How can technology streamline childminders’ billing processes?
It’s no secret that childminding professionals spend a lot of time per month completing administrative finance tasks. However, these monthly to-dos are undoubtedly crucial for the everyday running of your business – helping you to manage your funds and plan and forecast for the months ahead.
That said, they can sometimes prove to be a bit of a headache – especially when you spend lots of time sending out invoices, reconciling the system from your bank statements, and chasing parents’ late payments.
So, how can management software – such as foundations – help enhance your billing process and prevent any cash flow issues?
- Optimise your operations and ‘gain’ time
When you solely rely on having to do everything finance-related – such as invoicing, reconciling bills, sending reminders, and generating reports – manually, this can be a very time-consuming process, which not only takes you away from spending more time with the children, but also eats into your free time.
By making the shift from paper or spreadsheet to digital, you can free up the hours you’d usually spend on money matters and shift it to designing and carrying out activities that foster child development. For instance, if you spend six hours on each monthly bill run, this equates to three full days per year – savvy technology can do it in 30 minutes, saving you 66 hours of annual admin time.
- Convenient payment and booking processes
By switching the billing process to become entirely digital, you’re not only reducing room for human error, but you’re offering a more flexible and convenient method of payment for both yourself and parents. This would allow you to collect direct debits and take instant card payments, as well as enable parents to book and pay at the click of a button in their own parent app – not only helping to reduce the time spent chasing payments, but adapting and fitting in to people’s busy lifestyles.
Additionally, sometimes payments aren’t always ‘straight-forward’, for example, you may need to assign ‘split bill payers’ and their bookings – which can cause hours of unnecessary admin.
- Reduce ‘bad debt’
By having payment and reminder processes digitised and automated, this not only takes one thing off your plate, but it also makes sure parents receive the invoices. And, as is often the case with manual, paper systems, if you don’t have clear bank details or enter a wrong amount, this can provide an opportunity for delayed payments.
With technology by your side, it’s easy to eliminate room for error and follow up with reminders. Parents can also view their balances through their personalised app, helping them to clearly see any outstanding balances and helping you to get paid faster. Ultimately, this then enables you to better plan for your business and give you peace of mind that your finances are always up to date.
- Eliminate unnecessary admin
When setting up payments with parents, make sure your specific payment dates are clear – for example, set it for the 1st of every month, and if a child starts mid-way through, you can charge for half a month initially and then do a full one afterwards. As a result, this will help to minimise your admin mountain and keeps things running smoothly – it also helps to set a zero-tolerance expectation when parents first sign up.
- Boost your data security
Keeping confidential data and information – such as financial details – secure are, of course, of great importance to any early years provider.
Having one centralised digital system – encrypted with the highest level of internet security – is not only safer than an on-site filing system, but by being able to take contactless payments, this means you won’t have to hold large amounts of cash on the premises.
In a busy childcare environment, we recognise that cash flow issues can quickly take over your time. We believe that using technology which complements the work you do every day – removing and automating the admin tasks – can not only help to streamline processes, but improve parental relationships, and give you back the hours to spend on what you love the most, developing the children in your care.
Sign up to Foundations Software today for free to streamline your billing processes.