Decades of parents sweating as they stand in long queues for submitting their children’s school fees have passed. Decades of school staff investing time and effort in manually maintaining feel collection and financial records have also passed. It continues in many schools. If you’re managing a school and you don’t have an efficient fee management system, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Education is rooted in traditional paper methods so much that other alternatives might get overlooked in this chase for efficiency.
Having had the honour to serve many schools as our clients, we want to share our learnings with you. They might help you in building an efficient fee management system for your school.
Integrate your management system
An integrated system is a way to go but what does it mean? System integration is a process of connecting different sub-systems (components) into a single larger system that functions as one. What will it do for you? An integrated fee management system will be able to handle all fee-related operations. Everything is on one platform. It will automatically build a fee structure based on the needs you tell (the manual inputs required) for any course/class or any other special course. What about the collection of late payment fees? Fines? Don’t worry, this integrated system will take care of it all.
Have clarity before anything
If you want to save time in the process, make sure you have figured out all major questions. Some of them are: Who will be collecting the fee? What will be the application process look like? Who will approve what? Who can apply for a concession? Who handles the transport fee? What does its process look like? So on, so forth. What you’re looking for is a clear flow chart containing all steps and roles. Of course, you will need proper documentation and training for this to work.
Fix inconsistencies consistently
When you have multiple modes of fee payment whether it’s net banking, NEFT, cheque, cash, etc., make sure you have a system to cross-check things. You are keeping a record of the receipts, collecting all kinds of fees but you must reconcile the records at least once a week. You can select a day based on the settlement dates, considering all technicalities from the bank’s side as well. This way you can match the previous week’s records with internal reports and bank statements.
Work on transparency
Consistent monitoring of the fee collection process breeds reliability and trust within the team and for the process as well. How do you know if it’s working exactly how you intended? And if it’s not working then why? You can always have answers to this question as long as you have the data. Internal reports which could be daily or weekly will bring clarity and transparency because data can’t lie. These could be either manual reports that higher management can go through or automated ones through fee collection software.
You can continue to find ways to make your offline fee management system efficient. But don’t rule out online systems because they can make your work easier and more accurate. If you’re still wondering whether you should invest in school management software, then read this for some possible answers. You can also explore how technology can be used for learning in schools and how you can grow your school with technology.