You have child care hours to track, invoices to generate, and payments to deposit and record, on top of all of your other responsibilities. Keeping up-to-date child care payment logs -- and bookkeeping in general -- can be time-consuming and tedious. As a child care provider or program administrator, it’s probably safe to say that managing child care payment logs may be the administrative task you like the least, to put it mildly. The good news is that help is on the way in the form of technology.
Find a digital solution
With all the available tech out there in the world, you should be taking full advantage of digital solutions to your child care payment logs for your center or program. A vast improvement to spreadsheets, there are options for an integrated software solution that will make things so much easier on your end, and leave you wondering why it took you so long to modernize your bookkeeping.
Not all software solutions for child care payment logs are created equally, so be sure to do your homework when evaluating your options. You should consider what features you’d consider “must-haves” for a billing software platform. Do you need the ability to handle late fees, drop-in care hours, or bill for supplies each month? Do you offer sibling discounts? Would you like to offer your parents the option to pay with credit cards? Think about all of the tasks on your plate related to the financial management of your business and make a list. You’ll be looking for a software platform that can offer a solution to these specific pain points, simplifying your accounting workload.
But perhaps most importantly, with any platform you are considering, don’t forget to look closely at both security and reliability. Safely protecting your financial information -- and especially your families’ for that matter -- should definitely be your top priority.
Streamline your workflow
Using a software solution for your child care payment log will streamline your administrative workflow and up your game when it comes to efficient bookkeeping. For example with brightwheel, you have the ability to set up recurring invoices. This will save so much time on your end, and will ultimately ensure that you get paid quicker, with less chance for lost invoices, misplaced checks, etc. You can also automate delivery of electronic payment receipts, another timesaver (and parent-pleaser).
Another key benefit is to manage all of your tuition and billing from one centralized platform. Safely and securely connect your bank account, allowing direct deposits of payments, saving you those dreaded trips to the bank.
Improve your internal business practices
Aside from handling your day-to-day more efficiently, a child care payment log software can also assist with improvements to how you manage your business. Brightwheel allows online viewing of your outstanding, pending, and past-due payments in an easy-to-read dashboard format, so you’ll always have this information at your fingertips when you need it.
The ability to use software to run income reports can assist in many ways. For example, with brightwheel’s revenue reporting tool, you are able to track revenue by student or classroom to assess the profitability of each aspect of your business. You can also track revenue by date to forecast future revenue by week, month, or year. This report also gives you the ability to track any subsidies or discounts, which can be a huge timesaver.
Another very useful brightwheel report is the aging report, which allows you to easily track past due payments by child, classroom, or enrollment status. Having this data at your fingertips is so helpful when you need to follow up with families regarding late or missing payments.
Offer families ease and choices
While a software solution for child care payment logs will no doubt improve your operations, it will also be a welcome benefit to the families that you serve.
Giving parents the option to pay via online transfer or credit cards can be a game-changer for both of you. There are dwindling reasons most families need to reach for their physical checkbooks these days. This can even be a reason for delayed payments, especially if parents only need to write an actual check once a month for tuition payments. With brightwheel, you can conduct your billing and tuition collection completely online, which is a huge benefit for busy families. These days most financial transactions already happen in the cloud, and paying for childcare shouldn’t be any different. Parents can even enable an automatic payment option, so they don’t need to remember to pay their bill, it just happens automatically each month. It also helps for tax purposes, as families will have a digital record of their child care expenses that can easily be purposed for tax filing.
Another benefit of going digital with your child care payment log is that parents are often keen to use credit cards for budgeting purposes, or in order to reap points or airline miles with purchases. Childcare can be a major monthly expense, and as such could definitely rack up plenty of credit card rewards.
Make your child care program stand out
Offering an online solution can be a great way to signal to prospective families that you run a modern program, and can directly help for marketing purposes. It can be hard to stand out and compete with other child care choices that are available to families, so demonstrating that you’re up on the latest technologies can build trust and a reputation as a program that is always striving to improve. Aside from digital child care payment logs, brightwheel also offers parent communication tools and classroom activity tracking among other features, all of which are great selling points for families considering your child care program.
Moving your child care payment logs to a digital solution is one of the best decisions you could make for your child care program. You’ll save time, improve your workflow, and make your families happy.