CASE STUDY

Non-profit school turns a challenge into an opportunity to improve with Maxwell Money

Challenge

The Baywood School* is a nonprofit with more than 100 students—and until recently, there was just one person managing its finances. But there’s only so much one person can do. He was tasked with taking care of payroll, tuition, after-school care invoicing, vendor payment, and reporting to the finance committee. And it wasn’t working. The school’s finance committee initially approached Maxwell Money because it was growing concerned about the lack of timely, accurate financial reporting, delayed tuition invoicing, and a workflow that didn’t reflect best practices.

However, at the same time, the financial manager suffered a medical emergency and had to leave his post abruptly, with no firm return date. Financial management of the school suddenly went from background concern to a full-on crisis, and the school turned to Maxwell for immediate help.

Solution

Maxwell Money came in and pieced together everything that the previous person had been doing in order to gain a complete picture of the state of the school’s finances.  It then implemented an industry best-practice model to handle tuition invoicing, enabling automated and electronic tuition payments without significant transactional costs.

Maxwell also transitioned the school’s payroll to a best-of-breed provider, which enabled the school to identify and address numerous discrepancies between employment contracts and historical payroll.

Maxwell migrated expense processing from a complex, inconsistent process to a fully accountable and transparent multi-participant approval workflow.

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We’re a non-profit, but we have to be as professional as any other business when it comes to financials. With help from Maxwell Money, we’ve raised the bar.

Results

With Maxwell Money simplifying its financial management processes and stepping in to cover for the absence of this key employee, the Baywood School was able to keep its finances running smoothly. In fact, finances ran better than ever. Now, the school is managing its finances without the help of a dedicated on-staff financial employee. Instead, a school receptionist and the principal work together to provide Maxwell the information it needs to manage the school’s finances—and it takes the receptionist less than five hours a month.

With automated bill.com billing for tuition payments and automated payment through ACH, Maxwell ensures the Baywood School issues timely and accurate billing and receives faster-than-ever payments.

The new payroll system ensures that all staff are paid correctly and promptly, and that all payroll costs are properly tracked and recorded. For the first time, staff are seeing pay stubs—and learning about the deductions that had (or hadn’t) been taken out. Some had been contributing to the 401K without knowing it, and others had thought they were contributing but weren’t. After the first few months of surprises, Maxwell now has payroll running smoothly—and transparently.

The school’s new multi-participant approval workflow ensures sufficient controls for the school’s payments, while expediting and increasing the accuracy of payments to vendors. In addition to improving day-to-day operations, the Maxwell solution provides finance committee members with accurate reports that provide insight into the school’s operations. For the first time, the finance committee is seeing reports of budget vs actuals, and this information has proved extremely valuable in enabling the school to evaluate its costs, better align them with the school’s priorities, and finalize a more effective budget.

For the first time, staff are seeing pay stubs—and learning about the deductions that had (or hadn’t) been taken out.

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Customer Snapshot
Non-profit school with approximately 100 students

Solution Snapshot
Best-practice tuition invoicing, outsourced payroll management, migration of expenses to a formal approval workflow, and provision of financial reports.

Products Implemented

  • Bill.com for accounts payable, invoicing and electronic, automatic tuition payments
  • ADP Payroll
  • QuickBooks Online

Measured Success

  • Payments submitted quickly and efficiently.
  • Payroll processing time reduced significantly.
  • Improved expense approval process.
  • Improved transparency and expense reduction.
  • Financial reports provided insight into spending
  • Eliminated need for in-house financial full-time employee.

*Names and some details changed to protect the privacy of our clients, but all the statements are true.

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