Saint Kentigern Trust in Auckland was founded in 1949 and is New Zealand’s largest co-educational Independent Schools Group. The Trust has a long history of delivering excellence in education and operates four schools and a preschool across three separate campuses.
With 400 staff and nearly 3,000 students, The Trust has a complex set of business requirements and operational needs and continually strives to take advantage of new technology to deliver improved outcomes for the organisation, its students and its communities. In 1997 Saint Kentigern College led the BYOD revolution, encouraging students to bring laptops into the classroom; and in 2001 the College became the first school in New Zealand to provide teachers and students with a wireless platform.
MAGIQ Performance is a suite of highly sophisticated and easy to use Budgeting, Reporting and Analytics and Strategic Planning software. The software sits across the organisation’s core Synergetic business system to deliver budgeting and reporting information across the entire organisation.
Saint Kentigern’s decision to implement MAGIQ Performance was driven by three primary business goals:
- improve the overall quality of financial reporting and forecasting for the various management groups;
- create greater visibility and accountability for expenditure decisions; and
- encourage a more robust budgeting process with greater engagement by the key stakeholders.
In his role as Director of ICT, Walter Chieng is focused on how to best leverage new technology to deliver greater business efficiencies. Walter believes changing the way in which people do things is always one of the biggest challenges with any technology implementation.
“In order to achieve these goals, we knew our biggest challenge would be undertaking the necessary cultural and process change to the organisation’s budgeting and reporting practices,” he said.
According to Walter, the simplicity of use of the MAGIQ Performance system and the ability to easily provide highly relevant and contextual views to each Manager and Department has created a very positive environment for change.
MAGIQ Performance has now been rolled out to all stakeholders with fiscal responsibilities across the organisation; from the Trust’s Executives and Managers, through to Senior Management, the Principals and Department Heads of each school.
“Our Executive now has an instant view of the ‘financial temperature’ of the organisation via Dashboards. Our School Principals and Department Heads can easily view and monitor their spend against budget, which means they are taking far greater ownership of their budgets and are much more pro-active with their decision-making,” said Walter.
Working with the MAGIQ Performance consultants, the Finance team has taken ownership of the new system, quickly learning how processes can be completed differently. Walter calls these the ‘Aha moments’ when there is the realisation that there is a better way to do something, which is actually going to make life much easier and more enjoyable.
“For example, what used to take two weeks to complete now takes about two hours – which means our Finance team can enjoy spending more time on the really high value work, as opposed to the time-consuming, lower value transactional work.”
“Our Financial Accountant – we call her our MAGIQIAN – has been able to provide in-house assistance to our staff to take full advantage of MAGIQ and show them how to understand their data in the context of the business decisions they need to make. Feedback from across the organisation has been fantastic.”
“MAGIQ Performance is an enabler. It empowers managers to access the information they need when they need it, and respond very quickly. Everyone across the organisation now has far greater visibility and with that comes better informed, more pro-active decision-making,” said Walter.