5 useful reports to keep your school finances in control
With technology that has crossed leaps and bounds in the education sector, school staffs and teachers have access to a sea of information in just a few clicks. One of the first questions most schools ask is "What report should we be viewing?" and "What data matters most?"
While every school is different and their management system as well, there are some tried and true reports that every schools should be looking at to manage their finance effectively. If these figures start to look bad, it’s perhaps a sign that something has gone wrong and your schools’ finances may not be controllable as it should be.
1. Fees overdue report:
Fees from students form one of the major parts of the schools’ budget. The fee collection in schools is one of a hectic job. Many parents complain they are not well informed in advance through SMS or phone so it allows them time to arrange money and make the payments as per schedule. Secondly, mode of payments matters a lot. Some schools collect fee through online payments while some still prefer cash payments. Do you know that keeping up to date record of the fees collected from students are very important to maintain clean financial records? Fees overdue reports not only help you know the pending dues of each student but also help you understand and alert parents to make the payments at the earliest. So, keep an eye on the fees overdue report always. If the number of students with fee dues is high, it’s a warning that you should immediately start sending reminders asking parents to make the payments as soon as possible.
2. Transport/vehicle expenses report
In schools managing vehicle details, driver information, vehicle log book, vehicle tax & insurance information etc. involves a sum of money. The vehicle fuel and service details are something you have to look upon which adds to the school expense. Schools should also track the vehicle odometer details, repair and service information to include in the total transportation costs. Applying the shortest and convenient routes for your school buses will also save you a few thousands if you start analysing your transport data correctly. The below graph, for example, shows the buses in a particular school with their expenses for a month. The school has already taken necessary steps to reduce their transportation costs after monitoring this graph over the past few months. You can also save a part of your schools’ budget if you run through this report periodically.
3. Store and school supplies report
The purchase and store sale analysis is another aspect contributing to your schools’ monthly expenses. A report that shows office supplies breakdown will give you a detailed segmentation of the global school stationery supplies market by products (paper products, writing instruments etc) and the amount dispensed to your key vendors. Generally, paper-based products constitute the major share of your school’s stationery supplies. Encourage your school to reduce paper promotional materials and store all newsletters and catalogues online.
Payroll is frequently one of the most significant expenditures for a school. Not only is payroll a regularly occurring expenditure, but it also comes with taxes, insurance, and additional add-ons like vacation schemes, sick days and other benefits. The productivity of all teaching and non-teaching staffs are the important number of all and are the amount of production your employees give per hour, day or week. Unfortunately, there is no one magic payroll formula that can be applied to every school. However, schools with their payroll expenditure under 30% of their gross revenue tend to be more successful, at least from a payroll perspective.
5. ICT purchases, Internet and telephone bills
Almost all schools place particular importance on integrating the use of the digital technology in learning. In such situations schools should consider the purchase of computer, laptops, projectors, printers and other equipments. In addition to the purchase costs, schools may need to pay the installation costs and in most cases maintenance charges too. Internet and telephone bills are recurring expenses. In most cases, internet bills tend to be a constant amount every month unless schools change their internet plans. However, telephone bills are a variable expense and it is critical to monitor the usage every month. If there is an option to track individual staff’s phone usage, you should look at the volume of calls made from each staff’s end. In this way, you can get an in-depth knowledge of the phone usage and also get the necessary inputs to modify your plans.