I haven’t taken the time to review any of the products I use on a frequent basis at Salt Meadow Academy, but with tax season coming to a close, I thought I’d take the time and review Minute Menu Pro software. **NOTE: I was not solicited by this company to write this review**
I’ve been following Tom Copeland’s blog for a while. If anyone is in the field of child care (especially home child care), and they don’t know who Tom Copeland is, they may have been living under a swing set on a deserted playground somewhere. It was on Tom’s blog that I first came across Minute Menu Pro.
Minute Menu Pro is advertised as “the most comprehensive online record keeping software designed specifically for family child care providers.” Tall order to live up to…but last year, I decided to give the free trial a whirl. I was so impressed I purchased the software in full about 30 minutes later.
I’m quite tech-savvy, so at first glance, this software program looked like something I would have seen in the early 90’s running on Windows 3.1. It’s not visually impressive. However, as you give it a chance after getting over the shock of such an old looking program, you realize that its simplicity is part of its charm. The tools you need are right in front of you on the main screen. Providers can log attendance, track payments received, track expenses, keep track of meals provided to children and even accept payments online (though I don’t use that feature).
The ease of entering my expenses was probably what excited me the most about this program. If you’re a daycare provider, you’ve likely got a stack of crinkled receipts stashed into a folder somewhere, in some filing cabinet that you are dreading adding up (and pulling your hair out if you mistype a number in the calculator and have to start again)and taking your time/space percentage of…it’s a CHORE. This program makes it SO MUCH EASIER!
If you keep your attendance through Minute Menu Pro, like I do, it’s incredibly easy to track your time. At the end of the year, the program will figure your Time/Space % for you! No manual calculations on your part AND you can easily print a report to include with your taxes to show the IRS how you’ve come to that percentage. No guessing, no math errors, just simple!
My last favorite feature is receipts. I create an invoice for every week for my parents (though they don’t actually get a copy, it’s for my records only) and I log their payment into Minute Menu Pro. I’m able to note the day they paid, by what method and even note the check #. At the end of the year my gross sales receipts are automatically tallied onto a report! I can print out end-of-the-year statements for my parents which lists all of their payments for the year along with my EIN so that they can possibly take advantage of the tax deductions for dependent care.
So is it worth the yearly subscription fee? You bet your stack of crinkled receipts it is! It saves me so much time at the end of the year and takes a lot of guesswork out of tax time. Also….it’s pretty great if you are obsessed with organization like I am.