Add Fee Accounts/Categories to the District Level



To improve management of information, we made Fee Accounts and Categories available at the district level.  Previously they were school-level entities only, and fees/payments were tracked separately per school.  Historically this caused a few challenges, which are solved in this release.

  1. District-wide reporting was difficult since categories could vary across schools.

  2. Employees who ate lunch at multiple schools had separate balances for each.

  3. When students transitioned from one school to the next, their balances needed to be migrated.


We have done a series of projects adding entities to the district level.  This is our latest release, with more effort to come.  Some recent projects are:

Academic Years, Calendars, and Grading Periods at the District Level

Attendance and Discipline Codes are Available at the District Level

District Admin Permissions 

District-Level Fee Accounts

So how do district-level Fee Accounts work?  They hold all fees and payments in the district, and give a unified balance for each student/employee across schools. In contrast, school-level Fee Accounts hold fees/payments for a single school only, and balances are per school. 


Today most customers have duplicative accounts at each school, making district management needlessly effortful. In order to make a change, administrators need to navigate to each school individually, and change each one. With this release, districts can consolidate their school-level accounts into fewer district-level accounts available to all of the schools. This allows admin to create and manage fees from a single place. 


Note that consolidating to the district is optional. Customers happy with their current structure don’t need to take any action. 


This release also makes Fee Categories available at the district-level, further simplifying fee management. Each category can be available to all schools on the Fee Account, or a subset. 


 We created a single page to manage both Fee Accounts and Categories.


Business Office Integration

Most public school districts are required to use a Public Fund Accounting System, and SchoolInsight is designed to interact well with those systems.  Public districts must categorize incoming funds by “account code”, which describes how the money can be used.  When parents/guardians make payments, the funds must be associated with the correct account code, so the business office can record them properly. Without a purpose-built solution, this can be very time consuming. 


To make it easier, we added an “Account Code” field on Fee Categories.  Once set, the code applies to every fee in that category.  When fees are subsequently paid by parents/guardians, the account code flows to associated payments.


In order for this mechanism to work, Fee Accounts must be configured to “Associate Payments with Fees.”  This allows the categories’ account codes to flow to fees, payments, and disbursements/deposits automatically.  It ensures an accurate accounting for the business office.  


The structure helps Online Payments work well with customers’ accounting systems.  Deposits can be broken down by account codes and amount.  For example the “Payrix Disbursements” page shows the amount for each account code in a deposit.



The exception to this association mechanism is the “Lunch” account, which is always unassociated.  Since parents/guardians typically fund lunch accounts prior to students choosing food items, it’s not possible to associate account codes based upon purchase behavior.  For the “Lunch” account, all student funds get a single account code.  Employee lunches similarly have a single account code too.



Outside of the Lunch Account, we encourage customers to associate payments with fees, which provides a better user experience and accurate accounting.

Data Migration 

For customers who want district-level Fee Accounts, we created a migration tool.  It allows users to consolidate many school-level accounts into a single district-level one.   It migrates categories too.  It rolls over current balances for students/employees, and marks old accounts inactive.  We intentionally released this functionality over the summer, so it’s easier to migrate accounts when few transactions exist.


To nudge customers to “Associate Payments with Fees,” all new district-level accounts have this field turned on by default.  Please contact our Technical Services team if you have questions, or would rather not associate payments with fees.


The above information is for non-Lunch accounts.  “Lunch” accounts are configured on the Lunch Options page.  Choose the “Lunch Account Level” and the system will set up the necessary accounts.

District Main > Options > Lunch



One last Fee Account feature to mention, we added the ability to choose whether an account is used by students, employees, or both.  In the past all accounts were associated with both students and employees.  It made little sense for employees to carry a balance on the “Registration/Fees” account.  So we gave more granular control.


We hope you like the new functionality.  This is one of our larger, more complex releases.  It touches a lot of code: Online Registration, Online Payments, Lunch, etc.  As always, feel free to give us feedback.




The Common Goal Team