City officials, utilities gain better financial oversight

City officials, utilities gain better financial oversight

Nowadays, an organization can either capitalize on the benefits associated with invoice automation or put itself through the long and strenuous process of manually scrutinizing every issued bill, revenue report and payment it has handled over a certain time frame. Obtaining a comprehensive, algorithmic perception of all expenses can provide a company or public authority with the intelligence needed to scale back on expenses, transform operations and save time as well as money. 

A faster billing process 
All too often, utility customers receive their electric or water bills through physical format, which requires them to send a check to the company that submitted the original invoice. What this unnecessary, outdated practice does is prevent power companies from quickly and efficiently receiving data that can be percolated through an analytics program. By scrutinizing the payment information submitted by their customers, they can chart fluctuations in energy demand and determine how advanced technology, such as smart grid tools, can be leveraged to improve the flow of electricity. 

Thankfully, a utility in Albany, Georgia is looking to foster electronic workflow between its billing department and its patrons. According to FOX 31, after Water, Gas and Light received feedback from customers, the company's board approved a decision to allow consumers to choose between receiving bills digitally or tangibly. Tom Berry, interim general manager for WG&L, says that the cost of sending out electronic statements to customers will save the business money and enable it to view and process payment information more quickly than was previously possible. 

Improved oversight 
For public authorities looking to gain a better view of in-house expenses and constituent payments, document management software proves to be a viable option. The Marion Star reported that Marion city auditors Kelly Carr and Cathy Chaffin will begin using an electronic billing and payroll system starting July 1. The program allows city employees to access their payment records, view insurance benefits, deductions and W-2 forms, among others. 

The software operates through the auditor department's website, which Chaffin affirmed would be secure and heavily encrypted. The platform also allows the committee to forward ordinances, authorizations for development initiatives and other city-related processes much quicker when compared to manual procedures. 

"We're trying to get the best data we can," said Roger Baldinger, superintendent for the city's water pollution control plant, a facility that is also leveraging the system. 

Ultimately, a wide amount of data could be extracted from this system, giving officials insight to particular zoning issues and constituent habits, which could allow them to better assess any problems denizens may encounter.