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Since the students are the benefactors of the educational system, it’s not surprising that integrating student records should be a top priority of educational institution accounting software. Consolidating these records into one centralized database minimizes confusion and allows for improvements in efficiency, avoiding cumbersome duplicates in data entry.
Along with this database, education accounting software can track funds for school-specific procedures and considerations such as online student fee processing and registration, textbook tracking, retention rates, and educational budgeting and forecasting.
In this guide, we'll cover the accounting software functionality most important to those in the education industry, as well as best practices for evaluating these solutions.
In addition to core accounting modules, education accounting software typically includes the following:
|Student Records||The crucial and extensive data associated with student records requires a robust solution that integrates that information with the accounting. Grades, extra-curricular activities, and class schedule can be managed within the system.|
|Online Registration & Payment||A robust educational software solution will allow students and their payments to register and pay for classes online and then have registration tie directly to the student record.|
|Inventory & Facility Management||Schools deal with many different kinds of inventory - from classroom, supplies, and textbooks to desks, computers, and sports equipment. In addition to physical assets, school buildings and property also need ongoing repairs and maintenance. Being able to track and manage all of these details helps keep tabs on school assets and prevent loss.|
|Fund Accounting||Funds are self-balancing accounts designed to record cash, related assets/balances, and liabilities. Fund accounting helps educational entities track all expenditures back to specific sources, so that donations and other funds can be used for the designated purpose.|
|Point of Sale System||For items being sold on campus (i.e., meals in the cafeteria), a point of sale system can help you manage cash operations, improve speed and accuracy service, and track sales.|
A special consideration for schools is whether or not fund accounting software is necessary. Many educational organizations operate as nonprofits and therefore need software for fund accounting. Self-balancing fund ledgers are appropriate for these organizations and should be a priority in their search for accounting software.
When evaluating school accounting software, buyers should consider the following: