dimanche 23 août 2015

Indispensable Aspects Of Utility Bill Software

By Nancy Gardner

It is very rare for erven in an urbanized area not to be charged municipal rates and taxes. This constitutes one of the main activities of the municipal authority, and bills are sent to residents on a monthly basis. They also need to be able to monitor the payment of these bills. The utility bill software that is used by the municipality can play a part in the success or failure of this process.

There are some indispensable characteristics that the software should have in order to be effective in the municipality's administration. Even the first stage of the billing process, which is the issuing of the actual paper bills, presents some simple requirements to the administration and, in turn, to the software that they use. One of these is accuracy. The standard off-hand wise-crack about the municipal account that shows a million-dollar water bill is not as humorous as it may sound.

Then again, significant urban settlements may house populations of up to several millions. The municipal database thus has the accompanying number of records or entries, and so its software needs to have the capacity to accommodate this volume of records. These are municipal accounts, so they are updated at least once a month, or on an ongoing basis.

A particularly and notoriously tricky issue for municipalities is that of non-payment. There is probably no municipality that has not encountered this issue. The poorer residents in the more indigent suburbs sometimes do not pay due to nothing other than their lack of financial resources. However, there are also those who do not pay for other reasons, whatever those may be. The software should be able to deal with these residents, otherwise it is not adequate for municipal purposes.

Concerning the actual physical paperwork, i. E. The bills that are sent to the residents, this should be acceptable to them. Where a town or city has a linguistically diverse population, the paperwork needs to be sensitive to that. Sometimes, a bill in more than one language is sufficient, but in other towns or cities it is necessary to issue the bills in more than one language, depending on the recipient. The software should be designed to include more than one language where this is an issue.

Not everyone has the same level of literacy or education. Some people might be only partially literate, even though they are professional people or artisans. The fact that they are illiterate does not necessarily mean that they are impoverished or that they reside in the poorer areas of the town or city, or that they lack financial resources. In such cases, the bill should be easy to understand. Issuing paperwork to the entire population always involves this requirement and the software should be able to accommodate it.

Turning to the account statement itself, its layout should be transparent and simple, showing the payable amount and associated dates. The bill should be intelligible even if the recipient is entirely illiterate or has little experience in reading such documents.

Inaccuracies in statements are embarrassing to the municipality, and non-payment is a serious threat to the budget. Municipal software needs to address both of these issues. At the same time, the municipal administration presents it with thousands of users and millions of entries, so it should be as easy to use as possible.

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