When Ryvers Primary School moved to academy status, it chose SIMS Financial Management System (FMS) to meet its new financial reporting requirements.
Like many schools, Ryvers made the switch to academy status to provide them with more freedom to control their own budgets. “We want to be able to do everything possible to help our pupils learn and by having more control on our finances, we can make our own decisions about where to invest our funds,” says Valerie.
Ryvers School needed a financial management system that would be able to support their new responsibilities: “I need the confidence that everything in the system is accurate and up to date. I also do not want to be pulling together lots of different figures to do my external reporting. SIMS Financial Management System (FMS) was the system we decided was up to the job. In fact, we trialled another system just to be sure and then reverted back to SIMS FMS as it was the most efficient option.”
SIMS FMS keeps track of profit and loss accounts and of individual budget spend so a business manager can spot if there is anything unexpected that needs looking at in a bit more detail. The links back to SIMS also save a great deal of time. “The links to modules including SIMS Personnel and the School Development Plan, mean all the information on school assets or staff pay is already up to date and so does not need to be re-keyed into the system. This will save us hours when it comes to budgeting.” says Valerie.
The ability to report finances quickly and accurately to governors and other stakeholders is a plus, as is the fact it is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales. This immediately ticks the box for a number of the academy’s financial and legal obligations.
Valerie recommends that academies choosing FMS should take advantage of the post implementation day run by SIMS consultants as she found it very useful. “The consultants shared their extensive knowledge and experience of working with other schools and academies. It was this that really helped us to understand how we could make full use of the software and simplify our new financial responsibilities.”