1. What if we need site specific changes? Does this require additional programming?
  2. Can we change from quarterly to monthly billing without additional programming?
  3. How can I integrate the utility billing with my accounting system?
  4. Can certain employees be assigned restricted access to the system?
  5. How do I know how many digits to enter for manual meter readings?
  6. Do I have to print all reports or can I view them first?
  7. My tax collector needs specific reports for tax sales. Can I get this type of information?
  8. My auditor needs specific accounting information. What accounting reports are included?
  9. What types of account-related reports are available to me?
  10. How can I manage and/or audit transactions entered into the system?
  11. Can I specify which accounts get billed together and how often?
  12. Can I create new billing rates without additional programming?
  13. How do I create bills and how can I verify their accuracy?
  14. How do I generate bills with interest on delinquent accounts?
  15. Can the system automatically create final and corrected bills?
  16. How can I monitor and control by daily receivables / payments?
  17. Can I easily enter numerous payments into the system?
  18. Can I bill more than one location to a single customer?
  19. Does the system provide reports for my daily deposits?
  20. Can I monitor customer activity and review customer history?
  21. Can I add meter readings in the same order that they were read?
  22. Can I easily change the order in which the meters are read?
  23. Can the system accept any type of automated meter readings?
  24. How can I review meter readings just entered for accuracy?
  25. Can I update a meter reading AFTER the account has been billed?
  26. Is there any help available on-line for the WinBill System?
  27. Does the WinBill system provide for work/service order processing?
  28. How can I manage Service Orders to be sure the work has been completed?
  29. What else do we get with the WinBill software package?

  1. What if we need site specific changes? Does this require additional programming? [top]
    The entire system is completely "table-driven" to allow users to easily customize all system options.   This provides significant flexibility so that the user can "tailor" the system to the specific needs of the utility.
    For example, all billing related tables (billing rates, billing cycles, etc.) are completely controlled by the user. The system never requires additional programming when changing a utility's billing structure.


  2. Can we change from quarterly to monthly billing without additional programming? [top]
    Flexible Billing Cycle tables allow the utility to bill services monthly, quarterly, or annually. The Billing Cycle tables also provide the ability to bill services separately or together on a single bill.
    Services (water, electric, etc.) can be billed based on the dates the meters were read while other services (sewer, solid waste, etc.) can be billed based on the dates entered into this table.


  3. How can I integrate the utility billing with my accounting system? [top]
    Transaction Code tables allow the utility to create a virtually unlimited number of codes that can be used for " special-purpose" billing.
    Journal Code tables allow each utility to enter their own unique account codes for each transaction code.  "Journal-to-Transaction " code tables provide the basis for the journal entry reports that can be generated by the system or fed directly into the utility's accounting system.


  4. Can certain employees be assigned restricted access to the system? [top]
    The Security Assignment Table allows any user with "full administrative" rights to assign different levels of security to specific employees.
    The employee may have "full" access to certain parts of the system (e.g. meter readings) and "read-only" access to other parts of the system (e.g. transactions).  Certain employees can be designated as "read-only users" and, therefore, have no update capabilities.


  5. How do I know how many digits to enter for manual meter readings? [top]
    Meter Size Code tables allow the utility to create a virtually unlimited number of codes for different meter sizes to simplify meter reading data entry. The Meter Size Code table includes entries for the number of "readable" dials and "stationary zeros".
    The user only needs to enter the "readable" digits and the system calculates the correct reading using the information from this table.


  6. Do I have to print all reports or can I view them first? [top]
    All Reports can be viewed " on-screen" as well as being printed.  All Reports can also be recreated and printed at a later date if required for auditing or other administrative purposes.

  7. My tax collector needs specific reports for tax sales. Can I get this type of information? [top]
    The Tax Lien Sale Report for delinquent utility customers provides all the information needed by the Tax Collector, including interest calculated through the date of the Tax Sale.

  8. My auditor needs specific accounting information. What accounting reports are included? [top]
    The Trial Balance Report can be generated for any time period required by the finance department (monthly, quarterly, annually).
    The Trial Balance also ties into many other summary reports of payments, charges, and adjustments.


  9. What types of account-related reports are available to me? [top]
    Numerous Customer Account Reports can be generated for either "on-screen" viewing or "hard-copy" printing.
    These reports include Outstanding Account Balances, Accounts by Service Status, Accounts by Service Location, and numerous others.
    Customer Address Lists can also be generated and used with other packages (such as Word, WordPerfect, etc.) to generate labels, envelopes, etc.


  10. How can I manage and/or audit transactions entered into the system? [top]
    Management Audit Reports track each and every transaction entered into the system, even if the transaction was subsequently changed or deleted.
    These audit reports include the date and time the transaction was entered and/or modified, the employee who entered/modified the transaction, as well as the total amount and type (i.e. add, change, delete) of transaction.


  11. Can I specify which accounts get billed together and how often? [top]
    Billing Cycles can be set up for monthly, quarterly, or annual billing.  Since the billing cycles are defined in tables, the billing schedule is completely under the control of the utility.
    The Billing Cycles can also be set up individually by service with the option to bill based on reading dates or based on pre-set dates (e.g. calendar quarter).


  12. Can I create new billing rates without additional programming? [top]
    All Billing Rates are maintained in two tables, one defines the Rate Code and the second supplies the appropriate billing rates for each Rate Code.
    Rate Codes are defined by service type (water, sewer, etc.) and Account TypeAccount Types are "user-defined" and are made up of a Unit Type and Sub-Unit Type (both are defined in tables and completely user modifiable).


  13. How do I create bills and how can I verify their accuracy? [top]
    The Create Bill Register process (the first step in the billing process) calculates current bill charges and validates that every account in the Billing Cycle has complete and valid information required for billing.
    The Bill Register Exceptions Report is generated during the Create Bill Register process. This report shows any warnings and/or errors generated during the Create Bill Register process.


  14. How do I generate bills with interest on delinquent accounts? [top]
    The Post Bill Register process (the final step in the billing process) generates all bill transactions for the accounts being billed and provides the user the option of posting interest against delinquent accounts.
    Note that the Bill Register Exceptions Report MUST have NO errors before the user can even select the Post Bill Register option.


  15. Can the system automatically create final and corrected bills? [top]
    Final "pro-rated" Bills (for real estate transfers) are automatically calculated and generated by the system based upon a final reading taken by utility personnel (see on-line demo for more details).
    On-Demand Bills (for bill corrections due to corrected meter readings) are always available in order to quickly and easily rebill a customer (see on-line demo for an example).


  16. How can I monitor and control by daily receivables / payments? [top]
    The Daily (or more specifically, Batch) Deposit Details report allows easier reconciliation of your "batch" deposit, since the report can be viewed "on-screen".  These reports can always be printed at any time in the future.
    The system allows for multiple "batches" within the same day and provides the capability for multiple concurrent batches where individual employees are responsible for their own "receivables".


  17. Can I easily enter numerous payments into the system? [top]
    The system provides a Bulk Entry option for processing large volumes of payments with a minimum of effort.
    This process (along with other data entry intensive operations such as manually entered meter readings) can be performed using the keyboard only (i.e. NO mouse activity required).


  18. Can I bill more than one location to a single customer? [top]
    The system allows multiple service locations to be billed against a single account.  The advantage: One Bill, One Payment, One Entry!
    This feature provides the ability to combine multiple properties (owned by and billed to the same customer) under one account.  The customer receives a detailed statement (along with the bill) showing the utility usage at each of the individual locations under that account.


  19. Does the system provide reports for my daily deposits? [top]
    The Daily (a.k.a. Batch) Deposit Details report provides detailed information on payments received (broken down by principal, miscellaneous, and interest for each service billed against each account).
    This report also summarizes the total payments received using the same break down as described above as well as separate totals by cash, check, and credit card.


  20. Can I monitor customer activity and review customer history? [top]
    The system allows for a virtually unlimited amount of transaction history for each account.  The transaction history is easily reviewed on the Customer Summary screen (Transactions Tab) to determine the payment (or credit) history.
    The system also includes a customer "payment status" indicator to identify problem accounts, alerting the employee about any "credit-risk" accounts.


  21. Can I add meter readings in the same order that they were read? [top]
    The Add Meter Readings by Route option allows the user to easily add meter readings for an entire route (book). This "bulk-entry" process displays each account in route order so the user can enter the meter reading, flip the page in the book, and enter the next reading.
    Note that estimated readings can be "system-generated" by simply clicking on the Estimated radio-button.


  22. Can I easily change the order in which the meters are read? [top]
    Meter Reading Routes are maintained in "walk-order" (manual and automated reads) by simply "moving" accounts within route sequence.
    Service locations can be moved from one route to another by simply updating the "Route" field on the Service Location Tab. Locations can be moved within a route by "re-positioning" one or more locations from one list into a second.


  23. Can the system accept any type of automated meter readings? [top]
    The system is compatible with all Automated Meter Reading systems (hand-held, radio, phone, satellite, etc.).
    Automated Meter Readings are downloaded directly into the customer accounts provided they pass all validation tests.


  24. How can I review meter readings just entered for accuracy? [top]
    Meter Reading Exception Reports are generated for both manually entered as well as automated meter readings.
    Invalid readings (e.g. negative usage) and missing readings are "flagged" as errors and "Suspect" readings are "flagged" as warnings (e.g. high/low usage, zero usage, etc.).


  25. Can I update a meter reading AFTER the account has been billed? [top]
    The system allows Meter Readings to be updated for a full billing period (typically a quarter) after the usage has been billed to provide for reading (and billing) corrections.
    After the next scheduled reading has been taken and billed, the system allows updates to the latest "billed" reading, and "closes off" the older reading from any further changes to maintain overall system integrity.


  26. Is there any help available on-line for the WinBill System? [top]
    WinBill for Municipal Utilities™ includes an extensive on-line help system with answers to most questions, as well as step-by-step procedures for performing most tasks.
    Note that the on-line help system also allows the user to enter their own "annotations" so they can "take notes" in their own words for future reference.


  27. Does the WinBill system provide for work/service order processing? [top]
    A Service Order Entry and Tracking System is built into the system, so that every customer contact can be recorded along with pertinent information regarding the request, the employee assigned, and the date and time the work is scheduled to be completed.
    This information is maintained by the system along with the account and can always be referenced at any point in the future.


  28. How can I manage Service Orders to be sure the work has been completed? [top]
    The system also includes a Service Order Query option that can be used by management to track work scheduled and whether or not the work was completed.
    The Service Order Query can be limited to " Open" service orders, a specific employee, a specific street within the utility's service area, or a specific type of work.


  29. What else do we get with the WinBill software package? [top]
    Customized Bills and Delinquent Notices are included with the system at no extra cost.
    Built-in Security allows a local system " administrator" to restrict the level of system access for any individual employee.
    A "notepad" option is available for entering an unlimited number of account related notations.