We all know families come in many shapes and sizes and their financial situations can be equally as diverse. While many can afford to pay for independent schooling fees up front, others can struggle, particularly when financial or family circumstances change.
According to an article in the Australian Financial Review rising education costs meant one in seven families were using credit cards to fund the payment of private school fees. The incidence of financial stress experienced by families due to school fees was also growing, according to School Places CEO Natalie Mactier:
“Eighty per cent of parents who intended to put their children into private schools expected to have to make financial sacrifices for their children’s education. Of parents whose children were already enrolled in private schools, 38 per cent said they were worried about future fee increases and 10 per cent were considering other options because they were struggling to pay the fees.”
No school wants to see families leave due to financial stress, and on the flip side, for school administrative and accounts staff, who often know school families personally, collecting overdue fees is not pleasant. Staff can feel overwhelmed by the ongoing cycle of debt recovery while late payments and bad debt can throw school cash flow budgets into total disarray.
What’s the solution for schools?
PaySmart believes that by giving families the option to pay their fees over the year in more manageable portions via direct debit billing, schools can transform their cash flow from sporadic to consistent and make school fee payments more affordable for families.
By implementing a fee policy that protects the institution financially and improves cash flow, schools can take control of their operating budgets, all while providing a more affordable payment plan that parents can actually meet—a win-win scenario. And if for any reason, a payment is unsuccessful, PaySmart’s comprehensive debtor management system kicks in—leaving PaySmart to do the follow up and giving school staff more time to focus on school business.
PaySmart works with schools around Australia—here’s what a small selection say about our direct debit billing systems and services:
“Direct debit services can play a key role in financial recovery. I recently used PaySmart as an integral part of a fee recovery program, which reduced the outstanding fees by several hundred thousand dollars and all but eliminated delinquent accounts. For schools struggling with unpaid fees—and I know there’s a lot of them out there—direct debit services are definitely worth including in their strategic approach to fees.”— Ian Fleming, Credit Management Consultant
“Being associated with PaySmart has been a positive experience both for the School and our parents. Our cash flow and collections have improved year-on-year and our parents have enjoyed the ease and professionalism of the service provided by PaySmart.” — David Stewart, Finance & Property Manager, Macarthur Anglican School
To find out more about how PaySmart can help your school get on the front foot with cash flow and debt recovery, contact PaySmart today.