Dollars & “Sense”

Dollars & “Sense”

Director of Finance – In RVS, its people is undeniable its biggest asset. Yet you don’t see this value represented in the jurisdiction’s financial statements. Why not? Other organizations do it; they place value on assets they term “intangible”, including millions of dollars in intellectual property, goodwill and brand recognition. So why doesn’t RVS? Because RVS is unique, and the value is limitless – sorry, but infinity is not recognized in the financial world!

I witness every day staff, volunteers and community groups, who work tirelessly for our organization, helping us to achieve our mandate and do what’s right for students. That’s because we have a common goal, and it’s all about kids. This goal drives passion, ingenuity, innovation and creativity, deriving value for our organization that is beyond any metric we can measure or account for in our financial statements.

With this in mind, I devote many sleepless nights to really think about how I, as a leader in RVS, can leverage this amazing asset. I consider it my job to ensure the efficient, effective use of my team, to be strategic with this resource. I ask myself, “Do I put roadblocks and red tape in the way of great new ideas? Do I provide opportunity for collaboration and teamwork to stimulate excellent discussion? Do I dedicate this precious resource to our priorities appropriately?” All of these thoughts bounce around in my head as I try to fall asleep at the end of a busy day.

The focus of so many of our discussions is around the dollar values that are attached to our budgets. Are we over budget, under budget, and why?  Carry-over limits, FTEs and School Generated Funds are daily parts of conversations we have as we administer our individual department and school budgets. Perhaps the conversation is really about giving our staff the direction and opportunity to learn new things, think outside the box and utilize their TIME in a way that is most productive.

The powerful nature of our workforce cannot be matched. I know, I have been in other organizations and they would envy the resources that are at our very fingertips. But really, it’s no secret. It’s a common vision, a driving force that propels our staff to work smarter, harder and faster all to do what’s right for kids.

With the increasing demands placed on our education system and all of the distractions we face, it is important to keep this in mind. No amount of money could ever support all expectations, internal and external, for our public school system. What we can do is channel our biggest asset, our people, to accomplish those mandates that are most important and top priority.

So, let’s tap into this resource and be thoughtful in how we utilize our greatest asset. Focus on what we do best, support the education of our students, and continue to make RVS the shining light of the province through its innovative, forward thinking educational strategies. It just makes “cents.”