Customer Stories

Harrison County Board of Education

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Harrison County Board of Education traded in mounds of paper and stuffed three-ring binders for the power of automation and paperless document management with the Softdocs ECM Platform.

Quick Facts

  • Softdocs customer since 2013
  • Implemented in Finance and Personnel

Challenges

  • Time-consuming, manual business processes
  • Paper overflowing from filing cabinets

Solutions

The Softdocs ECM Platform™

  • Electronic forms for employee self service and personnel forms
  • Print customization and delivery to automatically distribute purchase orders
  • Electronic document management to auto image cash receipts for verification

"When the auditors came before, we used to have pull tons and tons of check copies, POs, receipts and then go back and re-file afterward. Now we don’t have to do that. Now we just give them access."

Sharon Haddix | Chief School Business Official | Harrison County Board of Education

Sharon Haddix, Harrison County Board of Education’s Chief School Business Official was overwhelmed.

Like all West Virginia districts, Harrison County Schools uses WVEIS, a state provided enterprise resource and planning system, and it was consuming the Finance and Personnel departments’ time and resources. 

“We had so much paper that we would actually hire substitute secretaries to come in here and file it for us because there was so much of it. When someone was absent in our office, we would get a substitute to sit and file all day,” said Haddix.

Haddix was first introduced to Softdocs at a Southeastern Association of School Business Officials conference a few years ago. She became further intrigued after attending a conference roundtable session hosted by Softdocs. “That’s when I really started asking questions about it.” 

“I spoke to my friend in another state who worked at a district with Softdocs and some other people that had the product. Between the presentation and my friend’s recommendation, I thought I needed to look at it.” Eager to automate their workflow for both the Finance and Personnel departments, Harrison County Schools began implementing Softdocs in April 2013.

Day-to-Day Financial Transactions

Due to audit requirements, all cash receipts had to be verified and approved. To accomplish this, Haddix would lug around a huge three-ring binder. This binder held all cash receipts, and she would manually sign and verify each.

“The time spent going through the binder would depend on how long I procrastinated doing it, sometimes I’d have a whole notebook full. It was definitely a dreaded process. I got tired of writing my name.”

Now cash receipts are processed using Doc e Serve, auto imaged, and verified with a single click in Softdocs’ Content Management solution. It has eliminated the entire paper process.

When a cash receipt needs to be printed, it doesn’t actually print anymore. It generates an image in the content management solution and creates a pending cash receipt status. Sharon later reviews it and changes the status of the document type from a pending cash receipt to an approved cash receipt. The solution’s activity log provides the audit trail. Auditors are able to confirm that she has verified every single cash receipt.

“When the auditors came before, we used to have to pull tons and tons of check copies, POs and receipts, and then go back and re-file afterward. Now we don’t have to do that. They just get on the computer and look at it.”

Purchasing

Before the implementation, Finance was forced to print four copies of a single purchase order due to the restrictions of WVEIS. Now, by utilizing eDelivery, an add-on module to Doc e Serve, the district can distribute purchase orders automatically to the schools. This solution reduces paper usage and orders are verified 
and paid more quickly.

Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable was another area in which Harrison County Schools saw process improvements. Prior to Softdocs, invoices were being paid without verification from the schools on whether they had received the entire order. Time was the main factor in paying the bills before communicating about the status of purchases.

“We had to make copies of every invoice, send them to the schools and then when we got them back, we’d have to match them up to see whether or not we had already paid it. It was just a mess. Softdocs helped with internal control to make sure we weren’t paying for something we didn’t receive,” said Haddix. “With this new system in place, we’re able to route the invoice out to the particular school that ordered the merchandise and  they approve it prior to us paying it.”

The amount of time being saved was also a noticeable change in both the Finance and Personnel offices. Employees no longer shuffled through papers trying to figure out what needed to be paid or filed. “Now that we’ve gone paperless, we don’t have to have the    expense of hiring a substitute when someone is gone,” said Haddix.

“Once invoices are electronic, you really only have to look at it once, and you either pay it, or you file it. It is easier to find things.”

Personnel Department

Employees were familiar with having electronic access to some things, like payroll checks, through the state’s website. Softdocs enabled access to view not only pay-checks, but also everything else in their Personnel file. Haddix has found this especially useful for substitutes and their payment history.

The district used to receive an excessive number of calls after payday asking for details on the dates and amounts of payment.

“Now after payday all we have to do is press a button to generate an employee report through Softdocs’ Electronic Forms solution, and it automatically appears in each employee’s file. Instead of calling up, they can go out there and see what days they were paid for on that check. It has eliminated a ton of calls.”

Choosing to include substitutes is not something every district elects to do, but Harrison County Schools is happy they did. “They’re the people who pay the most attention to stuff that is in their file.”

“It didn’t cost anything extra to include them and it wasn’t any more work to have them in there. It’s just been an added benefit by including them.”

Since going live in July 2013, Harrison County Schools has gradually been automating more processes with the Softdocs ECM Platform. Currently, extracurricular payment forms are in the process of becoming automatic. Teachers who coach or serve on lunch duty have contracts to do the extra activity.

“Normally we’ll have a stack of paper that’s about five or six inches tall to pay. Now it will all be up on the screen, and we won’t have to do any of that filing. It usually changes hands between three or four different places before it gets to us and now it will all be electronic so we won’t have any of that paper coming in.”

The Personnel department has removed six filing cabinets and used the extra space to rearrange the office. Haddix says they are about to remove another six cabinets out of the Finance office and plan to add computer stations for employees to fill out forms. 

“Eventually, it’d be nice to expand into other areas, besides Finance and Personnel, but we’re not really over those areas so we can’t. It is feasible that the district eventually would do it for all [departments].”

Human Resources

One area where Harrison County Schools did expand Softdocs outside of Finance and Personnel was accident reporting in schools. A formal accident report is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) any time an incident occurs at a school where a child gets hurt. By using each solution and the eDelivery add-on, Harrison County Schools can electronically report accidents directly to West Virginia’s Board of Risk and Insurance Management.

First, an employee or witness completes an OSHA compliant form in Softdocs’ Electronic Forms solution. The form is then routed to Doc e Serve for the proper school authority figure to review and submit by selecting archive and pressing the send/authorize button. Doc e Serve processes the accident report and eDelivery emails a PDF version to state’s education department. A copy is also automatically sent to the content management solution for district record keeping. This is just one of the many state-mandated documents Softdocs is able to automate. 

Although Harrison County Schools is currently the only school district in West Virginia using Softdocs, Haddix has had other districts asking questions and wanting to see a demonstration.

“I’ve shared some of what we’re doing, and the [other] districts are anxious to know more.” 

“When you start hearing about paperless, people are curious. Everyone is trying to 
be more efficient now.”

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