What is Utility Bill Management?
In simple terms, it’s the streamlining of utility expense management. Utility bill processing, payment and management has become one of the most time-consuming areas for the accounts payable department of medium and large enterprises. Every site will typically have four utility accounts. As you increase the number of locations, the resources and vendors required will increase, thus increasing the time and cost needed to manage them.
So what can be done to streamline processing, improve validation and simplify payments?
Outsourcing is widely recognized as an effective way to manage many non-core tasks. It is very common to have third paties managing buildings, facilities, energy performance, sustainablity data collection and so on. In fact, most organizations now contract almost all these services to third-parties.
Accounts Payable often finds itself outside of the typical outsourcing radar as managing a companies finances is very much a core activity. However, when it comes to utility accounts, organizations have found the cost of managing so many vendors, and processing payment of so many utility bills within such short time lines needs a different approach.
Making the business case for outsourcing
A recent survey of a 1000 companies by an independent accounting firm, found that 75% of companies had a cost of between $7.75 and $12.44 to process an invoice. This is just processing and does not account for the cost of late fees, disconections or funding charges. Vervantis as a comparison reduces this cost by up to 60% with a process that sees late fees and disconections a thing of the past. The best part is instead of managing hundreds of vendors, you now only have to pay one!
What an Outsourced Utility Bill Management Service Does.
Vervantis provides accounts payable or facilities teams a single solution to utility account management and bill processing by delivering its services within DataHub360™, powerful software architecture developed in-house by utility experts.
The tracking, reporting and management of accounts through DataHub360™ delivers such efficiencies, organizations are able to appoint a single resource for thousands of accounts, as the task is now simply one of management.
What’s Included in a Standard Service?
- Automating the direct collection of invoices from all utilities – (electric, gas, waste, water, sewer, telecom etc)
Scanning and keying 100% of the data from the invoice (typically within 48hours)
- Process bills on a “first due first through” process, which means no more late fees (we even have a late fee guarantee on our service)
- Missing invoices are chased to get them in and processed prior to normal due dates – we chase until received – 100% – nothing drops through our process
- We validate all invoices for payment and when invoices drop out of that process and generate an exception, we resolve them too
- Occupancy changes (account open/close) directly managed with the utilities (no more waiting on hold)
- We produce the funding files and customize then to seamlessly drop into your AP systems
- Automate the payment of utility companies with 90% of transactions being secure ACH or RPPS
- Utility deposits are tracked
- Utility Budgeting
- Our software tracks and reports everything with over 80 reports available right out of the box with a full suite of custom reporting to meet any requirement
- PDF invoices are displayed on screen with multiple metrics dash-boarded for ease
How Are Invoices Funded?
You can chose to either let us manage the funding (you cut one check instead of hundreds) or we can produce the files that provide validation of all the invoices for you to pay. We typically produce three funding files a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), but you can schedule whatever works for you. All files are customized to integrate precisely into your accounting systems.
What about Security?
Data security has never been so important, it seems a month can’t go by without reading about a major data breach. Our bill processing is already SOC 1 Type II compliant and we are currently undergoing a SOC 2 trust services audit to provide additional comfort that we take the management and security of client data very seriously.
Will Utility Bill Processing Work for Me?
The quickest way to find out is by contacting one of our team who will make sure you are a good fit for a utility bill management solution and if you are, provide a demonstration of the utility bill management software DataHub360™ and a custom quotation.
How long Does It Take To Set Up?
Our processes are incredibly well defined which makes set up incredibly quick and easy. It normally takes just 60 days for us to get everything bedded down. Our data team manage the upload or keying of historical invoices or transfer from existing platforms.
To see what a difference Vervantis utility bill administration could make to your Facilities, Accounts or Real Estate Teams – connect with us here.