Last month we discussed how you can correct any billing mistakes that may arise by removing your calculation journal, fixing the problem and then re-calculating, re-preparing and re-printing any invoices that may need correcting. Now, even though this process is quite simple, it’s not as easy as resolving any mistakes immediately as they occur. In fact, the earlier you find them, the easier they are to resolve.
Fortunately, UtilAbility can help you discover problems or mistakes as they occur throughout your billing process. There are message dialogs that may appear automatically in various places warning you of potential problems. There are also several reports available for you to use to confirm your data. For example, it is always a good idea to print a billing journal after calculating your bills. This allows you to confirm the amounts you are billing before you prepare and print your invoices. This can save time and paper as you may discover any potential problems early enough to avoid the need to reprepare your bills and reprint any invoice corrections.
Did you know you can check your data even earlier in your billing process? You can check your meter readings before you actually calculate your invoices. You can use the Meter Reading Journals and Details report to print a list of all the readings that you have posted within any given date range. This report groups your readings by journal and even includes the total usage for each journal that is listed, for your reference. While this report is helpful, perhaps the easiest way to spot possible meter reading errors is by utilizing the Account Meter Reading Exceptions List report. This report will print a list of accounts that have either no readings found or more than one reading found within any date range you specify. It will even list accounts found having a total usage within your specified date range that is greater than their past average by a minimum of any percentage you specify. This report is extremely useful in finding any potential problems because it allows you to view them directly without having to wade through all the readings to find them.
So, please check out the reports discussed above along with others provided to see how they can help you locate any problems as early as you can in your billing process. Remember, earlier error detection means easier error corrections.