Smart Tuition and ParishSOFT form Strategic Alliance

August 01, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Newark, NJ., - August 1, 2012 - ParishSOFT, a company powering more than 7,900 Roman Catholic churches and schools with software management solutions, and Smart Tuition, the largest independently owned tuition management company providing services and programs for more than 2000 schools and over 100 arch/dioceses, are forming a strategic partnership, officials from both companies announced today.

ParishSOFT and Smart Tuition are committed to serving school, parishes, and arch/dioceses by offering programs, software solutions, and best practice recommendations. By helping the mission of the wider church through administrative efficiencies and effective management tools, ParishSOFT and Smart Tuition, are recognized as industry leaders within their respective fields. With this mission at the forefront of their endeavors, the companies are forming an alliance that creates new synergies and greater opportunities schools and parishes to succeed.

The ParishSOFT and Smart Tuition Alliance is creating tools that integrate tuition data provided by Smart and financial records from ParishSOFT through a dashboard that will seamlessly unite the key tuition data and key school accounting data available to schools and dioceses using Smart's Enterprise software and ParishSOFT's ConnectNow Church Accounting system.

Timothy Sember, executive vice president at Smart, is excited about the alliance forming between the two companies. As a former Catholic school principal and diocesan administrator, Sember, recognizes the challenges facing Catholic Education today. A few months ago, Sember began looking for a church software company with which to join forces in order to bring state of the art integration to dioceses, parishes, and schools. The search quickly led to one company with excellent management products and outstanding customer service, ParishSOFT. Recognizing that ParishSOFT brought the same commitment, vision, and superior customer service to arch/dioceses, Smart Tuition's CEO, Andrew Goldberger, enthusiastically moved forward to create the alliance.

Goldberger said, "Smart Tuition has grown significantly in its services to dioceses across the country and having ParishSOFT working alongside will bring greater value and cutting-edge software to all those working on behalf of the church whether in schools and/or parishes. Smart Tuition's commitment to be the best tuition management company is even stronger now because of this alliance with ParishSOFT."

Smart Tuition seeks to bring solutions to school administrators and school families through tuition management services that have been compared to adding a fulltime tuition staff person in the school office. Smart takes care of the entire tuition management process from creating customized enrollment forms, to ingesting data, to invoicing, to collecting tuition via flexible payment methods and plans as well as reminding and following-up with parents about payments. Smart offers call and chat support for parents and schools including a 24 hour parent call center based in the continental United States. Through Smart, schools always retain the ability to make tuition adjustments for families, and at the same time rely on Smart professions to assist in the execution of tuition management.

Smart Tuition offers interface in three tiers: the Enterprise level (available to arch/diocese personnel), the school level, and the family/parent level. At each tier, authorized users can view, edit, and pull reports from the system as customized permissions allow. The Enterprise and school levels allow diocesan and school staff to drill-down into the data and view information on specific schools, families, and students. This is particularly helpful for dioceses that need to see their schools' financial situations. Smart Tuition offers them the ability to view detailed data and breaks down which funds are pending, in transfer, in the school's account, or outstanding. Enterprise also shows dioceses accurate numbers of current students and has drill-down features, allowing them to see data on specific families and students. This powerful Enterprise tool is offered free of charge to any diocese in which a school is a Smart client. Sember emphasized the value of making Enterprise available, saying, "We offer Enterprise for free because we want to help dioceses be proactive in keeping Catholic schools running and thriving." With Enterprise, a diocese can take an in-depth look at a school's financials and ascertain if that school may need guidance or other assistance.

Since much more than tuition goes into a school's or diocese's finances, many schools and dioceses use ParishSOFT's browser-based ConnectNow Church Accounting software to manage the rest of their finances. For schools, ParishSOFT's accounting system offers an easy-to-use interface. John Miklosovic, ParishSOFT diocesan account manager, said, "Schools like the functionality and usability of ConnectNow Accounting, and over the years, we've proven the effectiveness of the system in nearly 1,000 churches and schools."

ParishSOFT's Financial Consolidation Manager (FCM), a feature of ConnectNow Church Accounting, has many elements that work similarly to Smart's Enterprise. The FCM has an interface for dioceses where they can manage and standardize, if they desire, the financials for the organizations under them. This command center gives dioceses instant access to the current financial data of all its organizations by providing real-time financials for each organization, transaction detail drill-down, and the ability to perform accounting functions for any organization in the system. Dioceses and schools also have the capability to turn permissions on or off to control who can view certain areas and which changes a user is authorized to make. These controls are important tools in enforcing sound accounting controls and segregation of duties.

The FCM also features a dashboard that allows a user to easily generate reports that capture the current financial status of any individual organization or any group of schools or parishes. These reports can be saved and automatically set to generate periodically in order to easily give dioceses reliable financial reports with valuable information on their organizations.

The ParishSOFT Smart Tuition Alliance will not only help schools, dioceses, and churches work efficiently, but it also illuminates potential financial discrepancies and provides the transparency called for today. Sember reported that it is not uncommon for schools using Smart Tuition to discover fraud or potential fraudulent practices and that ParishSOFT's accounting system certainly helps schools, dioceses, and parishes detect and prevent risk. ParishSOFT and Smart are both dedicated to increasing transparency in financial information: the FCM and Enterprise are both designed to display data with clarity and detail. By merging these two sources of information on a single dashboard, schools and diocese will gain an even more valuable tool for assessing data and protecting funds.

About ParishSOFT
Founded in 1998, ParishSOFT offers a complete suite of church and diocesan management software to connect people and the church and to reduce administrative work. The company's Web-based ConnectNow Church Accounting system, launched in 2008, is the next generation of the CMS Fund Accounting software, first introduced in the mid 1980s by ParishSOFT's sister company Church Management Solutions. The ConnectNow Church Accounting suite includes the modules Ledger and Payables, Payroll, Financial Consolidation Manager, and Accounts Receivable, which is in development now. From its earliest beginnings, the ParishSOFT and CMS accounting products have been designed to meet the unique accounting and stewardship needs of churches and schools, while offering the same ease of use and affordability found in secular programs, like QuickBooks®. Today, ConnectNow Church Accounting is the system of choice for more than 900 churches and schools.

ParishSOFT continually invests in improving its software and web solutions, as well as adding new features and products. ParishSOFT presently serves more than 7,900 parishes, and the company's products have been implemented in 70 arch/diocesan offices.

Please visit www.parishsoft.com for more information about ParishSOFT's products and services and its annual Users' Conference for parish and diocesan staff.


About Smart
Since 1988, Smart Tuition has been the financial connection between non-public K-12 schools and students' families. Smart Tuition uses its resources and professionals to optimize the billing experience for parents, providing payment and support options that schools cannot afford to provide on their own. These options include 24/7 live U.S. based telephone support, web payments, full color invoices, integration with major school accounting software, and weekly follow-up calls to parents who miss payments. Smart Tuition is the industry leader in technological developments such as a payment app for smart phones and self-generating customized reporting. More information about Smart Tuition and its services is available at www.smarttuition.com.