The role of the school business manager has always been diverse and demanding. Covering a wide range of functions and dealing with many stakeholder groups, school business managers wear many hats – and the demands on them are growing as the education sector evolves.

In a day, a business manager may find themselves reconciling accounts, dealing with staff issues, negotiating supplier contracts, acting on behalf of the principal, arranging a board meeting, supporting the fundraising committee and more. For this reason, they must have skills in a range of areas including finance, management, project management and compliance.

Equally important is that they’re supported by a comprehensive and intuitive payment platform that allows them to manage payments flexibly, securely and efficiently. Purpose-built school payment software like FACTS enables schools to simplify and streamline their approach to payments, providing more control, visibility and convenience to both administrators and families.

Integrated tuition management

Managing tuition payments effectively is a key challenge for schools. Many still take a manual approach which is time-consuming and inefficient.

Schools without a flexible, centralised payment system will often have teams of staff who take many weeks to coordinate the payment process at the start of each school year. Managing year level or subject-specific pricing, discounts and any credits or debits to be applied to an account becomes labour intensive and error-prone. Additionally, neither the school nor families have visibility of their financial position.

FACTS supports K-12 schools to deliver a better payment experience for families while reducing the workload of their administrative team. Our world-class billing engine gives both user groups real-time visibility of payments made, scheduled and missed, 24/7, wherever they are.

Smart online forms

Paper-based forms and payment slips are unpopular with administrators and families alike. Easy to forget or misplace, it’s inconvenient for families to manually record information the school already holds about them – and collecting payment information on paper forms is not PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant.

FACTS’s flexible online forms allow simple and efficient management of permission and payment for extras like school excursions and trips. FACTS forms collect information via a secure and encrypted platform, with any costs automatically added to each family’s account, so no cash or manual payments are needed. It’s a more flexible, convenient, cost-effective and secure way for schools to manage permissions and payments required throughout the year.

Complete cash flow management and real-time reporting

Many schools without a comprehensive payment system lack a strong understanding of their current financial position. Managing tuition fees, fundraising efforts and incidental expenses in separate spreadsheets can make it impossible to get an accurate real-time view of a school’s financial health.

School payment software allows administrators to view key financial metrics at a glance. Business managers can build customised reports and schedule these to be created and shared with key stakeholders on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Powerful analytics let the administration team identify and manage arrears, hardship and other financial aspects with confidence the latest information is at their fingertips.

Best-in-class data security

Keeping personal and payment information safe is imperative for all schools. The traditional approach of sending forms home in schoolbags to be completed and returned presents many opportunities for this confidential information to be lost.

Tools like FACTS allow schools to collect and store this information securely and give families the opportunity to update their information at their convenience via a secure online portal, 24/7. This means no need for the school administration team to chase forms and payments or enter data manually. It’s also more efficient for families, who won’t be asked to provide the same information each time there’s a camp or excursion.

FACTS is PCI level 1 compliant, the highest level of validation given by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

FACTS supports a seamless flow of information between a school’s administration team and its teachers, students and families. From enrolment to graduation, it allows information to be captured and stored securely – meaning no manual data entry for schools, and no need for families to provide the same information time and time again.

A complete school payment platform supports business managers to meet the competing aspects of their role with agility, and give families and the administration team better flexibility, control and visibility.