Best Practices in Utility Bill Payment
Organizations that manage mutliple locations and process a high volume of utility invoices require specialized process for utility payment processing. Since it began processing utility invoices in 1996, Cass has developed and tested its own methods for utility payment processing, which are now recognized as best practices by hundreds of customer organizations. Utility invoice and payment processing is unlike most other types of payables for several reasons, but primarily because of the
Valuable data content that can be harvested from invoices and developed into critical business intelligence that informs your organization of its energy costs
Consequences of late payments, such as late fees and service shut-offs
In order to mitigate these risks and provide leveraged value of your invoice data, Cass provides a best-practice solution for utility bill payment.
Cass ExpenseSmart Delivers Valuable Insight in Energy Costs
Through its own ExpenseSmart application, Cass allows organizations to track carbon emissions, view trends, analyze patterns of energy consumption and evaluate the success of energy management initiatives. ExpenseSmart is an enhanced Web application that manages more than 50,000 facilities-related invoices per day from more than 20,000 utility companies and other vendors. A data-intensive application, ExpenseSmart delivers best-in-class performance, reliability and ease of use. The application's distributed, high-availability cache is an important factor in ExpenseSmart's superior performance. ExpenseSmart offers integrated workflow, carbon calculation, expanded report delivery (including scheduling of recurring reports) and customizable dashboards.
Proactive Management Achieves Invoice Processing in Less than a Day
Prompt invoice processing is a best practice in utility expense management. Cass maintains an average invoice processing time of less than one business day – the fastest processing speed in the industry. To achieve such processing speed, Cass has developed proactive vendor management processes. Fast processing speed and accuracy combats the occurrence of both late fees and utility service disruption due to late arriving payments.
Cass’ predictive invoice tracking system alerts Cass about expected utility invoices that are late or missing. This allows Cass to proactively contact the utility about the missing invoice. Additionally, Cass offers its end-user clients a shut-off hotline so that they can alert Cass immediately if they have been warned of an imminent service disruption.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) - Another Best Practice
A dedicated EDI team at Cass is constantly fostering new electronic partnerships and making sure existing invoice mapping remains accurate. Cass can work with 810 ANSI files or structured XML data as well. Cass manages more than $50 billion a year in vendor payments - and most of this amount is paid electronically. As a financial holding company, Cass has great flexibility in ways to make an electronic payment. The result is faster, less error-prone payment, reducing the opportunity for errors in how payments are applied and reducing the supplier’s processing workload.
If you're still managing your utility invoices in-house or don't believe your current vendor has the sophistication to deliver the same service levels as Cass, you should find out more about our best-practice utility bill payment solution. Contact the Cass Utility Group for more information.