El Camino Real Charter High School

Client – El Camino Real Charter High School, Susan Kim (Accounting and Finance Manager)

High School. Those two words undoubtedly cause mixed emotions. Whether it is a longing to go back or a relief that it’s over, it is a part of everyone’s life. Everyone can relate to it in some way or another. Paapri had the pleasure of working with one special high school: El Camino Real. Their mission is to prepare their diverse student body for the next phase of their career through a rigorous, customized, and inspiring academic program. They believe their program develops students’ unique talents and builds character while offering opportunities for real-world experiences.

Challenges – A Very Restricted Previous Software that Resulted in a Costly Miscalculation

In the beginning, El Camino decided to develop its own software. This software would handle their accounting and business processes. Unfortunately, as they grew in size, this “home-made” software wasn’t able to handle it. Susan Kim, the Accounting and Finance Manager, couldn’t take any more of it either, so she decided it was time for a change, stating, “We had a software that was developed here onsite. It couldn’t run any real financial reports. It was very limited. So, that lead to our decision to choose NetSuite and Paapri.” This would be an upgrade the school would not regret.

Every year it is Susan’s responsibility to run a report on everything relevant dating back to the last fiscal year. Then, she must send it to the back-offices for it to be properly coded and accounted for. After explaining this process, she says, “That is not a report I could easily run last year [before the NetSuite implementation]. Last year, when I was doing this, it was miscalculated in the system by half a million dollars. So, that’s huge. It was a huge mistake.” This was the breaking point. Susan was positive that she needed something better and reliable.

Action/Solution – NetSuite Software Implemented with Direct Communication and Troubleshooting

With the documents signed, it was time to get down to business. Susan was very impressed by the team’s proactivity, as well as the communication system that was in place.

“Our experience with Paapri was amazing. I really appreciated the fact that I had direct communication with the developers, the guys who were doing the work. When I was on the phone with them, as soon as I said something like ‘I need this’. They could tweak it and I could see it right away. That was the best experience for me.”

– Susan Kim, Accounting and Finance Manager

Considering the complexity of the NetSuite software, there is always the possibility of pitfalls through an implementation. The difference between a good and bad implantation is how the team handles these blocks in the road. Susan agreed, stating, “Yes, we ran into trouble. But she [Suravi, the lead consultant] was very good about troubleshooting. The implementation was not without issue. But we were able to solve every problem in some way. I am all about problem-solving. The team was great; they helped me problem solve. If there was anything they couldn’t do, we figured it out on our side, and we made it work.”

The Result – Excellent Data Analysis and Visibility

The difference is night and day. When asked if Paapri’s implementation was an improvement to El Camino’s existing methods, Susan passionately says, “Absolutely. Oh my god, yes. Our software now is so much better than it used to be, and it is getting better every day. In fact, everything is working out so great that we engaged with Paapri again to do a more complete implementation. It was a major improvement.” Now, through NetSuite, El Camino can pull information, have access to reports, and see things that they were never able to in their prior system.

Their ability to analyze information has increased drastically also. Susan enthusiastically say that, “One of the things that we love is the visibility into our expenses and our revenues. Before Paapri, we had nothing. It was difficult for us because we didn’t have access to the proper information. Now, we have way better visibility and hopefully, it will be better next year. I am expecting great things.” Susan and the El Camino team’s optimistic and hard-working attitudes are the reason why Paapri loved working with them and look forward to continuing that relationship.

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