AMPS Offers Business Consulting Services

While CPS is trying to sort out its payroll and software problems (see below), AMPS is offering financial services to eligible schools -- part-time help for newbies and others from an "experienced business manager."  I don't know if anyone's using this or if it even sounds like a good idea, but I haven't done my taxes yet so sign me up -- and keep sending me emails and memos that you get so I can share them with everyone.  (Alexander Russorusso at

From AMPS:


Financial Services for the 2007-08 School Year

are Premium Financial Services?

The Premium Financial Services (PFS)
offered by the Business Service Center (BSC) consist of regular on-site
financial support for your school. The BSC offers Premium Financial
Services for an annual fee, as an optional supplement to the no-cost
remote support services available to all schools. Our PFS staff consists
of several Field Financial Specialists (FFS), each of whom serves multiple
schools on a part-time basis. Essentially, 8 to 10 schools share a highly-qualified
business manager.

How do I know if PFS is right for

  • Are you a new principal who
      is inexperienced in budgeting, finance, purchasing or internal accounts?
  • Do you want to start off your
      principalship with the comfort of knowing that your financial health
      is being handled by a professional who is trained on all CPS financial
  • Do you have the need for a
      business manager but cannot afford to hire one full-time?
  • Do you have inexperienced
      school personnel in charge of managing your internal accounts, budget
      transfers, or position openings and closings who require hands-on training
      or additional monitoring?
  • Are your Internal Accounts
      reports consistently delinquent or inaccurate?
  • Is your school struggling
      to manage all of the new financial initiatives that are being implemented
      (Consolidated Banking, P-Card, Position Control enhancements, iProcurement
      enhancements, MYOB transition to Oracle)?
  • Are you concerned that your
      attention to school finances diverts your focus from instruction?

If you answered yes to any of these questions,
read on to learn how PFS can benefit you and your school!!!

What are my service options?

The BSC Premium Financial Services include
two levels of service.

Basic Service

With our Basic Service, your Field Financial
Specialist (FFS) will visit your school an average of two half-days
per month. We recommend this service for schools that primarily need
Internal Accounts assistance. This option is perfect for a school that
has trained clerks who handle budget transfers, position control transactions,
and purchasing, but need additional help to manage Internal Accounts.

Full Service

With our Full Service option, your Field
Financial Specialist will visit your school an average of four half-days
per month. We recommend this service for schools that require not only
Internal Accounts assistance or management, but also training, and assistance
with or management of budget transfers, purchasing, and position control
management, a particularly high volume of Internal Accounts activity,
unresolved audit findings, or schools that simply anticipate requiring
more time from our Specialist than the amount offered under our Basic

Tell me more about my Field Financial

Each of your Field Financial Specialists
has several years of experience working at Chicago Public Schools. Most
Specialists have experience as successful School Business Managers or
School Operations Managers – so they know the challenges that your
school is facing. As a part of the Business Service Center, each FFS
has access to a strong network of highly trained and experienced professionals
in Financial Services, and a direct link to the Finance Division, including
the Office of Management and Budget, the Department and Procurement
and Contracts, and Finance. They also participate in regular professional
development -- so they are always knowledgeable about the most current
policies and procedures affecting your school. Specialists are trained
in Oracle, (including Position Control, Budget Transfer, Web Inquiry,
iProcurement, and Public Sector Budgeting), Internal Accounts management,
MYOB, and P-Card and Consolidated Banking procedures.

I participated in PFS last year.
Will I have the same FFS for SY07-08?

We will make every effort to assign you
the same Field Financial Specialist next year.  We understand the
importance of the relationship that's been built between your school
and your FFS. However, for SY07-08, each FFS will serve fewer schools.
We're making this change so that we can ensure that every school receives
superior service and so that our Specialists can participate in critical
professional development activities. A handful of schools may be served
by a different FFS next year, but we guarantee that you will receive
the same high-quality service to which you are accustomed.

I need the service, but I don't
know if I can afford it…

We know that the primary mission of every
school is to prepare the children of Chicago for post-secondary education
or employment, and that the majority of your discretionary dollars is
rightly reserved for funding positions that directly impact children
in the classroom. But – assuming you believe that your school needs
PFS –consider the amount of time and energy that your staff expends
on financial management and how that, in turn, impacts the instructional
leadership in your school.

Premium Financial Services offers a very
competitive option when compared to your alternatives. A full-time Business
Manager earns an average salary of $65,000 and costs as much as $80,000
with benefits. Hiring an outside consultant to manage your internal
accounts or assist your current staff will cost between $8,000 and $12,000,
and these vendors are not trained on CPS systems. Even if you hire a
consultant who previously worked for CPS, they do not have access to
the most updated information about our constantly changing financial
systems such as Oracle Position Control, Oracle Budget Transfer, Oracle
iProcurement, Oracle Public Sector Budgeting, P-Card, Consolidated Banking,
and the upcoming MYOB conversion to Oracle.

If you are need of our services, we highly
recommend that you work with your Area Instruction Officer, School Improvement
Coordinator and your BSC Financial Services team to find a manageable
way to take advantage of our service.

Can I
sign up for the service after I receive my SGSA roll-over money?

Because each FFS is funded directly from
the money that you contribute, we can only guarantee that you will have
a FFS for SY07-08 if you budget for it during the budgeting process.
This is the only way that we can guarantee that we will have adequate
funding on July 1, 2007 in order to make our hiring decisions for the
fiscal year.

If, however, you decide to sign up for
our service after July 1, 2007, and we have enough other schools that
do the same, we may be able to hire additional Specialists. Keep in
mind, however, that it takes us between 6 and 8 weeks to recruit, interview,
hire, and train a new FFS. Therefore, if you sign up for the service
in September, when your SGSA roll-over is distributed, you may not receive
service until late November or early December.

How do I sign up?

To sign up, open a Non-Position Allocation
in Oracle Public Sector Budgeting for the appropriate amount ($9,500
for Full Service or $5,000 for Basic Service) on budget line 225-58281-241006-000703. 

If you have any questions, please
call Toya Woullard at (773) 535-8654 or email
her at

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