How one centralized payments platform helped Leeds City School District

Posted by Emily Schoeneck on Jan 18, 2024 1:24:32 PM


I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Ryan Miller, who serves as the Chief Financial Officer at Leeds City Schools in Alabama. Ryan brings a unique perspective to the table as a certified public accountant (CPA) and has been utilizing MySchoolBucks for some time now. As a self-proclaimed MySchoolBucks lover, Ryan shared his experience with the platform and the benefits and features he finds most valuable.




When Ryan and I first started chatting, I asked him a few questions about himself, his district, and how long they've been working with Heartland. Ryan has been with Leeds for almost ten years. Originally, his district partnered with Heartland for their nutrition program's Point of Sale system, Mosaic. With this solution, the nutrition program was also able to collect meal payments online using MySchoolBucks. As Ryan learned more about MySchoolBucks, he saw the value that would come with having one partner for everything, including payments outside of the cafeteria. 

"'I'm a parent myself in the school district, I actually have kids at three different schools within Leeds City Schools. All my kids play sports, participate in programs, have to buy books, and school fees to pay for. And so I thought it would be really great to have one system that met all of those needs.”




Ryan spoke to how expanding the use of MySchoolBucks across various school programs allowed their district to be able to manage fee collection easier district-wide. I was curious to know what led Ryan to choose MySchoolBucks as their “all-in-one” solution and how it has helped to streamline their operation. 

“I wanted a system that I could control centrally and watch over from the accounting side of things. Being able to watch over the debits and credits, and have one system where we could accept payments other than just cash. It was also important that our teams didn't need to manage a lot of work on the back end to balance all those transactions or worry about the technical side of things."

"I wanted to be able to take a lot of work off my bookkeepers. I literally tell my bookkeepers that this is one of the easiest jobs you’ll ever have. With all the payments going through MySchoolBucks, the system's going to do most of it and give us the information we need. “

Ryan has a unique background, as a certified CPA, he recognizes the need for centralized visibility and how the right platform can make day-to-day financial tasks more efficient. I was curious to hear more about his thoughts from the mind of an accountant, how MySchoolBucks has helped with processes like auditing and how it's evolved from what they've done in the past.

“It's giving me more time back. I can reconcile one bank account, that has thousands of transactions, from four different schools in 30 minutes. On our old program, it was taking 2 to 3 weeks to reconcile across our local schools."

“I'm kind of able to use it as a receiving module. So I have the ability to look at one program, run a report, and send that to my auditors saying this is all the money that we received and it comes right through here.
It definitely made it easier for them."

"Before it was all manual and we were using paper receipt books on both sides of the school. Going from paper receipt books to one spreadsheet definitely made things easier. It's much easier to go look at one spreadsheet instead of going to 100 individual receipt books from teachers who were responsible for collecting payments."

"You know, I hear the headaches that different districts have, especially lately, with bookkeeping issues or bank accounts not correct in the books. It makes me glad that we're with MySchoolBucks."

Hearing how our reporting tools were able to help his team from an accounting and finance perspective, I wanted to learn more how this impacted other staff members at the school who may have been responsible for managing payment collection before having an online solution.

"Ultimately, it's about taking work off everyone's plate. The schools, the teachers, the folks working after-school care, you know, their job is not finance, their strength is teaching the kids and that's where their time should go. So it puts more time back on them to where they can focus on their strengths and not having to be a cashier of money."

By making it easier for programs to collect the funds they needed, Ryan also spoke to how this impacted student activities.

"Before, we had a period of time where we just weren't collecting this amount of funds because it was a challenge to really follow up. But without that student activity money there, there is no field trips, there are no dances. Now we actually have a system for invoicing fees, like field trips. I've definitely noticed the school activity funds are way richer now.”


Leeds-Blog-Fee Invoice-Notifications


Knowing that MySchoolBucks was able to help in this way, I wanted to hear more about how other members of the school community felt about the platform.

All the feedback that I get from parents and others in the community is they love having one program to go to and not having a separate program for all the different things. Now and then the staff has a technical question that MySchoolBucks is able to provide a video or a job-aid that helps them through.”

As we wrapped up our conversation, it was clear to see the strong relationship between Ryan and his account manager, Jeff Olek. These two showcase the importance of a partnership when working together. Leeds City Schools has also recently signed on with our event management platform, MSB Tickets. Thank you to Ryan for taking the time to share his MySchoolBucks journey with us and we look forward to hearing more in the future! 


About the author

Emily Schoeneck is the SEO and Content Marketing Manager at Heartland School Solutions. She has six years of experience in the content industry. When she's not busy writing articles for Heartland's blogs, you can find her at home, reading a good book or out for a walk with her Golden Retriever, Bella.


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Topics: MySchoolBucks, Customer Testimonial