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best practices

Ways to Speed Up the Summer Reimbursement Process at Schools

Public schools have a responsibility to students and taxpayers to provide quality education within established budgets. Bureaucratic inefficiencies are often the result of a reluctance to introduce new procedures and technology that can make things easier, for fear that changing methods leads to greater costs.

In reality, schools can remove the burdens on staff and teachers by moving away from paper-based reimbursement procedures to an online system that supports teachers and provides certainty for the school system. With expedited timelines and greater instructor satisfaction, adopting new technology can improve the ability of school administrators to meet their mandates.

Online Expense Claims for Teachers

Teachers incur most of their school-related expenses during the months classes are in session. But conferences, extracurricular club trips with students and scheduled training can all result in summer reimbursement claims.

Online expense claim forms permit teachers to fill out their claims as soon as possible, without the need to make a special trip to the school. Teachers can access online information about allowable expenses and necessary documentation. Armed with this tool and knowledge, school administrators waste less time rejecting claims because of disallowed expenses.

Virtual Authorizations and E-signatures

Although administrators work over the summer, they have varying schedules and often take vacation time. Online expense reporting means senior HR officials do not need to be in the office to sign off on a payment. With e-signature technology, appropriate staff members can check receipts and authorize the transfer from the line item in a school budget.

Budget Tracking and Reporting

Swift processing of expense claims means administrators know the final costs of projects, conferences and special travel more quickly. This provides more time for budget adjustments, either to reallocate unused funds or to make up for excessive expenditures.

Increasingly, schools are under a microscope for the sound use of their budgetary funds. Data must be timely and accurate, two features that are often difficult to achieve when expense reimbursements are done by hand, only to be subsequently added to a separate report system.

An online system for expense reimbursement reduces the possibility of error caused by data entry from an old paper-based system. It also keeps teachers happier and more confident in their school administration. Knowing they are likely to receive a quick turnaround on their expense claims, educators will become more proactive about advancing their own funds for the benefits of their students and institutions.