School business administrators typically work under the direction of the superintendent of schools and in the school district's main office. In general, the business administrator manages the schools business practices, reviews budgets, helps negotiate better deals on school equipment and supplies, and adheres to state laws and regulations.
Budget Preparation and Administrator
A primary responsibility of a school business administrator is to prepare and administer the school district's budget. This includes annually reviewing changes to the school district's funding and spending plannings and recommending the budget to the superintendent and school board for approval. Administrators must know what positive or negative changes on funding have been made by state government or private entities to adjust spending as needed. In essence, school district administrators take on the budgetary financial planning duties common in corporate finance offices.
Accounting and Purchasing
The school business administration office is typically responsible for the accounting and purchasing functions of the school district as well. Administrative offices usually employ accountants who track spending and prepare the district's financial statements. The school business administrator also usually oversees the purchasing component of district management. This is similar to what a company's purchasing department does. The administrator may have staff in this area that negotiate deals, place orders of equipment and supplies, and track shipments from vendors.
Improve Resource Efficiency
Companies often use enterprise resource planning to optimize efficiency with materials, supplies and resources. A primary 21st-century role for the school business administrator is to oversee resource efficiency within his district. This is especially important during tough economic times with legislators make budget cuts on education. In general, the administrator must consider opportunities to reduce costs and maximize resources while helping the district reach educational goals. This is often a hard balance to maintain.
Supervising and Oversight
School business administrators typically have some supervisory responsibilities. This role is especially significant in larger districts with more employees. Along with supervisory employees directly involved in district financial planning and purchasing, the administrator often has oversight over employees in other district offices such as food services and transportation. The administrator allocates budgets to each of these district departments and must oversee effective use of budgets and resources.