By Serena Edwards, South Rowan Academy of Child Development
You may not be aware that you need a software program to automate your accounts receivables and enrollment until your life spirals into a ball of stress and you feel like throwing your computer out the window! That was my life, as a preschool office manager just six months ago. That is until I met Rich at Enrollsy, and they changed my life (for real)! Here are my five reasons why, if you have antiquated systems like I did, you really do need Enrollsy too!
1. Save trees with digital application packets
Our application process included giving new parents hard copies of our 15-page enrollment packet. We had separate packets for our regular-pay preschool, subsidized preschool, subsidized after school, and regular-pay after school. It was a lot of time-consuming work to update these forms and make sure your packets had the updated forms (which many times they didn’t). Our copier took a beating each enrollment period!
Our application process is simple: get a working email address for a new parent and email him/her a link to go online and fill out the paperwork. They also pay the registration fee and deposit online. We get an email saying we have a new enrollee so I log in and assign the new enrollee to the correct classroom. I couldn’t ask for anything easier!
2. Current enrollment process is a nightmare
The enrollment process was a complete nightmare for us (and that is not an exaggeration)! We were enrolling 18 children at one time and it took three of us to do it using an archaic “system” of spreadsheets of our classrooms and a waiting list, cutting and pasting. I even tried using a free online software program, but half the time the parents couldn’t get it to work right. Trying to keep up with who got an application packet and who didn’t and who paid and who didn’t, made us want to throw something … or someone!
We can easily put a child on our waiting list and enroll them in a classroom in just a few clicks. We can send and receive enrollment packets through Enrollsy via email and we know in just a glance who has signed their forms and who hasn’t. This has made our enrollment process so much simpler. We now know who has paid the registration and deposit because they show up in Enrollsy!
3. Weary of trying to keep up with dates
Who likes to keep up with dates, especially application dates? Keeping up with application dates required a spreadsheet that we had to keep watching so we wouldn’t miss an expiring application. Vacation dates also had to be kept on a spreadsheet or they would be lost in QuickBooks. Birthdates wound up on a different spreadsheet or had to be looked up individually. It’s amazing how many times you have to look up a child’s birthdate for one reason or another!
Enrollsy has ALL our dates available with just a few clicks. Now we can print out reports showing children’s birthdates or enrollment dates. I can see if they had a vacation credit on their account. No more having to keep up with a spreadsheet and trying to remember to look at it periodically so we don’t miss something. Enrollsy will even notify us when a child’s enrollment period is coming due.
4. Stop the wondering: “Did so-and-so pay this week?”
In our old system, it was hard to know when a parent had paid and how they paid. Bookkeeping consisted of a lot of data entry into QuickBooks and updating a spreadsheet just to make sure people were paying. I was using a convoluted online payment system consisting of a simple checkout in our credit card processing payment gateway. I had to manually add the payments into our accounts receivable! Parents could only access it through our website, and they couldn’t pay for two services at once! It was a real pain in the you-know-what!
Being able to set up automatic payments, automatic billing, and automatic payment reminders are like a breath of fresh air! I can see who has paid and who hasn’t with a simple report. Also, we have now put the power to pay into the parents’ hands, which takes it out of mine. More parents are now paying online than before!
5. Need more time to organize your desk?
For the last four months, my desk and office accumulated more and more paper, which I didn’t have time to look at, might as well do anything about! I would move it to another location and keep on working. My days were consumed with plugging in account info and figuring out how to send an invoice to a parent. I didn’t even have time to take a lunch most days.
For the first time in six months, I had time to go through my files and folders and clean up and organize my desk and office! That meant I was spending LESS time dealing with account stuff!
I FINALLY feel like I can breathe and do things I’ve been putting off for a long time. Our school now runs smoother, not to mention we are saving upwards of $6,000/year by changing to Enrollsy! The time and effort it has taken to change systems have been worth it. If you need a change in your enrollment or accounting systems, Enrollsy is for you! Take it from someone who has been there.