Municipalities are probably one of the most difficult places to collect on unpaid bills. There’s a catch 22 that exists within in municipalities where citizens want the best of both worlds: no taxes, but more amenities offered by the city. We all know that the only way to offer all the great amenities like the city next-door is by collecting taxes, but the worst part is you can barely collect on delinquent payments at the tax rate you have now. So, how do you collect on municipal accounts receivable? One way to increase efficiency without spending a ton of money is using collection software. Typically you only need one or two people on the AR staff to use the software and the benefits are numerous. Below are a few way municipal governments and organizations benefit from collections software.
Certain people within your municipality will be more likely to pay than others. Some may have more outstanding invoices than others. So, when payments are due who do you call first. Using a collections software like Lockstep Collect allows you to work through a prioritized list telling you who to call first so you are able to collect the most unpaid invoices in the shortest amount of time.
Keeping track of where everyone within the municipality is on paying their bill, whether they received a second notice letter or if you’ve already discussed a payment term is not easy. With a collection software like Lockstep Collect, each constituent’s communication notes are kept on one page. Here you can find notes from past phone calls, any emails sent back and forth, all letters that have previously been sent and any invoices.
Online Bill Payment
This can be really helpful – but it is all dependent on what your demographics are. If you’re working in a municipality with mostly younger homeowners and couples, this will definitely decrease the time in which you get paid. However, if you have an aging community on your hands this may not receive as great of results. Either way, the Government Finance Officers Association recommends creating an online bill payment portal for municipal accounts receivable.
Creating individual invoices for each tax payer within your municipality would be extremely time consuming and inefficient. Using a collection software like Lockstep Collect saves the invoice and can recreate it for each individual tax payer. If there are any supporting documents necessary to attach such as tax documents, those can be uploaded and sent as well.
As a public entity, it is important that your municipal accounts receivable are organized and transparent. Taxpayers want to see their money invested back into their community, which is something that you can take greater advantage of when you are collecting tax money from everyone, not just the good few paying it.