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:
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
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.
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.|
Here are just some of the benefits your organization can realize after implementing 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:
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:
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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