How can I reduce my office workload?
We’ve recently examined ways to reduce walk-in payments in your office. If you’ve tried all the things suggested in that article, but your office is still busier than you’d like it to be, here are a couple other suggestions to decrease the workload on your office staff.
Are you still manually entering mail payments?
In most utility offices, mail payments represent the largest volume of payments received. If you are still keying in each mail payment, it might be a good idea to look into a remittance processing system.
Remittance processing systems allow you to scan the bill stub and check, reducing the amount of time required to process mail payments. The system produces an output file which can be imported into your billing system, completely eliminating the need to key each payment. Remittance processing systems are also capable of producing a remote deposit capture file allowing you to deposit checks electronically.
One step above a remittance processing system is a lockbox service. With a lockbox, you don’t even have to open the mail – your bank handles the entire process from opening mail to depositing the checks. All you have to do is download and import a payment file from the bank each day.
Online banking checks
The biggest complaint I hear from utilities about processing payments is dealing with online banking checks. You know what I’m talking about – those checks that arrive a week or more after your customer went online to pay his bill and thought you would receive his payment the next day.
The problem, besides the length of time it takes to receive the checks, is that they arrive with no bill stub enclosed. If your customer doesn’t have the correct account number in their bank’s online banking software, you have to research each payment to find the account number.
There are solutions that allow you to receive online banking checks electronically. If online banking checks are an annoyance in your office, I recommend you look into one of these solutions.