Guide to Choosing & Implementing Accounting Software for Your Educational Institution

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Education is a central pillar of society, so much so that the government funnels billions of dollars into the education system every year. Public schools and colleges benefit directly from this funding, as they source a majority of their revenue from government grants at the federal, state, and local levels. Private schools, on the other hand, operate differently, with their funding coming from tuition charged to the students, in addition to endowments and donations.

Public and private schools and universities are under the nonprofit umbrella because they do not profit from the funding or revenue they generate. However, this means they have stricter reporting procedures and require more financial transparency than standard businesses. They track every dollar that comes into the school to ensure it’s allocated appropriately.

Accounting software helps nonprofit organizations like schools keep track of their money and do the work of a bookkeeper. Instead of doing calculations by hand, a fund accounting solution performs them more expediently. Accounting software takes care of a multitude of functions, such as:

  • Automating financial management operations.
  • Streamlining budgeting and purchasing.
  • Integrating data across multiple departments.
  • Automating day-to-day activities of staff like form creation and reporting.

Educational institutions of all kinds need financial accounting software for schools. Instead of tracking profits as they would for a business, these programs track tuition payments, grant funding, donations, and other school resources. They often pair with financial aid management software and sometimes integrate with student information systems and HR programs. Having a system that accurately records the financial information for a school is critical both for day-to-day operations and to qualify for funding and tax exemption.

According to Accounting Today, 58% of large companies already use cloud accounting software to track their financials. In the business sector, implementing accounting software is an established practice that many leaders wholeheartedly support. Unfortunately, organizations such as nonprofits and schools can run into roadblocks when trying to implement new software.

Whether it’s resistant leadership or lack of funding, many nonprofits lag when implementing new technology. However, having the most accurate picture of their financial situation is essential for these organizations to thrive. MIP Fund Accounting® offers the best accounting software for schools. Instead of getting bogged down in financials, our software provides a simple, secure, reliable, user-friendly interface that provides the functionality schools need to be successful.

If you’re looking for financial accounting software for schools, look no further than MIP Fund Accounting® services.

implement accounting software

Chapter 1: How to Implement Accounting Software Without Disrupting Operations

Before the advent of accounting software, accounting tech was more like a digital pen and paper with spreadsheets mimicking traditional bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is an essential function for schools and universities because of the different revenue streams, various departments, and funding requirements.

Steps to choosing accounting software involve a larger assessment of the organization. Implementing new software also needs a timeline for the implementation process. Having a plan is the most critical aspect of the selection and implementation process because your educational institution needs to prepare for possible disruptions.

Accounting Software Selection and Implementation Plan

To implement your accounting software into your educational institution successfully, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Understand Your School’s Accounting Needs 

What needs does your organization have now, and what future needs do you predict? For example, if you’re experiencing increases in enrollment, how will this new software be able to scale and grow with you? 

Performing a needs assessment involves thinking about your “right now” needs as well as what you want the organization or school to become. For instance, maybe you’re struggling with being over budget, and you want to make budgeting easier and reduce paper forms. You can automate this and other manual accounting tasks with the right accounting software solution.

Knowing exactly where and how your school gets its funding for different programs is essential for reporting and can streamline the tax audit process. Accounting software tracks and manages all funding sources so you know what funding comes from where. With various incoming streams, from state, federal, and local taxes to grants and endowments, schools need accounting software that can track their unique funding sources.

Step 2: Understand Your Budget 

Determine how much funding you have available to allocate to upgrading technology and accounting software. It’s best to overestimate the costs, as many organizations go over budget in their software implementation plans. Having clear selection criteria and a strong implementation plan can prevent going over budget.

Keep in mind that while the right software might be more expensive, it is also more likely to result in a higher return on investment (ROI) than cheaper versions, as a true fund accounting solution provides increased efficiency and fewer system interruptions.

Step 3: Consult Your Finance Team or Others Who Will Use the Software 

Implementing software that a whole team finds frustrating or confusing to use will result in unexpected roadblocks. Including users in the decision-making process is essential to get them on board and motivated for the transition to the new solution.

Using integral team members to help smooth the transition will also result in larger employee support and quicker adoption of the new technology.

Three Methods to Implement Accounting Software

Once you decide to implement new accounting software into your educational institution, you’ll need to choose which implementation method you want to use. There are three general methods you can use to implement your new accounting software.

1. All at Once Method

With this method, you implement the new accounting system completely all at once. Your team members use the new system all at once and only use the old one if they need to reference past data. The advantages of this method are that you will not have to juggle between two systems, and there won’t be any crossed wires.

However, this method isn’t suitable for every organization. The disadvantages of the all at once method include employee frustration and something going wrong, causing delays.

2. Both at Once Method

The both at once method allows you to get the new accounting system up and running without taking down the old system. Employees can use both simultaneously and learn the new system while having the old one to keep production up. The main benefit of this method is that it’s the safest method since there’s no interruption in service.

Again, this may not be the right method for every educational institution. The main con of the both at once implementation method is that tasks will take longer to complete since employees have to use two systems to do the same thing.

3. Chunk Method

The chunk method involves implementing modules one at a time, so you use one section of the new system while mostly relying on the old system and move to the new system in chunks. MIP Fund Accounting® is built on a module-based system to ensure the freedom to grow with your institution’s needs.

Benefits of the chunk method include making sure people understand things one at a time and moving the most important systems first. This method allows you to take time to implement and learn the system and train employees thoroughly on each module. The chunk method also gives your organization time to build up a team of people who can deal with the increased technology needs of your institution.

Moving to a new system by using a module-based accounting solution helps you control costs by adding what you need at the best times that work for your institution. Then, you can better plan for future costs and know what to expect from new software implementation in the future.

software implementation

How Can Accounting Software Implementation Lead to Disruptions?

It can be difficult, if not impossible, to avoid disruptions when implementing new software. Disruptions often happen when data isn’t updated or ready to transition. Incomplete or inaccurate data will impact the accuracy of the results. You might want to take a bit of time to go through all the data and the history before transferring it to the new system. If you have a lot of data, consider if all of it is necessary. Choose the right data to input and archive the rest.

Additionally, staff in different departments may not be used to the new system or able to use the new system as easily as others. As such, it’s essential to properly train staff on using the new software before the transition. Lack of training can cause disruptions or delays and lead to frustration among your team. Creating a solid plan before you start implementing new software helps reduce and even avoid these disruptions.

Software implementation can also affect your students and their families, so be sure to keep everyone informed about the anticipated changes ahead of time. 

Tools to Implementing Software Smoothly

Transitioning to an entirely new accounting software can be difficult for an organization. Here are some tips to make implementing accounting software go more smoothly for your school.

  • Have a detailed strategic plan and synchronize processes and operations with the new accounting system.
  • Create a map showing how each employee’s position might shift with the transformation.
  • Make sure you have board, executive, and staff buy-in.
  • Assign people who adapt more quickly to be leaders in each department the transition affects.
  • Be transparent about the entire process, from software selection to implementation.
  • Start with moving the most important content to the new software so your team can access it during the transition.

MIP® prevents disruptions and lets schools smoothly implement new software by providing true fund accounting software that is comprehensive, scalable, and designed to meet the unique accounting requirements of nonprofits and schools.

educational accounting software features

Chapter 2: Educational Accounting Software Features and Benefits

Accounting is becoming more and more tied to technology. As more organizations rely on accounting software, your school could be left behind if you don’t upgrade your tech. Accounting software can streamline organization operations and make work easier for your staff. When shopping for accounting software, you have many options to choose from.

Accounting Software Options

There are two major types of software options: on-premises and cloud-based systems. On-premises software is centralized at your location, while cloud-based software has no central location and can be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection. When choosing the accounting software that’s right for your institution, you should consider the features, usability, and costs. 

  • Features: Decide what you need your accounting software to do and what tools you require, such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, report generation, inventory tracking, time tracking, payroll, and project management. Once you know what features you require, you can find the perfect software for your school.
  • Usability: You should determine how many users will need to have access to your accounting software and decide whether you want a cloud-based software solution or desktop software. Think about whether you want a mobile app, and if so, what capabilities the app would need to have. Your accounting software should be easy for every user to learn and use.
  • Costs: Consider whether your institution would do well with inexpensive, basic software or whether you have greater accounting needs that require additional features and functions. Accounting software is an investment, so the cheapest option may not be the right choice for your organization.

The top three accounting software options available are MIP Fund Accounting®, QuickBooks, and Financial Edge by Blackbaud.

fund management system

MIP Fund Accounting®

Built specifically for nonprofits large and small, MIP® is a comprehensive fund management system that allows you to track every dollar and forward your mission. MIP® includes FASB- and GASB-compliant templates, configurable reporting and dashboards, budgeting and what-if scenarios, HR and payroll, and many other modules.

With MIP®, you can choose between cloud or on-premises software, depending on your organization’s needs. This software is ideal for nonprofits such as educational institutions because it’s easily scalable.

Intuit QuickBooks

In the past few years, QuickBooks has expanded to include nonprofit capabilities into the original software. This accounting software option can help you accept donations, connect donation apps, sync with banks, customize reports, and track grants.

QuickBooks is a good, inexpensive option, but it could be limited due to its non-scalable model. This option is best for small nonprofits and schools just starting out, but it won’t be able to grow with your organization or keep up with especially complex fund accounting needs.

Financial Edge by Blackbaud

Blackbaud is a cloud-based software designed with nonprofits in mind. This accounting software option allows financial planning and analysis with FASB-compliant reports, working capital and expense management features, and internal controls to bolster safety features. This software is most effective if you’re already a part of Blackbaud’s other software programs.

Sign up for free trials of the different accounting software options if you’re unsure which is the best choice for your institution.

accounting software

Benefits of Accounting Software

Your educational institution could benefit significantly from implementing accounting software. Hiring an accounting firm or a new staff member may not be in the budget, but trying to handle your school’s accounting tasks without the proper tool can make your accounting processes impossible to complete on your own. This is where accounting software comes in. Here are the top five advantages your institution can enjoy with the proper accounting software:

  • Affordable: Software is less expensive than hiring an accounting firm to do all work. It can help you reduce payroll administration costs and overall organization costs. Some schools have limited resources and may not be able to afford to pay staff to manually enter the same data in multiple systems. Accounting software centralizes information, so your team can operate more efficiently, and your institution can reduce labor costs.
  • Accurate: Reduce mistakes and inaccuracies with new accounting software that keeps everything in the same place. Computers do not make the mistakes humans do, but they are reliant on accurate entries. You will also eliminate the need for disparate software systems, reducing non-standardized data within your organization. When you decrease this non-standardized data, you can more easily prepare accurate financial forecasts.
  • Transparent: Accounting software can give you more visibility into your institution’s costs, making it easier for you to pass this information along to donors and stakeholders. Since many educational institutions are nonprofits, this is a significant benefit. Suppose you need to create a report that summarizes how you used every dollar of a grant. In that case, your software can generate this report, helping you build trust with your donors and encouraging future contributions.
  • Accessible: With everything on one platform, your staff members won’t have to switch between different programs to find all the information they need. Staff won’t have to use as many manual methods for accounting, and the software will make it easier to enter data and collaborate on tasks. School districts that span multiple campuses will especially enjoy the increased accessibility of accounting software over paper-based recordkeeping.
  • Saves time: An older accounting system is likely time-consuming and prevents the team from getting through all the financial information in a useful, efficient manner. Accounting software can generate almost instantaneous reports and automate processes so tasks are easier for your staff to complete on time.
  • Easier tax filing: Accounting software also tracks all your transactions and income, including grants and endowments, and keeps records you can refer to during tax filing.

With accounting software, your staff can handle your school’s financial tasks, and you can save costs on hiring an accounting firm or accountant.

Accounting Software Features and Functions

Accounting software is for more than simple monetary calculations. This software serves several functions thanks to its many features. To find the right accounting software solution for your institution, you should decide where and how the software will be used and who will use it. Features of accounting software include the following:

  • Multiuser access: This feature allows more than one person to have full access to the data, but you can determine which users get access to what information. For example, you can give your accountant full access to the software, but you can restrict your employees’ access to invoicing and time tracking.
  • Cloud-based software: Most accounting software is moving toward cloud-based software simply because the needs of businesses and nonprofits are changing. Staff needs to be able to access data and information from anywhere, and having a cloud software system lets you do that as long as you have an internet connection.
  • Desktop: Desktop software only allows access from your work computers. Unlike the cloud, desktop software is not based on internet access or connection.
  • Security: With newer software, you’ll get more security, ensuring your organization’s most sensitive information is kept confidential.
  • Customized: Software should work for nonprofits and be customizable to your organization’s specific needs.
  • Tech support and training: Find out if the company hosting the software offers continual support and training. Your accounting software should be easy to use so your staff is more likely to adopt it.

Statistics on ERP Implementation and Usage

ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, and accounting is just a small part of it. All kinds of organizations use ERP systems to manage operations. According to a study on ERP implementation and usage:

  • The top reasons to implement new ERP are cost savings and increasing efficiency.
  • Most deployments go over budget.
  • The largest influences for selections are finance and accounting and IT employees.
  • Eighty-nine percent of companies identify accounting as the most crucial ERP function.
  • Half of ERP implementations fail on the first try.
  • Most organizations choose cloud-based ERP systems rather than on-premise accounting software.

The best software for schools is customized to what schools need. Ensure the software you choose has the functions you need, like human resources and payroll, budgeting and budget scenarios, configurable reporting and dashboards, and FASB- and GASB-compliant report templates.

best accounting software for educational institutions

Chapter 3: Best Accounting Software for Educational Institutions

Higher education institutions, like other schools, have unique needs. However, they are also unique within the education accounting sector as their scope and reach are much larger. Where they get funding depends on whether they are public or private institutions.

Like primary schools, private universities and colleges get funding from tuition, and public schools get money from the state and student tuition. Even for private schools, profit is not the primary motive, so their accounting and financial situation is fundamentally different from for-profit businesses.

What Is Higher Education Accounting Software?

Higher education accounting software is a program that digitally accounts for all the incoming and outgoing money. Accounting software can track payments, financial aid, work-study, payroll, and budgets. Most also allow you to file transactions under different classifications, such as instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, operation and maintenance, scholarships, and auxiliary enterprises.

Students are an educational institution’s benefactors, so integrating student records must be an institution’s top priority with accounting software. Consolidating your student records into a single centralized database increases efficiency, reduces confusion, and prevents cumbersome data entry duplicates.

Hierarchy in higher education means that many people need to have access to financial reporting, and different departments need to be able to gauge their individual budgets.

implementing and ERP

What Is an ERP System in Higher Education?

The purpose of enterprise resource planning (ERP) is to provide software that allows multiple users to access data entered into the system. With an ERP, once information is in the database, it can be shared throughout the organization. In recent years, ERP systems have expanded to include more applications like marketing automation, grants management, supply chain systems, student systems, and electronic commerce. Though implementing an entire ERP system can take years and millions of dollars, the system may be worth the cost and effort for your institution.

The benefits of implementing an ERP for higher education include:

  • Reducing around 15,000 paper forms.
  • Improving access to timely information and essential reports.
  • Providing user-friendly databases for staff to use.
  • Using automated email alerts to save time.
  • Enhancing workflow and increasing efficiency. 
  • Streamlining processes to make the adoption of best practices easier.

Implementing and using an ERP requires focus and team training, but the benefits make the effort well worth it.

What Is the Best Accounting Software for Educational Institutions?

With an average endowment of $905 million in fiscal year 2020 and average yearly tuition costs of $37,650 for private colleges, $10,560 for in-state public schools, and $27,020 for out-of-state public colleges, universities have a lot of money to work with and need their accounting software to be able to keep up with high demands.

The best accounting software for educational institutions is customizable to each school. Accounting software for schools should include modules for:

  • Student records: One of the essential modules for accounting software is a solution for student records. Student records, such as grades, extracurricular activities, and schedules, should be managed in the system, along with accounting information.
  • Fund accounting: A fund is a self-balancing account designed to record cash, liabilities, and balances. Your institution needs fund accounting to track expenditures back to specific funding sources so donations and grants are used for their intended purposes. 
  • Online payment and registration: You may need online registration and payment for classes that tie directly to student records. Students can pay for their classes online, making the payment and registration process simpler and more convenient for both students and staff.
  • Point of sale feature: Point of sale features can help track campus food sales and match them to student records for meal plans and prepaid accounts, so you may want this feature for your school to improve accuracy, track sales, and manage cash operations.
  • Inventory and facility management: Educational institutions deal with various types of inventory, including supplies, textbooks, sports equipment, and computers. Along with physical assets, your school’s property and buildings will need ongoing maintenance and repairs. Inventory and facilities management tools help track the properties and supplies your school uses to help prevent loss.

Having these specialized modules makes accounting for educational institutions easier and more accurate.

fund accountng solutions are configurable

Education Accounting Software That Is Easy to Use

Since a wide range of users will work with this accounting software, user-friendliness is the top priority. Not everyone is an accountant or understands all the inner workings of an educational institution’s financials, so the system should display information clearly with easily digestible reports. Educational institutions also need to be able to restrict who sees what and have the proper security to protect the financial information of their students and employees.

You need to be able to use your new fund accounting system with your other systems, which is why MIP Fund Accounting® Modules are the best choice for your accounting software. Our fund accounting solutions are configurable and allow you to create a customized system with modules that can meet your school’s specific needs.

how to choose the right accounting software for your organization

Chapter 4: How to Choose the Right Accounting Software for Your Organization

Choosing the right accounting software for your organization is an important decision. To identify the best option, you need to understand some basics of accounting and know what good accounting software should do for you. Selecting the right accounting software can be an involved process, but as long as you know what essential factors to look for, you can find the software that will work for your educational institution.

Understanding Accounting Basics

Many nonprofit managers feel they don’t have the necessary knowledge about finance and accounting. To know how to choose accounting software, you should understand some basic functions of accounting.

Also known as bookkeeping, accounting is the process of recording and organizing all the financial transactions of an organization. Bookkeeping refers to the basics of the accounting process and provides a picture of money coming into and going out of the organization. Bookkeeping can either be single-entry or double-entry.

  • Single-entry bookkeeping: With this bookkeeping method, you enter every transaction once. For instance, if a client pays you a certain amount, you enter this amount only in your asset column. This method typically works only for very simple organizations, such as work-from-home businesses that don’t have inventory and rarely use cash transactions.
  • Double-entry bookkeeping: With this bookkeeping method, every transaction in an account requires an entry into another account. This means for every transaction, you record two entries. As such, double-entry bookkeeping is more challenging, but this method also ensures your numbers are balanced. Fortunately, accounting software can handle this process for you.

Accounting is a more involved process that summarizes the findings of bookkeeping and generates holistic reports that reveal trajectories and implications for the organization’s budget.

small business owners

How to Choose the Right Accounting Software

According to Statista, 64.4% of small business owners use software to assist them with their accounting needs. Choosing the right accounting software involves:

  • Deciding what your organization needs and requirements are: Consider how your organization operates and what you need from accounting software, such as whether you need a software solution designed specifically for small or large organizations. You may want accounting software that is specifically designed for your sector. 
  • Assessing your own accounting skills: Consider the level of financial literacy you and your staff have to ensure the accounting software solution you choose will make bookkeeping easier. No matter how sophisticated your software is, it is a tool that your staff must understand how to use effectively.
  • Looking at different on-premises and cloud software options: Determine whether you want software that only works at your facility or whether you want software your staff can access from anywhere with an internet connection. With cloud accounting, you don’t need to be concerned about keeping your software updated, and your sensitive records will be kept secure by a data center rather than at a vulnerable physical location.
  • Paying attention to add-on features: Add-ons such as remote access, online payments, and tax software integration can offer your organization additional functionality. Consider what add-ons are right for your organization and try out those features via a free demo or trial before you make your software selection.
  • Gathering expert advice: You may want to get expert advice on what accounting software is right for your institution, especially if you’re not experienced in accounting and need guidance from someone you trust about what you need. If you have an accountant, they may prefer that you choose a software solution that they are familiar with. Someone who has worked with a few different accounting software options can give you insights into what option is the right choice for your organization. 

You also need to review your budget — and overestimate the costs. The cost of accounting software varies depending on the included features and the number of users who can access the software. If you want cloud-based software, for example, you may need to pay a monthly subscription fee per user. You may be able to choose from multiple packages or plans and receive a discounted rate if you pay annually instead of monthly.

Plans that are more expensive tend to include advanced features like project tracking, billing, recurring invoices, sales tracking, team functions, automatic past-due reminders, inventory tracking, purchase ordering, and advanced reporting capabilities. You may also want accounting software that integrates with your other systems, which can come at an additional cost. Fortunately, many vendors offer free demos so you can try the accounting software before you make a monetary commitment. 

comprehensive fund accounting

What to Look for in a New Accounting Software

When you are trying to choose the right accounting software for your organization, you should know what features and functions to look for. The features of accounting software should help you manage your finances and cater to your organization’s exact needs, making it easy to accomplish your routine accounting tasks and providing a comprehensive picture of how your organization is performing. The top factors to consider when selecting a new accounting system include:

  • Basic functionality: What general functionality does it provide, and does it match up with your needs? Most accounting software performs basic functions like financial report generation, invoicing, expense tracking, and income tracking, but make sure these encompass all your needs. 
  • Industry-specific functionality: What industry-specific functions does it allow you to perform? Certain industries might require more customization. For example, a large university that sells multiple products at a campus bookstore or cafeteria may want accounting software that tracks inventory, manages vendors, and assists with purchase orders. Organizations that provide services may want programs for invoicing billable hours and tracking time. Nonprofits often need detailed fund accounting software to account for their grants and endowments.
  • Accessibility: Who will need to access this software? Cloud-based software can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection, while on-premises software is downloaded on desktops. However, the cloud requires a very reliable internet connection, so that’s an important consideration. If your organization has an unreliable internet connection, cloud-based software may not be the right choice for you.
  • Scalability: Can the software scale with your company? Keeping in mind the growth rate, determine whether the software can keep up with increasing demands and grow with you. Growth means a higher volume of transactions and a need for a multiuser system, so you may want to pick software that offers extra functionality.
  • Security: Security is critical, so look for software that includes added security options, including protecting information and deciding who gets access to what within the system. With role-based security, you can also assign different levels of access depending on the staff member’s role in the organization. 
  • Compatibility: You need accounting software that integrates with your bank account so you can download your bank transactions and complete bank reconciliations. Automating your bank reconciliations like this will save time, so be sure whatever accounting software you choose is compatible with your bank.
  • Affordability: Though comprehensive accounting software is an investment, it doesn’t have to break the bank. For example, if you want cloud-based accounting software, search for an option with a modest monthly fee that fits within your budget. The cost will depend on a few factors, including the number of users, functionality, and the volume of transactions. Investing in software may also reduce your accountant’s fees.
  • Easy to use: Are the staff who are using this prepared to work with this technology? Choosing software should involve the staff who will actually encounter it daily, and getting their input during the decision process will make implementation much easier.
  • Customer support and training: Does the software host provide training or customer support? Knowing they have someone to take their questions and concerns to is essential for staff to feel supported in the process. Training and continual technical support are significant factors in adopting new software.
  • Tax preparation: You may also want accounting software that helps you prepare for the tax season with features such as automatic tax calculations, tax reporting, and multiple tax rates. Your accounting software should make it easy for you to provide your accountant with access to the relevant data or easily send the necessary files and data to your accountant via email.
  • Automation: Look for accounting software that automates the most time-consuming tasks. You may want a software solution that automatically sends past-due notifications and recurring invoices to save you time on your accounts receivable and invoicing tasks. Suggested transaction matches can also save you time. Orgaizations that carry inventory may also want accounting software that automatically creates purchase orders if an item drops below a certain threshold.
  • Third-party integrations: If you run your organization using other services and programs, you’ll want an accounting software solution that integrates with these programs and allows you to share data between these systems. Common third-party integrations include advanced inventory management, POS systems, e-commerce, payment processing, CRM, ERP, and email marketing.

MIP® has the most comprehensive fund accounting system that will provide the most accurate reporting. Get customized modules that fit the unique needs of your organization and advanced security with our cloud-based software.

what you need to know about school accounting software

Chapter 5: What You Need to Know About School Accounting Software

In the education industry, accounting software is specialized to meet schools’ needs. Schools operate differently from normal businesses, so their financial situation also looks different. There are many different options for school district accounting software, but the best ones will have modules that you can customize to your school’s needs.

What’s Different About School Accounting?

School accounting is different from other business accounting needs because the purpose and mission are different. Businesses seek to make a profit while using the least amount of money to create their products or provide their services. Schools, on the other hand, get funding from areas like taxes, tuition, grants, and donations, and they reinvest that money into the school rather than generating profit.

Schools and other nonprofits have unique accounting needs. Nonprofit accounting software focuses less on profit generation and more on tracking funding from different areas. Finding the right software is important because larger donors and board members want to know how the school is using its money.

Educational institutions also have various departments with different funding needs. Special reporting is often essential to apply for grants and other funding. The best software will integrate with other software you use to track data.

accounting solution provides all the necessary software features

The Best School Accounting Software

MIP Fund Accounting® is the best school accounting software. Our accounting solution provides all the necessary software features and functions that schools need to continue to run smoothly and realize their mission.

Core Modules

With our core modules, you’ll have access to every feature needed for tracking basic financial information. Our core modules include:

  • Budget
  • Form design
  • General ledger 
  • Accounts payable
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Data importer and exporter 
  • Accounts receivable reporting

If you have a current accounting system that doesn’t offer these key functions, you may want to upgrade to MIP Fund Accounting®.

Payroll and HR Employee Modules

With our payroll and HR employee modules, your school can get timely and precise payment information for employees, the convenience of electronic deposits, and the ability to streamline HR processes such as benefits selection. These modules include:

  • Payroll
  • Direct deposit
  • HR management
  • Benefit enrollment
  • Employee web services

Your employees can review their current benefits in your employee services portal. Since our software is customizable, you can also choose which modules are the best fit for your institution.

purchasing modules

Purchasing Modules

With our accounting software’s purchasing modules, you can get more accurate and available information to make purchasing decisions, improve tracking and compliance for reporting, reserve funds easily for planned expenses, and review the effect of current requests with just a click on your budget checking tool. Our purchasing modules include: 

  • Fixed assets
  • Encumbrances
  • Purchase orders
  • Electronic requisition 

Our purchasing modules seamlessly integrate with our modules to provide your school with the necessary features and functions.

Additional Modules

You can also choose from additional modules for your school to ensure our accounting software meets your institution’s needs and can help you achieve your goals. With these modules, you can improve cash management, reduce fraud risk, control vendor payments, simplify reporting, and perform allocations with a single click. Our additional modules include: 

  • DrillPoint
  • Scheduler
  • Dashboards
  • Multicurrency
  • GASB reporting
  • Advanced security
  • Data consolidation
  • Executive view license
  • Electronic funds transfer
  • Allocations management
  • A/R reporting with sales order entry and billing

Customize your school’s accounting software by selecting the modules that are right for your organization. If you’re unsure what modules will be best for your institution, you can request a demo of MIP Fund Accounting® to try out our software solution.

software from mip fund accounting

Try Customizable Software From MIP Fund Accounting®

Choosing accounting software is a critical decision for any organization, and it has enormous effects on the efficiency of almost all operations. For schools, accounting is the foundation by which everything can operate — all donations, gifts, grants, and other funding sources need to be meticulously accounted for. However, many accounting systems are built for the needs of businesses rather than nonprofit institutions like schools. Nonprofits have unique accounting needs because they don’t profit off of their revenue.

Since every dollar that comes into a school goes to the instruction and assistance of students in one way or another, your organization needs the most reliable fund accounting. That’s where MIP Fund Accounting® services can help. MIP® is the best solution for your school’s accounting needs because our software makes budgeting, reporting, and tracking funds easier than ever. Need to project many future budget scenarios? Our software can produce an endless array of what-if scenarios so your organization is prepared for whatever comes your way.

From small private schools to huge public universities, educational institutions need to account for government funding sources and donations accurately. Accurate reporting, then, is essential to demonstrate your organization remains in compliance with the stipulations of all funding sources. MIP® provides configurable reporting and dashboards so you can track and record your financials, making audits as seamless as possible.

When contemplating what fund accounting software to choose, you need to be sure to select one which will further your organization’s mission and goals. MIP Fund Accounting® can be your partner in tracking and recording every dollar that comes in or goes out of your organization. What makes MIP® so great is that you can try it before committing to a full-scale software implementation. Try out our fund accounting software with a free demo today and see how we can transform your operations and streamline your accounting.

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