There are many ways that you can go about managing your school’s accounts payable process. The methods that are chosen for this vary depending on the size of the school, where it is located, etc. When outsourcing to a service company is chosen as the method of handling accounts payable, schools pay fees for these services every month. However, there are many things that schools can do to help keep these fees low, through these fee collection tips.
How to Setup The Perfect School Payments System
The first step that your school can take for effective school fee collection is to create an internal accounts payable team, who will be trained on the general rules required for processing payments. There should be a strong leader at the head of this group because, without one, things could go quickly out of hand.
Next, have someone within your accounts payable who does nothing other than check submitted invoices for accuracy. They will check on the amounts that are submitted, as well as the work that is included in each invoice. If proper procedure isn’t followed, then their job will be to call up the service provider and ask them to correct it.
When outsourcing accounts payable services, some companies require you to submit your payment requests online. If this is the case, have a separate team member who works on entering these requests into your system every day. This person should be checking over each request to make sure that it complies with any rules you have created for your policies and procedures manual. They will also double-check to ensure all of the information has been inputted correctly before submitting it to the account manager.
The accounts payable team members will also need to be on the lookout for any fraudulent activity within these requests and report suspicious ones back to their superiors. If there is a possibility that something isn’t legitimate, then more research should be done on it before making a payment.
The person who enters all of the payment requests into your system should also be working with your accounts payable team to make sure that they are efficient. After all, this will help you save money on fees, so it’s not something that should be taken lightly.
Finally, one of the most effective ways to lower school fee collection costs is by keeping a close eye on any requests that are sent to you by service providers. If there is a mistake in the request, ask them for a new invoice and refuse to make a payment until it is resolved. Your school should also check over every invoice that comes from your account manager before making a payment as well.
6 Fee Collection Tips To Help Your School Save Time
Schools usually have a school management system that automatically calculates fees for students and parents based on the course, the number of semesters required, etc. This is where the accounts payable comes in, which can save a lot of time and effort if done right. Here are six fee collection tips that will help your school save time and effort.
The Centralized Fee Collection System
Having a centralized fee collection system will allow any parent to pay their child’s fee by visiting the school anytime, without having to go through any additional process. This can be done online or through school channels that are provided by the management company tasked with collecting school fees.
Make it Easy for Parents to Pay Fees by Direct Debit/Standing Instruction
Having a school fee portal where parents can enter their national ID card, debit account details, and other relevant information will allow the school to collect fees directly from a parent’s bank account or use a standard standing instruction mandate each month without much hassle.
Fee Waiver System for Parents Who Cannot Afford Fees
While most schools do not waive school fees, most management companies today will help with the process of issuing fee waivers (where applicable) to parents who cannot afford their child’s school fees. This can be done online or through certain channels provided by the service company.
Make it a Point of Pride for Parents to Pay on Time
Many parents take a little longer than necessary to pay school fees. If they can be made aware that the fee waiver process is enabled by default and there are no late fees, then most parents will learn to pay their child’s school fees on time. In fact, schools with this kind of mindset have a much better chance at collecting the money that they are owed compared to other fee collection-related businesses.
Have Regular Meetings With Parents to Discuss Fee Collection
Partnering with your school’s management company will help you conduct regular parent meetings where parents can ask questions about fees paid, how to pay etc. This not only helps improve the transparency in school fees and how it is collected but also makes parents feel more important in their children’s schools.
Online Fee Collection
Finally, having an online fee collection system in some schools is a great way to reduce fees. This has the added benefit of reducing the number of staff required at the school for this purpose, which can also save on costs. While it might seem like outsourcing is more efficient, school management companies are slowly showing that having a streamlined fee collection system can be much more cost-effective.
Schools that follow these six fee collection guidelines can ensure that they minimize costs and invest more time and resources into teaching students. Keeping parents involved in the school’s fee collection process is also a great way to ensure that all students are treated equally, which makes schools more competitive. While going through the school fee collection process might seem like a bother, these six tips can help your school streamline the process and save time and effort. While it might seem easier to outsource this process, school management companies are slowly showing that a streamlined fee collection system can be an economical alternative.
SchoolCues is an all-in-one school management system for small schools with limited budgets and resources. Our solutions include admissions and enrollment, online payments, student information system, gradebook, communications, parent engagement, donations and fundraising, alumni management, and more. Schedule a demo with us today.