As time goes on the world develops new and better ways to pay for things. When managing your after school enrichment program you need to keep up with the times. If you don’t, enrollment numbers can suffer as parents continually look for convenience. Here is a simple guide to help you decide on what type of registration payments you should accept.
Cash Registration Payments
While cash used to be King, it is now the court jester at best. A novelty. Accepting cash for your after school classes lead to the following problems:
-Through no fault of anyone, in particular, you will get the wrong amount for classes. When that happens, you’ll need to track down the parent for the missing cash. But how easy is it to prove they gave you the wrong amount…
-You’ve got cash – great! Now you need to record it by writing a parent a receipt, giving the cash to the accounting office who has to manually enter in the accounting system and then walk it to the bank. Sounds tiring.
-From time to time, no matter how well you promote your classes, you will have to cancel one. That means refunds. For the parents who paid cash, that means having the accounting office write a check or give them a credit. This can be an accounting nightmare!
Check Registration Payments
Checks used to be a technological feat! You can write some numbers on a piece of paper, and get products or services in return… amazing, right? In today’s fast moving world where speed and convenience are everything, the check has become just as unpopular as cash.
-A surprising amount of checks are written out to the wrong person/company/school, and for the wrong amounts. This becomes the money chase we spoke about with cash. Getting parents to write a new check is even harder than collecting cash.
-It’s surprising how checks bounce, seeing as they are made of paper. Bounced checks end up costing you a charge-back fee that can be around $30 each time. You may only get notice half way through the session, and then have to chase then parents down for a new check plus the extra fee.
-Same deal as cash – checks must be recorded somehow. This means receipts, manual income reporting… have you fallen asleep yet?
-Sometimes you won’t be able to get enough enrollment in the winter for an outdoor soccer class… but you tried. Now you have to cancel. For parents that paid by check, that means coordinating with the accounting office to make sure they paid, and send a check or crediting them for another school fee. So much work to cancel a class, it almost makes you want to run the class at a loss.
Credit Card Registration Payments
Credit and Debit cards are the new “black”. Over the years the user of credit and debit cards has shot through the roof. They have officially become more popular to use than check or cash. The are convenient for both the buyer and the seller. If a person has a bank account then they are guaranteed to have a debit card and/or a credit card.
-With credit cards, you get the right amount of everything. Even if you don’t charge the full amount the first time, you can always charge the card again without having to run after parents.
-Credit cards automatically create receipts with every piece of info you need – dates, times, amounts, etc. Depending on your setup, receipts are automatically sent via email.
-Even if you accept credit and debit cards, you may have to cancel a class from time to time. But this won’t be such a headache as you can refund payments with 1 click of a button. And just like that the accounting office is happy, your parents are happy, and most importantly you are happy.