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Getting Ahead of the Regulatory Compliance Game


Whether it’s chess or football, the most successful players in any game are the ones who think ahead. If you were to ask the most famous NFL players about whether or not they actively think about the rules of the game while on the field, they might look a bit confused. Because the best players have the rules so engrained in their practice that it becomes second nature.

Regulatory compliance functions as an incredibly important rule in the school business game. The risk of an audit looms, reminding district business professionals that compliance is not optional. Whether it’s employee absence and time management or financial enterprise resource planning

Your Vendor Should Handle Regulatory Changes

School business professionals shouldn’t have to waste time tracking down shifting regulations or (maybe more importantly) each vendor who needs to comply with each shift. Rather, vendors should proactively factor regulatory changes into every part of the software release process. That includes researching, understanding, coordinating, and delivering regulatory changes.

Essentially, your chosen vendors should partner with you to keep you one step ahead of the game.

Across the nation, school districts grapple with changes on a regular basis. At a minimum, there are the annual changes to the W-4 and the upcoming 1095 reporting requirements for the ACA. And that only covers the Federal changes.

State Regulation Demands


So what about States?

So what about States? 
If you live in Texas, your district is expected to comply with SB 11, meaning that your district must create threat assessment teams that report student incidents to the Texas Education Agency. In California, the State Teachers Retirement System Solution Project is on the horizon. Georgia districts face a potential shift to the school year calendar. SB 4 and HB 22 might sound familiar if you’re working in an Ohio district that’s looking into new school facilities. And Pennsylvania districts need to be prepared for SB 440, which introduces flexible instruction days.

In addition to those statewide changes, district localities can also impose requirements.

When expectations and mandates are constantly in flux, it makes a standard playbook impossible to rely on. This makes working with nimble and informed partners so much more important to being able successfully get each submission to get to the finish line.

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Choosing the Right Partner for Your District

To be clear, regulatory changes are not easy changes, not even the small ones. Updates like these are more like chess, not checkers. Compliance-driven school professionals should be strategic, always anticipating what’s next. The legislatures take due course considering the issues, but sometimes the timeline for achieving changes can be very short.

Your chosen technology partner’s software should help you carry out mandates in a timely manner without too much disruption to the many regulations you currently satisfy.

Whether you’re developing an RFP or considering software to help your school business work smarter, examine their past software roll-outs for regulatory compliance.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to discern whether the company has a winning hand:

  • Do they have subject matter experts with a deep knowledge of school business?
  • Has the company demonstrated dedication to staying on top of both large and small regulatory changes?
  • Do they have close working relationships with schools and regulatory agencies to ensure requirements are specified correctly and met on time?

You know that when it comes to local, state, and federal regulations, it’s more than a game. Teachers, parents, and students depend on you to play by the rules so that your district is set up for success.

So be sure to hold your vendors to same standards you’re expected to meet. If they’re invested in your success, they’ll be a valuable teammate and make you feel like the MVP.


Leslie Bailey

Leslie Bailey is a technical writer at Frontline Education with over 20 years of experience in ERP software for education. She is passionate about writing clear documentation and generating friendly video tutorials to help customers improve their business processes and work environment. She also is the author of the Friday Feature, a weekly blog published every Friday for 10-years running that focuses on ERP solutions that make school business tasks easier.

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