Rancho Simi Recreation & Park District
With Antiquated Accounting Software, These Parks and Rec Officials Had No Time to Relax
The Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District is a local government agency consisting of parks and recreational facilities in Oak Park and Simi Valley; nestled in a valley 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles, California. The district encompasses 113 square miles and provides services to over 150,000 residents. Services include educational courses, activities in the park, classes, sports leagues, golf courses, pools, teen centers and managing amenities of picnic pavilions, park weddings, etc. They have 80 full time employees and 350 part time employees. The majority of their funding comes from residential taxes.
Manual Work and Discontinued Support Forced a Necessary Change
Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District was using an antiquated accounting system. Not only was the system dated, it was no longer being supported. They wanted a current system that would help them comply with GASB requirements, and provide ongoing upgrades and support.
The need to reduce manual work was also a top priority. Reporting was done outside the system. Their budget was not integrated with the accounting software and there was concern that the reporting was not as reliable.
Fixed assets were also tracked outside the system. Once depreciation was manually calculated in Excel, it had to be manually entered into the system. Requisitions and Purchase Orders were handled manually. A requisition was typed by any one of the employees; hand carried through the approval process, and then passed along to the accounting department where a manual purchase order would then be re-typed.
Additionally, the system was cash based and could not accrue expenses. All invoices entered were paid and any invoices that were not to be paid had to be held outside the system until they were ready to be processed. Everything had to be completed for the prior month before being able to begin entering transactions for the next month. This made timing a challenge and placed unnecessary strain on the finance staff at each month end and particularly at fiscal year-end.
To help Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District streamline their processes and provide reliable reporting to help make important decisions for the future, they needed to upgrade their accounting system.
Ease of Use Put AccuFund on Top of the Short List
Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District searched for software packages specializing in fund accounting for government agencies. They looked at approximately 6 solutions and narrowed down to 2-3 for onsite demos.
What stood out about AccuFund was the ease of which users – of all abilities and comfort levels – could follow and navigate the system.
They knew they had over 400 employees/volunteers who would potentially have a need to create requisitions and their skill sets ranged from the very basic to more advanced.
Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District worked with ComputerWorks NFP Solutions, who provided implementation and support for their new AccuFund Online Accounting Solution.
With AccuFund Online, they didn’t have to worry about infrastructure or in-house technical expertise. AccuFund manages the software updates, hardware, data back-up, and security; saving Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District valuable time and resources.
“The most positive impact – and most critical – was the more accurate and efficient financial reporting”
With AccuFund in Place, Parks and Rec Officials Can Rest Easy
AccuFund Online provides an intuitive fund accounting system, with ongoing upgrades and support that Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District was looking for.
The accounting system has eliminated their reliance on manual data. “The most positive impact – and most critical – was the more accurate and efficient financial reporting” explains Theresa Pennington, Business and Accounting Supervisor at Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, “our ability to pull data on an actual basis, directly from our accounting system, improves the timeliness and accuracy of our reporting.” Management can now rely on the data and custom reporting to help make more informed decisions each month and help them plan for the future.
Overall timeliness of purchases and requisitions has improved with AccuFund Online. What was once a labor-intensive task for all departments – requesting checks and purchases, is now streamlined. Purchase order requests were once typed and sent along to the accounting department, where they would be retyped and a purchase order would be issued.
Now, with AccuFund Online, it is typed once and the system automatically produces a purchase order. “Our biggest time savings is with requisitions and purchase orders,” confirms Pennington. On average, Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District creates 125 purchase orders each month. They estimate AccuFund Online saves them about a half hour for each one. That’s 62.5 hours saved each month, or 750 hours per year (over 18 weeks!). This time savings is district-wide, shared among many people and departments. And that doesn’t even include savings of printing or copying.
Fixed assets are now tracked within the accounting system. The Fixed Assets module allows them to track both depreciable and non-depreciable assets and inventory and supports unlimited user-definable fields for their unique reporting requirements. Fixed Assets are recorded in the system at acquisition and depreciation is automatically calculated and posted to the G/L at whatever interval they choose. The system now manages the life-cycle of the assets all the way through disposal and provides all the necessary reporting.
Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District is now able to automatically accrue expenses and post transactions to prior and current periods as necessary. They are able to enter invoices as they are received, while recording the transaction against the correct accounting period.
This has also allowed them to normalize their expenditures from month to month without having to worry about getting everything recorded before being able to move on to the next month. Additionally, they are able to comply with GASB-34 reporting requirements without having to write numerous manual accrual journal entries or tracking information off-line for reporting purposes.
On average, Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District creates 125 purchase orders each month. They estimate AccuFund Online saves them about a half hour for each one. That’s 62.5 hours saved each month, or 750 hours per year (over 18 weeks!). This time savings is district-wide, shared among many people and departments. And that doesn’t even include savings of printing or copying.
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