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School Accounting Software


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Cougar Mountain DENALI logo
 
Cougar Mountain Software offers a business accounting software for manufacturing, nonprofits and public services organizations. Their flagship product Denali is a core accounting solution with applications for general ledger, accounts... Read More
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Cougar Mountain Software offers a business accounting software for manufacturing, nonprofits and public services organizations. Their flagship product Denali is a core accounting solution with applications for general ledger, accounts... Read More
 
Multiview logo
 
For organizations seeking a solution that conforms to their existing operations, Multiview offers a suite of financial solutions. With Multiview, companies gain visibility over corporate data. The solution includes 14 modules that... Read More
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For organizations seeking a solution that conforms to their existing operations, Multiview offers a suite of financial solutions. With Multiview, companies gain visibility over corporate data. The solution includes 14 modules that... Read More
 
NetSuite logo
 
NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read More
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NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read More
 
Sage Live logo
 
Sage Live is a cloud-based and mobile ready accounting platform for small and mid-sized businesses. Key features include multi-company, multi-currency, and multi-legislation support, personalization based on user role, bank integration,... Read More
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Sage Live is a cloud-based and mobile ready accounting platform for small and mid-sized businesses. Key features include multi-company, multi-currency, and multi-legislation support, personalization based on user role, bank integration,... Read More
 
Abila MIP Fund Accounting logo
 
Abila MIP Fund Accounting from ProSoft Solutions is a finance management and fund accounting solution designed to serve nonprofits and government agencies. The solution can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or be self-hosted. Abila... Read More
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Abila MIP Fund Accounting from ProSoft Solutions is a finance management and fund accounting solution designed to serve nonprofits and government agencies. The solution can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or be self-hosted. Abila... Read More

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Sage Intacct logo
 
Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based accounting software. Sage Intacct’s applications are suitable for small and midsize companies and can provide real-time financial and operational insights as well as the ability to automate... Read More
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Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based accounting software. Sage Intacct’s applications are suitable for small and midsize companies and can provide real-time financial and operational insights as well as the ability to automate... Read More
 
Acumatica ERP logo
 
Acumatica ERP delivers an adaptable cloud and mobile-based enterprise resource planning solution with a user licensing model which enables a real-time view of business operations at any time from anywhere. Through a worldwide network... Read More
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Acumatica ERP delivers an adaptable cloud and mobile-based enterprise resource planning solution with a user licensing model which enables a real-time view of business operations at any time from anywhere. Through a worldwide network... Read More
 
Sage Fixed Assets logo
 
Sage Fixed Assets offers integrated accounting features and multiple methods to track asset depreciation (straight line, ACRS, modified straight line, declining balance, even user-defined.) It integrates with other general ledger systems. The functionality... Read More
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Sage Fixed Assets offers integrated accounting features and multiple methods to track asset depreciation (straight line, ACRS, modified straight line, declining balance, even user-defined.) It integrates with other general ledger systems. The functionality... Read More
 
FinancialForce Financial Management logo
 
FinancialForce Financial Management (FM) is a cloud-based system built to provide a complete financial management solution for sales and services-orientated companies of all sizes. FinancialForce FM has several inherent applications,... Read More
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FinancialForce Financial Management (FM) is a cloud-based system built to provide a complete financial management solution for sales and services-orientated companies of all sizes. FinancialForce FM has several inherent applications,... Read More
 
SAP Business One logo
 
SAP Business One is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed primarily to serve small to midsize businesses. SAP Business One is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing,... Read More
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SAP Business One is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed primarily to serve small to midsize businesses. SAP Business One is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing,... Read More

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Xledger logo
 
Xledger is an automated and scalable cloud-based accounting/ERP solution for medium- to large sized companies and is designed to provide insight and analytics for decision-makers. The system is an out-of-box solution that is configurable... Read More
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Xledger is an automated and scalable cloud-based accounting/ERP solution for medium- to large sized companies and is designed to provide insight and analytics for decision-makers. The system is an out-of-box solution that is configurable... Read More
 
EBizCharge logo
 
EBizCharge offers a full suite of payment processing, billing, and invoicing solutions including payment integrations to accounting/ERP/CRM/ and eCommerce platforms, mobile solutions, virtual terminal, POS solutions, and an online... Read More
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EBizCharge offers a full suite of payment processing, billing, and invoicing solutions including payment integrations to accounting/ERP/CRM/ and eCommerce platforms, mobile solutions, virtual terminal, POS solutions, and an online... Read More
 
Microsoft Dynamics GP logo
 
Microsoft Dynamics GP is a financial accounting system designed to meet the requirements of small to midsize businesses. Microsoft Dynamics GP was originally developed by North Dakota-based Great Plains Software and was acquired by... Read More
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Microsoft Dynamics GP is a financial accounting system designed to meet the requirements of small to midsize businesses. Microsoft Dynamics GP was originally developed by North Dakota-based Great Plains Software and was acquired by... Read More
 
Fusebill logo
 
Fusebill provides businesses with cloud-based financial and accounting processes, including core accounting, billing and invoicing, financial reporting and more. The system is suitable for small businesses, as well as midsize companies... Read More
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Fusebill provides businesses with cloud-based financial and accounting processes, including core accounting, billing and invoicing, financial reporting and more. The system is suitable for small businesses, as well as midsize companies... Read More
 
Unit4 Business World logo
 
Unit4 Business World is a scalable ERP solution designed to address the unique demands service organizations face. It offers multi-lingual and multi-currency capabilities, and is a fit for higher education, nonprofits and NGOs, professional... Read More
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Unit4 Business World is a scalable ERP solution designed to address the unique demands service organizations face. It offers multi-lingual and multi-currency capabilities, and is a fit for higher education, nonprofits and NGOs, professional... Read More

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Infor SunSystems logo
 
Infor SunSystems is an integrated financial management, purchasing, inventory and sales management solution. It is used by more than than 9,000 customers in over 190 countries worldwide. Offered in multiple languages and currencies,... Read More
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Infor SunSystems is an integrated financial management, purchasing, inventory and sales management solution. It is used by more than than 9,000 customers in over 190 countries worldwide. Offered in multiple languages and currencies,... Read More
 
Deskera logo
 
Deskera is an enterprise resource planning software formulated to run manufacturing operations. The system is suitable for companies manufacturing for a variety of industries. Textiles, automotive, distribution, metal processing, pharmaceuticals,... Read More
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Deskera is an enterprise resource planning software formulated to run manufacturing operations. The system is suitable for companies manufacturing for a variety of industries. Textiles, automotive, distribution, metal processing, pharmaceuticals,... Read More
 
SAP ERP Core Finance logo
 
Over 30,000 companies, spanning 120 different countries, are using SAP ERP Financials to conduct their financial management.  Noteworthy names include General Mills and Office Max. SAP ERP Financials is a part of SAP’s Business... Read More
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Over 30,000 companies, spanning 120 different countries, are using SAP ERP Financials to conduct their financial management.  Noteworthy names include General Mills and Office Max. SAP ERP Financials is a part of SAP’s Business... Read More
 
Sage 300 ERP (formerly Sage ERP Accpac) logo
 
Sage 300 ERP (formerly Sage ERP Accpac) is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system that serves small and medium-size businesses in professional services, financial services, public sector, and other markets such as distribution... Read More
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Sage 300 ERP (formerly Sage ERP Accpac) is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system that serves small and medium-size businesses in professional services, financial services, public sector, and other markets such as distribution... Read More
 
Accounting Xpert logo
 
Accounting Xpert is an on-premise accounting solution that serves businesses of all sizes. Primary features of the software include a general ledger, accounts receivables and payables, payroll, W2 and 1099 laser processing, bank reconciliation... Read More
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Accounting Xpert is an on-premise accounting solution that serves businesses of all sizes. Primary features of the software include a general ledger, accounts receivables and payables, payroll, W2 and 1099 laser processing, bank reconciliation... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Lisa Hedges,
Content Analyst
Last Updated: September 8, 2017


A well-run administration is essential to the overall quality of an educational institution. When financial operations are functioning as they should, academic leaders are able to concentrate their efforts on the ultimate goal: providing excellent services for students that help expand their horizons and lead to personal growth.

Buying dedicated software to handle the accounting side of your academic institution can help staff work to their fullest potential by automating error-prone, time-consuming tasks. All kinds of educational organizations can benefit from this software, including:

  • Private institutions
  • Public schools
  • Universities and colleges
  • School districts

We wrote this guide to help you better understand how education accounting software works and key considerations for selecting a solution.

Here's what we'll cover

What Is Education Accounting Software?
Common Features of School Accounting Software
Benefits of Education Accounting Software
Evaluating Education Accounting Software
Deployment Options

What Is Education Accounting Software?

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 systems 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 functionality most important to those in the education industry, as well as best practices for evaluating these solutions.

Common Features of School Accounting Software

In addition to core 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.

Benefits of Education Accounting Software

Here are just some of the benefits your organization can realize after implementing education accounting software:

  • Lower operational costs. Some schools have particularly limited resources and can’t afford for their staff to spend time entering the same data in different systems. By centralizing information in one software, your team can create efficiencies and reduce labor costs.
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  • More accurate forecasting. Another downside of using disparate software systems is that it can lead to non-standardized data. This makes it more difficult to prepare financial forecasts and may lead to less accurate results.
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  • Greater accessibility. This benefit is especially clear for educational institutions that are buying software for the first time. If they’ve only been using manual methods up to this point, they’ll realize how much easier it is to enter, share and collaborate on accounting tasks with a dedicated digital solution. School districts that account for multiple locations and higher education academies with more than one campus will also find value in how much more accessible accounting software is compared to paper-based recordkeeping.
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  • Improved transparency. Since software gives you greater visibility into your organization’s costs and expenditures, it is easier to pass this knowledge along to stakeholders and donors. Many academic centers are nonprofit entities, so this is a particularly important benefit for them. For example, software enables administrators to generate reports that summarize how every cent of a particular grant was used, which builds trust with donors and may encourage them to make future contributions.

Evaluating Education Accounting Software

A special consideration for schools is whether or not this software is necessary. Many educational organizations operate as nonprofits and therefore need solutions for fund accounting. Self-balancing fund ledgers are appropriate for these organizations and should be a priority in their search.

When these systems, buyers should consider the following:

  • Will it have fund accounting ledgers for nonprofit organizations?
  • Can it effectively maintain a large centralized database of student records?
  • Are there convenient tools for course registration and student fee processing?
  • Are there other helpful tools, such as logging check-out of fixed assets?

Deployment Options

Now that you’ve got a good understanding of what software can do for your organization, it’s time to break down your deployment options. You have two main choices to make:

  • Subscription license vs. perpetual license: Perpetual license systems require an upfront lump sum while subscription licenses need you to make periodic payments. The amount of users may affect the system’s pricing.
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  • Cloud-based vs. on-premise: In cloud-based systems, which are also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), administrators don’t have to buy or maintain servers because the system is hosted remotely. This usually results in lower upfront costs. That said, some institutions may prefer on-premise systems because they are often easier to customize and they already have the IT staff to maintain the servers.

We should note that on-premise software is often licensed under a perpetual model, while cloud-based systems usually require subscription fees.

Your final choice should depend on your budget and needs. You should also take into consideration how much your institution expects to grow in the next few years. For example, if your organization currently serves elementary school students only, but you’re hoping to expand to junior high soon, it’s likely better to go for a more robust solution that can scale with you.

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