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Appleton Academy

We show the auditor how to find information in mstore and then we leave them to get on. In the past we would be fishing paperwork out of files before and during the audit but there is much less of that now and no preparation is needed beforehand

Jacqueline Waters, Director of Business and Finance
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Appleton Academy is Bradford’s first “all through” school, unique in providing education for children and young people from the age of 3 to 19, and beyond. The Academy uses Arena Group’s mstore software to manage records and information.

Jacqueline Waters, Director of Business and Finance, tells us; “we were searching for a small, affordable and scalable software solution - mstore fits the bill and is ideal for a school environment. We have made a good start with our finance documents and we are seeing some impressive outcomes so we plan to roll the system out into other operational areas.”

Jacqueline remarks that the most noticeable benefit of mstore is in saved time; “we are more productive because we spend less time filing and searching for documents.” Time saved at an operational level has enabled managers to delegate higher level tasks; “mstore has given our managers the capacity they need to tackle projects that might have a big impact on the Academy but that we previously struggled to find time for.”

mstore has also eased the audit process for the Academy, Jacqueline comments; “we show the auditor how to find information in mstore and then we leave them to get on. In the past we would be fishing paperwork out of files before and during the audit but there is much less of that now and no preparation is needed beforehand.” Jacqueline observes that digital practices are becoming the common preference of third parties; “auditors, legal professionals and the EFA all appear increasingly to support a move towards electronic processes and away from paper.”    

Furthermore, Jacqueline says that mstore has promoted a fall in paper consumption and printing; “it’s much easier to work electronically and mstore works in a very logical way. Now, instead of printing documents we refer people to mstore or send an email.”

This leads our conversation onto the topic of storage space, which has become a larger challenge for the Academy since it moved into a new building. Jacqueline explains; “when we moved we had to be very strict about limiting the amount of files that could be transferred. We have no filing cabinets here so the obvious solution was to digitise paper.” In the old building, paperwork was stored in cupboards, store rooms and cabinets; Jacqueline comments that it could take a long time to retrieve a document and that paper is often an entirely inappropriate way to store information. “Print degrades over time and relatively quickly in some cases, such as MCR forms and receipts. Documents stored in mstore can be accessed in seconds and they will be in day 1 perfect condition for all time.”

Overall then, mstore receives a glowing report from Appleton Academy. Jacqueline concludes; “mstore is user-friendly and quick to install, it works with our other systems and it doesn’t need its own server or lots of space. It has changed the way we work for the better and will deliver excellent value for money. I have already recommended it to other schools as it handles every aspect of document management that a school could need while still offering an affordable solution. A one hour demonstration will be all it takes to convince you!”


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