Want to Save Your YMCA Swim Team 15-17 Hours of Time Every Week?
I am a part of this great group online, the Swim Coaches Idea Exchange, where coaches throughout the swim industry share ideas, stories, photos, articles and more. It is really great stuff.
Recently, a coach asked if any YMCA coaches had linked TU's online payment processing with their front desk facility management software, like DAXKO. More specifically, this coach wanted to be able to charge for meet fees using the TeamUnify system and wanted to know how other YMCAs have done it. I joined in on the conversation and want to share what I learned.
The dilemma is that some YMCAs ask/require that all money collection be done with the facility management system, most likely through the front desk. However, those facility management systems do not speak the language of swimming, making it difficult to correctly collect all information needed for meet billing.
Before using TeamUnify for meet entries, we were using QuickBooks (for our meet entries). It was an administrative nightmare...a 20 hour a week job; now it is closer to three hours a week. Moving to TU was a no brainer!
For example, one coach told me that they were unable to bill meet fees per athlete per event. He had to administer a flat fee for all athletes attending the meet regardless if they swam one or eight events. In reality, swim team billing is its own kind of animal and most membership systems are not equipped to process meet payments in a way that synchronizes with the team’s program and meet management platform.
Why YMCAs are implementing this system
The billing of meet, apparel and travels fees can be streamlined into one system that is easy for both team administrators and parents to use.
Reports of income and payments, particularly for meet fees, are simple to access at any time.
Using TeamUnify to charge for meet fees saves 15-17 hours a week of administrative time.
On average it takes 10-20 minutes to bill meet fees using TU.
It is provides greater member service to parents.
They all linked the TU Payment Processing to their YMCA Bank Account or a YMCA "Swim Team" bank account.
They mirrored their Chart of Accounts in TU to their YMCA Chart of Accounts or General Ledger.
They reconciled at the end of the month with their YMCA's billing department and CFO.
Outstanding team balances owed are way down, so teams are not writing off as much bad debt.
YMCAs are also using TeamUnify for all registration fees, team dues and fees.
The TeamUnify billing system produces monthly and annual reports that they find useful to really know the numbers.
YMCAs that use TeamUnify for Online Registration found that it saved the front desk a massive amount of time and training, because the complex and intricate swim questions now are answered with the TeamUnify system or directed at coaches.
Once started, it is a "No Brainer" to use TeamUnify billing to invoice and collect meet fees.
One coach even made it a requirement of his employment at the YMCA that they use the TU billing system.
Now that billing is streamlined and actually speaks the language of swimming, these coaches can do what they are paid to do: coach.
The answer to why use it? "It was a no brainer—it saves time!" YMCAs throughout the country use the billing system in conjunction with their facility management system and tell me that it works really well. You just have to get the systems set up.
Talking to your Executive
So, how did these administrators convince their YMCAs to use the TeamUnify billing system? They came up with a structured plan, set up a meeting with their CFO and/or YMCA executive, explained the time savings, administrative and financial benefits and, in some cases, scheduled a TeamUnify demonstration.
All of the coaches I talked to said that once you know everything the billing system can do, there is no reason not to use it. Billing meet fees alone will save a huge amount of time, not to mention the money that is currently not being collected in meet fees, travel fees, and apparel purchases when parents don’t pay their invoices. The more you can explain about what streamlined billing can do for your YMCA swim team, the better.
Using TeamUnify to manage all aspects of our YMCA’s swim team, from registration to meet fees and dues, has helped drastically. We use TU’s payment processing and require a payment type on file with the team. So we no longer have to deal with paper checks, and everything is in one platform that we reconcile with the YMCA’s bank account and membership. It saves us a lot of headaches and makes team payments and communication easy.
[Cheat Sheet] How to talk with your YMCA's executive staff:
List the benefits for your club:
Decrease training of front desk Staff
Team revenue in one place
Explain to your staff how this will enhance the families' membership experience.
All program information and services in one place
Clear billing details on invoices
Send emails right from the Billing Center and emails & SMS texts in OnDeck billing
Login no matter where they go with the OnDeck application
Calculate how much you have written off in your account receivables/bad debt.
Establish a plan for how you will setup your chart of accounts to match the YMCA's accounting system. Here are the basics:
Let us do the work for you. Arrange a demonstration of the TeamUnify system and let us show your YMCA the billing system.
Now ask! It will make you seem like a rockstar coach/administrator like Rob from the Springfield Typhoons.
All you need is a bank account that your YMCA’s CFO can access and reconcile against, which takes about 90 minutes a month to do. We have been using it for four years and it makes everything simple. Using the TeamUnify billing makes it easier for us to focus on our athletes, without having to worry about the team's finances.
I hope this information was as helpful for you as it was for us to understand how the inner billing system works with YMCAs. If you would like more information on the TeamUnify billing system or how YMCAs are helping themselves and their families with Billing and Meet Fees, fill out this form to learn more about the TeamUnify billing system and make sure to tell us you are a YMCA.