Utility bill auditing and processing just got a whole lot easier.
On November 9, 2016, I published a blog article titled, “Improving Utility Bill Auditing.” The article addressed a comment that we hear time and time again during initial conversations with prospective customers: “We know we should check our utility bills more closely, but we don’t have a system in place to do that.” I then outlined how our EnergyCAP software-based solution helps organizations overcome the challenges of utility bill processing and bill validation before they are paid.
Fast forward 32 months. Many organizations are still relying on a decentralized utility bill processing workflow, placing their confidence in visual audits of the seemingly endless rows of complex and confusing spreadsheet data. I get it. Microsoft® Excel is basically free, right? Every employee has it and knows how to use it. Kinda. But how deep does their analysis go? Do the bill reviewers understand the numerous line items that make utility bills complex? Are the reviews performed quickly enough to avoid late fees? And if the bills are being reviewed thoroughly, how much time is spent doing it?
If your organization is still relying on “the eyeball test” to verify utility bills, now there’s an even more compelling reason to consider making the move to EnergyCAP—the release of completely redesigned bill auditing, flagging, and issue tracking functionality. EnergyCAP’s audits are now automatic and immediate, and results are even easier to understand and manage. New auditing features include the following:
- Bills are automatically audited as they are entered/imported. No need to set up and run audits manually.
- Audit exceptions are highlighted on each bill to help users identify and resolve issues quickly.
- Possible bill problems are highlighted as they’re entered to help catch and resolve errors before bills are saved.
- Bills that do not pass audits are automatically flagged for follow-up.
- Flagged bills can be assigned one or more EnergyCAP users for follow-up. Users can comment on findings and track savings through the “Cost Recovery” field, an easy method for reporting on the value your team brings through ongoing review of billing issues in EnergyCAP.
- Bills can also be manually flagged for follow-up, allowing users to address questionable bills, track actions taken, and document the resolution.
Take a moment to imagine that your utility bills—a major organizational expense—are maintained in a centralized location and are audited immediately upon entry. Bills identified to have issues are visibly flagged, the issues are explained clearly, and the “problem” data fields are highlighted, so you can see very quickly where a mistake may have been made. Fast. Easy. Intelligent. Legit.
Utility Bill Workflow
Bill review is just one potentially time-consuming step in the utility bill workflow. Paper bills must be opened, sorted, and manually keyed into a spreadsheet or accounting system. Electronic bills, if available, may have to be manually downloaded and then either hand-keyed or imported by A/P. Fortunately, we also offer a service to do all of this for you, and I recommend researching our Bill CAPture bill processing service, if you’re not already familiar with it. If you have inquired about Bill CAPture in the past or are already a Bill CAPture customer, I encourage you to contact your EnergyCAP account manager to learn more about our new Processing & Management service.
Under our basic Bill CAPture service level—Bill Processing—we obtain the utility bills from your vendors, enter them into EnergyCAP, and flag (via our new audits) bills with issues. Your team takes over from there to research and resolve the issues. If you’re crunched for time, the issue resolution step may be delayed, resulting in late payments, or force you to stop working on another project to make sure your utility bills are paid on time. The alternative? Subscribe to our new Bill Processing & Management service, and let us resolve the issues for you, saving you time and ensuring that the bill entry process moves forward without delay.
Our Bill CAPture staff can obtain and enter your utility bills, identify bill-related issues, and resolve the issues. Your work is reduced to quickly reviewing the work we’ve done and approving the bills for export and payment:
The process is efficient, there’s no redundant data entry, issues are resolved, and bills are paid on time. You and your staff have the data you need to make informed decisions and the time required to act on them.
Additional insight into the value of utility bill auditing is provided in our free eBook, 20 Ways to Find Utility Bill Savings. I encourage you to download it. And please contact us if you’d like to discuss how your organization can benefit from EnergyCAP’s new bill auditing functionality and our processing services.