FACTS Management Company Celebrates Year of “Extraordinary” Growth

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Strategic alignments have brought improved efficiency, financial stewardship, accountability, and proven 21st-century technology to Roman Catholic Schools and Dioceses across the United States

One year after forging a strategic alliance with CathoNet, FACTS Management Company, a subsidiary of Nelnet, Inc. (NYSE: NNI), based in Lincoln, Neb., continues to expand its reach within the Roman Catholic Church. FACTS is a leading provider of financial services and tuition management for 5,500 schools and more than one million families across the United States, predominantly in private and faith-based schools.

“We are honored to be the market leader,” says Tim Tewes, President of FACTS Management. “No other company can match our integrated and standardized approach of specialized software and dedicated computer data centers that offer Catholic schools, parishes and dioceses improved tracking, recording and coordination of information, including financial records, tuition collection and donations. The end result is greater efficiency, financial stewardship and accountability, all in real-time. Our quality and service are unmatched.”

FACTS shared the good news of its success with participants at the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference in Houston, Texas, September 23–26, 2012.

Benefits of Cloud Technology and Standardization, Coast to Coast

FACTS is widely known for its three primary services of payment processing/tuition management (approximately $3 billion in tuition funds each year), financial needs assessment, and online donor management. The services run on specially designed software across a national redundant server network.

Bundled with FACTS is CathoNet’s cloud-based QuickBooks accounting solution, which offers standardization of accounting policies, procedures, and guidelines while eliminating duplication and enabling access to real-time information and a wide range of customized reporting options.

“Our growth over the past year has been extraordinary,” says Douglas Solomon, FACTS Senior Vice President. “Coast-to-coast and in Hawaii, Dioceses, Catholic school superintendents and principals have come to understand the benefits of cloud technology and standardization by partnering with us as their single high-quality vendor. With FACTS, a common platform of data information across all schools is available for making quick, informed decisions for the common good of all schools.”

More than 2,000 Catholic schools in 100 dioceses across the country now rely on FACTS to manage tuition, accounting and fundraising. Clients include schools in the largest archdioceses, such as Boston, Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles and St. Louis, and a number of prominent dioceses such as Orlando, Fla., Dallas, Providence, R.I., and Portland, Ore.

Moreover, as new models of Catholic school administration emerge in many dioceses, in partnership with the business world, FACTS offers the expertise and flexibility to get the job done.

“Knowledge is power, and FACTS has made us much more knowledgeable”

A recent survey of 1,685 Catholic school principals across the country, conducted by the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education, concluded that the two most vital needs among Catholic leaders were enrollment management and financial management. These, the survey said, “together often capture the most basic goal of survival—keeping a school open.”

With FACTS, these needs are not only met but exceeded in many ways, as satisfied clients can attest.

In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Diane Starkovich credits FACTS with strengthening the viability of the archdiocese’s 18 schools, serving 10,000 students. FACTS has streamlined financial operations, increased efficiency, tightened security and linked schools with parents as never before. “We’re a lot greener too, with less need for copying and duplicating,” she says.

FACTS’ real-time information can be a lifesaver. “Schools can go over budget when they don’t pay attention to the revenue side,” Dr. Starkovich notes. “With FACTS, a snapshot view is right there on the dashboard. I can push a button and see where we are at any of our schools, our tuition status, scholarship totals and so forth. I can monitor and offer assistance right away.”

With 24/7 service just a phone call or mouse click away, FACTS offers peace of mind and the freedom to focus on other areas.

“We prefer that our principals not be placed in the position of being bill collectors,” Dr. Starkovich continues. “They need to be instructional leaders. As a former Catholic school principal, I know how many demands are placed on their time. I advise them to watch the school’s revenue stream. FACTS makes it so much easier to know where you stand, and what you need to keep an eye on.”

“In the end, it’s about good stewardship of the funds entrusted to our care for the education of our children,” she concludes. “Knowledge is power, and FACTS has made us much more knowledgeable and certainly a whole lot stronger.”

Accurate, Timely and Complete—An Accountant’s Dream
Administrators in the 36 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Honolulu, serving 10,000 students, had already been using QuickBooks and FACTS, but not to their fullest potential. “With the help of FACTS and CathoNet, the two systems now talk to each other,” says Lisa M.K. Sakamoto, Diocesan Finance Officer. “When this happens, you have more accurate, timely, and complete information, which is the dream of any accountant.”

Sakamoto credits the leadership of Bishop Larry Silva for requiring the use of FACTS and CathoNet across the diocese. “Our mission is, how can we best make our schools more efficient and effective, thereby ensuring their future? What best practices can we implement?” Sakamoto explains.

The results so far have been encouraging. Sakamoto says, “Our priests and principals are involved as never before, with consolidated reports at their fingertips. There’s more accountability and transparency, with a consolidated view of what’s happening on a timely basis.”

Sakamoto is especially grateful for the FACTS/CathoNet support system. “The trainers have been outstanding,” she says. “They are walking with us through every step of the transition. We couldn’t ask for better ‘angels’ as we embark on a bright new future for our Catholic schools.”

An Answer to Prayers
“FACTS is the total package,” Solomon says. “When Catholic School Superintendents and Diocesan Financial Managers see the capabilities we offer, they fulfill their mission more effectively and efficiently without many of the daunting challenges they face today. They don’t waste precious time and resources trying to understand a school’s financial condition or trying to track their school tuition payments. The FACTS platform puts everything at their fingertips.

“With FACTS, Catholic school leaders can concentrate on educating children, with the knowledge and peace of mind that the business side is covered well,” says Solomon “It’s no wonder our many clients tell us that FACTS is an answer to their prayers!”

About FACTS Management Company
A division of Nelnet, FACTS Management Company (http://www.factsmgt.com) is committed to making educational dreams possible for families and students, as well as enhancing the financial stability and affordability of educational institutions. FACTS/Nelnet Business Solutions serves approximately 5,500 schools and more than one million families, and manages approximately $3 billion in tuition funds each year. FACTS offers a comprehensive suite of services for schools including tuition and other payment administration and processing, financial needs assessment, powerful fundraising solutions and college and career planning resources available through Peterson’s. FACTS’ programs are supported by a team of committed, service-oriented professionals that retain nearly 99% of schools from year to year.

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R.J. Campbell
FACTS Management
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