When it comes to finance, schools are not like other businesses. They need to manage complex family relationships, tuition fees, split billing, donations and fundraising, excursion fees, and a wide range of other finance processes.

And education technology providers have stepped up to meet the challenge for several decades now with all that experience generating the latest products. In 2023, best-in-class EdTech comes with features designed to lighten the load of every part of school finance and save time in day-to-day financial management.

Rather than relying on paper-based processes or multiple software systems to manage their financial needs, schools can plan and budget, streamline accounting, track fundraising, chase late payments, and even set up complex family billing arrangements – all in one system.

Here are the ways the right EdTech can support your school’s finance management needs:

1. Set up flexible payments for parents

School fees management can be resource intensive for admin teams, with hours wasted manually chasing late payments and setting up different payment plans.

The right EdTech offers features that introduce flexibility into payment processes, which can speed up time to payment and reduce fee arrears.

For example, Zunia, a new Student Information System by Education Horizons, offers Stripe and Fat Zebra online payment gateways, meaning schools can get up to 13 times faster. Synergetic offers NAB and Stripe payment gateways, and Engage offers Paypal and Stripe.

Zunia also reduces the time spent by admin staff checking on school fee arrears. The system keeps records of all automated and in-person payments and sends notifications for failed payments, so you don’t have to rely on manual checks.

2. Simplify family payment arrangements

There have been significant advances in managing payment options electronically. A primary way EdTech is helping schools is the ability to manage complex billing arrangements to meet diverse family structures.

A key challenge for schools is collecting fees and charges that reflect the complex nature of family relationships. Managing billing for various family circumstances has traditionally taken hours of admin time.

EdTech can simplify this. For example, Zunia lets you set up a profile for each student, where you can set up and view their billing arrangements.

If the parents are divorced or grandparents are helping with school tuition fees, Zunia enables you to split the bill between multiple debtor accounts according to the percentage they pay.

Schools can also use the family grouping feature for discounts and levies. So, rather than individually allocating discounts and levies to each sibling, you can save time by applying them at a family level.

3. Integrate with accounting software and other school systems

Working between multiple software systems is sometimes necessary for schools – but that doesn’t mean it needs to be complicated.

By seamlessly integrating your school information management system and accounting software, you’ll no longer have to worry about wasting time with accounting errors and manual data entry. You can be confident that data is always clean, accurate and up-to-date, with a corresponding saving in time.

For example, Zunia currently lets you integrate transaction data to a CSV file for use with Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks. Engage integrates with PayPal to track payments seamlessly as well as allows schools to manage billing and payment data, reconciled in the general ledger or via separate accounting software such as Xero or Sage.

It’s not just accounting software – the right school management system can also link with other systems to streamline financial management.

For example, John Paul College uses the Synergetic school management system with SEQTA, the leading well-being and visible learning platform. The two systems work together so the school can share fees and billing from Synergetic through the SEQTA Engage App for parents to view.

4. Manage building funds, fundraisers and pledges in one place

School finances don’t start and end with tuition fees. Schools need to manage building funds, fundraising, pledges, excursion fees, and a wide range of other payments that might come up.

With the right EdTech, you don’t need to invest in separate software for each activity or revert to manual spreadsheets. For example, Synergetic is designed to help you manage a wide range of funds in one place.

A school information management system makes it easy to keep up with all payments, run reports, and be confident that your data is accurate and current.


From flexible payment plans to fundraising, the right EdTech system allows schools to manage every aspect of their finances easily, all in one place.

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