How Dysart Unified School District Accelerated Finance Processes
Laserfiche Solution Contributed by: Mary Simmons, District Records Manager
The fastest growing school system in Arizona, Dysart Unified School District prioritizes maintaining modern facilities and services.
With 19 elementary schools, four comprehensive high schools and one alternative program campus, the district has more than tripled in size over the last 15 years, but the number of staff has not increased at the same rate. In order to keep up with demand for service, DUSD implemented Laserfiche to automate processes across several departments, most notably the finance department.
DUSD owns many fixed assets such as buildings, computers, furniture and vehicles. Fixed asset documentation needs to be managed until the fixed asset is disposed of. The district devoted valuable office space to documents that could have been destroyed, since there was no consistent means of tracking destruction dates.
“Day to day management of paper records, from implementation to printing to collating to filing, retrieving and refiling was extremely inefficient. Our talented team members were performing more clerical tasks than their actual job duties, resulting in less productivity,” said Mary Simmons, Records Manager.
DUSD automated previously paper-based accounting processes—including payroll and benefits, accounts payable and accounts receivable—eliminating the manual filing of paperwork, increasing accessibility of information and making processes run approximately 75 percent faster.
“The ability for each department to find what they are looking for with a few keystrokes makes Dysart a truly 21st century school district,” said Simmons. “Our staff members that use Laserfiche in their daily work love it.”
Each fixed asset has a corresponding asset packet, which includes agreements to purchase land, all paperwork from bidding, purchase orders, invoices, checks, and the fixed asset document. Documents that are not for capital items but are linked to fixed assets (like documentation related to school bus tires) must also be stored in the fixed assets packet, along with all documentation regarding new work done on the asset.
Previously, the fixed assets technician depended on the warehouse, purchasing, student activities and accounts payable departments in order to compile a paper asset packet. The technician had to track the fixed asset locations in individual spreadsheets, having to remember to manually update the spreadsheets with each asset acquisition, move or disposal. This was tedious and made the whole process difficult to manage.
“We never really had a process in place for getting rid of asset packets, since it was impractical to try to keep track of which assets had been disposed of and which ones were current, particularly when we would buy close to 100 computers on one purchase order, for example,” remembered DUSD’s Fixed Assets Technician.
DUSD automated the entire fixed assets process with Laserfiche. Employees scan in individual documents, such as purchase orders, and Laserfiche Workflow checks if any of the scanned documents contains a fixed asset accounting code. If a code is found, Workflow automatically performs a lookup to a fixed assets table in Infinite Visions financial management software to check if the fixed asset document already exists.
If the asset document exists in Infinite Visions, the metadata for the document is updated with information from Infinite Visions, including description changes, disposition date changes and fiscal year calculations. The entry is then routed to the correct folder.
- If the asset document does not yet exist, Workflow creates a fixed asset document and assigns the fixed asset template. Some fixed assets have multiple checks or purchase orders associated with them, so Workflow searches for all checks and purchase orders that are related to the fixed asset and attaches the pages to the fixed asset document.
Workflow ensures that only one copy of the fixed asset packet exists at any time by removing duplicate entries. After saving the fixed asset document into Laserfiche, Workflow updates the table in Infinite Visions to reflect that the asset document is stored in Laserfiche. If Workflow encounters an error, it renames the document and moves it to a Needs Review folder so that employees can easily see how the document needs to be changed.
Benefits of Laserfiche
Automating the fixed assets process has resulted in the following benefits for Dysart Unified School District:
- Time and office space have been saved by reducing the number of file cabinets, and eliminating tedious paperwork and manual tracking via spreadsheets
- Incorrect manual data entry has been eliminated as Workflow pulls information directly from the purchase order and Infinite Visions database
- Fixed asset documents are no longer retained for longer than necessary and can be destroyed in a timely manner
- The scanning process has been accelerated by 75% as documents no longer need to be collated and filed twice a week
- Employees have instant access to files needed to answer any questions or requests for records.
- Document printing to reconcile department or school records has decreased by 50-75%