Leadership is challenging enough without the extra burden of outdated purchasing systems
Principals are the glue that hold together schools. They oversee all operations, drive success for students, lead staff and teachers, and respond to parents and the community. Principals generally see this broad array of responsibilities as part of their mission. They are, after all, leaders.
Given all these demands, it may come as little surprise that a recent RAND survey found 85 percent of principals reported job-related stress, compared to 35 percent of other working adults. What is surprising, however, is that principals are burdened with avoidable stressors that interfere with their most important tasks.
Too often, extra stress is triggered by the inefficient processes, one being the manual purchasing and reimbursement that many schools still rely upon. When faced with an urgent school need for supplies or services, principals will step up to purchase the needed items, many times out of their own pocket. This allows them to avoid time-consuming purchasing procedures but it comes at a high personal cost – what’s more stressful than a soaring credit card balance?
Our school leaders deserve a more efficient, streamlined purchasing and reimbursement process that allows them to focus on their job – not worry about their credit card statements. Fortunately, new digital wallet technologies from ClassWallet are helping to eliminate this unnecessary pain point.
ClassWallet’s solutions have been transformative for many schools. In fact, they even earned a grateful standing ovation from staff for Seth Boomgarden, Director of Fiscal Services for the La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools. Keep reading to find out what life at La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools was like, before and after ClassWallet.
What’s the Typical Process?
Every school is different but many are still using resource-heavy procedures for purchasing and reimbursements. A typical process may include the following steps:
- Requisition generated
- Approval process begins
- Purchase order (PO) is generated
- PO approval process begins
- PO approved by finance department
- Check is generated for the purchase
Transforming Purchasing and Reimbursement
There is, however, a better way for leaders to access public funds. They can bring their school’s paper-based purchasing and reimbursement processes into the 21st century with ClassWallet’s digital wallet solutions.
Quick, efficient, reliable and transparent, this transformative technology removes all the manual paperwork and tedious approval processes. Finance officers can establish spending rules and restrictions on how funds are spent, document any information that may need to be captured, and keep a digital footprint of all purchases made, ensuring the right funds get to the right people at the right time.
Best of all for reducing leadership stress levels? Digital wallet technologies are so effective that leaders no longer have to front funds using their own credit cards.
Digital Wallet Innovation in Action:
How La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools Improved Processes (and Empowered Principals)
La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools is a K-8 district located in Southern California just outside of San Diego. The district has 22 principals and more than 10,700 students attending 16 elementary schools, five academies and several early childhood programs.
- Before ClassWallet
The purchasing and reimbursement process at the district was time-intensive and not meeting the needs of educators. Principals often covered school-related expenses and fronted the money on their personal credit cards. Getting reimbursed was a lengthy process and principals were sometimes out as much as $1,000 waiting for the paperwork to make its way through the system.
When the finance department found out about the situation and how principals were stepping up for their schools with their own money, the team began exploring solutions that would allow finance officers to move public funds more efficiently while maintaining compliance and control.
- After ClassWallet
In just eight months, ClassWallet’s digital wallet technology transformed the purchasing and reimbursement process at La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools. Not only did digital wallets speed up the approval process exponentially but the user-friendly (and mobile) platform allowed principals to make purchases with spending limits and guardrails set up specifically for them by the finance department.
ClassWallet empowered principals to choose vendors and make day-of purchases without having to plan or wait for POs and checks. The district’s business and finance offices also benefited because educators could simply upload photos of their receipts and use pre-populated purchase references to submit requests. This made it easier for finance officers to do their jobs with confidence and keep their fingers on the pulse of their district’s spending with real-time reporting and audit-ready analytics.
"ClassWallet has benefited both our principals and our business office, it has saved us time and it’s hassle-free. We’re so glad we went with it," said Boomgarden, Director of Fiscal Services, who is proud of the standing ovation he and his team received from colleagues for simplifying their lives.
With so much on their to-do lists already, principals should not have to stress about covering school expenses on their personal credit cards and waiting to get reimbursed. ClassWallet has been a game-changer at La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools. With a digital wallet, principals no longer have to think about the complexities of purchasing and reimbursement and can get back to making a difference for their staff, students and community.
Want to learn how ClassWallet can reduce stress, save your district time and money, and drive efficiencies? Contact our sales team and let’s talk about how we can help.