Many organizations must change their processes to match out-of-the-box software functionality. Can you relate? Many of us can! But, what would happen if you considered customizing software to match your processes? Did you know that Raiser’s Edge and Financial Edge functionality can be extended to satisfy your organizational needs?
Recently, Omatic engaged with a school that had a paper process to record who picked up students from an after-school program. Adults or parents would write their name on a sheet of paper along with the name of the student they were checking out. As a result, there was no audit trail and no electronic history of checkout. Then, when a parent questioned a checkout, the school had to rifle through sheets of paper to find the day in question. To further perpetuate the issue, after-school payments were not being created in Financial Edge.
During Omatic’s assessment of the after-school process, several keywords jumped out – manual, auditing, paper trail, student billing. These keywords described pain points that could be solved with a Financial Edge customization.
By creating a customization, the following process was established.
1. Parents or adults search for the student(s) they wish to checkout from the after school program electronically.
2. Parents complete the checkout.
3. Financial Edge is automatically updated with information.
Below you can see a screenshot of the main window that a parent would see. This window contains several features:
1. Parents search for students based on first and last name. This search connects directly to Financial Edge, only returning active students that match the first and last name criteria.
2. The parent can select multiple students to checkout at one time.
3. The parent can remove mistakenly added students from the list of students to checkout.
Once the parent completes the checkout process, the form closes and they are done – super easy!!!! However, unbeknownst to the parent, several things happen behind the scenes. First, an action is logged to the student’s record (as seen in the screenshot below). The action records the following checkout information: date, time, adult/parent picking up, and the student checked out. This record provides an electronic audit trail that was not present before. Now, if a parent has a question about checkout, the school can respond confidently with electronic data.
Finally, if a charge occurs, it is placed on the student’s record in Financial Edge. The Omatic application is designed to know if a student is or isn’t on the monthly payment plan. In addition, the application also applies family discounts for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th students in the same family. With these features, charges are automatically recorded on student records to seamlessly work with the Student Billing module of Financial Edge.
As a result of this customization, manual entry is reduced, money is saved, and administrative burdens are reduced. Now, resources and energy are available for higher priority initiatives. At Omatic, we believe technology limitations should never define how you work. Love your solution but need more from it? We’ll work to understand your challenges and will help you take your system to the next level by customizing it just for you!
Have a customization in mind? We would love to hear from you!
Steve is a Technical Consultant on the Professional Services team at Omatic Software, where he helps clients find solutions to a wide range of data and process related challenges as well as assists clients with customization programming. Steve brings over 19 years’ experience working on a broad range of Blackbaud platform’s including The Raiser’s Edge, The Financial Edge, and Blackbaud CRM.
Prior to joining Omatic in 2012, Steve worked for several nonprofits, consulting firms, and other industries including the financial services and biotech sectors. Steve got his start in technology at Blackbaud on The Raiser’s Edge 7 development team. With his many years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and Blackbaud products, as well as building custom data solutions, he continues to help organizations improve their data management processes by tailoring Omatic products to their exact needs. Steve graduated from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.