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RM Finance Project

RM Finance Online Update

RM have completed the functionality that will allow schools to use RM Finance Online to transact, reconcile, report and monitor on a monthly basis in the Hertfordshire way. Further developments are due later on this year for the year-end and CFR functionality. Meanwhile the Pilot schools have migrated and we have received positive feedback from them.

The rollout program has moved to the next phase of schools, the Early Adopters, who are now going through the migration process following training.

To support as many schools as possible with familiarisation of the software and migration we have added two new training dates before the Summer break:

  • 29th June 2017
  • 03rd July 2017

The two new Converting to RM Finance Online courses are now live and can be booked at the link below:

Courses will take place using training data. The rollout program will continue after each course by resetting the training data in readiness for Migration of schools’ live data.

Access to RM Finance Online is through RM Unify. Access to RM Unify is granted to an administrator, the data controller. The administrator, usually the Head Teacher, has to manage the access for all users. Access to appropriate applications and levels must be granted to the appropriate staff. Administrators need to be aware that because the system is online they must manage and ensure that access is secure and up to date at all times, including finance staff who have access to RM Finance Online.

If have any questions please contact Financial Services Helpline on 01992 555713 or email fss.helpdesk@hertsforlearning.co.uk

RM Finance Online – Training Courses

The Hertfordshire bespoke development of the RM Finance Online upgrade is nearly ready.

Financial Services are offering courses for converter schools to attend. The courses are for those who intend to upgrade before the summer holiday.

RM Finance Online Converter full day courses are running on:

  • 23rd June 2017
  • 12th July 2017
  • 19th July 2017

These courses will consist of a demonstration of the upgraded software by a member of the RM Finance team followed by training and the opportunity for hands-on practice.

Once you have attended the course we anticipate that you will upgrade your current data and commence using RM Finance Online.

In addition to the Converter courses we will be running refresher sessions in September. These will enable schools who upgraded before the summer to re-familiarise themselves using some of their own data.

For those schools starting to use RM Finance Online following the summer holiday further courses will be available on:

  • 30th August 2017
  • 7th September 2017
  • 11th September 2017

To book your course(s) please follow the link below:

Whilst Financial Services feel that the upgraded software will be familiar to you, Financial Services are unable to train schools via the Helpline service. We strongly recommend that schools attend one of the full day training sessions.

RM Finance Upgrade and the Fund/Capital Account

The RM Finance software is to be upgraded from RM Finance to RM Finance Online, making it a web-based product. Most maintained primary schools in Hertfordshire use RM Finance to record their general account financial information. The school general account will be upgraded as part of the support purchased from Herts for Learning.

From September 2017 the current version of RM Finance will no longer be supported by RM; hence it cannot be guaranteed that the current version will continue to work in the mid-term.

Schools may use RM Finance to record their Fund and Capital account in addition to the school general account financial information.

If your school uses RM Finance for your Fund and/or Capital account please consider the following options:

  • Upgrade the Fund and/or Capital account to RM Finance Online at a cost approximately £30 per year for each account.
  • make alternative provision, as soon as practicable, if you do not wish to upgrade the Fund and/or Capital account to RM Finance Online.

Financial Services will send an email to Headteachers with a link to a Survey Monkey in May. Please look for the email and complete the survey, which will inform Financial Services whether your school wishes to upgrade the other accounts to RM Finance Online.

Financial Services will provide schools with timescales/training and upgrade guidance for the Fund and/or Capital account(s).

RM Finance Upgrade

RM Finance is used in most of Hertfordshire’s maintained primary schools for financial management. The software has not been upgraded substantially for some years. RM Finance has been working to upgrade RM Finance into a modern web based system, RM Finance Online, that has potential for development to support the changing needs of schools.

Benefits of the upgraded system will be:

  • Modern reporting formats
  • Secure access to the system via the internet, anytime, anywhere
  • Future upgrades rolled out by RM so no longer require installation by schools
  • Accruals reporting on List of Budget Accounts
  • CFR reporting included in the software and not the separate CFR Assistant

Financial Services for Schools (FSS) have been, and continue, to be working with RM on this upgrade. It is anticipated that the upgrade for all schools currently using RM Finance will have taken place in readiness for the Autumn term.

In order to support a smooth upgrade FSS will be running an RM Finance Online pilot between during April and May 2017. A number of schools have come forward and joined the pilot. Feedback from the pilot will inform best practice of the upgrade for the balance of Hertfordshire’s schools.

Over the next few months FSS will keep you informed, issuing guidance, bulletins and training in due course. The upgrade process will involve importing the school’s current and prior year finance data into RM Finance Online. It includes pre and post upgrade checks and will report evidence that the data has imported successfully. Schools older years data is planned to be stored in a format available for enquiry. RM Finance Online has been designed to make the transition for the user as simple as possible whilst providing improved functionality and reporting.

It is critical that security of the finance system is maintained. RM Finance On-Line data is held within the EEU and RM have confirmed that it is to be held in the UK once the UK data centre is opened. RM meet UK data controller requirements. It is planned that the Headteacher will have administrative control over the school’s access to RM Finance Online. Further advice and information on user roles will be made available in due course. FSS staff will have access to the system to enable them to support schools in line with the school’s contracts. Full audit records will be available of users and completed transactions.

The finance system backups will be managed by RM, including nightly backups, along with the Business Continuity Plan.

The current version of RM Finance will remain in the school but will not be further developed, upgraded to maintain financial compliance, or be supported in due course.

FSS will be working with Schools and RM throughout the upgrade period, providing support, guidance and training. Training dates will be released in due course. We would like to thank the pilot schools whose feedback will help inform a smooth upgrade process and additional benefits for schools using RM Finance Online for their financial management.

Current timetable:

  • April – May - RM Finance Online Pilot
  • May – July - Data checks and data collection
  • July - Training
  • August - Balance of schools upgraded
  • September - Training

Further information will be made available on the Grid and training courses on the Herts for Learning website.

If have any questions please contact Financial Services Helpline on 01992 555713 or email fss.helpdesk@hertsforlearning.co.uk