Rockwood’s Board of Education, on Aug. 21, approved one-time and ongoing costs totaling $96,142 for new cash receipts software from InTouch Receipting that will go into effect as a pilot program in five schools this school year and for all schools by the end of the 2015-2016 school year.
Rockwood will be the first school district in the state to use InTouch, which is already used in about 1,000 other districts in the U.S.
Tim Rooney, the district’s chief financial and legislative officer, said the purchase of this software addresses the only unresolved issue from the Missouri State audit of Rockwood for the year that ended June 30, 2012.
Costs for the program include one-time costs of $73,860 for training, software purchase, interface development, implementation and credit card scanners – and ongoing costs of $22,282 for credit card processing, maintenance fees and hosting service.
Schools in the pilot program include Eureka Elementary, Rockwood Summit, Marquette High and the Center for Creative Learning. However, Rooney said other schools also would be able to join the pilot program. Costs expected during the pilot will total $41,401 for combined one-time and ongoing expenses.
Rooney said state auditors had recommended that cash receipts be recorded as cash and checks are received.
“Once money is collected, there needs to be a chain of custody all the way to the bank,” he said. “This software provides the internal controls outlined in (the audit) report along with some other valuable features.”
For instance, the system provides full accounting for student fees, including the assessment of fees by the school, the selection of voluntary items by a student, payment of outstanding charges and a ledger that shows all charges, payments and outstanding balances, Rooney said.
“Parents can access student accounts, see charges and make credit card payments from their home,” he said. “This ability offers convenience for the families and fewer transactions for staff to process during the school day. It also provides another level of control as parents can see how their money was applied to various fees.”
Rooney said the software also includes several interfaces with other district software. For example, the interface with Infinite Campus – a web-based student system that provides parents with information via the campus portal – allows charges to be automatically applied based on course enrollment.
The system also allows teachers to pull up a roster of students to apply payments, Rooney said.
And a family grouping within Infinite Campus can be used to give parents access to all of their children within the student fees module.
Another interface with an existing system will allow library fines to be processed through the software. And a third interface will allow all cash receipts to be recorded in the district’s general ledger, Rooney said.
Though the district received proposals from three other vendors; however, the InTouch Receipting proposal best matched Rockwood’s requirements.
A committee of district finance clerks, secretaries, athletic directors, principals, a teachers’ representative and technology and finance staff evaluated the proposals, Rooney said.
“We were told by staff to make the system as simple as possible,” Rooney said. “This system allows someone to pull up a class roster and quickly record receipts information by child.”