Salterns Academy Trust improves reporting and gets streamlined finance operations switching from PS Financials to iplicit
Time and cost savings with iplicit has ‘life-changing’ impact for Salterns Academy Trust who switched fom PS Financials to iplicit recently.
“It’s life-changing for us,” says Renee Davies of the Salterns Academy Trust after switching from the trust’s old finance software, PS Financials, to iplicit.
After deciding the finance team at the Portsmouth-based multi-academy trust could not struggle on as it was, Renee led the hunt for a new software system.
“It’s a statutory requirement to produce a set of management accounts for our chairman every month, showing budget figures versus actuals in cash flow, the balance sheet and so on,” she says.
“That was very time consuming with PS Financials because we were pulling those reports off and the data wasn’t accurate. It would take me three or four days to get the data how I wanted it and I was spending nearly a week out of my working month, just manipulating data.
With another school joining the trust in January 2024, other things were getting pushed back because Renee was having to dedicate so much time to pulling this information together and getting it into order. This meant Renee couldn’t help resolve other queries that came up.
“It was having a massive knock-on effect and I was under pressure because it was taking up so much time and I was feeling the weight of not being able to do other things.
“The lack of support from our previous provider was awful. Lots of aspects of the software weren’t working properly, but when we raised a query it didn’t get resolved.
“It was very costly as well. This is public money we’re spending but even bringing in another user to the system was hugely expensive – and adding another school would cost thousands of pounds.
“We were also heavily paper-based. Emails involving spending were printed out and a paper copy sent to the person who had to approve it – then the piece of paper came back and someone had to manually put it on the system! It was crazy and very costly. We also had to pay for two storage units so that all these documents could be stored, as well as having cupboards in the office.”
iplicit is already making things much more slick and streamlined, which is what we should be doing. We should be bringing ourselves up to date"
Renee Davies, Chief Finance Officer
“iplicit is very simple to use, and also very powerful, with great reporting” she adds.
“The workflow approvals are simple to set up and we can attach documents to entries in the books, which was quite complicated with PS Financials.
“We can set things up in iplicit the way we want them to be, for our own specific needs, which we couldn’t with other systems.
Adding another school to the accounts is a fraction of the cost of other systems and is not expected to be a big project. In fact, “adding the new school onto the system will be straightforward as we can add them ourselves. It will be a case of running through the same sort of process with the templates we’ve been using already.”
Renee also liked that iplicit can be integrated with other software used by the trust.
We have more control with reporting, I can easily build reports myself, whereas in PS Financials there was a very standard way of reporting which we couldn’t really change and which was often not up to date.”
Renee Davies, Chief Finance Officer
iplicit has improved our reporting capability
Renee’s favourite feature of iplicit is the reporting and Excel Add-in feature that allows live data to update her own bespoke-created reports.
“We have more control with reporting, I can easily build reports myself, whereas in PS Financials there was a very standard way of reporting which we couldn’t really change and which was often not up to date,” she adds.
“iplicit will drastically improve financial reporting. Our trust board and our chairman will be able to see accounts that are up to date, minute by minute.
“We are required to provide a lot of reporting to different boards. The school governors need separate reports for their schools along with the trust board, which needs a consolidated view.
“With iplicit, each group can access the required information easily. Users have their own logins and can view information, in the way they want to see it, for their part of the organisation.”
Salterns Academy Trust expects to make increasing use of iplicit’s budgeting features, as well as integrating the finance system with the Arbor school management system.
Read the full Salterns Academy Trust case study.
Webinar: Improving finance operations for Multi-Academy Trusts
Are you bogged down trying to get the reporting you need? Would you like to streamline your MAT finance operations and vastly reduce manual processes?
By switching to a modern cloud-based finance system you can gain huge time and costs savings from automating routine tasks, eliminating paperwork and having more accurate financial reports in the format you need, when you need them.
Our guest speaker, Renee Davies, CFO at Salterns Academy Trust will share her experience of modernising the trust’s finance operations by switching to iplicit from IRIS Financials (formerly PS Financials).
- A quick-fire case study on Salterns Academy Trust’s finance transformation
- A demo of iplicit tailored for MATs:
- MAT dashboards and analysis
- MAT chart of accounts (incl DofE out of the box)
- Authorisation workflows and controls
- Multi-location reporting & consolidation
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