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School Accounting Software


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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 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
 
Cougar Mountain DENALI logo
 
Cougar Mountain Software’s Denali Business is an accounting solution with the ability to customize 10 integrated modules. It is for small to midsize businesses and can be deployed on premises or in the cloud. Key features include... Read More
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Cougar Mountain Software’s Denali Business is an accounting solution with the ability to customize 10 integrated modules. It is for small to midsize businesses and can be deployed on premises or in the cloud. Key features include... 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
 
Deskera ERP logo
 
Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More
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60
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Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More

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Acumatica ERP logo
 
Acumatica is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that offers a platform designed for midsize customers with a complete, real-time view across the business. The Acumatica suite of integrated business management... Read More
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Acumatica is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that offers a platform designed for midsize customers with a complete, real-time view across the business. The Acumatica suite of integrated business management... Read More
 
Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management logo
 
Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management, formerly known as Sage X3, is an ERP software suite that includes integrated functionality for financial management, sales, customer service, distribution, inventory, and manufacturing, and... Read More
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Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management, formerly known as Sage X3, is an ERP software suite that includes integrated functionality for financial management, sales, customer service, distribution, inventory, and manufacturing, and... Read More
 
SAP ERP Core Finance logo
 
SAP S/4HANA is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed to serve businesses of size and kinds. SAP ERP is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing, retail, service... Read More
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SAP S/4HANA is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed to serve businesses of size and kinds. SAP ERP is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing, retail, service... 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
 
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

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Sage Fixed Assets logo
 
Sage Fixed Assets is a hybrid asset management solution that helps businesses track and manage the fixed assets through different steps of asset lifecycle. The solution offers integrated accounting features and multiple methods to... Read More
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Sage Fixed Assets is a hybrid asset management solution that helps businesses track and manage the fixed assets through different steps of asset lifecycle. The solution offers integrated accounting features and multiple methods to... Read More
 
Sparkrock logo
 
Sparkrock is an all-in-one solution for large and midsize Nonprofit organizations. It offers Finance & Accounting, Workforce Management, Payroll, Employee Scheduling, Case Management and Donor Management. Each module can be purchased... Read More
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Sparkrock is an all-in-one solution for large and midsize Nonprofit organizations. It offers Finance & Accounting, Workforce Management, Payroll, Employee Scheduling, Case Management and Donor Management. Each module can be purchased... Read More
 
Xledger logo
 
Xledger is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to midsize and large businesses that helps them to manage day-to-day operations by automating routines ranging from bank reconciliation to invoice entry.... Read More
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Xledger is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to midsize and large businesses that helps them to manage day-to-day operations by automating routines ranging from bank reconciliation to invoice entry.... Read More
 
AccountingSuite logo
 
AccountingSuite is a cloud-based, integrated accounting and inventory management solution designed for businesses of all sizes and industries. Key features include sales and purchase order management, project and time tracking, multitasking,... Read More
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AccountingSuite is a cloud-based, integrated accounting and inventory management solution designed for businesses of all sizes and industries. Key features include sales and purchase order management, project and time tracking, multitasking,... Read More
 
Microsoft Dynamics GP logo
 
Microsoft Dynamics GP is a hybrid enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that helps small and midsize businesses to integrate their data and resources across various departments and locations. The solution can either be deployed... Read More
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Microsoft Dynamics GP is a hybrid enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that helps small and midsize businesses to integrate their data and resources across various departments and locations. The solution can either be deployed... Read More

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QuickBooks Enterprise logo
 
QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting solution suitable for small to midsize businesses across several industry verticals including construction, distribution, manufacturing, and retail. The solution offers functionality to manage... Read More
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QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting solution suitable for small to midsize businesses across several industry verticals including construction, distribution, manufacturing, and retail. The solution offers functionality to manage... Read More
 
QuickBooks Online logo
 
QuickBooks Online is a web-based accounting solution that caters to individual accountants and small businesses. The solution helps with bank reconciliation, tracking expenses, drafting invoices and monitoring financial reports, among... Read More
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QuickBooks Online is a web-based accounting solution that caters to individual accountants and small businesses. The solution helps with bank reconciliation, tracking expenses, drafting invoices and monitoring financial reports, among... Read More
 
Wave logo
 
Wave is a web-based integrated accounting solution exclusively designed for small organizations. Collectively, the solution features accounting, invoicing, billing, payment tracking, payroll management, finance management and receipts. With... Read More
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Wave is a web-based integrated accounting solution exclusively designed for small organizations. Collectively, the solution features accounting, invoicing, billing, payment tracking, payroll management, finance management and receipts. With... Read More
 
Zoho Books logo
 
Zoho Books is a cloud-based accounting solution suitable for small organizations. It features contact management, invoices, expenses, sales and purchase orders, project time tracking and inventory management. Zoho Books comes with... Read More
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Zoho Books is a cloud-based accounting solution suitable for small organizations. It features contact management, invoices, expenses, sales and purchase orders, project time tracking and inventory management. Zoho Books comes with... Read More
 
Shoeboxed logo
 
Shoeboxed is a cloud-based expense management solution that captures information from physical documents and converts it to digital data. The solution is used by small businesses, freelancers, contract workers, accountants and bookkeepers. Shoeboxed... Read More
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Shoeboxed is a cloud-based expense management solution that captures information from physical documents and converts it to digital data. The solution is used by small businesses, freelancers, contract workers, accountants and bookkeepers. Shoeboxed... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Zach Hale,

Last Updated: September 27, 2018


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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