The demand for a more efficient accounting department is what drove Cheryl Martin from Center Line Public Schools to implement the AP bar code process in her department. The CEO Image Systems document management software had been in use in the district since 1996 but not in the business office until Cheryl showed up.
Cheryl knew there had to be a better way. And now she has it. She enjoys the ease of filing her check packets electronically. She loves the ability to find her documents via a variety of indices, including but not limited to date, vendor, check number and P.O. number.
Former Frustrations – Present Solutions
Before Cheryl got her document management system, everything was filed alphabetically by vendor. To locate a document by P.O. you had to go into the system to find that first and then drill down to the vendor. Then you had to find the physical check packet, make copies, send them out and re-file the check packet. Huge time consumer.
Now, when the document has been located with a few clicks of the mouse, it is e mailed off to the requestor. Huge timesaver.
Repeat requestors in the district may be given permission to search and view (but not make changes) from their own workstation which saves the accounting department from looking it up for them. Huge timesaver.
Before Cheryl got her document management system, the auditors were in the building for a full 3 weeks. All work stopped as you needed to be at their beck and call. Now the auditors get everything they need and they are gone in a week and a half. They submit their request. The documents are pulled electronically, saved to a thumb drive and given to the auditors. Or the auditors are given a workstation, their own log-in and shown how to retrieve the check packets themselves. Everyone is happy. More time saved.
How does the bar code work?
Cheryl generates a file from every check run. The file is placed in a waiting location on the server where it is electronically uploaded into the CEO Image System electronic document management software. The file contains all the indices that Cheryl needs to search on such as the vendor name, the check date and number, the P.O. number and more. The check number is unique and it is printed on a voucher copy of the check which is retained after the check is mailed. The check number is printed both in human readable form and in bar code format. The voucher check copy is the cover sheet of the check packet which includes pages like the invoice, the P.O., the packing slip, etc.
When the packets are scanned, the software reads the bar code and separates the documents based on it. A new bar code means a new document. When the scanned images are processed, the check packets are filed based on the unique bar code (the check number) so they can be retrieved based on whatever index the user chooses to locate it.
Many fine school financial systems come with the ability to attach a document to a transaction but Cheryl doesn’t have time for that. She is dealing with a lot of transactions every month and her process needs to be more automated. She needs speed and consistency. She also knows that school districts change their systems more often than they realize. When an old system is replaced, there go the electronic copies of the documents as well. With her CEO Image Executive Software, her bar code document management system, she keeps her documents safely no matter what the change in the financial software.
Is Cheryl happy with her system?
You bet. She will tell you. If you scan it, you can find it. If you are in a public school accounting department, you owe it to the tax payers to run the most efficient operation possible. Her bar code process in her CEO document management software helps her do that.