With 40 academies, Oasis Community Learning is one of the largest academy providers in the UK, having grown from 17 academies in the last 2 years. The organisation needed a robust and consolidated accounting and purchasing system to support its continued growth, which is why it replaced its previous accounting system with PS Financials in 2007. Since then, Oasis Community Learning has been impressed with the flexibility PS Financials offers and the levels of support provided.
Oasis Community Learning says, “PS Financials listen to us and act upon our requirements, so we can make ongoing improvements to our software. They have become very knowledgeable about the academy sector, due to PS Financials being used by over a third of academies within the UK.”
Oasis Community Learning, and other academies, have worked closely with PS Financials to explain their needs and this has been reflected in recent developments to the software. In particular, they have noted that the new version of the PS Financials web portal has more emphasis on academy and school life.
“I have never come across a software company that will make a software improvement within two weeks. Most companies will say, ‘We’ll try and do it in the next upgrade,’ and then never do.” Finance Director, Oasis Community Learning
Oasis Community Learning believes that PS Financials suit academy providers because of its flexibility. The system incorporates the ability to accept multi-level structures, enabling each academy to have its own analysis, which can be easily consolidated to provide an overall view for the organisation. An analysis can be carried out by department, year, pupil or any cost centre as well as the ability to produce up-to-date reports at any one time. According to Oasis Community Learning, one of the best things about the system is the internal reports they can produce, enabling them to drill down infinitely until the source transaction is reached. In addition to this, Oasis Community Learning stated: “The system also allowed us to attach further information to nominal codes, attach lists and define where items fall into groups, which from a consolidation point of view, most systems could not do.”
PS Financials meets Oasis Community Learning’s needs for being both a charity and academy provider, with partial VAT and restricted funding handled easily.
Oasis Community Learning has 52 users of PS Financials at organisation and academy level. They are predominantly financial staff but also include teachers who find the system straightforward to use. The web-based portal is also easy to use and users can access their own information from anywhere when they log into the Oasis network.
Oasis Community Learning has found that PS Financials saves the organisation time and effort, as well as giving them the flexibility to manage their finances across multiple sites. Oasis Community Learning cites the ability to export accounting information as just one example of how the software does this. Oasis Community Learning says, “We’ve never come across an accounting package that can export accounting information straight to other systems, including Excel, in the way that PS Financials does. That alone saves us so much time when you need to do a quick analysis or report.”
As Oasis Community Learning continues to grow, they can see the opportunities offered by additional facilities within the PS Financials system, which are not currently being used, such as seamless links to leading CRM and student record systems.