Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board
“The solution is great because any time that can be saved between me and my team means that we have more time to provide support out in the schools to our portal users, to our department heads, and to our office assistants.”
– Mary-Ellen Ducharme, Manager of Finance
The Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board has nurtured the development of students and families since 1847, and are fervently committed to high standards for achievement in teaching and learning. They are very proud of the quality of instruction within all schools and their commitment to inclusive learning spaces that provide differentiated opportunities for growth and development.
WHAT WAS HOLDING THEM BACK?
Huron-Perth Catholic DSB first became a Sparkrock client in 2007, implementing our Manage - Finance & Accounting
and Manage - HR/Payroll
solutions. "We evaluated the leading competitors in the K12 school board business application market, but what impressed us most about the Sparkrock product was its flexibility," explains Kevin Kale, Manager of Business Services at HPCDSB. "With Sparkrock we have the flexibility we need to respond to changing Ministry of Education reporting requirements. In addition, we feel confident that with the dedication of Sparkrock to the education market we're purchasing a product that will continue to be well supported in years to come."
Recently, Huron-Perth Catholic DSB went through a substantial upgrade to bring their solution to the most current version available.
HOW WE HELPED
Sparkrock supported Huron-Perth through the transition by constantly reassuring them with meetings and phone calls that they were on track with their implementation. Because the school board was 9 versions behind, they were very nervous about the transition, and particularly nervous about their data transferring accurately. Lisa Regier, Accounts Payable at HPCDSB, notes that "Sparkrock really guided us and left no questions unanswered. They were there all the time, they really held our hands." Sparkrock also sent Application Consultants on site to help their team navigate the new software and the particular intricacies it holds for school boards.
During the upgrade, the Sparkrock Customer Success team made numerous recommendations. Mary-Ellen Ducharme, Manager of Finance, notes that "if your client success team recommends something, they know the product inside and out, listen to them because we found that 6 months down the road we wished we had acted upon the recommendations at the start." In the end, HPCDSB went back and made the recommended changes and have experienced a smooth-running solution since then.
HOW THEY NOW LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY TO SERVE MORE PEOPLE
With their upgraded finance and hr/payroll solution, Huron-Perth is now able to do dimension validation at the time of posting, which has been an incredible time-saver for them. Using dimension combination validation allows them to check accounts before loading. If one is missing, they can quickly upload it and maintain their data integrity when they have to do reporting for Schedule 10.
Because their previous version was so old, they didn’t have the option to do validation prior to posting, so when it came time to do reporting for their schedules they would have to do numerous reallocating journal entries and it took a lot of time and energy to go back into their records and determine where things should have been properly posted in the first place. Now using dimension combination validation right in their GL prior to posting they can rest assured that they have accurate records the first time around and trust the integrity of the data being pulled into their Ministry reports. Mary-Ellen Ducharme notes that, "The solution is great because any time that can be saved between me and my team means that we have more time to provide support out in the schools to our portal users, to our department heads, and to our office assistants."
When asked why she believes it's important for school boards to stay current, Ducharme notes that they "believe it’s important to stay current because change is constant, we want to be up to date. We are a school board, so our teachers and students are always on the cutting-edge of technology, so we certainly want to be on the same level as them. We want to have the best that’s out there, and to us, that's Sparkrock."