5 min read
Uncover the hidden costs of manual payments collection in your childcare centre
If you’ve read our top tips to reducing the cost of processing parent payments, you already know that reducing the cost of manual payments administration in your childcare centre is essential if you are to run a profitable enterprise that meets the strict quality standards of the National Quality Framework (NQF) as well.
Reducing the cost of processing your parent payments is essential, but have you ever worked out the real costs of manually collecting your parent payments? For example, do you know how much time your highest paid staff members (these are probably your centre managers) put into manually collecting your parent payments each day, week and month? If you can expose how much time your senior staff are putting into handling all of the tasks associated with managing your payments administration, you’ll be well on your way to uncovering the hidden costs of your manual payments collection process – and then you will be able to set yourself some measurable goals around reducing these costs and improving your centre’s profitability.
Talk to your centre managers
The best way to find out what payment-related tasks your highest paid staff members are spending the most time on is to simply ask them. Schedule one-on-one appointments with each of your centre managers and have a friendly and open conversation with each of them about what they are personally doing to handle payments from parents – once you point out that you’re on a mission to lighten their payment-related workload they will be more than happy to give you all the information you need!
- Specifically what payment-related tasks are on each person’s list of responsibilities for each day, week and month?
- Which tasks are being unnecessarily duplicated?
- How much time is each person spending on their payment-related responsibilities?
- If necessary, ask your managers to keep a simple record of the time they spend completing payment-related tasks so that you can establish a clear picture of exactly what is going on.
Identify your managers’ biggest time-suckers
Work with your centre managers to uncover specifically which payment-related tasks are taking up most of their time. If your managers have been keeping a record of the time they spend on tasks like chasing late payments, matching payment records to your bank statement and manual data entry, you may be surprised to discover just how many hours could be managed automatically with payment software or delegated to a more junior staff member.
Prepare your managers to shift to automated payments
Our research tells us that the right automated payment solution can reduce manual payments administration by as much as 95 per cent – that’s why automated payments (such as direct debit and BPAY) is our number one recommendation for childcare centre owners who are looking for ways to reduce the strain that payments administration places on their quality standards and profitability.
While the majority of your parent community is likely to welcome direct debit as a more convenient way of paying you, it’s important that you do your best to prepare your centre managers with strategies to handle any objections that may arise. Try facilitating a fun brainstorming session with your centre managers to identify as many possible objections as you can – next, work out potential strategies to overcome each objection.