By KRUTIK PATEL
UHS is piloting a new accounting system this year, ASBWorks, after appealing to IUSD for over a decade to replace its predecessor, Blue Bear.
This new accounting system affects UHS on multiple levels, from enabling an online web store that can sell more products to allowing club advisors to manage finances.
Due to the implementation of ASBWorks, club advisors are now able to view and manage club finances through the system without the need for an intermediary. Previously with the old system, only Accountant Ms. Dawn Jan was able to access club finances.
“ASBWorks has the capability to give teachers logins so that they can look at their account activity … [but with Blue Bear] they would need to come to me for all information. They could never see the activity themselves,” Jan said
According to Jan, UHS had been looking to replace Blue Bear for many years, due to the system’s limited capabilities and lack of software updates for over a decade.
“[Blue Bear] didn’t have the capability to do easy online sales, it didn’t take an email address along with selling an item,” Jan said. “[During] registration … none of the credit cards would work, and it just meant sitting on the phone with [Blue Bear tech support] for four hours.”
According to IUSD PC Service Supervisor Scott Bennett, UHS had experienced many technical difficulties with Blue Bear because they attempted to utilise its features in a way that overextended the system’s capabilities.
All of the schools in IUSD “each dealt with the quirks of the system in a different way,” said Bennett. “It’s not your typical accounting system… there were problems with software compatibility and coding.”
However, initially, UHS was not able to obtain district approval to pilot a new system because IUSD had preferred all five high schools to use the same accounting system to better manage finances between schools.
Additionally, Active Network, the company who created Blue Bear, had promised to deliver an updated version of Blue Bear by this year, delaying IUSD’s move to adopt a new system until recently, when Active Network extended the release date of the software again to next year.
As a result of these delays, IUSD granted UHS and Portola High School permission to pilot ASBWorks for the other district schools during the 2019-2020 school year. During a meeting in the spring, the other high schools in IUSD will discuss whether to use ASBWorks for their respective schools.
As of now Jan believes she has yet to utilize ASBWorks’s features to its fullest extent since her main focus has been on getting the system up and running. However she plans on learning more about ASBWorks by going to a user conference later in the year.
“[Ms. Jan] is just open minded and always learning and willing to conquer new things… and that kind of mind can really revolutionize systems that are otherwise broken,” said Performing Arts teacher and Drama Club advisor Ranae Bettger.