How San Jacinto College overhauled its budget development process to empower better decision-making
San Jacinto College is one of the top five community colleges in the nation. It only continues to grow, so keeping track of budget plans and expenditures is critical. For this reason, the college worked to enhance its budget development process in 2018.
“We wanted to implement a tool that would be more user friendly and give our users a more concise way of monitoring their budgets and preparing for the budget development cycle,” said Dianne Duron, the college’s director of financial planning.
The college’s first attempt at creating a tool was a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet that aggregated two years’ worth of data to reflect budget trends in each department.
“My team and I would spend hours downloading data from sources throughout the college to create a spreadsheet that contained all of the necessary calculations to make the data useful for the end user,” said Dianne.
Dianne and her team used this spreadsheet for approximately a year before she and the college’s leadership determined they needed a much better tool. Ideally, the new budgeting tool would integrate with Banner, the college’s enterprise resource planning platform, and be capable of giving each department access to real-time budgeting information.
After years of attending seminars and speaking with vendor sales representatives in search of a tool to address their budgeting needs, Dianne and her team selected Anaplan, a connected planning platform.
Then, they turned to TruEd to receive assistance with a three-phased implementation approach.
Thanks to their more than three hundred combined years of experience, the team at TruEd uniquely understands the challenges colleges and universities face today. They are proud to be leading experts in delivering innovative financial management strategies in higher education. They have also completed more higher education implementations of Anaplan than any other partner.
TruEd empowers and enables finance and budget teams to break free of IT dependence by providing unparalleled access to their data and ownership of their budgeting and planning tools. The TruEd team partners exclusively with Anaplan because of its real-time capabilities when handling higher education planning, budgeting, and forecasting needs. Anaplan is flexible for institutions of all sizes and allows for efficient, connected planning at every level of an organization.
“We worked closely with TruEd throughout the implementation process to ensure that we transferred the right data into Anaplan,” said Dianne. “The TruEd team ensured we understood the ‘crawl-walk-run’ concept when using a
Phase I involved integrating data with Banner, creating an operational budget, position planning, and reporting. Phase II involved multiyear forecasting, creating an annual budget book, conducting additional training, and implementing system enhancements. Phase III saw strategic process improvements, expanded reporting and dashboards, and integrated exports to the Banner platform.
“We have gotten to where we are today thanks to TruEd,” said Dianne.