In recent years, technological innovations have had a significant impact on the way American children learn. Instead of pencils, paper, books and chalkboards, students now have access to smartboards, educational software, eBooks and other emerging technologies that are disrupting the traditional classroom. Recent trends are showing that technological innovations are making their way into the school business offices as well, creating efficiencies that previously had not been imaginable.
Simplify Expense Management
Finance departments at many school districts have a cumbersome process in place when it comes to tools to manage expenses, especially for teachers and other staff such as maintenance crews. A growing number of finance departments are turning to digital wallet technology to make their departments’ and districts staff’s jobs easier.
Digital Wallet Technology
Digital wallet technology is starting to prove itself as revolutionary for the education industry. A digital wallet (or e-wallet) is a cloud-based software system that securely stores users’ spending allowance and permissions for numerous payment methods and merchants.
“We were looking for a system that was user friendly and would show how the allocated funds were being spent. ClassWallet is a more effective system and is a perfect fit for our school district.” – Seth Sanding, Director of Accounting and Finance for the Toledo Public School District
No Paperwork, Easy, Secure
By using a digital wallet, users can complete purchases quickly and easily, while at the same time eliminating the need to gather and turn in receipts.
The digital wallet automates the receipt collection, reconciliation and payment. The automated process also saves the school district time and money as staffers no longer need to do manual processing for thousands of expenditures. Plus, because the digital wallet can be configured with purchasing permissions and restrictions the payment method reduces the risk of fraud and loss. The digital wallet even comes with a built-in approval workflow, further reducing this risk.
The use of digital wallets has been common practice for consumers for some time, but, until recently, never before at the enterprise level. ClassWallet, a financial technology company based in Hollywood, Florida, has developed an enterprise digital wallet platform that has revolutionized the way K-12 education, state and district agencies handle vendor payment, reimbursements and reconciliation.
Just as platforms as ApplePay and Venmo have revolutionized how we pay for everything from dog walking to babysitting and groceries, ClassWallet is transforming how we pay for classroom supplies, maintenance for schools and districts, and even how teachers, principals and families make purchases leveraging government and decentralized funds.
Rather than forcing staff to collect and turn in receipts and secure multiple approvals — a time intensive, multi-step process for both the users and the accounting department — with the use of ClassWallet’s digital wallet, staffers have a secure method to make purchases within pre-defined parameters on behalf of the school district.
Amazon, School Specialty, Staples, Office Depot, Scholastic, Lakeshore Learning and Home Depot are just some of the 60+ popular education and maintenance-related stores that have integrated with ClassWallet’s digital wallet technology platform.
The digital wallet platform captures SKU-level purchasing data for every transaction and automates the reconciliation and payment based upon the rules established by the school district. Easy-to-use reports integrate with the district’s accounting and work order systems. The platform also provides swift and accurate ACH reimbursements to teachers and staff needing to purchase something in a retail store or from an approved service provider.
Whether your district needs to track exactly how funds earmarked for a particular program are being spent, you need to prepare for an audit you know is coming, or you need to cut down on the number of manhours required to close your books, ClassWallet’s platform is a solution worth implementing.
Digital Wallet Technology is being used by many Top School Districts in the United States
Toledo Public School District’s Story
The Toledo Public School District, which serves 23,000 students at 55 schools, is among the school districts successfully using the platform.
The district uses ClassWallet’s technology to distribute student-teacher stipends and Head Start grants, as well as for its Behavior Modification and Early Childhood programs.
“Ultimately, my goal is to make things easier for our teachers. With our new system, they could just jump on the platform, utilize their funds and a couple of days later their supplies show up. And no need to spend time rounding up receipts. From the teacher’s perspective, it’s really hard to beat that.” – Alex Rella, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for Alachua County Public Schools
Alachua County Public School District’s Story
The Alachua County Public School District in Florida, which consists of 44 schools with 1,800 teachers serving 33,000 students in the Gainesville area, started using ClassWallet in 2019 to provide a faster and more efficient way to distribute classroom instructional funds to teachers.
Then when the COVID pandemic hit, the district was able to reallocate funds earmarked for field trips to be distributed to teachers instead — to help them purchase supplies for their home offices.
El Dorado School District’s Story
The El Dorado School District in El Dorado, Arkansas has also successfully implemented ClassWallet as a fintech solution for its 400 certified staff members who serve 4,200 students.
The district used to struggle with a cumbersome system that required upwards of five people in administration to process teacher reimbursements, and took over 20 minutes per transaction to process. As soon as it was implemented, processing requisitions time dropped from 648 hours to just 16, providing a 90% cost decrease; and workload volume plummeted. The number of purchase orders that had to be processed dropped from 1,544 to a mere 10. It is of note that most of the 1,500 plus transactions the team processed purchase orders for during the 2018-2019 school year were for small transactions of $15 or less. Altogether, ClassWallet saved the district $16,000 in labor costs.
For all the schools now using ClassWallet, no more hassle and risk of managing credit or prepaid cards, saving receipts and filing for reimbursement.
“All of our teachers are fans. Our school secretaries, principals, and all of my staff are big fans. I can’t put into words how much more efficient the process is for these expenditures.” – Shelley Pruitt, Chief Financial Officer, El Dorado School District