Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: On-Line Cash System
Year Submitted 2004
Name of Institution Brandon University
Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Deb Berkan<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Director, Financial & Registration Services
Telephone: 204 727-9644
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.
Abstract

Once the need was identified discussions took place between Financial & Registration Services and the IT Services department to determine what the system requirements would be and what business rules would need to be applied. A member of the faculty of the Mathematics/Computer Science department was involved to write the software. In order that the batch updates could be downloaded into the University's administrative system a program was written by an IT Services staff member. The software was tested and the users of Financial & Registration Services made suggestions on changes and improvements that would be required before the system went live. Ongoing adjustments are made with input from Financial & Registration staff.

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.
Transferability

This is a PC based program that operates in a windows environment. The software is written in Access. The original system was developed for sales and inventory at Keewatin Community College's two bookstores, one located in The Pas, the other in Thompson. Year-end inventory counting and reporting is a part of that system. On our campus it can be used on any PC with the system requirements and access to the network. To transfer this product to another institution would require an Access database and a simple interface program to the existing administrative system. The software is intuitive to use with step by step processes minimizing the requirement for extensive training before using the system.

Quality Impact

The expected outcomes were that it would save data entry time, that it would be more efficient to enter information on a keyboard than handwriting a receipt and entry errors would be prevented since the student information is displayed on the screen for easy confirmation. After using the system for 1 ¾ years it has been found to be much more efficient than the old process. Recording payments to accounts is now a one-entry system which eliminates errors caused through multiple data entry. It is easier to detect and correct coding errors before they are processed. This was an in-house written system and there will be minimal external service required for the equipment. System improvements and updates are done by internal IT staff as required or at the request of the user.

Productivity Impact

Less time is required of the front line clerk for the on-line data entry of a payment than the previous system of handwriting receipts, processing the payment and then a data entry clerk re-entering the receipt into the administrative system. The cashing out process now takes longer but this is due to having more terminals and cash drawers than the one cash register that was in place earlier. We've been able to reduce data entry staff by .5 FTE or 33%. In absolute terms the annual saving realized from this cash system is $14,700 in salaries or approximately 2.5% of the budgeted salaries for Financial & Registration Services. In addition to the salary saving is the cost of cash receipt paper is considerably less expensive than the 3 page receipt of NCR paper previously used for an annual saving of $1700. Since there was already a PC at each of these work stations the cost of adding the cash drawer and receipt printer was $780 for each work station. The one time cost of having the software written was $5115. The staff are happier with this new system. There is no need to leave the work station to process a registration and then the accompanying payment. Electronic record keeping eliminates paper. The system is reliable and is seldom ever "down".

Innovation

Student registrations generate the charges to the student accounts. The requirement is for a cash system that processes payments to an account. Payment periods are often and intense. We need a system that will handle a high volume of activity in a short and efficient manner and that can be reflected in the student's account on a timely basis.