We’ve previously discussed problems associated with gaps in payments, and the fact that it’s a significant strain for utility companies across the board. For the vast majority of water departments, monthly bills are all sent out and due at the same time, thus leading to a huge influx of payments as soon as the bills are received by the customer, and again just prior to the due date.

Paying water bills

Why does this issue plague utility companies more so than others? Other industries are relatively unaffected by gaps in payment. For example, a cell phone company is constantly receiving payments because the billing cycle is different for each customer. Also, these payments are fixed amounts, unlike water bills that fluctuate from month-to-month. Therefore, the customers of cell phone companies are able to set up automatic payments that are received and processed electronically for a budgeted amount every month, which makes their payment process easy and simple for both parties.

For water departments it’s a whole different story. Water bills vary each month depending on each customer’s water usage, so automatic bill pay via a customer’s bank account isn’t an option for many consumers who are reluctant to agree to automatic payments when amounts are unknown. For this reason, water departments receive a high volume of checks, which are most often processed manually by the billing department. Processing hundreds of checks individually is time-consuming, and oftentimes requires extended work hours during peak days when high volumes of checks are received.

Instead of spending countless hours processing checks, consider solutions that will process accounts receivable more efficiently. F&E’s stub and check solutions eliminate the pressures on staff associated with gaps in payment. Digital accounts receivable and check imaging technology saves water departments time and money while increasing accuracy, quality assurance, and customer service capabilities.

If your water department is looking for new ways to manage accounts receivable, view our video on Stub and Check Processing for Water Departments.