With ‘Spring’ having ‘sprung’, it brings forth the planning and scheduling of the annual ‘Utility Billing User Group Meeting’. This year’s meeting month and date is yet to be determined. The LOGIS UB User Group consists of 19 member cities. LOGIS discussion items include the Work Plan and many more exciting Utility Billing topics.
Users have expressed an interest in Fall 2019 WebEx training sessions regarding Advanced reports/Filters/Searches, new account set-up, bankruptcies, delinquencies, move in/outs, best practices for the Certification process and Invoice Cloud.
As always, LOGIS support staff is looking forward to hosting this engaging event. This is a wonderful opportunity for our Utility Billing users to interact and network with each other to share ideas and best practices. Stay tuned for more details!
Testing for CIS Infinity’s new build, 3.1.29 is complete and is ready to be rolled out into Production. Thank you to all that helped test and provided feedback. We are happy to report that there were not any issues during testing.
The new build will be applied to Production early in the 2nd quarter. Once a schedule is established, all members will be notified of their date for upgrade. At that time, please let us know of any scheduling conflicts and we will reschedule. Everything in CIS needs to be updated when the new build is applied, that means all billings, cash batches, and penalties be updated. Please stay logged out of CIS when the scheduled update is in progress. A staff member will update you once the new build update has completed.
If you experience any issues after the update, please call the UB support line immediately at 763-543-2660.
Members run WAV (Winter Average Volume) by cycle to calculate Winter Average Consumption for Sewer billing. This process is configured and executed according to each individual business policy. Members are using this process to calculate usage during the winter months. This usage is then set within each customer’s account, so that throughout the year, sewer can be billed out no more than what was set for winter usage.
Typically Cities use a range of November – March as their winter months. This process benefits residents during the summer months when more water usage is typically being used. Water usage, such as watering lawns, does not go down City sewer. The WAV (Winter Average Volume) process ensures that sewer is being calculated according to what each resident’s typical billable sewer usage is.
It’s important to note that each Member does use the WAV (Winter Average Volume) process a little differently. A typical example of how WAV is used is as follows:
February Billing (Winter Quarter of water for Nov./Dec./Jan.)
Water Consumption was: 15 units
WAV (Winter Average Volume) is set to: 15
Water and Sewer for this billing is billed out at 15 units
October Billing (Summer Quarter of water for July/Aug./Sept)
Water Consumption was: 24 units
WAV (Winter Average Volume) is set to: 15
Water is billed out at 24 units and Sewer is billed out at 15 units (otherwise known as lesser of current or winter)
Spend any time outdoors and you know Minnesota is within those winter months. For our members:
Please remember to run the WAV process BEFORE calculating your winter quarter cycle billings.
Before doing the WAV process, make sure all water readings have been uploaded in CIS, including re-reads.
Make any necessary corrections of water readings in CIS.
After the above steps have been completed, you are now ready to calculate the cycle billing.
Advanced has released a new build for CIS Infinity that is currently being tested by LOGIS. Testing has been going great so far, no issues to report. Build 3.1.29 will be rolled out in 2019. Testing has been done utilizing Windows 10 and Office 2016.
If you would like to volunteer to test the new build in your CIS TEST database, testing documents can be found on the LOGIS portal. To locate the document on the portal go to shared documents under the Utility Billing link on the left. Click on Build Testing Checklist_2018, please notify UB support on what processes you will be testing and if any issues occur.
As 2018 year-end approaches, members need to start thinking about the CIS Infinity UB year-end process. Year-end involves several tasks that need to be done in CIS Infinity and members must decide when they want to do their balancing and reporting.
Year-end reports are point in time reports and must be generated ‘last thing’ on December 31, 2018 or ‘first thing’ on January 2, 2019, after all 2018 batches are updated and before any 2019 batches are created. These reports CANNOT be processed at a later date to obtain year-end data.
The year-end CIS Infinity process pertains to cycle billing batches, final billing batches, adjustment batches, penalty batches, ACH batches, etc. Members will run an Interface Table Synchronization to ensure that all credit card and/or e-Check payments are picked up. Members will reconcile A/R balances within CIS Infinity by first running non-zero balances, then zero balances. A CIS Infinity process called the G/L Interface Routine will also need to be completed/run. The G/L Interface Routine creates a journal entry in the financial software, of all transactions done within CIS.
CIS Infinity year-end reporting includes running a Multiple A/R Summary Listing and Single A/R summary, (if required), which displays the balances in each A/R Account. An Advanced Search is then run in CIS Infinity in order to find/report the balance due on every account in CIS Infinity.
Members will need to generate the Aged Arrears Listing report, which tracks aging data, the Land Use reports, which track billed consumption, and/or the Block Summary report, which tracks billed consumption by zone.
Did you know the CIS ‘Collection Status’ field can be used to monitor more than collection status information?
The ‘Collection Status’ field in CIS can be configured to add alternate account conditions, IE: WATER OFF/WATER ON and the changing of the ‘Collection Status’ can be ‘ruled’ by setting the priority of the ‘Collection Status’ in CIS, behind the scenes, based on the City’s business needs. The ‘Collection Status’ priority can be configured to be ‘un-changeable’ unless a user answers ‘Yes’ to a pop-up message when making a change.
Contact LOGIS UB Support staff with any questions regarding the ‘Collection Status’ field and how it may be used to improve your Utility Billing process.
LOGIS invited Advanced Utility Systems for an onsite visit May 29th through June 1st for Utility Billing Support Staff training. The purpose of the training visit was to provide one-on-one training to the newest Support Analyst team member. Additionally, Advanced arranged for in-depth training for all team members on such topics as collections, penalty calculations and payment arrangements.
During the site visit, LOGIS staff had the opportunity to review outstanding Team Support incidents. The exclusive time with Advanced Staff gives way to building stronger relationships.
Be sure to attend the Fall 2018 Utility Billing User Group meeting to learn how these features may work for your city.
Advanced released new Build 3.1.27 towards the end of 2017. LOGIS along with some Member volunteers have been working hard to test this new build within Members’ TEST databases. Testing is being done utilizing Windows 7, Windows 10, Office 2013 and Office 2016. LOGIS plans to start rolling out Build 3.1.27 late February and into March 2018.
Along with testing all Member processes on Build 3.1.27, LOGIS is also planning to test the new Web Services Build 03.03.02.17. All Member processes will be tested along with functionality between CIS and Invoice Cloud.
The annual Harris Customer Training Conference took place November 15th – 17th. The event is an opportunity to increase technical and application knowledge, glean insight from peers and provide feedback for product improvement. The two-day pre-conference sessions held on November 13th – 14th, offer in-depth training on best practices for CIS Infinity.
Advanced Utility Systems, a subsidiary of Harris Computers, was represented by 22 employees. There were 176 registered attendees from 64 US clients. LOGIS has been a regular attender of the Customer Training Conference and finds the networking opportunities to be invaluable. Three client-led sessions were on the agenda this year with topics including realizing AMI potential to lessons learned upgrading from Version 3 to Version 4. Client-led sessions are a big success as it allows CIS Infinity clients to network with industry peers.
The semi-annual Utility Billing User Group Meeting was held on October 10th, 2017 at 9:00 AM at the LOGIS office. The User Group consists of 19 Utility Billing member Cities.
After introductions, LOGIS started the discussion by going over upcoming items within the Work Plan. A handful of upcoming projects were mentioned, such as multiple Cities preparing for remote change-out projects, the City of Minnetonka working to implement SAC/REC charges into Utility Billing, and the City of Edina looking to start using a Lockbox for Utility payments.
Discussion questions submitted by the User Group followed the LOGIS topics. Member discussion questions included the use of a phone tree for incoming calls, online options for Move In/Out submissions, Owner Tenant Billing, and best practice for reporting on the number of accounts.
The meeting was rounded out by an update and discussion of the new Electronic Bill Payment & Presentment (EBPP) vendor. Currently 15 LOGIS members are now using the new system.
The User Group Meetings have been a great way for the Utility Billing users and LOGIS to network together to share ideas and best practices.