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Six steps to make your electronic student billing implementation a snap!

So you’ve decided to take your student billing process electronic? Good for you! Not only are you going to save yourself tons of time and energy (and sanity!), but you’ll also positively impact the environment by reducing paper waste while saving thousands of dollars on printing, mailing supplies, and postage. Bonus: your parents may even prefer electronic billing to snail mail!

MailOmatic for Schools is a plug-in from Omatic Software that allows users of Blackbaud’s Student Billing and Registrar’s Office modules to email tuition statements, report cards, receipts, schedules, infraction reports, and more using recipient queries in Financial Edge™ (FE) and Education Edge (EE). Furthermore, you can track this contact on the recipient records, embed your payment portal link into your emails, and import the payment information back into FE/EE.

After purchasing MailOmatic for Schools, clients often ask, “how should I prepare to take my student billing process electronic?” While changes to existing processes can be challenging, there are several things you can do to help ease the transition. Below are six steps for easing into electronic billing:

1) Prepare your families for the move to electronic billing

In this day and age, it’s hard to believe there are still some who prefer to receive bills in the mail. However, proper preparation and notification can go a long way towards making them more comfortable with the idea. Send a formal communication (or a few, if rolling this process out over a couple of months or more) to your parents to alert them that electronic communication is on the way. Including the obvious benefits (less waste, cost savings, etc.) will also help.

2) Collect and/or update email addresses if you haven’t already done so

In the communications leading up to the transition, try to collect updated email addresses by asking your parents to return a portion of the mailer or call/email in with their updated contact information. In all likelihood, you probably already capture a number of their email addresses already, but ensuring they are still valid is important. You can also try sending an electronic newsletter to see if you receive any emails that bounce.

3) Prepare your database

Take care of your general housekeeping items, like adding or updating email addresses on the records, ensuring the payers are marked to receive statements, and creating a recipient query for your statements.

If your database is parent centric, meaning the charges live on the parent records, ensure the email addresses are placed on the Bio 1 tab of the parent records.

If your database is student centric, meaning the charges live on the student records, ensure the email addresses are placed on the Bio 1 tab of the student records.

If the charges live on the student records, but the parents typically pay the bill, ensure the parents are properly related to the students and marked to receive statements on the Statements tab of the student record.


4) Decide which email account you would like the statements and/or invoices to come from

We recommend establishing a general email account for student billing, such as billing@schoolname.org. This email address can be pointed to one or multiple employee email accounts, but it ensures your families become accustomed to hearing from one email address and prevents confusion in the event of staff turnover.


5) Decide if you will use a tuition payment portal, like Diamond Mind

Some schools will choose to simply have their families detach and return the bottom portion of the statement with their payment. Others will specify a number to call to place payment over the phone. However, the most efficient way to process payments may be by working with a payment processing company like Diamond Mind to ensure your payments are processed quickly and subsequently imported back into FE/EE.

6) Work with us to create your customized student billing statement

Prior to your implementation, we’ll send you a questionnaire that allows you to specify the appearance of your statement. This is the fun part! You can be as creative as you would like, choosing custom colors, using specific logos or fonts, inserting watermarks, and anything additional to set your school’s statement apart from the rest.

Now that you’re ready to rock and roll with electronic billing, you can rest easy knowing that you’re adequately prepared for the transition.

Don’t forget! As always, our services team is always here to help you strategize and clean house.

Raiser’s Edge ™ is a registered trademark of Blackbaud, Inc.

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