Hi! I am Danish, cofounder of SchoolPad. In the past eight years since inception, I have been majorly involved with schools in helping build their fee management processes and systems to make fee collections more consistent and error-free.
During this journey, I came across many common problems. Among them: school fee records don’t match with bank account statements; timely reminders aren’t sent; parents don’t remember the exact fee amount and pay incorrectly… and the list goes on and on.
By working closely with the staff members of various reputed schools, I identified these issues and along with my SchoolPad team, addressed them accordingly by building solutions.
Following is a consolidation of all these learnings and a simple 3-step process that will help your school build an efficient, error-free, and reliable fee management system.
1. Build Clarity: This, in my opinion, is the most crucial step which takes care of most problems during the fee collection process. Some issues of concern are: Who collects fees? What is the application process for concessions? Who approves concessions and who can apply for it? Who exempts fines? What is the fine exemption process? Who assigns the transport fee? What is the process to opt for transport fee? And so on.
Basically, all one needs is a flow chart that clearly explains all the steps and the role of individuals concerned with fees collection. A concerted effort is required to build clarity on this issue through proper training and documentation. The result will be a system that will automatically take care of the accuracy of your fee collections and improve the payment experience for parents.
2. Reconcile Regularly: This is the second most important step, especially when you have multiple fee collection modes (online, bank deposit, cheque, cash etc.). Keeping a record of receipts is only one part. It is essential to have a process in place to reconcile the records of the previous week, once every week.
Select a day according to your settlement dates, considering cheque or online fee payments, so you can reconcile the entire previous week and match the amounts with your internal reports and bank statements. This process is so powerful it will help you identify all inconsistencies and fix them quickly.
3. Monitoring: Monitoring builds reliability and trust in the entire fee collection process, a significant area of concern of school managements and owners. Therefore, it’s pertinent to develop a daily reporting system for school managements and owners. These reports must highlight the critical elements of fee collection such as receipts cancelled or re-generated, concessions awarded with details, backdated receipts, etc. This data will make the system more transparent making it more reliable. Now, these could be a set of manual reports being presented daily to management at the end of day or automated reports generated and mailed through the fee collection software to key management personnel.
Building systems and processes are time consuming yet essential to build and grow a school. Once strong processes and systems are in place, school managements and owners can focus entirely on the school’s overall growth rather than spend precious time to fix daily operational issues.
I hope you found this article helpful. In case you are facing similar issues in your school, do reach out to me at danish@ schoolpad.in. Would love to chat with you and work with you to resolve these issues and make your life easier.