Updated: Sep 30
A key issue for any business, organisation or institution is managing its cash flow and in particular making sure its clients pay on time.
In our work with hundreds of school clients across Australia and a recent survey undertaken by The Bursars Forum one of the biggest challenges facing schools today is managing their fee collections. The size of the challenge has been exacerbated by the recent global economic issues where schools that perhaps have traditionally not had fee problems are suddenly finding themselves facing new issues.
Built on thousands of hours helping schools manage their debtors we are pleased to announce the launch of the Resolve Fee Management Solution. A full suite of documents and procedures designed to streamline and assist in fee collections.
Some common questions that schools should ask themselves:
1. Do we have a debtors policy in place?
2. Are out staff trained in recovering outstanding fees?
3. Do we have a proper fee rebate system in place?
4. Do we know what our parents are paying and how to get them to meet their commitments?
5. Are our enrolment procedures clear about fees?
6. Do we offer enough payment options?
If you answered YES to most of these then it is likely you are doing well with fees. If you answered NO or DON”T KNOW then perhaps it is time to have a good look at your fee collection processes.
Some of the key ingredients we have found to assist with fee collections include:
1. Being clear and upfront about expectations on fees—don’t be ashamed that there is a cost attached
2. Build a relationship with parents in respect of fees. This involves regular contact with your problem families and ensuring they know that it is best to be talking to you about problems than just sitting on it
3. Having good documentation that develops a clear trail of discussions and agreements that tells the story of that family and their fees
4. Keep all fee discussions confidential
5. Don’t panic into making deals that you can’t afford just to retain students—work through what can and can’t be done
6. Be prepared to make hard decisions if you have to—having a family build up a $30,000+ debt is not good for anyone.
The Resolve Fee Management Solution seeks to assist schools in this sometimes difficult area in providing mentoring and training of staff, calculators, forms and a system of standard letters to help in debtor management as well as advice around procedures, timelines, etc.
We have already seen a number of clients improve their debtor positions in using this system as well as providing a better understanding of how and when fees are to be paid.
For more information please contact Resolve to confidentially discuss your school’s needs and circumstances.
“We found the Fee Management Solution developed by Resolve Consulting to be comprehensive in design, relational at its heart and grounded in ‘on the ground experience’”. John Cross, St Andrew’s Cathedral School, Sydney