DCSD implements Workday Financials to improve efficiency district-wide
CASTLE ROCK - Last month, Douglas County School District (DCSD) Business Services rolled out a new system for tracking and reporting department and school financials, which should put smiles on the faces of bookkeepers and administrative assistants across the district. Workday Financials is the latest add-on to the Workday software suite replacing the Oracle-based eBusiness Suite financial software that DCSD has been using for the last 17 years.
According to DCSD’s Director of Budget, Scott Smith, who was assigned as the Workday Financials Project Manager, staff members responsible for bookkeeping will appreciate the high quality of reporting Workday Financials offers and how intuitive the new system is. All business and accounting-related items, including RevTrak payments and P-Cards, are integrated into Workday.
“Staff are already seeing a reduction of time on tasks compared to the old system. It’s a much more modernized and efficient system which is a win for everybody,” he said.
Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Betz says that upgrading DCSD’s financial software system into Workday prepares the school district for the continued growth in students expected over the next five to twenty years.
“With Workday, DCSD is able to easily expand financial processes and procedures to new schools and new staff members as the District grows,” Betz said.
In addition, the Workday platform is continually updated in a seamless manner, similar to Google and Apple regular updates.
“These regularly scheduled updates eliminate the problem we had with Oracle eBusiness Suite,” Betz said. “Oracle was so over-customized for DCSD that it wasn’t possible to upgrade any further. The version we were on was so out of date that Oracle had discontinued technical support. Workday does not need to be customized because all Workday customers are on the same software version worldwide. Each customer configures Workday functionality to meet their specific needs. That’s what all of our Business Services staff have been doing over the past 12 months— designing and configuring Workday Financials.”
It was important to the entire Business Services team (Budget, Accounting, Strategic Sourcing, Accounts Payable and Warehouse) to understand the perspective of school and department users. As Workday Financials was being planned and developed, a steering committee of employees from schools and departments across the district were invited to be directly involved in this process.
“I have to say, I was very excited about the Workday Financials migration when I heard about it,” said Erin Kiyan, a nine-year DCSD Administrative Assistant, currently in the School Leadership Department and formerly at Clear Sky Elementary. “I was excited that one more area of work would be covered by one less program. The automation and streamlining of business processes was a huge plus along with real-time posting.”
She added, “I enjoyed being part of the process from the— almost— very beginning: going through the initial process of building the Workday program, testing the different financial scenarios and then being able to train our feeder bookkeepers. Workday is definitely more up to date and automated than Oracle. We are now working in a technology-updated platform that is truly twenty-first century.”
Kathy Hakim, Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper with DCSD’s Early Childhood Center, also served on the steering committee, helping to choose the company that implemented Workday Financials, as well as conducting hands-on testing and training other employees on the new software.
“At first I was very hesitant about the change to Workday Financials; I am not one who likes change. But after hearing about how it will change work processes, I was on board. For example, it is very easy to read reports and turn them into an excel spreadsheet with one click,” Hakim said.