Running a school is a challenging undertaking. You need to enroll new students every year to compensate for departing families, manage the team of teachers, deal with parent complaints, and more. One area where a lot of time is spent is billing and payments. Many schools are stuck in the 20th century when it comes to payments, and the result is too much time spent on admin and not enough on building lasting relationships with customers. Tuition management systems address some of the inefficiencies that plague schools and help relieve the pressure on administrators.
#1: Tuition management systems automate the billing
We speak to school administrators every day and hear the same thing over and over – schools typically provide a payment receipt if tuition is paid cash, but not otherwise (outside of the annual receipts for tax purposes). While it makes sense to produce a receipt to someone making a payment with a non-traceable method of payment (cash), it is also sensible to have a formal process to invoice families.
This is especially true if you offer different options of payment plans (e.g. monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual) to parents and need to keep track of who does what (and who owes what). Parents also appreciate the transparency of receiving an official invoice before or shortly after completing their payment. After all, when was the last time a business asked you to pay for hundreds or thousands of dollars at once without providing you with an invoice?
Once your programs are set up, tuition management systems will take care of invoicing your parents electronically as payments come due and keeping track of all receivables.
#2: Tuition management systems boost electronic payments, reduce usage of cheques
Another obvious benefit of tuition management systems is that they equip you with options to accept electronic forms of payment.
Depending on the platform, you will be set up to accept online payments such as e-checks (pre-authorized debit), credit/debit cards or both. Beyond the obvious additional convenience offered to parents (who will reward you with their business and higher retention rates), digital payments actually save you, the school administrator, a tremendous amount of time.
Imagine an hypothetical world where 100% of tuition payments come through online and you don’t have to deal with a single cheque; that means no collection of a stack of postdated cheques to file, no deposit slips to fill, no trips to the bank, no fight with the deposit machine, no poorly written cheque, and no NSF to follow up on.
Now, how much time would that represent every month? It depends on your school’s size and unique situation but on average, we found that schools that automated their tuition billing system and offered online payment options reduced cheque payments by 97% and saved 20-40h/month.
#3: Tuition management systems provide great transparency for all stakeholders
Many people may need to get an accurate picture of the school’s finances at different times of the year: the bookkeeper, the Board, the auditors, the owners… the exercise of calculating key financial metrics such as revenue, receivables and cash flows becomes much simpler when the right data is available and current at all times. This is because tuition management systems will typically reconcile your payments in real time and let you export this data for other purposes. As a result, everyone gets a clear picture of how the school is doing, without having to wait for the official books to be finalized by the school’s accountant.
Tuition management systems are underrated and school administrators should add them to their toolbox. There is a lot of time stuck in physical, manual and inefficient billing and payment processes at schools and making improvements in this area can result in dizzying returns on investment rates.
TUIO is the #1 billing & payments platform in the educational space. Principals, owners, administrators and daycare supervisors save hundreds of hours each year automating their administrative billing tasks on TUIO and providing families with a secured TUIO account where they can seamlessly provide pre-authorizations for bank account and credit card payments of their upcoming school or daycare invoices. If you would like to see for yourself what TUIO can do for your organization, schedule a demo and/or read some of our customers endorsement letters.