Manor Hall Academy Trust – a five school, special school multi academy trust (MAT) operating from their central trust in Staffordshire recently replaced their undeveloped accounting system with PS Financials (PSF) after only four months. In this case study, we look at the key drivers behind this decision and the benefits experienced since choosing PS Financials as their new financial management solution.
Upon adding two academies to their MAT, the trust decided to explore new financial management solutions suitable to cater to their new business requirements.
After undergoing a selection process, Manor Hall Academy Trust decided to select an accounting software new to the sector as their new financial management system – the decision was primarily based on price and a recommendation from their local support organisation in Staffordshire. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the trust recalls her experience during the process.
“We saw the rep from our previous system and he showed us the front end of the system and delivered a good presentation, our decision to choose this system was primarily based on their price. Unfortunately, the system did not produce the features revealed throughout their presentation”.
The CFO went onto say: “If we had known what we know now, we would have chosen PS Financials back then – it really is a case of you get what you pay for”.
After only four months of using the system, Manor Hall Academy Trust decided to replace the system with PS Financials, CFO explains: “On three occasions we were told that we would have all the aspects of our system live. With these broken promises and no guarantee of having the system ready by year-end, I was getting increasingly concerned that our data would not be up to date. This combined with many other unresolved issues with the system forced us to review our system, resulting in the implementation of PS Financials – our previous system just wasn’t designed for multi academy trusts”.
“After reviewing the PSF demonstration and speaking to several PSF users. It was clear that PSF are the proven financial management system provider for multi academy trusts – making our decision to change easy”.
“It was great to learn that PS Financials is able to consolidate the data from each of our schools, and reduce the amount of work I was previously doing to bring these data sets together – this was a key feature considering we are a multi academy trust”.
“PS Financials will also help distribute the purchasing responsibilities across departments. We have gone from having the ability to only place orders to having a system with security parameters to help us streamline and secure our purchasing process”.
“Having full drill down capacity will make searching for invoices much smoother, whilst saving us time on a daily basis”.
“With PS Financials we will be able to make trust wide payment runs without the need to manually enter records from each school onto one document”.
“The automatic bank reconciliation feature provided by PS Financials finally means that we can move away from the old-fashioned way of reconciling banks we previously used to perform”.
Manor Hall Academy Trust are planning on adding more schools to their trust and PS Financials will play a key role throughout the expansion. PS Financials will help the trust transition new schools into their trust and consolidate their finances with Manor Hall Academy Trust.
The CFO comments: “We will be adding a new primary school to the trust in September, and with the implementation of PS Financials, we know we have a finance system capable of supporting further growth”.
We finally asked the CFO to describe her experience with PS Financials so far and if she would recommend PS Financials to other MAT’s, she replied: “My interactions with PS Financials have been great, there is always someone at the end of a call and the transition has been very smooth. I would recommend PSF to other MAT’s because they provide a system with the features required at MAT level”.