K-12 schools across the nation are embracing technology to improve engagement and learning within the classroom. However, it’s usually the opposite within the district’s back-end operations. Many accounts payable departments continue to depend on legacy, proprietary, or manual systems to perform essential functions, such as reimbursement and invoice and expense submission. Without visibility and automation within an educational institution’s finances, errors and increased time can cost a school in the long run.
This is where accounting software for schools comes in. The right school fund accounting software can implement automation in your finances to make your operations run more smoothly, save your staff time, and avoid costly errors.
Benefits of School Accounting Automation
School accounting automation can offer your K-12 institution a variety of benefits, such as:
- Improving accuracy: One of the greatest benefits of school accounting automation is increased accuracy. The automation process depends on automated procedures or machines, so the software will minimize human error. Manually entering data could lead to incorrect information or missed steps, but with automated software, entries are automatic. Using automation, accounting errors like unreconciled statements, missing fields, and duplicate transactions can be caught.
- Increasing efficiency: When you implement accounting software for K-12 schools, you’ll immediately notice significant time savings. Your staff can say goodbye to manual entry, which will also reduce human error and time spent undoing these errors. When staff submits receipts for reimbursement, automation can streamline the reimbursement process and ensure that staff members receive their reimbursements more quickly.
- Gaining visibility: Manual accounting systems don’t allow for real-time visibility into your institution’s finances. Often, there are expenses that don’t show up until year-end. With an automated school accounting system, however, you can track the expenses that could have a large impact on your larger budget, allowing you to better manage the budget.
- Saving on costs: Along with increasing your school’s accuracy and efficiency, you can reduce operation costs by reducing repetitive work and forecasting work. The right accounting software will include tools that predict account balances and allow your accountant to analyze trends, optimize decision making, and reallocate efforts.
- Ensuring compliance: When you have an automated school accounting system in place, you’ll have the controls needed to quickly identify data-entry errors and potentially fraudulent requests, while simultaneously meeting standards for compliance. Your school can eliminate travel and expense errors and reduce compliance failures. You can enforce existing policies, which can lead to more successful audit outcomes and yield fewer rejections of your expense reports.
At MIP Fund Accounting®, our school fund accounting software can enhance your institution’s financial management.
Automation plays a crucial role in education, but process automation is a sensitive task that involves balancing efficiency and technology with a human element. Your accounting software should streamline processes throughout your district, including:
- Transactional processes
- Recurring, consistent processes
- Processes that cross departments
- Processes that are a drain on resources
- Processes that require several entries of the same data
- Processes that capture data already being collected by other systems
- Processes that pose a significant risk of error, fraud, or security breaches
- Processes that generate a lot of paperwork that must be collected and filed
Though your accounting software doesn’t necessarily need to check every box, the more processes it can automate, the better. However, some processes should not be automated, such as those that involve interaction with students, require a significant degree of interpretation or judgment, improve organizational culture, foster personal relationships, or are a source of accomplishment or pride for the people involved.
You can use payment automation to make electronic payments to vendors via check, wire, virtual card, or ACH transfer. Payment automation streamlines payments by removing the most time-consuming tasks from manual efforts and transferring the tasks to artificial intelligence (AI).
Several functions can be processed by payment automation, such as verifying transfers, matching invoices, and automatically approving and remitting payment. One of the most powerful features of a payment automation system is invoice processing, which takes in invoices from a variety of vendors in different formats. Payment automation then deciphers and stores the information, after which the software establishes a review cycle for human review or automatic approval.
This means the greatest benefit of payment automation is that it saves your organization time. As with any other asset, time is a valuable commodity. By automating payments, you can prevent overruns due to manual processes and reduce the chance of missed payments or human error. A payment automation system can also ensure vendors are paid on time and more quickly, which can improve your partnerships.
Reduce Repetitive Tasks
K-12 accounting teams should also embrace automation because it reduces repetitive tasks. Automation can handle several accounting functions, such as risk management, cash visibility, and forecasting. If your school still has vital activities like accounts receivable and accounts payable performed by outdated manual processes, you may want to invest in accounting software.
For example, if your school is still using spreadsheets to track your finances, your staff is likely dedicating a lot of time to collecting and consolidating this data, leaving little time for analysis and strategic review. Unfortunately, accounting departments relying on outdated systems often spend more time handling data than assessing the efficiency of existing strategies.
By automating, your institution can free up time that can be spent focusing on more essential activities and close the productivity gap. If your staff spends several days each month shuffling through paper checks, for example, they can’t shift their focus to improving this process. When your accounting software automates check certification and processing, your staff can instead use their valuable time to strategize different ways that mitigate or eliminate time-consuming systems.
Request a Demo of K-12 Accounting Software
School fund accounting software is essential for any educational institution, from K-12 schools to prestigious universities. Accounting is complex and requires a dedication to students and attention to detail. At MIP Fund Accounting®, we can meet your needs for fund accounting software today, tomorrow, and beyond.
Our accounting solution can provide comprehensive financial oversight and help your K-12 school better achieve its missions. Our system offers the following features and functions:
- Content management
- School payment solutions
- Financial aid management
- Student information systems
- Fundraising and advancement
- Billing and tuition management
- Admissions and enrollment management
Operate more efficiently, better engage with donors, improve your financial decision-making, and better manage, report, and track the finances across your organization when you choose MIP Fund Accounting®. Our accounting solution is designed to work with other industry-leading solutions in the education industry.
When you’re ready to experience MIP Fund Accounting® in action, request a demo today. One of our experts will reach out to schedule a personal product tour.