing your school budgets.
- Plan: outline who is involved and partner closely with finance. Instill policies for how to govern the budgeting process. Set up a communication strategy to coordinate all parties.
- Create goals and priorities: each school district will have different priorities. Outlining your specific priorities will help you know important budget areas you want to invest in. That way, when your leaders review your budgets, they’ll have a frame of reference for expenditures.
- Invest in your priorities: Analyze your proposed budgets to ensure they align with your goals and priorities. You’ll need to make tradeoffs to reach your institutional goals and help students achieve good marks to make your school district attractive to parents.
- Evaluate the sustainability of your plan: Your goals and priorities might see minor shifts from one school year to the next, but constantly changing priorities will make it challenging to show any progress. As you review your goals and related expenditures, make sure your plan is sustainable. You can’t have growing budgets in a shrinking municipality.
Integrating Government Software
With the many digital tools available for managing complex municipality operations, integration of various departmental data is one of the most important success factors for accurate budgeting. BMSI offers a fully integrated software suite for all aspects of your municipality. Schedule a free demo to see if you qualify for free data transfer.