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How Private Higher Ed Can Track Key Metrics with Cloud Accounting Software

By: Dean Dorton | January 12, 2021

Private higher education institutions face an uphill battle when it comes to finances, but one thing is for sure - leadership wants financial transparency and accurate data to keep the institution moving forward.

Accounting Software | Higher Education | Sage Intacct | Technology

The success of your higher education institution depends on the ability to fund all the critical aspects of your college or university: the salaries of professors, coaches, administrators, and staff; a robust variety of programs (academic degrees, athletics, the arts); and building and maintenance, to name a few. You have to keep an eye on the long-term future while answering the demands of today. Tracking key metrics—or outcome metrics—in real time is essential to achieving both current and down-the-road financial health of your private institution.

Outcome metrics for smarter financial performance

Outcome metrics can measure financial or non-financial performance that reflects the effectiveness of your institution. Outcome metrics may be called by many names and can fit in a limitless number of categories. Best results are often obtained by measuring across multiple dimensions for blended scorecards that span activities, capacities, financial results, and other metrics. Well-defined outcome measures are essential to helping you adapt and improve.

For example, breaking ground for a new facility might mean that more students can be accepted, but you still have to consider the total impact in terms of future faculty and staff, utilities, furnishing, and other overhead. How many students have applied and been accepted? How many have applied and been rejected due to classroom size limits? Has that number been increasing?

Outcome metrics for greater accountability and transparency

Competition for funds can be fierce—especially for private institutions. Potential donors, regulators, and others demand greater accountability and visibility. They want reassurance that you are good stewards of the funds you receive—be that from donors, foundations, or other benefactors. They want to see where their money is going and the results that are achieved.

Measuring success with cloud-based accounting software

The right financial management software can greatly simplify the process of measuring and reporting on critical outcome metrics. It can automatically tag and track your data by key dimensions—giving you instant visibility and insights that speed decision-making and help drive the growth of your institution.

The right system can also provide access to statistical data that enables you to automatically calculate key metrics such as financial (revenue), statistical (enrollment), or a combination (revenue per student). Then your system should be able to integrate and calculate those statistics against budgets, plans, projects, and expenses.

For example, you may want to track revenue by student enrollment compared to the prior year. Metrics such as these let you easily monitor, track, and report on outcomes. A best-in-class financial management solution can do it all–within your system of record. Features such as real-time reporting and analytics and role-based dashboards allow you to keep a pulse on the financial health of your school as well as the health of individual projects and programs, and accurately budget for the months and years ahead.

Success starts with Dean Dorton

A new financial management system is a significant investment of time and money. Cloud-based solutions such as Sage Intacct offer higher education institutions rapid deployment, faster ROI, and maximum flexibility to adapt to your changing needs. The accounting software technology professionals at Dean Dorton can provide the expertise and support you need to make the transition from rigid and outdated accounting to fast, accurate, and agile financial management.

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