Most schools, including private schools and even colleges, are relying on accounting software designed for businesses. However, these programs don’t always offer the functionality and features your organization needs, such as tracking designated fund accounting and donations, connecting student data to financial data, and streamlining reporting.
Choosing accounting software for schools can not only make your record-keeping more efficient and save you several steps, it can also improve accuracy. While we have an in-depth look at a wide variety of the best nonprofit accounting software programs, as well as how to choose nonprofit accounting software, we wanted to focus specifically on the unique needs of schools and educational organizations.
Know the Features You Need
First, it’s important to know exactly what features you need in your software. Consider things like:
- Integrating third-party platforms to accept payments as well as autopopulate data and make reports easier to access and run
- Whether it’s cloud based or installed onto a computer. If you need to access data from somewhere besides your dedicated office workspace, consider a cloud based option
- General ledger, accounts receivable and accounts payable, sending invoices, and other daily accounting operations are included
Capability and Scalability
It’s important to choose accounting software for your school that suits both your current and future needs. This means that the platform is robust enough to offer the features you need today and can scale for future growth as your school grows and technology changes. This is especially important for private schools and colleges that actively seek to grow their enrollment numbers and also rely more heavily on fundraising and tuition collection.
Customer Service and Training Availability
One factor many organizations overlook is whether there are proper customer service and software training services available. Nonprofit and school accounting software tends to be very specialized, which is excellent for accuracy and functionality, but it does make the learning curve a bit steeper.
To avoid investing in a software program only to have many of the features go unused or to give up on it after a few months because it’s too confusing can be a costly mistake, research the availability of training. Having a professional provide you with both custom training and ongoing support can ensure you make the most out of your software and have the best experience.
Setting a Budget
Of course, setting a budget and sticking with it is also necessary for choosing school accounting software. However, choosing the least expensive option means you may be sacrificing the features and functions you need, so it’s important to meet in the middle. Having accounting software that ensures accuracy, saves time, and makes it easy to run the reports you need will save you a significant amount in the long run, so be sure to cross-check the features you need with a platform that suits your budget.
Learn More About Financial Edge NXT for Your School
Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT offers a wide variety of benefits and features for educational organizations, including streamlining reporting, improving forecasting and budgeting, and saving time through automation. To learn more about whether this school accounting software is right for you, reach out to our team today at (843) 971-9061 or fill out the form below to get started.