Helios Helps BUSD Save $2.3M a Year in Overhead

Burbank USD Saves $2.3M Per Year in Overhead and Overtime using Helios K-12 HR and Business Solution

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.


BUSD was looking for a comprehensive HR and payroll system that could replace or consolidate its existing systems and databases as well as streamline their time reporting and HR processes.

“We looked at implementing a new system, looked at what was available to try and replace things. Helios really fit our needs well,” said David Jaynes, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services and BUSD’s Chief Financial Officer.

Helios has provided BUSD a complete HR, time reporting, and online requisition solution that can easily pull data from county and district systems thereby, avoiding multiple data entry. Using Helios, BUSD has saved $2.3 million per year by reducing its overhead and overtime as well as cutting down the time it takes to process payroll and HR forms. The district plans to expand its use of Helios, by implementing the evaluations module.


One of the biggest challenges BUSD was facing was the amount of time their staff was spending on their day-to-day processes. BUSD had multiple data systems: a county payroll system, two FileMakerPro databases, two Access databases, and an HR system. All of these together were too cumbersome to use, did not talk to each other, and did not provide the level of functionality that BUSD staff needed. There were multiple points of data entry, missing or stale data, errors, wasted time and effort.

BUSD Chooses Helios

Frustrated by these challenges, BUSD started researching other HR systems. After a thorough evaluation of all available HR systems for school districts, BUSD chose to implement Helios for its completeness and integration capabilities. “We needed to switch quickly, and Helios was able to do that,” said Mr. Jaynes.

Implementation of Helios and BUSD Realizing their Savings

BUSD implemented Helios for the entire workflow process (extra duty, overtime, first time requisitions and more), as well as HR management and reporting, payroll processing and finance. After two and a half years, BUSD is looking back and counting its savings.

Helios made personnel requisitions and forms online so that staff can complete them electronically and Helios’ workflow capability routes them to the right approvers. Time reporters can then report time against these workflows including extra duty, school business, and overtime pay.

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.

Prior to implementing Helios, BUSD processing for extra duty assignments would take 66 hours of overtime a week for the school sites, and 32 hours of overtime in the district office to manage the process. With Helios, BUSD has processed 12,400 workflows, totaling an amount of $10 million in the last two years.

Thanks to the streamlined approvals and fiscal oversight made possible by Helios, BUSD estimates saving $2 million in overtime charges per year. Additionally, BUSD has saved $300,000 in overhead or about 2% of its overhead budget thanks to pre-approvals of extra duty and stipends. Together, this translates into savings of $2.3 million per year. Moreover, the district has not had to hire two additional FTEs.

“It’s been easier for our staff at the sites to process all of this paperwork. It’s all available online. When I am not in the office, I can approve documents, which is wonderful. I don’t have to physically be here to do it. Helios is just saving us a lot of time. What used to take me days to review and approve extra duty assignments, now I can approve 20 assignments in a minute and a half,” exclaims David Jaynes.

For his colleagues in other districts, Mr. Jaynes offers the following recommendation: “Look at Helios, it’s a great solution. It will do a lot of things for you. It has saved us a ton of money, time, and improved our processes!”