South Eastern User Group Meeting St Mary s Primary School - Dandenong 7 September am pm. Attendees

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1 Subject Attendees Christ Our Holy Redeemer School Elaine Ashe Holy Family School - Doveton Marilyn Dew Resurrection School - Keysborough Karren Strahan Sacred Heart Primary School - Oakleigh Sherril Schultz Peg Riley St. Andrew's Primary School - Clayton Sth Mary Gowans Maureen St. Catherine's Parish School - Moorabbin Peta Knights St. Gerard's Primary School-Dandenong Nth Anna Maria Minerds Maureen St. Kevin's Primary School - Ormond Trisha Karpavicius St. Mark's Catholic Primary School - Dingley Judy Jorgenson St. Mary's Primary School Dandenong Debbie Dalton St. Patrick's School Murrumbeena Johanne Mirabella St. Paul Apostle South Primary School Pauline D Asto Sandra Rotunno Kim Dorothy St. Peter's School Clayton Deb Lou Deb Bender St. Peter's School - East Bentleigh Lorraine Franc Human Edge Patrick Nickholds Details Page 1 of 6

2 Introduction Patrick Nickholds used a PowerPoint slideshow as an aid to discuss the direction of Human Edge s corporate development and commitment to the CEO schools. The main points emphasised were A+ - The new Absentee software. Outcomes - The new Student Reporting software. The internal Top 10 list of issues. The Annoyance survey numbers and statistics. Other initiatives including Electronic Documents, Staff Human Resources and Student Health and Welfare. The Human Edge Roadmap to the future. The South Eastern User Group then examined the benefits of the new features in SAS Version 840 and 841. The discussion centred on the address problem in Version 840, whereby under some circumstances the addresses in a schools database are cleared when entering enrolments for existing families. To emphasize Human Edge s commitment to testing and quality control I would like to share the following statement from our General Manager, David Lacy - Version 841 After a release of SAS, if we find or are informed of an error that is likely to affect the majority of schools we will immediately withdraw the release from the web. Our procedure is to do this even if it happens shortly after the release. We do this to reduce the number of schools who would be affected. This standard procedure also includes directly contacting all schools that have downloaded the affected release. We correct the error immediately and have the release available again generally within a day. We also have a pre-release testing process at Human Edge that ensures that all changes are recorded and tested prior to release. During development, both programming and support staff test the changes. Once development of a new version is completed it is locked down and final testing commences. Areas that fail testing are sent back to the developers for further programming. This process may delay an expected release date but it is essential. Only once the support team has signed off on the release is it then made available to public, along with release notes that detail the changes made. As the Release Notes from SAS Version 841 indicate, some errors still make it past this process. SAS is a complex and feature rich program, with many different configuration options. This provides schools the flexibility to set-up SAS to suit their needs but also makes it very difficult to test all these combinations every time a new release is made. Generally the errors that get past testing affect discrete groups of users who have a particular configuration or use the program in a unique way. These errors we try and fix by the next release, and have available in as short a time as possible to reduce any disruptions they may cause. This is why we have several releases a year. We are now in the process of introducing a beta testing program. A beta test school will receive a pre-release copy of SAS and assist with improving the overall testing process by installing and processing in a live environment. General Ledger Report Generator Patrick presented an exercise on how to create a General Ledger financial report using the General Ledger Report Generator. We explored how to use the Report Generator to manipulate the General Ledger data to create a detailed Salary Expenditure Statement. Along the way we learnt about preparation and how the Report Generator allows meaningful reports to be written very quickly. Page 2 of 6

3 BAS Reconciliation Report The newly released (Version 840) BAS Reconciliation Report was investigated. The relationship between the Reconciliation report and other reports such as the BAS Worksheet and Statement was examined. The consensus was that the report would save time and effort in the BAS reconciliation. Thanks to the Human Edge Support Team for recognising the need for the report and specifying the content! The use of the PDF (Portable Document Format) Report Writer was discussed. PDF is an IT standard that allows reports to be redirected to a computer file rather than a printer. The file may only be displayed or printed. This file may then be ed or transferred to another person without that person changing the document in any way. The advantage for a school is that only essential reports are printed, all other reports may be stored as a PDF file and only printed if needed. Departmental Reports, such as Budget Listings and Absentee Reports may be generated as a PDF and ed to the appropriate person. PDF Writer To create a file you need a PDF Writer. Generally a PDF Writer will not cost any more than $100.00, although you can pick up shareware that will not cost anything. To read the file you need a PDF Reader. The best PDF Reader is Adobe this is free! You can find Adobe by using the google search engine and typing Abobe. The following suggestions are only a small number of the many PDF Writers available - Visagesoft expert PDF. This can be downloaded from - and needs to be registered. PDF Creator 8.0, which can be downloaded from - This received a write up in the Green Guide a few weeks ago. Alternatively Abobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional contains all the tools you need to create and edit PDF's including the Adobe PDF Printer Driver. Another way of selecting PDF Software is by bringing up the google search engine and typing win2pdf. You will be surprised how many there are. How to prepare for and how to create the August census file was a minor discussion item. Census Reports Generally the Census Report went well. Very few schools had any problems. The Human Edge Support staff assisted in correcting any problems that were apparent. We reviewed the Census process, how the validation highlights any data problems and how to isolate those problems by using the reporting and searching tools within SAS. Everyone stressed the need for forward planning. To avoid a sudden rush on the day of the census, it is important to begin validation of the data at least one week prior. Page 3 of 6

4 The status of the Asset Register conversions was reviewed. Asset Register Human Edge have made a commitment to provide a conversion program for all those schools that have their Asset Register in either the Sandhurst system or on an Excel spreadsheet. Human Edge has completed the programming for the conversion of Asset from the Sandhurst software. The programming for schools using an Excel spreadsheet is still under development. Both conversion processes will be available in Version 850. We expect Version 850 to be released at the end of August. How do we reduce the amount of pages on the statement? Family Statements The discussion on Statement presentation and Statement length highlighted two main areas - Firstly there is no need to print all transactions for the year to get an Opening Balance figure. You can choose to print only transactions for the term, by selecting the beginning term date in the Include Transactions from prompt. The program will then calculate the Opening Balance for the term by adding all transactions up until the chosen date. Secondly you can change the Statement presentation and the amount of pages printed by experimenting with the Running Total Format. Backup The importance of Back-up routines was discussed, with the distinction made between System backups and the SAS2000 backup available at the entry point of SAS2000. Further information on recommended Backup procedures may be found on page 170 in the SAS2000 Tips & Tricks manual. If you don t have a copy and would like one please download a copy from the Human Edge Web site. Class Roll Record Sheet The new Class List was shown and the many uses of the report discovered. By selecting the Print as Record Sheet option the report will change appearance. This format is more a generic style that allows the report to be used as a Student checklist for the Teachers when conducting excursions, collecting money, etc. Fee and Levy Reconciliation The Fee & Levy Reconciliation is still causing concern to some Schools. It is fair to say that the Fee & Levy reconciliation imbalances fall into two broad areas- Imbalances caused by an incorrect entry, example - an Arrear with a current date. Imbalances caused by the flexibility of the software. The CEO has guide lines as to how data must be entered so as to be correctly presented on the Fee & Levy Rec. SAS is a very flexible and tolerant package, that allows data to be entered in a number of ways, example a journal instead of a receipt. If the CEO guidelines are not followed the Fee and Levy Rec may not be correct. We are reluctant to alter the flexibility but recognise that the reconciliation process must be more stringently defined. As a matter of urgent priority we are currently redeveloping the Fee & Levy Rec to provide for all data entry criteria. It is best to refer any Fee and Levy Rec imbalances to the Support Desk. If Support cannot fix these problems immediately over the phone, they will generally ask for a copy of the Fee & Levy Rec (either fax or preferably print out to a PDF file and ). If the problem is still unclear, the Support Desk may ask for a copy of the database. If at all unsure about how to provide a copy of the database ask the Support Consultant to guide you through the process. Page 4 of 6

5 Support It was generally agreed that the Human Edge Support Desk performed a valuable and courteous service, although there is always room for improvement. Enhanced Export Enhanced Export proved to be a major discussion item. The Enhanced Export allows data to be saved in a file that may be accessed by MSWord or Excel. This data may be further manipulated into Mail Merge or statistical information. Once you have created the export, you can save it for future use by choosing OK at the prompt Export Finished! Do you want to save this export as a new Template. A new prompt will appear asking you to nominate a meaningful name. The next time you wish to run the export, simply click on the downward arrow in the filename box - where it displays (New), and select your template from the drop down list. 1. The Statement Summary was discussed and compared with the Statement Print. We found that the 2 reports could display different figures. Whereas the Statement Print will print all transactions regardless of being posted or not, the Statement Summary allows a distinction to be made when running the report. The next time you run the Statement Summary try running it with all boxes ticked, and then run it with the Include Unposted Transactions box unticked. If you have unposted transactions you will notice a difference in the values printed. Open Forum 2. We discussed the need for preparation for the Student Rollover at End of Year, and why the Date Left field in the Student screen is so important. When a date is entered in the Student Date Left field SAS records the Student as being Inactive. That Student will not be included on any current Student Listings, however there are reports that allow the option of printing Active and Inactive Students eg. Student Summary. If there are any outstanding fees the Student will print on financial reports. When the Student End of Year Rollover is processed it will refer to the Date Left entry and will automatically archive that Student. User Group Coordinator Trisha Karpavicius from St Kevin s - Ormond has volunteered to be the User Group Coordinator for the zone. Trisha will act as a liaison between the South Eastern Zone and Human Edge to facilitate meeting agenda items and follow-ups. If anyone has an Agenda topic or any comments please contact Trisha Karpavicius. Both Trisha s and Pat s address are listed below. Page 5 of 6

6 The SAS User Group meetings are a means of bringing together both Human Edge and Schools to develop communication and share knowledge and experiences in an open forum. A User Group Meeting must be seen as benefiting all parties. Human Edge believes a User Group Meeting provides valuable feedback in the daily operation of SAS and in developmental issues that may occur. We look upon the User Group Meeting as a way of sharing our knowledge and encouraging greater use in the software. User Group Meeting Objectives Business Secretaries have the opportunity to meet other people from other schools to compare how they carry out similar tasks and to offer their own suggestions. New ideas and concepts in SAS are discovered and the benefits are explored. The Agenda format must allow enough flexibility to provide tuition, answers to questions as well as provoking discussion. We then organised the logistics of holding a User Group. It was decided that The User Group Meetings were best held separate from any Zone Personal Development meetings. No more than 4 User Group meetings should be held throughout the year. The preference is for a Wednesday morning. The format of the meetings should comprise at least one major discussion point and a number of School defined points. Trisha Karpavicius from St Kevin s - Ormond, will advise us of the date and time of our next meeting.. Next Meeting If anyone has an Agenda topic or any comments please contact Trisha Karpavicius from St Kevin s - Ormond on or alternatively Pat Nickholds at Human Edge Page 6 of 6

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