Using a web application to automate your invoicing/billing on your nursery website
Invoicing and billing processes form a significant proportion of a nursery admin team's workload. However, a well designed web application could help automate these tasks and Eyes Down can help you build this functionality integrate it with your website and other back-end systems.
From improving cash flow to producing reports, here are some of the key benefits:
Improving cash flow with online payments
Enabling online payments provides a convenient service to parents while helping you to keep a firm grip on cash flow. Online payments are fast and will hit your bank account before cheques of cash would.
Switching to online payments also reduces the amount of cash you have to carry on-site as well as the time spent on banking, cash counting, reconciling invoices and other accounting tasks.
Increasing transparency with bill notification
Keeping parents in the loop with invoices and transactions helps to increase transparency and reduces the chance of parents missing payments and going into arrears.
Should mistakes in invoicing occur, bill and transaction notification will make them easier to spot so that they can be rectified sooner rather than later.
Providing a facility to take cards or online payments
There are many third party payment gateways and merchant services now available and invoicing and billing applications are often compatible with these.
Some of the big players in the online payment market include Stripe, Worldpay, Sage, Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Many of these enable their own streamlined payment mechanisms along with conventional credit and debit card payments. Providers such as GoCardless also enable direct debit payments which integrate seamlessly with web applications.
Financial report production
Many applications include a facility for creating various types of financial report including graphs and charts. Depending on the specific app, you will usually be able to request your report in different formats (e.g. email, pdf, cvs, MS Excel, etc.)
Automated email reminders
Chasing parents who are in arrears is another source of wasted time and resource for nurseries, particularly larger groups where there may be a large number of parents with outstanding bills at any one time.
Invoicing and billing apps can share much of the burden by generating automatic recurring invoices, statements and reminders.
Making one-off payments
On top of helping to manage your nursery fees and other recurring payments, many web-based invoice and billing applications can be used to set up one-time payments such as trip contributions and single meal-payments.
As with regular payments, these can be settled online, saving your administration team time.
Added speed and reach with SMS facility
Combining an invoicing application with an SMS messaging facility enables nurseries to send reminders, receipts and other communications via text. As text messages are often more prominent than emails or online alerts, this is a powerful way to improve cash flow.
SMS messaging will also enable you to reach parents who are without internet connectivity other than their phone.
Improve admin efficiency
All of the above features of billing and invoice applications work together to dramatically increase the operational efficiency of your admin team and free up personnel to attend to other pressing tasks.
At Eyes Down we have considerable experience of building and integrating web applications for nurseries. If you are not sure of the best way forward, please don't hesitate to call us for a friendly chat.