What is Utility Bill Management?
Utility bill management (UBM) sometimes referred to as utility expense management (UEM), simply put, is the process of streamlining utility bill collection, validation, and payment. Utility bill collection, validation, and payment are a few of the most time-consuming tasks for the accounts payable department of medium to large enterprises. We’ve found that most sites have at least four different utility accounts, if not more. As an organization grows and the number of locations increases, the resources it takes to manage the utility bill process become strained.
What’s the difference between utility bill management and utility bill automation?
Utility bill automation adds a crucial layer of efficiency to the utility bill management process. Utility bill automation automates the bill collection, validation (late arriving bill alerts, supplier notifications, estimates for missing bills, bill duplication or overlapping billing periods, late fee alerts, total usage, total spend, interval data vs. usage, prices of the contract, utility charges match utility tariffs, environmental compliance charges, account activation list, and more!), and payment process, allowing data to be collected in real-time. By removing manual data input from the equation, organizations can make faster decisions, reallocate staff’s time with a 24/7 workforce, and save money.
At Bill Identity, automated utility bill management means utility data feeds directly into our platform as soon as it is released for bill collection, validation, and reporting. This includes gas, electric, water, and telecommunication utilities.
Why do organizations use utility bill management?
At times, it can take over a month before a company has access to their utility bill! Assuming your finance team has time to review the bill rather than pay it. Companies are making decisions based on data that is already a month old and missing out on opportunities to respond to usage issues at a site or rate negotiation.
Who benefits from utility bill management?
A third-party UBM provider with automation like Bill Identity can bring much-needed relief to accounts payable departments, allowing them to focus on high-return tasks. The collection, validation, reporting, and payment streamlines the utility bill processes delivering better data quality, process efficiencies, and more transparency to accounts payable and facility teams.
We have seen energy and facility teams benefit from the budgeting and forecasting tools as well as the 30+ reports.
Does automating utility bill management save that much time?
Yes, Energy Portfolio has saved over 14 days of processing time every month (that’s 168 per year or half an FTE).
What does it usually include?
Our utility expense management platform includes:
- Automated collection of mail and digital bills
- Automated validation of all invoice data ingested, including expense and usage info
- Identify missing bills and billing issues
- Prioritizing and managing any termination or late notices
- More than 30 reports plus customized report options
- Data files that interface with your accounting software
- User-friendly data visualization and usage dashboards
- Budgeting and forecasting tools
- Conscientious data security
- Accurate, on-time payments to your utility providers