Higher Education

The Best College Accounting Software Available For 2022

Any institution that manages money will highly benefit from using effective accounting software. With colleges being responsible for benefactors of the education system, institutions need an accurate accounting system that can help ensure that the student’s money is protected. While bookkeeping may have been an effective method fifty years ago, colleges now see an average of 6,350 students, which requires a lot more record tracking.

An accurate college accounting software can help make the process easy to manage. Not only can a college accounting software help improve efficiency, but it can also help avoid crucial mistakes that data entry is prone to. The question is, which school accounting system should you use? 

We will discuss the most commonly used accounting software for colleges and provide a breakdown of each. You’ll then be able to easily choose the accounting software that best meets the needs of your institution. 

The Best College Accounting Software

A college institution needs to choose reliable yet effective school accounting software. Luckily, there is a wide range of free and paid accounting software. The tricky part is finding one that’s suitable for your institution. 

Here are some of the best options out there: 

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is the number-one school accounting software to perform multiple financial management tasks. Unlike other accounting software, FreshBooks uses a Cloud infrastructure that safely stores financial data on the internet. This allows data to be accessed from multiple locations behind a safely encrypted server starting at $15 per month.

Here are some other features FreshBooks provides:

  • Captures cash and credit card payments
  • Invoicing 
  • Client management
  • Expense tracking
  • Managing accounting periods
  • Graphical User Interface

Rediker

Rediker is another popular accounting software that enables the integration of demographic and financial information of students into one system. It helps prevent duplicate data and can support multiple currencies along with school-wide financial data management.

Here are some other features Rediker provides:

  • Multiple payments such as credit card or bank deposits
  • Handles demographic and financial information
  • Accepts multiple currencies
  • Internet-based billing system
  • Numerous modes of payment accepted

HCCS

HCCS is specifically built to be used with academic institutions. The software includes many useful features, including detailed financial reporting. This particular version can also be integrated with budgeting software, which can help educational institutions forecast institutional expenses.

Here are some other features HCCS provides:

  • Detailed financial reporting
  • Can handle bulky accounting data
  • Stores financial data via Cloud
  • Double-entry system
  • Compatible with Multi-Academy Trusts

Xero

Xero is another good choice for academic institutions that want a digital accounting assistant based online. All stored data is accessible from anywhere and comes with many features. Standard features include digital bookkeeping, student accounting data tracking, and enabling users to send invoices.

Here are some other features Xero provides:

  • Online invoicing
  • Reconciling bank transactions
  • Automated inventory management
  • Internet-based software

Sage

Sage is a highly sophisticated software that includes a whole ecosystem of accounting tools. Unlike other programs, Sage is both Cloud-based and desktop-compatible. Some key features include customizable invoices, reconciling school accounts and bank statements, automatically calculating and submitting VAT Returns.

Here are some other features Sage provides:

  • A handful of financial tools
  • Versatile online or offline mode
  • Financial statements 
  • Automatic reconciliation
  • Automatically calculates taxes

Multiview ERP

Multiview ERP is a flagship ERP system that includes a whole suite of financial applications. It’s a cloud-based system that can be accessed from anywhere. Some key features include general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable. 

Here are some other features Multiview ERP provides:

  • Purchase order
  • Inventory management
  • Workflow
  • Fixed asset accounting
  • Open-API to interface compatibility

Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT

Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT is a financial cloud accounting system that provides many tools. Some include transparency across teams, security, and compliance. Others have personalized dashboards, customizable views, general ledger, projects, etc.

Here are some other features Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT provides:

  • Manage grants
  • endowments account payable and receivable
  • Includes income statements
  • Program-to-expense ratios
  • Cash balancing
  • Key metrics
  • Real-time reporting

Aplos

Aplos is a cloud-based accounting system that helps nonprofit organizations manage finances. The platform includes valuable functions such as fund accounting, online donation management, and fundraising tools. Other tools include membership and event management, along with custom communications.

Here are some other features Aplos provides:

  • Report transactions
  • Finance management
  • Cash flow tracking
  • Journal entry management
  • Donation tools
  • Donor database
  • Event registration

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is an accounting management system that enables businesses to download, reconcile card transactions, and organize weekly timesheets that track deposits. It’s web-based accounting software that assists in bookkeeping, payroll, and invoices. Additionally, it includes bank reconciliation, expense tracking, and financial reports.

Here are some other features QuickBooks Online provides:

  • Track project profitability
  • Track inventory
  • Detailed reports
  • Receipt organization
  • Track time
  • Invoice and accept payments
  • Maximize tax deductions
  • Send estimates

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is an end-to-end accounting solution for colleges. The program automates multiple financial processes, simplifying the bookkeeping and accounting process. Some features include time tracking, payroll and transaction management, and inventory control.

Here are some other features Zoho Books provides:

  • Customer and supplier management
  • Client portal
  • Payroll 
  • Transaction management
  • Banking 

5 Must-Have Features for College Accounting Software

When searching for a school accounting software system, it’s essential to understand what features to look for. Each school system will need certain school accounting entry features to help make processing and tracking payments easier. Here are the five features that each of the best school accounting software should have.

1. Student Records

Colleges need software that can store extensive data related to student records. This should include grades, extra-curricular activities, class schedules, etc. All information should be managed and stored.

2. Online Registration & Payments

Educational software should also include an online payment system. Students should be able to manage their payments, register, and make payments all in one place. The payments and registration should also be automatically put in the student record.

3. Inventory & Facility Management

School accounting systems should manage multiple inventory types, including classrooms, supplies, textbooks, desks, computers, etc. Facility management should include school buildings, property, repairs, and maintenance. 

4. Fund Accounting

Fund accounting is a must for any accounting system. These systems record cash, track assets and balances and include information about liabilities. Funding accounts help track all funding, such as payments, expenses, and donations.

5. Point-of-Sale System

A point-of-sale system tracks all items being sold on campus. This can include textbooks, meals, supplies, etc. A point-of-sale system will also help manage cash transactions and accurately track all sales. 

Best Accounting Software for Education Institutions

So, what software do most accountants use? Accountants tend to either use QuickBooks or Sage. These accounting tools provide a wide range of features that make the accounting process efficient and accurate. 

QuickBooks has paid and free trials, which you can use to understand the software better. If you’re looking for reliable college accounting software, we’d say to give this a try before any others. However, it doesn’t have as many extra financial management tools as others on our list.

On the other hand, Sage is an excellent financial management system. It’s one of the best accounting software for schools and is favored for financial accounting for private schools. Plus, it’s one of the only free accounting software for educational institutions that provides proper financial management tools!

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