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An Introduction to Municipal Billing Software

An Introduction to Municipal Billing Software

An Introduction to Municipal Billing Software

Municipalities offer many services to their citizens, but delivering these services can be complex. Dedicated software simplifies it with an all-in-one solution for billing customers. It offers self-service tools, customer communication and other features.

Municipal software companies build these programs with the unique demands of governments in mind. This software allows you to meet requirements, such as those regarding accessibility and security. If you need to streamline municipal utility payments, specialized billing software can help you ensure an efficient, easy system that meets the needs of the government and its residents.

What Is a Municipal Billing System?

A municipal billing system facilitates utility billing for services like water, sewer and refuse. These programs usually offer a customer-facing portal where users can pay their bills, view statements and access other resources from their city or town’s government.

On the municipality’s side, billing software can simplify the process of managing a large customer base. It provides the technological infrastructure for communication, integration and other relevant components.

Some of the capabilities you might find in a municipal billing system include:

  • Customer account management: With so many customers, an account management tool is necessary to track their information and activities. Regardless of your municipality’s size, billing software can help manage accounts.
  • Payment management: A secure billing system and payment processing integrations can help you accept the modern payment options today’s customers expect. Easily track municipal utility payments, allow automated payments and improve on-time rates by simplifying the process for your users.
  • Customer communication systems: Municipalities often communicate with the public, such as when sharing updates or educational resources. Municipal billing software can open up these communication channels for improved customer engagement and simple, straightforward information sharing.
  • Self-service portals and e-billing options: By allowing customers to manage their accounts and take action online, you can reap the benefits of better customer engagement while reducing your team’s workload. For example, rather than taking payment information over the phone, your employees can focus on more important tasks. 
  • Integration with other systems: Municipal billing systems can link up with other programs like asset management, accounting and meter-reading software. Integrated billing often helps improve accuracy, maintain consistency and streamline workflows.
  • Analytics: With so much information at your fingertips, you can easily generate reports and analyze real-time data to make better decisions.
  • Service order and backflow inspection management: Monitor service activities within customer and billing information. Integrated municipal billing software gives governments a centralized view of these processes.  

Government Requirements

While utility services are a large part of municipal billing requirements, these government organizations have unique needs. Municipalities must uphold additional demands in different areas, such as:

1. Compliance

Government organizations must comply with regulations and standards that may not apply to private businesses. Some examples include:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A municipality must make its website accessible to all. Utility billing software must support ADA compliance for government websites. For example, high-contrast text can improve readability for people with low vision. Government website accessibility requirements look for this feature in customer portals.
  • Data protection legislation: Some jurisdictions may need to comply with data protection laws. These regulations specify measures the municipality must implement for proper data handling. Some examples include the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which may be applicable if you serve citizens of the European Union (EU).
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): PCI DSS outlines requirements for handling payment information, which you will generally need to meet if you process credit or debit cards.
  • Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards: Many governments must meet GASB standards for transparent and inclusive financial reporting. The right software can make it easier to build audit-ready reports and learn from your data.

2. Budget-Friendly Solutions

Municipalities may not have large budgets for utility billing, so the software solution should be affordable and support streamlined operations. With capabilities like automation and self-service tools, billing software helps many municipalities save costs and maximize their budgets.

Another way small utility billing software can limit costs is through simplified access. For instance, a user-friendly, cloud-based program might reduce your need for a skilled IT team to manage an on-premise system.

3. Data Security

Data security is exceedingly important for the public sector. Municipal software companies should address this need with reliable security practices. 

WebPresence for Municipalities and Local Governments

A communication channel helps municipalities connect with the public and is a valuable part of municipal billing software. You can discuss everything from news about your upcoming rates to tips on staying safe during an upcoming storm. WebPresence is our communication management solution that helps municipalities approve and post various content, such as:

  • Policy updates
  • Educational content
  • Surveys
  • Job applications
  • Calendar events

With the WebPresence portal, your team can conveniently share content regardless of technical skill. Municipal billing experts designed the system for public communications, complete with a public notification wizard to guide users through the process. Use templates or our library of educational content for a head start on your public communications.

How Our System Helps

How Our System Helps

WebPresence works hand-in-hand with our utility billing software, Muni-Link, to deliver a comprehensive solution for municipalities. It includes a CIS, billing platform, WebPresence and other tools.

These cloud-based platforms offer many advantages to government organizations, such as:

  • Efficient and streamlined operations: Automation and self-service tools allow municipalities to reduce workloads for more efficient processes.
  • Better cash flow: Avoid late or missed municipal utility payments with a program that expands your customers’ options. They can easily automate payments or pay online to avoid problems.
  • A great customer experience: With e-billing and a user-friendly portal, you can give customers an exceptional experience for managing their bills and communicating with your team.
  • Data accuracy and visibility: Boost data accuracy by integrating other software systems and reducing manual data entry requirements. Cloud-based platforms help centralize your information for speedy access to real-time data and better decision-making processes.
  • Simple and individualized implementation: We’ll work with you to help your team learn the new platform and make the most of municipal billing software.
Learn More About Municipal Billing Software With Muni-Link

Learn More About Municipal Billing Software With Muni-Link

While delivering utilities, municipalities must offer secure, modern utility billing solutions and simple communications — tasks that demand effective software. Muni-Link and WebPresence can help you deliver necessary services with convenient, cloud-based access, efficiency-boosting tools and seamless integrations with other systems you rely on.

Designed by water and sewer utility professionals, Muni-Link receives regular updates and brings individualized support to every user. Contact us today to request a demo or learn more about how Muni-Link can help.

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