‘Modern’, ‘traditional’, ‘academic’, ‘caring’, ‘ambitious’ and ‘grounded’ are some of the words most commonly used to describe the School. Latymer is indeed all of these things and more, focussing as it does on both the academic achievement and the personal development of each and every pupil into well-rounded and caring citizens of the future.
Within the school, there were lots of isolated systems that didn’t talk to each other
We already had the iSAMS MIS in place for pupil management, and our academic curriculum staff were very happy with the system. It made sense to implement iFinance – we wanted synergy between our systems, we wanted a cloud-based solution and we wanted to make use of the information already in our MIS within the finance department. iFinance ticked those boxes.
In this short Q&A session, Chris Pomfret, iFinance Customer Account Manager was joined by Cathy Tilly, Assistant Director of Finance at Latymer Upper School to discuss how iSAMS cloud-based accounting system, iFinance, assisted the school with driving efficiency.
Some of the key drivers for choosing iFinance were the desire to reduce the amount of paper swarming around the building and provide better information for supporting decisions.
We went live with iFinance amidst a coronavirus lockdown, but the migration worked really well. Having done a lot of testing, we knew the system inside out before we went live. We tested importing suppliers, monthly balances from our old system and we’d done reconciliations. The iSAMS staff helped us to do runs of importing month-end balances before the actual go-live cutover for final balances.
How our purchase order process changed with iFinance
Before we had a nearly 100% paper-based process, we received the invoices and they were physically signed and passed to finance. Now the whole process is done via email. We encourage suppliers to send the invoices directly to us, we register them on iFinance and they are sent via email to the budget holder to approve. The budget holder receives a summary of the budget position and a copy of the invoice. This helps us to reduce paper, maintain better records and easily chase things up.
Budget holders love it and it has definitely improved the reputation of the finance department within the school.
The bank reconciliation feature has definitely speeded up our processes. Where we have direct debits that happen each month, we always get the same reference on the bank statement. Once it’s been posted it once, the system remembers this and suggests the posting for you to approve. Before we were doing lots of postings each month for things like utilities, and now we’re doing that with one click.
Doing the implementation gave us an opportunity to review our chartered accounts. New nominals and PL codes had been created over time and we needed to take a fresh look and review what costs and income needed to be linked together. The GL Explorer feature provides us with snapshots, comparing budget versus actual, or actual this year against actual last year. It’s very quick to answer questions about registration fees and so on.