- Job Assignments
- Service Years
- Purchasing/Accounts Payable
- Budget Control
- Capital Projects/Grants
- Cash Receipts
- Budget Preparation
- Bank Reconciliations
- Student Activity Funds
- Water and Sewer Billing/Collections
- Inspections and Permits
- Code Enforcement
- Business Licenses
- Business Taxes (PA Act 511)
- Real Estate Tax Billing and Collections
- Per Capita Tax Billing and Collections
- Land Records
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Personal Property
- Tax Billing
- Tax Collection
- State/Estimated Income Tax (VA)
- Meal, Transient, Cigarette Taxes
- Applicant Tracking
- Employee Cost Projections
- Leave Tracking
- Position Control
- Substitute Tracking
- Accounts Receivable/Billing
- Fixed Assets
- Vendor Bidding
- Work Orders
- Fleet Management
- Centralized Collections
- Animal Licensing
- Register of Deeds
- Building Images
- Mobile Appraisal
- Centralized Collections
- Applicant Portal
- Benefits Enrollment
- Employee Portal
- Leave Requests
- New Hire Portal
- Departmental or School Building Financials
- Account Inquiry
- Cash Receipts
- Requisitions/ Approvals
- PO Receiving
- Student Activity Funds
- Payment Portal
- Vendor Portal
- Work Orders
- Mobile Inspections
- Community Development Portal
- Payment Portal
- Payment Portal
- Public View of Real Estate Detail
- Benefits Import
- Substitute Placement
- Time Clock
- Fuel System
- Supplier website “shopping cart”
- Check Scanning/Imaging
- CAMA systems
- Mapping Systems
- CAMA Systems
- Check Scanning/Imaging
Since its earliest days, Keystone began its focus on developing comprehensive and integrated information management systems for our present markets of K-12 public education and local government administration. The result is that a tremendous amount of thought, planning, design and real-life usage, underpins each application software product that Keystone markets today.
Today’s product sets are comprehensive, mature and proven in design and function. Keystone’s approach to the steady progress of technology has been to evaluate and incorporate useful new technologies but without sacrificing mature and proven business logic. Thereby ours and our customers’ long-term investments in software, process, know-how and legacy data have been intentionally preserved in successive platform changes and software version upgrades. This has made for ‘”rock solid” investment. Long-time customers (some of which go back to our earliest versions in the late 1970’s) have been able to progress with us to new technologies without sacrificing the foundational product design benefits, and ease of legacy data migration to new versions of software, and to entirely new system platforms. A lot of this capability has been facilitated by our use of Rocket Software’s U2 (UniVerse and UniData) platform-independent system development environment. (See more under Basis Technology)
Most of the current products have grown through several major releases, with core business logic being proven on multiple system platforms and through dozens of actual implementations.
Keystone continues to author its software with full time, U.S.A.-based employees, who interact with our customers in person, both individually, and through our involvement with our active users’ group associations.
Product Group Names:
SKools: Product set for K-12 District Administration includes comprehensive and integrated Financial and Human Resources product sets, with sub-modules for the unique needs of public schools, especially in the Payroll and Human Resources area.
LoGIC: Product set for municipal and county government administration, includes comprehensive and integrated Financial and Human Resource product sets, with features set for the unique needs of local government administration. While the core product version of the LoGIC and SKools: Financial, Payroll and Human Resources applications are nearly identical, parameter settings and sub-modules are used to accommodate the different uses between these types of organizations, as well as state to state differences. This provides wider supportability by our staff, and product commonality among Keystone's user group community.
Shared product suites for SKools and LoGIC are:
- FIS – Financial Information System
- KEMS – Keystone Employee Management System
Keystone's LoGIC also includes a suite of CIA (Community Impact Applications) offered in New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia, including public service and community development functions such as business licenses; water, sewer, trash and recycling billing/collections; planning, zoning, environmental and building inspections, permits and code enforcement, (including a field/mobile inspections module).
A fully integrated set of applications for property tax assessment, billing and collections, is offered for North Carolina and Virginia counties, cities and towns, and is called PAAS (Property Assessment Administration System).
Our PA Tax products offer specialized applications for Pennsylvania school and municipal tax billing and collections, including real estate and per capita taxes. We also offer a Pennsylvania-specific mercantile and business tax module for those taxes collected by designated municipalities under PA Act 511.
The SKools and LoGIC FIS product suite forms a comprehensive, integrated set of applications centered on a General Ledger. The modules are separable in a number of areas such that an organization may grow into use of the suite gradually or as needed.The system is compliant with GAAP and GASB accounting standards as a multi-fund budgetary accounting, and encumbrance control system, which controls budgeted expenditures, and tracks and reports all types of financial activity. The General Ledger is date-driven and extremely flexible with regard to closing accounting periods. Multiple periods may be open at once, and periods may be “soft closed” to prevent users, other than key finance office personnel from making transactions other than designated core accounting transactions. In addition to a tailored general ledger report writer built into the software, due to the open standard platform technology used by Keystone, (such as ODBC, SQL and XML), a variety of third-party applications and tools may also be used to query Financial data, such as the Microsoft Office Suite and Crystal Reports. The system is intended to directly involve non-finance office users, such as department heads, school principals and secretarial staff for functions such as:
- Initial phases budget requests/development (with ability for side-by-side view of past years)
- Requisitions and Approvals (purchasing, stores, bid, work orders, and payment)
- Account Inquiry and Financial Reporting
- Purchase Order Receiving
- Cash Receipts
All functions intended for users outside of the financial office can be accessed through a secured web browser connection from any location.
The KEMS product line forms a comprehensive, integrated suite of applications for all functions and responsibilities of payroll, benefits and human resources offices. The modules are separable in a number of areas such that an organization may grow into use of the suite gradually, as needed. Keystone will also provide interfaces to third-party systems if desired in lieu if the entire, fully-integrated KEMS suite (such as for payroll processing, benefits enrollment or job applicant hiring).
Designed through a committee process involving school and government human resources and finance professionals, KEMS is built upon several integrated modules that together provide a complete control over the human resource functions required for public sector personnel administration. The KEMS payroll is now meeting the state specific reporting requirements in nine states. When installed in conjunction with Keystone's SKools and LoGIC FIS, KEMS interacts in an online environment, based on sound accounting principles, which provides for seamless data access across departments. For example, a finance officer, with appropriate security, may drill down to see the break-out across general ledger accounts of all components making up an employee’s cost to the organization. Visual grids provide a view of all employees associated with a particular compensation cell on a pay table. This also facilitates practical, detailed budget development of the cost of labor, via use of the KEMS Employee Cost Projections module.
Using sub-modules for the unique needs of either public schools or local government, KEMS offers a complete database that enables easy inquiry and reporting on all types of personnel (professional, non-professional, certified, part-time and full-time employees.)
Web browser-based access is provided for secured Employee Self Service for pay history, direct deposit voucher print, W2 and 1095 form print, Benefits Enrollment, Electronic Time Card and Leave Requests. A public portal is available Job Applicants.
Digital images and document attachments may be linked to personnel records.
Many levels of security have been designed throughout the KEMS software, so that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect sensitive personnel information.
Due to the open standard platform technology used by Keystone, (such as ODBC, SQL and XML), a variety of third-party applications and tools may also be used to query personnel data, such as Microsoft Office and Crystal Reports.
Land & Tax
Keystone addresses the property taxation revenue needs of local government with focus on three primary state markets: Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina; using product lines specifically tailored to the unique needs of these states.
In Pennsylvania, we address the needs of municipal governments and public school districts to maintain a Census and to bill and collect for Real Estate Taxes, including sharing data with the county assessment system.
The Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax module will handle Real Estate taxes as well as Per Capita Taxes and Census, and Recycling and flat rate Sewer billing. This module interfaces to the Keystone Financials system, posting all transactions to the General Ledger. Recycling and Sewer Fees can be included on the tax bill as one charge. Discount, face and penalty are handled along with partial payments and installments. Multiple municipalities can be handled within one taxing authority. Interim billing, delinquents, and reporting are all part of the product. Adults and students are tracked in Census with the ability to promote students all at one time.
The PA Act 511 module handles Business and Mercantile Taxes and License, Business Privilege, Local Services Tax, Occupational Privilege Tax, Amusement, Itinerant and EMST. Licenses are printed, tax returns are computed on screen, cash transactions are handled, and reports are generated for the local government and school district. History of these taxes and payments are tracked within the system using a business identifier.
North Carolina and Virginia
For North Carolina and Virginia, Keystone addresses the tax revenue needs of both counties and municipalities using our comprehensive and fully integrated PAAS suite. When deployed to its fullest extent, PAAS addresses all of the business functions of North Carolina County Tax Administrators, Assessors and Collectors, as well as those of Virginia County and City Commissioners of the Revenue and Treasurers. Functional areas incorporated in the integrated PAAS suite include: Deeds Registry, Land Records, Mapping Integration, Real Estate Appraisal (CAMA), Real and Personal/Business Personal Property Billing and Collections (including Motor Vehicles and DMV interface for Virginia and Gap billing in North Carolina).
Also in Virginia, PAAS addresses Animal Licensing, and State and Estimated Income Tax filing/state interfaces, along with a fully Centralized Collections/Cashiering module. For both states, modules include Business Licenses, Meals, Transient/Occupancy and Cigarette taxes. The Real Estate Appraisal module offers a split database during re-valuation/re-assessment. Comprehensive account and property maintenance is available, in addition to revenue collection features such as collections agency export/import, garnishment, bankruptcy, mortgage lender payments, and multiple bill payment.
There are also web browser extensions for inquiry which can be set up on the organization’s web site for public access to detailed real property information, WebPAAS including property records cards, and jurisdiction-wide query and data download capability. A secured/real-time web payment portal is also available, providing detailed billing and history information to the taxpayer. The system is modular such that portions may be run as applicable to municipal use, or for counties or cities which desire only the Appraisal or the Billing and Collections side of PAAS. Interfaces to third party CAMA, billing and collections, or general ledger/financial systems are also available as well as interfaces for outsourced bill printing.
Community Impact/Other Revenue Applications
Rounding out Keystone’s comprehensive LoGIC suite of application software for local governments are modules for Community Development, Business Licenses and Taxes, and Water and Sewer Billing/Collections. The Community Development module includes the ability to track the process of permitting and inspections across zoning, planning, environmental and building use, as well as ongoing code enforcement. There is built-in integration with the PAAS Real Estate Appraisal module to ensure applicable permits are queued up for tax assessor review, once completed. The parcel information is also fully integrated between PAAS Land Records and the Inspections and Permits module. A Community Portal allows for citizen and contractor on-line interaction through the process of applying for, scheduling, and paying for permits. And, a mobile/tablet-based application permits inspectors to record their work on-line from the work site.
All Keystone revenue applications which generate bills and invoices, can be integrated with the Centralized Collections module and the KeyNet (on-line) Payment Portal for the ease of constituents and taxpayers to be able to view and make payments on amounts owed to any department of the local government entity, via a single transaction. The system handles to proper allocation of revenues and cash receipts to the accounts throughout the system.
Basis Technologies and System Security
While the product function is deep and proven, deriving its business logic from numerous installations in local governments and school districts, and meeting the needs in several states, Keystone’s software is continually enhanced to incorporate new features as well as state-of-the-art technology with frequent new releases, new platforms, and the development of entirely new application modules.
Keystone has been in a solid position with regard to our ongoing investment in product functionality, having chosen a platform originally which has proven to be portable and upgradable to successive platforms. Therefore, core logic which was developed on proprietary systems in the 1980’s has been relatively easily converted, as needed, to Linux, and Windows Server platform technology. Thereby, Keystone has been able to cost-effectively invest its resources in the worthier pursuit of improving system usability and workflow, capitalizing on features available with current technologies, and enhancing our products with deeper, and state/market-specific functionality to help our customers’ productivity and efficiency.
Keystone’s present basis platform uses the UniVerse Relational Database and development Environment, available on Windows Server and Linux, from Rocket Software
UniVerse is a standards-compliant environment and while used as Keystone’s transactional database, data may also be simultaneously written to a SQL Server database if desired. SQL query commands can be used with a UniVerse database. And, data on a UniVerse system can also be shared via ODBC and XML.
With this highly efficient development environment and relational database, Keystone couples its own 4GL Development tool and other programming environments (including Rocket’s U2 Web DE) to provide Windows Client and web browser interfaces to its applications, (based upon the application type and role of the intended user).
The sophisticated security across all of Keystone’s applications reach many levels starting with our ability to use the customer’s Active Directories for server access, and then a validation at the UniVerse account level controlling who opens a session on the central application server and to which areas that user may attach. Next, there is an easily maintained menu and program security administration module. With this, a system administrator establishes which users, or defined groups of users, can or cannot access a program or even have it displayed on their individual menus. Security, by group or individual user may be set to the file, field and even record level. For one example, Keystone’s SKools/LoGIC FIS General Ledger comes with a “Chart of Account Security” feature such that any portion of the account number can be used to grant or deny user access to a defined range of account codes. This facilitates practical, secure decentralization of data entry and inquiry, such as initial, detailed budget preparation, requisition entry, account inquiry and analysis.
System Housing/Cloud Option
Keystone’s customers may make the decision to have their Keystone system installed on-premises or externally hosted / cloud-based. This decision can be made with minimal factors involved from Keystone, since system functionality, and ongoing cost of ownership (software licensing, maintenance and support services) do not change in either scenario. While our customers are free to choose their own hosting provider, Keystone has a partnership with one of its software customers, which operates a Tier 3 data center hosting facility out of two locations, and has a very successful record of cost-effectively hosting many Keystone customer systems from all of the states in which Keystone has customers. Please see Hosting Services for more information offered by the BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, a Pennsylvania LEA providing a variety of support services to nineteen Pennsylvania school districts.
Reporting Capabilities and Dashboards
A strength of Keystone’s products, and of our basis platform environment is the variety of methods of access to data available to users of all levels and capabilities. In addition to a large variety of canned reports, many with programmed prompting for variables, the UniVerse database comes with an built-in native RetrieVe query syntax, as well as full use of SQL commands.
On top of this, Keystone has built a graphical, simple query capability available throughout the applications to Keystone Client end users (AKA Power users) as authorized by security access. This provides point and click query access to any data field in the system (accessible via security control), which we call Meta Queries. The user can fill a grid with selected data fields and access drop down windows with operators to filter data, do totaling and sorting on screen, and then can copy the results, with a single click, to MS Office Excel, Word, or save as a PDF, HTML, or text file; and the user can click to open their email client and attach the query to an email. Queries may be saved, shared with other users, and scheduled to run automatically with results automatically emailed to intended recipients. The user’s security settings follow in the use of the Meta Queries. (Security by CoA access is one such example of record-level security settings.)
These queries are also used as the basis for setting up visual/graphical
Keystone has also developed a specialized General Ledger Report Writer to aid customized, formatted summary and detail financial reporting.
Since UniVerse can be used by any ODBC-compliant application (like the popular Crystal Reports), Keystone’s data files are accessible through compliant applications.
Documents and Content Management
While Keystone is willing to create interfaces to third party document and content management systems, we have done extensive work in recent years to build our own, fully-integrated capability with content management and forms production. Throughout the applications there is the ability to attach documents and images in a variety of formats to relevant system records (i.e. vendors, taxpayers or employees for examples) and to call these up on screen, print on demand, etc… Scanned images being used by our customers include checks received, correspondences with taxpayers, invoices received, resumes and HR-related forms, contracts and letters. There is no added cost for this utility, and updated versions of the application software modules continue to increase the presence of this capability throughout the application modules.
In addition, Keystone has developed a utility which is being adopted by a growing number of our customers for the electronic design and production of a variety of forms. This is reducing the need for our customers to purchase pre-printed forms, for things such as purchase orders, checks, tax bills and statements, utility bills and statements, etc., as these forms can be run to blank paper with a professional output/appearance using our KeyDocs utility. This is also reducing the need for Keystone to provide custom print programming to align system data with particular pre-printed form formats. Forms generated in this way are then automatically saved as a PDF, viewable with the appropriate system records. For the license and annual maintenance fee associated with this tool, customers are gaining access to a growing library of forms developed for, and even by, other users. Standard forms are maintained by Keystone such as W2s, 1099s, ACA 1095s and the like. Click here and below to see samples of forms produced using the KeyDocs utility.