MESQUITE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Among Texas school districts, Mesquite Independent School District is a role model. In fact, it’s only the fourth school district ever to receive the Texas Award for Performance Excellence from the state chapter of the Baldridge Performance Excellence Program.
But even that doesn’t make Mesquite immune to the financial challenges all schools face. Even so, Vickie Stafford was skeptical when she learned the district could earn cash rewards by using a new electronic payment system that Commerce Bank claimed was compatible with the district’s existing accounting software.
“I thought it was too good to be true,” recalls Stafford, the district’s accounting supervisor. “Turns out, I was wrong.”
Commerce’s solution called for the district to forgo writing checks, paying participating vendors instead through an electronic payment system backed by Visa fraud protection.
“The impact on the accounts payable entry process did not change,” Stafford says.
Today, the district pays for everything from computers to its water bill using the system and is adding new vendors each month. “We haven’t had to change a thing,” Stafford says.
In 2017, Mesquite received $160,000 in revenue share checks, which it divided among its 32 elementary, seven middle and five high schools, to use as they see fit.
“Commerce took the time to make sure I understood how the new payment system would interface with our existing software. It’s done everything they said it would. Commerce has exceeded our expectations in every way.”
Mesquite Independent School District
NORTH SHORE SCHOOL DISTRICT 112, HIGHLAND PARK, IL -
North Shore School District 112 has provided excellent education in the Highland Park, Highwood, and Ford Sheridan, Illinois communities. In order to stay focused on its mission and boost cash flow, the district trusts CommercePayments™ with its accounts payable strategy.
CFO Chris Wildman shares his experience:
“School districts suffer from stagnant growth in state and federal funding and our local funding is capped, so we need to seek out other sources of financing to deliver on our mission. I knew that we needed to look at Commerce’s AP Card, as I had worked with the program at my last two school districts. I was aware of the multiple benefits of payments automation, so I was eager to bring in a trusted financial partner. It was a no brainer to reach out to my trusted source at Commerce Bank.
When I presented the idea to automate our accounts payable to my Board of Education, they were immediately enthusiastic and supportive. In fact, the Board President stated how prevalent these programs are in the private sector and knew that the district was missing out on savings and revenue.
There are many benefits of the program. It is zero cost to join, it was almost no administrative burden to implement, and Commerce did all the legwork in enrolling our vendors to participate. There is no extra ongoing work beyond our traditional accounts payable process and we cut down on the paper checks, which helps our cash flow while we receive a monthly revenue rebate. Plus, our vendors get paid more quickly now than with our previous process, so it really is a win-win for everybody.”
For more information on how accounts payable solutions can pay you as you pay others, contact a CommercePayments™ representative or visit us online at commercebank.com/payments.