School Accounting Software

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AccountEdge

AccountEdge

74 Reviews

Versa Cloud ERP

Versa Cloud ERP

22 Reviews

ChargeOver Software

ChargeOver Software

8 Reviews

CloudEagle

CloudEagle

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School Accounting Software Buyers Guide

The business of education is a serious business. Not only are you responsible for the success of countless students but you also need to keep the educational institution financially sound. The manual process of keeping student records and collecting fees can be overwhelming at times.

That’s why school accounting software was designed to assist you in integrating records and consolidating it into one centralized system that runs more efficiently. In addition to this, school accounting software can help you trace funds for specific school projects. It can also facilitate the online registration process, keep track of textbook orders, and do forecasting & budgeting.

It’s a highly functional tool that’s gaining popularity because of its convenience and ease of use. In this buyer's guide, we'll look at the most important features. We'll also cover the benefits of school accounting software and share some considerations to reflect on before you make your final purchasing decision.

Important Features of School Accounting Software

There is a range of modules that can be included in your software solution but these are the most common features in any software package:

  • Record keeping: The world of student records are diverse and numerous. It requires a resourceful solution that can integrate and manage the data effectively. Information such as class schedules and all the extra-curricular activities should be properly managed within the system. The different grades of each student should also be easily populated into the system for convenient retrieval at any stage.
  • Payment and registration: Linking online payments for courses to the registration of students is a core function that can be streamlined with this software. It conveniently ties student records with the payments and registration in one function.
  • Inventory control: Educational institutions are responsible for various inventory such as desks, computers, textbooks and classroom supplies. The school must also take care of fixed assets such as the building and the rest of the property. This requires facility management for ongoing maintenance and repairs when needed. Managing these aspects can be challenging but accounting software tracks all the data and links it to the right departments.
  • Fund accounting: Most educational institutions receive donations and funds from private donors. Fund accounting helps monitor and trace all the expenses back to the source. It also self-balances the cash receipts and assets & liabilities accounts.
  • POS system: If you have a cafeteria or shop on your school campus than a point-of-sale system can be convenient. It can keep records of all your sales and increase the speed of service you can give to customers. You’ll also have a more accurate account of sales per day.

Key Benefits of School Accounting Software

These are some of the benefits you’ll gain if you decide to implement school accounting software.

Reduced Operational Costs

Most schools don’t have unlimited resources to capture similar data into different systems. It’s both time consuming and expensive in terms of staff productivity. If you centralize all your information into one platform it creates more efficient ways of working and reduces employment costs.

More Precise Forecasting

If you’re using various systems to store information and draw reports from it than the accuracy of the information can be jeopardized. Having standardized information with one central hub allows you to prepare more precise financial forecasts. It also diminishes the level of inaccuracy that can creep in when using contrasting systems.

Accessibility

Collaboration is key when it comes to data sharing. If you’re still using a manual process you’re familiar with the difficulty of sharing and collaborating tasks. Implementing accounting software in your institution will allow you to successfully collaborate digitally.

There’s also value for school districts that are responsible for various locations with multiple campuses. Having an online platform allows you to access information and communicate with other stakeholders remotely which makes using this software rewarding.

Increased Transparency

Most people value transparency especially donors to your school. Accounting software allows you to generate reports on the institution's expenditure and income. It makes it easy for you to relate the relevant information to your donors and stakeholders.

Many academic centers run non-profit entities. Accounting software helps them show where every cent was spent to give comfort to donors that funds are managed well. It also helps them garner more support and donations for the future.

The Costs of School Accounting Software

There are more than a hundred different accounting software solutions for schools to select from. Each has its price structure and value-added features. To ascertain the true cost of any software solution it's wise to request a quote based on your institution's unique set of requirements.

The starting price on some of the entry-level software solutions range from as little as $9 per month per user and can increase to $1000 for a more advanced solution with multiple users. There’s also the option of purchasing a perpetual license which requires a bigger lump sum at the start. The only monthly cost thereafter would be for ongoing technical support.

Remember, there are free trials available for most software solutions so take your time to test out a couple before making your final selection.

Considerations to Reflect on as a Potential Buyer

Before making your final decision on whether you'll invest in software for your school or not, consider what the key requirements are for your specific school. Some educational entities are non-profit organizations and require different funding & accounting model. Here are some more considerations to reflect on:

  • Will fund accounting ledgers for non-profit organizations be included in the software package?
  • Does it have the capacity to manage and maintain an extended database for student data?
  • What other tools are included to make the process of course registration or fee collection easier?
  • Assess if there are other helpful tools included such as fixed assets or logging checks

Conclusion

Is school accounting software a good investment or not? We think it is, solely because of the useful features included and the benefits we’ve discussed. It saves you time as well as money because your team doesn’t have to be large to keep your school functioning optimally.

At most, it's worth careful consideration as it can completely transform the way you manage your school. Let us know your thoughts on using a software solution compared to a manual process.