How Dropbox for Business helps KIPP Houston keep classes running smoothly

KIPP Houston and Dropbox for BusinessAs students around the country settle into a new school year, we’d like to spotlight one of the many schools that are empowering their students with Dropbox for Business.

The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) is a national leader in the movement to provide all children with access to excellent education. The KIPP program in Houston, Texas, is particularly large — with 10,000 students across 22 institutions — so it doesn’t take long for the program’s educators, administrators, and staff members to accumulate loads of paperwork.

For KIPP’s finance and accounting teams in particular, the growth of the program meant it was more and more difficult to keep track of all the expense sheets and invoices — which were delivered to the department using ‘old-school’ methods like email or even paper copies turned in by hand. To help streamline the paperwork process, Son Han, Director of Accounting and Compliance for KIPP Houston, suggested that the team move to an online system that would allow employees to submit, store, and share documents all in one place.

One of the most important criteria for a potential system was ease of use; the finance and accounting teams spanned a wide range of ages, so the solution had to be easy for even non-technical staff to master. When evaluating different solutions, Han was struck by the simplicity and intuitiveness of Dropbox for Business. “A Dropbox tutorial takes about two minutes, but it took the other guys about thirty to explain how to use their solution,” Han recalls. “We chose the system we knew would be more user-friendly.”

Soon after it was deployed, Dropbox for Business became the central hub for the accounting and finance departments. “We told everyone outright that if their invoices weren’t on Dropbox, they wouldn’t be considered submitted,” explains Han.

It didn’t take long for other teams throughout the KIPP system to notice how productive the finance and accounting departments had become since moving to Dropbox for Business. Even the operations team, which manages janitorial services, asked to use Dropbox to collect invoices from vendors.

With Dropbox for Business, the KIPP team is now much more organized — and that’s reflected in both time and money. With files centrally located in Dropbox, staff members no longer waste time hunting for missing documents. In addition, the finance and accounting teams now receive significantly fewer calls on a daily basis from staff members asking about a payment status or other problems.

“The amount of time I spend dealing with problems has probably gone from 20 hours a week to less than one,” remarked Han. “And that’s true for everyone.”

And with operational challenges taken care of, teachers can spend less time on logistics and more time on what they love — teaching. They even leverage Dropbox for Business to make lessons better. “Several of our schools record instructors teaching and then upload the videos via smartphones into Dropbox,” says Han. “It’s a huge luxury for us to be able to do that.”

Wondering how Dropbox for Business can help your organization run more efficiently? Sign up for a free trial today (and don’t forget to ask about our educational discounts)!