Cemetery Software for Today and Tomorrow
When you think of cemeteries, you might not think of the most technologically advanced places. After all, most cemeteries still use a lot of paper in their day-to-day operations. However, cemeteries can use technology to stay relevant in today’s competitive markets.
Advantages of Cemetery Software
There are many different types of cemetery management software available with various features that cemeteries can leverage to improve efficiency and effectiveness in their organization. In addition, the technologically advanced software can drive innovation and deliver value to cemeteries. For example, high-performance enterprise software provides comprehensive, enterprise-wide access to information. These programs enable various operations of the cemetery to function independently (purchasing) and in conjunction with other critical operations (inventory management).
There are also less robust cemetery software options available for smaller cemeteries or those who only need a certain function from the software. Many options come with various modules or add-ons that perform different functions so that the software can be customized depending on the size and needs of the cemetery organization. The modules and add-ons are typically fully integrated to avoid multiple entries and reduce data entry time and improve accuracy and efficiency.
Functions and Features of Cemetery Software
Integrated functions available in cemetery software include sales contract management, document imaging, accounts receivable and payment management, trust fund management, merchandise inventory control and property management, cemetery mapping, and more. Cemetery software allows for contract management, including efficient contract entry and management throughout the life of the contract. Links can even be added to connect the contract record to scanned images and documents. Most systems also offer an account receivable component for quick processing and an automatic application of payments to contracts and other transactions.
Cemetery software can enhance an organization’s accounting and trust fund management functions through improved internal controls and compliance with local cemetery regulations. An integrated trust fund management feature can provide end-to-end management of all types of trust funds, including perpetual care, merchandise, pre-construction, and others. This feature can automatically calculate the total amounts due to the trust funds based on settings established within the software, thereby ensuring that the cemetery complies with local trusting requirements. In addition, reports can be generated that show how much is required to be deposited monthly into each trust fund as well as how much can be withdrawn monthly from each trust fund and still comply with the local state trusting requirements. Trust fund withdrawals (including earnings) can even be set up to occur automatically when an item is delivered.
The software can also integrate inventory management to maintain and track inventory with an automated accounting of items and property. Visitors to the cemetery as well as staff can quickly find burial sites or explore the cemetery using their cell phones or computers, with integrated online mapping tools. Some mapping software even provides kiosks so visitors can look up burial information.
Cemetery software provides cemetery management tools and resources to help cemeteries manage and store data securely, regardless of size. Cloud-based software allows for real-time access and streamlined software updates with no interruptions. This helps a cemetery avoid the necessity of maintaining a system locally and also provides backups offsite in the event of an emergency.
Cemetery software can offer a unique accounting and business management system all wrapped up into one integrated package.
Considerations When Purchasing Cemetery Software
Below are some items to consider when purchasing cemetery software for your organization:
Functionality – What features do you want the cemetery software to have and what functions do you want it to perform currently and in the future?
Customizability – Does the cemetery software offer integrated add-ons or modules to perform different functions so it can be customized to meet your needs today and tomorrow? Are you able to add or remove functions or modules to adapt to your changing needs so you only pay for the features you use?
Budget – What is your budget for the cemetery software and what can you afford? Perhaps you can start with a core software and add-on modules/features over time.
Cost – Is the cemetery software cost-effective for your organization? Perform a cost-benefit analysis for the cemetery software to determine which software is most cost-effective for your organization.
Usability – Is the cemetery software user-friendly and intuitive and is training offered on how to use the software?
Compatibility and Integration – Do you want the cemetery software to be compatible with and/or integrate with software currently used in your organization (accounting, etc.)? If so, does the cemetery software offer this capability and is it compatible with the current software used in your organization or do you need to update your current software to integrate it?
Accessibility and Security – Would you prefer that the cemetery software and data be stored on a local computer or server, or do you want Cloud-based data management and software that may be accessed on the go? Does the cemetery software offer the accessibility options that you desire while keeping your data secure?
There are many cemetery software options to choose from so be sure to consider these factors when determining the best software for your organization. Cemetery software offers various advantages, functions, and features that can benefit your cemetery organization. They can help improve effectiveness and efficiency in your organization and enhance your relationships with the families you serve. After all, the most important facet of the death care industry is people.
Contact us for assistance in understanding how utilizing cemetery software to manage your cemetery can improve the services you provide and ultimately the organization.
Article Contributed by Jessica Sipple, MS
About MKS&H: McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond (MKS&H) is a professional service firm with offices in Hunt Valley and Frederick. MKS&H helps owners and organizational leaders become more successful by putting complex financial data into truly meaningful context. But deeper than dollars and data, our focus is on developing an understanding of you, your culture and your business goals. This approach enables our clients to achieve their greatest potential.