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Tehama County Department of Education

[Case Study]


Red Bluff, CA

Frontline Solutions Used:

Frontline California ERP
Absence & Substitute Management

Tehama County Department of Education - Situation

The Tehama Department of Education (DOE) supports 13 districts and two charter schools throughout their rural county. The business department staff takes pride in their role as a helpful resource, especially for fiscal requirements and attendance reporting. Anticipating many new hires at the beginning of each school year, the Tehama DOE is prepared to provide the training that will help employees confidently approach their new positions.

Tehama County Department of Education - Challenge

The Challenge:

The Tehama DOE is responsible for managing the financial needs of the county’s schools. As you can imagine, handling all those processes for so many different districts is complex and time-consuming. It takes meticulous attention to detail and intense focus.

The paperwork required to complete payroll for each pay period was especially challenging. Hourly employees used paper time sheets to record absences and hours worked. This practice generated mountains of paper, occasionally leading to misplaced, incomplete, or lost records. Employees often didn’t know their leave balances and had to track down that information from the payroll staff. It wasn’t efficient for the team responsible for completing payroll each pay period — nor was it the best way to support employees.

Tehama County Department of Education - Solution

The Solution:

Lourie Larcade is the Business Services Specialist for Tehama County DOE. She works closely with Johnna Cox, the Director of Internal Fiscal Services. Their business office uses Frontline California ERP software for all the DOE’s human resources, finance, and payroll functions.

When Tehama learned about Frontline’s Absence Management and how it could share data with Frontline California ERP, the business department team was delighted to find a solution to the paperwork dilemma. With the new system, they have virtually eliminated paper time sheets. Employees can log in to Absence Management to access their own records to see real-time balances and enter absences in advance. Calling substitutes one at a time is a thing of the past because the system does the calling for them.

What used to be a cumbersome task for payroll specialists handling those paper time sheets — taking about 12 hours to manually enter an average of 700 absences into their ERP system — is now much faster and easier. Tehama’s business team developed a model for efficiently transferring data between Absence Management and Frontline California ERP that takes just minutes, saving time and tedious labor. It also eliminated the inevitable human errors that occur when manually entering data.

Tehama County Department of Education - Results

The Results:

The real workhorse at Tehama is Frontline California ERP. If you ask Lourie what the most essential functions of Frontline California ERP are, her response is, “Everything! It’s our complete financial system.”

It does all the manual work behind the scenes so that we don’t have to worry about it.”

Lourie Larcade, Business Services Specialist

It’s easy to see why the Business Office team appreciates Frontline California ERP so much.

  • Manual calculations are no longer needed
  • Increased accuracy
  • Employees are paid correctly
  • Eliminates human errors
  • Reduces workload
  • Saves the cost of hiring more staff to do the work manually

Absence Management has been a valuable companion to Frontline California ERP. Lourie and Johnna counted how many additional staff members they might need to hire to do the work the two Frontline systems do. They realized they would need at least two more positions to get the job done.

Taking tasks from daunting to done

COVID created new challenges for Tehama, among them a long list of options for leave requirements. Based on funding sources, reporting could be tricky. The business office staff had to adjust for each alternative, creating new leave types to fit the circumstances.

The import/export process between Absence Management and Frontline California ERP kept all that data organized and current. Employees could access their records from home. Documents like pay stubs, W2s, and salary notifications were sent through the same ERP portal. Even better, the Frontline Absence Management Mobile App made employee absence reporting and leave requests easily accessible for all staff who were working remotely.

We sent notifications out through the ERP portal for the new school year. That really helped us, especially through COVID when we had no contact, we had no way of physically giving something to someone.”

Lourie Larcade

Keeping an eye on time — past, present, and future

Keeping a close watch on employee attendance is not just fiscally responsible. It also serves as a way to remind teachers and staff how important they are, and how much their students rely on them.

Together, Frontline California ERP and Absence Management provide so much more visibility than the old paper-based procedures ever could. No longer will someone’s leave request get lost in the shuffle — everything is visible in real-time.

HR can easily track employee absences to see:

  • How much leave has been used.
  • Reasons for absences.
  • Which conferences an employee will attend in the future.

Supervisors know where their people are:

  • Is a staff member on campus or absent?
  • Why are they absent? Is a sub needed?
  • Check in with those whose leave time is running out before it does.

We use it for looking forward, backward, and for the present. We use it in real-time.”

Johnna Cox, Director of Internal Fiscal Services

It takes two to tango

Any new technology takes time to master. When Frontline was first implemented at Tehama, the client success team provided strong support. Now that DOE users have the hang of it, they find an online chat with support staff is usually all they need when they have questions.

At times, they have to work more closely together as partners. For example, when the Affordable Care Act was passed several years ago, the DOE needed to set up Frontline California ERP to calculate and report employee benefits correctly. Frontline’s client success team helped them navigate the complex process. Lourie and her staff appreciated the guidance they received from the support team to get the system up and running properly. At the same time, the Tehama team made suggestions for adjustments that would be needed in the future to accommodate ACA’s procedural changes.

We couldn’t have done it without them. And Frontline needed us. We tend to be a county that looks ahead, big picture. We don’t wait until the last minute to try and dig into something.”

Lourie Larcade

Exchanging ideas and keeping in close contact have strengthened the Tehama DOE and Frontline partnership. Lourie and Johnna appreciate how Frontline stays engaged with the IRS and the state on regulatory changes. The Frontline client success team sends their representatives to meetings, and they pay attention to new laws that are coming out. Frontline isn’t waiting for clients to realize they need something — they plan ahead.

Frontline is on the ball. They have everybody get in there and test so that they can help get the program up and running. When it goes into implementation, Frontline California ERP is ready to go.”

Johnna Cox

About Frontline Education

Frontline Education is a leading provider of school administration software, connecting solutions for student and special programs, business operations and human capital management with powerful analytics to empower educators. Frontline partners with school systems to deliver tools, data and insights that support greater efficiency and productivity, enabling school leaders to spend more time and resources executing strategies that drive educator effectiveness, student success and district excellence.

Frontline’s broad portfolio includes solutions for proactive recruiting and hiring, absence and time management, professional growth, student information systems, special education, special programs, Medicaid reimbursement, school health management, inventory control and asset management, payroll, benefits and financial management, and analytics solutions that help district leaders tap into their data to make more informed decisions for the benefit of their students and communities. Over 10,000 clients representing millions of educators, administrators and support personnel have partnered with Frontline Education in their efforts to develop the next generation of learners.

Frontline Education corporate headquarters are in Malvern, PA, with offices in Roseville, CA; Salinas, CA; Andover, MA; Walled Lake, MI; Rockville Centre, NY; Williamsville, NY; Brecksville, OH and Austin, TX.

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