During our engagements with utility clients, we often ask, “How confident are you that your organization is billing customers correctly, every time?” In most cases, we find that our clients recognize there is room for improvement. The massive volume of utility billing transactions and all the intricacies of metering systems and rate schedules, paired with human nature, make it a safe bet that occasional billing errors will occur.
Despite the odds, the ability to say that you believe your system is 100% correct, 100% of the time is a worthy goal. Conducting a systems analysis and operational review is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve utility billing operations' accuracy and efficiency.
When embarking on utility billing improvement efforts, one strategy to consider is a walk-through of the entire process, from the meter to cash register, to help identify the typical billing error risks in each segment and the controls you have over those risks.
Accurate utility billing requires the collection of accurate information through meters. Following are four questions to ask at this stage:
Inconsistencies at the meter reading and billing stage can be costly and difficult to pinpoint. Here are four critical questions to ask at this stage:
Limiting errors and removing opportunities for fraud during the cash collections stage should be a priority for all utilities. Below are four critical questions to ask at this stage:
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly’s energy and utility specialists can help, contact our team.