BUSD Saves 15% Overhead with Helios

Burbank USD Saves 15% Overhead and 100+ Hours of Staff Overtime Every Month with Helios

Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) has over 17,000 students in its K-12 program spread across 22 school sites. It has close to 3,000 employees including teachers, classified staff, administrators, and part-time or temporary workers.

In Brief

After evaluating several systems, BUSD preferred Helios because of its completeness, its ability to talk to other systems, and a friendly team backing it. As part of the implementation process the Helios and BUSD teams identified time reporting and payroll as the more urgent modules to implement.

It was imperative to get employees paid on time, have an accurate accounting of time and allocation of budgets, and decreasing the overtime costs the district was experiencing under its paper-based system.  The district is continuing to expand its use of Helios into more areas such as evaluations and employee portal in the future.


Time reporting and payroll was a paper-based process. Paper time cards were submitted from the various school sites to payroll, where they had to be manually tabulated, and checked to ensure the proper budget codes were being assigned. It was often difficult to determine if overtime had been approved for special assignments, if paid time off was accurate, and ensuring substitutes were getting paid correctly.

CalSTRS, the California retirement program, was another factor since a new requirement for schools was to ensure payroll and payment be done on time and is accurate, or fines with interest would be assessed to the school.

Overall, the time reporting, payroll processing, and submission to the county in a limited time window was difficult to meet.


The Helios Solution for BUSD

Helios streamlined BUSD’s time reporting and employee attendance. It offered both positive and negative time reporting: negative reporting for paid time off (PTO) for full-time permanent employees; positive reporting for hourly and extra duty employees. It also allowed reporting of substitutes when employees were absent. Helios automatically accrues vacation and sick time based on bargaining agreements. It tracks vacation, sick time, and personal necessity balances and enable employees to access this information online.

School site administrators are able to enter time, assign substitutes, validate time against approved EDAs (Extra Duty Assignments), and let Helios do all the work. At any given moment, payroll, school site, or administrator can review submissions and run reports.

“Helios has been able to give us nice clean reports that we can process our payroll with and meet the payroll deadline to the county”, said Clara Carracela.

Helios automated BUSD’s approval process for extra duty, time off, substitutes assignment, and more, which all instantly tie into the time reporting and payroll process. This eliminated the phone calls, searching for email approvals, etc., to various sites, to help contain budgetary expenses.

With her team of four (including herself), Clara is saving 100+ hours a month on time reporting and payroll processing. With pre-approvals of extra duty and school business trainings, BUSD has been able to cut down excessive extra duty and overtime, which has led to 15% savings in the district overhead costs by using Helios. “Without Helios, we would have to hire two additional people to sustain our old process. Helios has made my team more efficient”, said Clara Carracela.

Clara, her team, and BUSD feel they have a great working relationship with the Helios team. “Helios is always there for me, and they never make me feel like I am bothering them”.

 “Prior to implementing Helios time reporting and payroll, everything was done on paper. Helios helped us automate our time reporting and payroll process, eliminating our paper-based system. With Helios, we are saving 100+ man-hours a month. We are able to meet our payroll schedules, and no more overtime. With Helios, our payroll reports are clean, they are accurate, and I trust them. I can’t imagine not having Helios.” said Clara Carracela, Payroll Supervisor at Burbank Unified School District.