Is your School Prepared for the affects of COVID-19?

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We want to acknowledge the feelings swirling around the global pandemic, COVID-19. 

It’s a stressful time for sure. There’s uncertainty. There’s loss. And for many public schools there’s a genuine fear about the future and what’s to come.

Many resourceful public schools are responding to the threat that COVID-19 presents by using ProcurementExpress.com to claw back control over their finances. 

While we all have to accept the fact that there are certain things we cannot change, it’s also important during this time of instability to recognise and identify the things that we can control.

Public schools need to act fast to ensure that they do everything they can to control overspend during this difficult time. It’s our goal to help equip schools (and finance departments in particular) with the tools they need to move through these uncertain times. 

There are a number of ways that schools can use ProcurementExpress to keep things ticking over. Here’s what you should be focussing on to better prepare for COVID-19 and its impact.

Prepare for remote working

The threat of school closures that last for weeks still remains a concern for UK schools. 

Schools need to prepare for this eventuality and have systems in place that will allow key members of the finance team to work efficiently from home. Even when closed, spending in schools does not simply stop. There are many recurring bills and expenses that still need to be paid.

ProcurementExpress.com is best in its class when it comes to remote approval functionality. Users can remotely approve purchase requests with one click from the mobile app or directly from within their email client. What makes the app really special is the fact that purchase requests that are approved in an offline environment are automatically synced when mobile reception or WIFI is available.

At this time of change, schools need a system that’s flexible and fast. It’s highly likely that many schools will suffer due to staff taking sick leave or self isolating. Having a fast and intelligent way to create POs and select suppliers is essential to keeping a generally understaffed finance department working.

Get ready to manage exceptional expenses 

Schools must do everything they can to reduce the transmission of infection in classrooms, gymnasiums and theatres. This means that schools will likely incur exceptional expenses over the next few months when it comes to purchasing washroom supplies, sanitisation supplies and specialist cleaning services.

With Procurement Express your finance department can set specific budgets for exceptional and once-off projects. For example a school may decide to establish a separate COVID-19 budget that is allocated to tackle the spread of disease in the school. By setting a budget in ProcurementExpress.com it’s simply impossible to overspend.

It’s also worth noting that when the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, schools have to be able to account for the exceptional expenses incurred due to the outbreak. By tracking everything in ProcurementExpress.com, finance departments can justify individual departmental spending and cover themselves from a compliance perspective with a fully verified audit trail.

 Curb overspending in your school

One thing’s for sure when it comes to COVID-19. Schools will suffer from the financial shock of this coronavirus. At present overspending is a huge problem in public schools with over 80% of school finance managers acknowledging that their school does not have spend under control.

Each and every person in a school that has a budget has the capacity to overspend, so it’s an issue that must be managed at a macro level. By assigning each staff member a budget in ProcurementExpress.com, purchase responsibility is transferred back to the person making a purchase. ProcurementExpress users have to make informed decisions about the items they procure and consider cheaper alternatives where practical.

As the COVID-19 outbreak grows, the cost of certain services and products that we usually take for advantage will increase. In order to get value for money, staff have to be ready to make well informed and split-second decisions. To speed up the purchase approval process – we’ve engineered a system which ensures that approvers receive an instant email notification and app notification when a PO is raised. Approving a PO takes seconds.

Get better visibility over finances

During this turbulent time, schools have many operational and logistical considerations to make in order to safeguard staff and students. With many senior managers busy attending mission critical meetings, there has never been a stronger case for ensuring that they have access to easy to read reports and full visibility over school expenditure. 

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Many of our clients are incurring exceptional expenses this month due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the ProcurementExpress.com platform you can authorise specific staff members at predetermined approval levels to be notified when a purchase order is raised. Further to this, ProcurementExpress users can view valuable data and insights from a fully customisable reporting dashboard. By default the powerful dashboard tool displays budget distribution, spend by department and spend by cost code.

From all of us at Procurement Express, please be well, look after your families, control what you can, and continue to look toward the future. Our commitment to help you manage your spending in a seamless way continues to be unwavering.

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