3 Things Every School Finance Team Needs to Prepare for the School Year

Posted on Categories Financial Education, Financial Technology
3 Things Finance Teams need to prepare for school year

There’s nothing quite like back to school season. As the summer winds down and the air starts to cool, it’s invigorating to see a campus come alive again after months of empty hallways. Educators are hard at work creating lesson plans and purchasing classroom supplies in anticipation of the year ahead.

Likewise, district leaders are working tirelessly behind the scenes ensuring that all the details are covered so things can run as smoothly as possible. Bus schedules are coordinated, student enrollment documents are filed, budgets are created for projected operating costs, and the list continues.

With so many moving parts necessary to provide quality education, school finance teams have a lot of responsibilities to consider. A new year is exciting, but keeping track of everything can easily become burdensome.

Below, are three things that can help you prepare for the new school year and ease the stress that comes with managing district funds.

Using a digital wallet can mitigate stress and simplify the spending process for everyone.

1) Manage Funds and Save Time With a Digital Wallet

Teachers often purchase books, classroom supplies, and other necessities at the start of—and throughout—the school year. Athletic departments update equipment and uniforms, music departments need sheet music, and—due to the boom in online and blended learning—many districts also choose to invest in or renew licenses for tools for the classroom.

Districts need to keep track of every purchase made, but chasing after forms and receipts for so many different accounts can take up valuable time and cause finance teams and school staff a lot of frustrations. Using a digital wallet changes this messy time intensive process into a streamlined process for managing purchases and reimbursements all while mitigating stress on an already overworked team.

A digital wallet is just what it sounds like. It is an online tool that gives a distributed network of individuals access to funds to make rules-based purchases, track purchase histories electronically, and reimburse the individual or vendors as needed. In K-12, digital wallets are a way for districts to allow school personnel to make flexible—but controlled—purchases without the added burden of documenting and approving physical paperwork each time a staff member needs to buy office supplies.

When a school district uses a digital wallet, administrators are able to appropriate funding to multiple users and establish distinct spending rules and restrictions on how those funds can be used. Teachers and support staff are then able to purchase goods and services with pre-approved vendors and service providers.

Having a digital wallet saves finance teams time by automating processes that are traditionally manual and complicated. Receipts are easily uploaded and stored electronically, saving time in both the collection process and chasing down lost receipts. There’s also the added benefit of being able to generate spending reports come audit time.

Digital wallets can help your finance team prepare for the upcoming year and beyond.

We often hear that having a growth mindset positively impacts students’ learning, but the same concept can just as easily apply to any school employee.

CONTINUE READING: American Heart Association recommends positive self-talk as a way to cope with stressful or anxious feelings. We often hear that having a growth mindset positively impacts students learning, but the same concept can just as easily apply to any school employee.

We can use the concept of positive self-talk to remind ourselves of why we’re grateful. Simply changing the way we frame our thoughts can have a great impact on our stress levels and our overall attitudes. Here are a few examples:

  • Instead of, ‘I can’t deal with one more requisition today,” try saying, “I’m lucky to be in a position to help others get the supplies they need to be successful.”
  • Instead of, “My coworkers and I don’t see eye to eye. Working with them is impossible,” try saying, “Even though we don’t always agree, I’m glad I work with people who are passionate about what we do.”
  • Instead of, “I miscalculated the budget. This is a huge problem!”, try saying, “I’m grateful to work for a district that helps me learn from my mistakes.”

Meditation is another way to practice mindfulness and tackle stress. Studies show that meditating for 15 minutes can help people make better decisions, feel more at ease, and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

If you’re not sure how to meditate, there are many resources available. Many wellness organizations specialize in mindfulness services. The mental health company Headspace offers free access for educators to help them—and their students—improve their focus, reduce their stress, and build healthier habits. There are also a variety of guided mediation video guides that are freely available online.

Practicing meditation for a few minutes each day and using positive self-talk can help you and your team navigate the beginning of the school year with a clear mind and positive attitude.

Managing school finances is an important endeavor, but it should never come at the cost of your mental or physical health

3) Embrace the New Year by Giving Yourself Grace

There are a plethora of tools and strategies available to finance teams and leaders to help ready them for a new year. In order for these tools and strategies to be effective, you’ll need to give yourself (and your team) some grace along the way.

New processes can sometimes cause frustration during the implementation stage. As with all new things, it’s important to manage change by being patient with yourself and allowing yourself to step away if things become overwhelming.

While sometimes easier said than done, it’s crucial to make your health a priority so you can stay at your best. We’ve already discussed the mental benefits of meditation, but being gracious with yourself and taking time to relax has physical benefits as well. Even taking short amounts of time to rest can reduce your risk of hypertension and heart attacks. Managing school finances is an important endeavor. You need to be healthy in order to best serve your students and your community.

LEARN MORE: Digital Wallets Move Savvy School Administrators to the Head of the Class

Get Ready for a Great Year

By leveraging technology tools like ClassWallet, you’ll spend more time focusing on your district’s other financial needs and less time meticulously tracking purchases and expenses by hand. You’ll also have more time to meditate and be kind to yourself, so you can be at your best to take on the academic year.

Let ClassWallet be Your Purchasing Solution

At ClassWallet, our mission is to eliminate the burden of the purchasing and reimbursement process so you can stay focused on your mission of making a difference—for your school, your students, your teachers, and your community. Contact us today to see how we can help your school.