How the education industry can use Airwallex

Isabelle Comber5 mins
How the education industry can use Airwallex
In this article

The private education industry in Australia is diverse, facing both traditional challenges and opportunities for innovation.

On the one hand, there are established operators like private schools and private tertiary colleges. These institutions are often tied to legacy financial processes and procedures, making it tough to stay agile and responsive to the growing demands for accountability, transparency and better resource management.

On the other hand, there's the fast-growing sector of online-enabled learning. These businesses, including online colleges, professional training providers and edtech companies, are more flexible and innovative. New technologies and adaptability to changing market needs are the backbone of their rapid growth. Attracting a widespread student base is less of a challenge, as they leverage innovative solutions to market more broadly and to manage a more diversified set of operations.

No matter where they fall on this spectrum, all private education businesses share a common challenge: effectively managing their finances to sustain growth and deliver quality education.

What are the financial pain points for private educators?

Here are some of the common pain points that education businesses are facing, impacting their operational efficiency, financial health, and the overall quality of their educational offerings:

  1. Outdated financial processes: Manual and time-consuming financial operations lead to the high risk of human error and inefficiency.

  2. Procurement challenges: Decisions can be made without proper oversight, and unclear and inconsistent procurement procedures can cause inefficiencies and financial risks.

  3. Poor expense management: There is often difficulty in tracking and controlling expenses, with limited visibility into spending and budget management.

  4. Inefficient accounts payable: Ineffective accounts payable systems can delay payments and strain vendor relationships. Also, a lack of automation breeds silos and makes it hard to integrate with other financial systems.

  5. The problem of global transactions: There are high fees and delays associated with cross-border transactions or payments from a global student base.

  6. Financial reporting constraints: Generating accurate and timely financial reports and meeting regulators' and stakeholders' demands for greater financial transparency present challenges.

Tackling challenges with best-in-class solutions

Here’s how private education providers can tackle these challenges head-on…

Developing procurement policies and guidelines

Establishing clear procurement policies can eliminate confusion and ensure consistent purchasing decisions. Schools and training providers should focus on creating comprehensive guidelines that define roles, set approval limits, and outline processes for selecting suppliers and managing contracts. This approach promotes transparency and helps make better purchasing decisions while minimising financial risks.

Controlling spending and payments

Keeping a close eye on spending and payments is crucial for maintaining financial health in private education institutions. Having a robust system that can track expenses in real time is key. Setting budgets, monitoring spending against these budgets, and having approval workflows can prevent overspending. Regular reviews and audits also help enhance fiscal discipline and accountability.

Developing more efficient accounting and reporting frameworks

Streamlining accounting and reporting processes is essential for accurate financial management. Schools and training providers should consider using modern accounting software that automates processes, reduces errors, and integrates seamlessly with other systems. Regular financial reports and dashboards can keep stakeholders informed and provide transparent insights into the institution's financial status.

Harnessing technology

Embracing technology can significantly improve operational efficiency and savvy educators are getting onboard by exploring fintech solutions, digital payment platforms, and advanced accounting software to modernise their financial processes. Using data analytics can also provide valuable insights for decision-making, making schools and training providers more agile and responsive.

Edtech and fintech: A perfect partnership

As one of a new breed of online or e-enabled educators, you may be looking to strengthen your operations or even open up new opportunities for your business, much like Airwallex customer and training provider, Business Blueprint

Business Blueprint was suffering from many of the usual pains of running a small business – cumbersome systems, lack of control over spending and traditional bank bureaucracy woes. After moving to Airwallex, the team was able to experience first-hand the value that embracing financial innovation can add to a private education business. Easily paying employees and contractors around the world and reducing unnecessary fees on subscriptions were just some of the benefits it realised. 

As it turned out, Airwallex provided more than just a financial fix to drive growth. Many of Business Blueprints’ clients are also small businesses looking to grow and scale. Recommending a better option for managing spend and payments became part of its coaching strategy to the point where it forged a formal partnership with Airwallex. Business Blueprint now leverages Airwallex's suite of solutions to set customers up with the tools they need to scale their business, without adding to fees or workload. 

Streamline education operations with Airwallex

Airwallex’s comprehensive platform integrates accounts payable, expense management, and global transfer capabilities. It’s an all-in-one solution for on-time payments, improved cash flow, and better financial visibility – perfect for education businesses looking to grow. 

Most importantly, it gives schools, colleges, edtech platforms and training providers everything they need to focus on delivering quality education and not be bogged down by financial bureaucracy.

Automating accounts payable in one place

Streamlining spending and eliminate manual reimbursements

  • Create employee and company cards in minutes and control all purchases from a single, real-time dashboard.

  • Create custom approval workflows, set spending limits and controls, and instantly create or deactivate cards. There’s always a complete picture of card activity at your fingertips.

Integrate with popular accounting software

  • Airwallex integrates with leading accounting and bookkeeping platforms so time-consuming manual operations are minimised.

  • Embed Payment Links into invoices created by accounting software, making it easier for customers to settle their accounts.

  • Transactions can be synced to accounting software, and automatically reconciled on an hourly basis.

  • Streamline expense management by importing a chart of accounts and code expenses directly within Airwallex.

Create your free borderless account

Create an account, login and get started with Airwallex now.

Disclaimer: This information doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. If you are a customer of Airwallex Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 487221) it is important for you to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the Direct Services, which is available here.

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Isabelle Comber
Business Finance Writer

Izzy is a business finance writer for Airwallex. She specialises in thought leadership that empowers businesses to grow without boundaries.

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