When it comes to paying recurring bills, do you ever feel like you’re playing the same record over and over? After a while you may find yourself just tuning out the music. These days your child care business may have numerous bills that are paid automatically, but it can be surprisingly easy to forget about them until you check your bank balance and realize it’s lower than you thought. Ah yes, it was one of those auto drafts.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy way to keep track of those recurring payments for your child care center or preschool? Whether you pay by check, debit card or ACH auto draft, Expense Tracking Software from Procare lets you record items now, that are due in the future. That way you can easily see which items are coming due and either print an actual check or mark an automatic payment as having been made. You can even set a “reminder” for yourself to review those recurring monthly payments before they come due.
Standard Accounts for Your Vendors
The first thing to do is set up the typical categories and amounts for each vendor. You might have recurring expenses for rent, insurance, building or landscape maintenance, etc. Just use the Standard Accounts feature (image below) to choose the expense category (like Rents & Leases) and enter the monthly amount. Check the “automatically import” box to re-use this information each time a payment is recorded for that vendor.
Post Future Months Ahead of Time
In this example, the rent for my child care center is due on the first of the month; so, I’ve pre-entered each payment with a Post Date and Due Date for the start of each month, from now until the end of the year using the Check Calculation screen. Below is a partial screen shot of my entry for December.
Since I’m not actually paying this item yet, I chose the option to Post & Print Later.
What’s Due this Month?
Now I can easily review what is coming due by going to the Batch Print Checks screen (image below). In this case, I’ve only entered my rent payments, but you could do this for all recurring expenses. To sort by Due Date, select that heading and the items will display in the order they are due.
You may process one or more items at once: just check them off and make sure the Print Date is the day you paid the bill(s) or the day they are processed electronically. Since automatic payments don’t actually have a check number you may make one up, like 800, to indicate something that is not an actual check and enter it in the “Starting With” box (top right).
Note: When processing multiple items, the check number increments automatically. So you may consider anything in the 800’s to be an auto payment or you could process them one at a time, in order to use the same check number over and over.
Assuming the item you are posting is not an actual check, you’ll want to mark the box that says “Complete Posting Check Number DO NOT Print” (lower left). This will record the item as having been paid without printing a check.
Help Yourself Remember
You could just get in the habit of checking your batch print list at the start of each month, but if you want help remembering specific items it’s easy to create a Calendar Reminder that will flash at the top of the screen when you have a task to do.