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MIS Systems Thread, FMS in Independent School in Technical; Morning, We are a smallish private school which runs Opera II as our finance package, currently all bills are inputted ...
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    FMS in Independent School

    Morning,

    We are a smallish private school which runs Opera II as our finance package, currently all bills are inputted manually (the worst job in the world) so am looking for alternatives. Does anyone run FMS to do their bills? I am not sure how people would like it if we ran two finance systems (especially if Sims is £££££). I hoped FMS would link somehow with the other finance system but can't see it.

    Ta

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    We're a small independent with the same billing and charging nightmare. Our Bursar uses Sage Line50 and Sage Payroll to do everything and we don't currently have a formal Management Information System... just a collection of Excel spreadsheets. Ensuring the kids are all marked into the correct sessions and that every single one is billed correctly is a PITA to put it mildly.

    All that is due to change. We had a look at WCBS Pass (Only does independent schools), Scholarpack and Schoolbase. Each has its own Finance system and Schoolbase's uses Sage. Scholarpack and WCBS could generate the csv files to feed Sage.

    WCBS was not flexible enough for our needs and charging for ad-hoc sessions such as unplanned late room would have ended up on paper. It was also three-four times the price of the other two.

    Schoolbase and Scholarpack were a close run thing. Both systems are very flexible and will tailor their product for your school.

    I cannot fault Sage support; it really is superb. Their UK based staff seem to be able to speak to people with any level of technical or accounting ability and get any problems sorted. For independents, the challenge is the quality of the information fed into whatever finance package you use. Your MIS must be able to ensure that everyone is correctly registered for everything whether or not that activity fits the standard timetable and whether or not the child was expected to be there in the first place.

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    jstuttard's Avatar
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    We use Double Firsts Engage MIS and finance package, because the two are designed to work together, everything is pretty seamless.

    I've heard very good things about iSams, they're very independent school friendly (initially created at Rugby School)

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    We used FMS in my last school. It was a truly awful system when I last used it (2 years ago) and it would be nothing short of a miracle if in the intervening time it has somehow improved to the point of being any good. Avoid it.

    My current school uses WCBS PASS, which elsiegee mentioned above. This is certainly better than FMS, but I still would recommend looking at some others first, especially as PASS development is winding down as WCBS slowly replace it with their new 3Sys product.

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    dirtydog's Avatar
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    have you looked at iSAMS as that was designed for independants. We are looking at with Sage.

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    As a small prep school who doesn't currently use an MIS we were thinking about having demos from a number of suppliers. Can anyone give me a heads up on the pros and cons of Schoolbase, isams, bromcom scholarpack etc? Also we use Sage , do any of these work with sage?

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crispy View Post
    As a small prep school who doesn't currently use an MIS we were thinking about having demos from a number of suppliers. Can anyone give me a heads up on the pros and cons of Schoolbase, isams, bromcom scholarpack etc? Also we use Sage , do any of these work with sage?
    I refer you to my earlier post in this thread. FMS in Independent School

    Happy to answer questions, by PM if you prefer

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    We use Sims.net's Fee's Billing module to process our bills along with FMS to handle the accounting side. You can use other finance packages with it but it wouldn't be quite so easy(you'd need to setup the General Ledger codes manually I think). I don't think FMS is able to handle billing on its own.

    it took a while to get used to but now its a pretty slick operation handled by our Finance Manager more or less on her own.

    We're a medium sized independent(400ish pupils between Nursery & Y8)

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