CCWA Behind The Tap Series: Accounts Receivable Analyst Tim Allen:
Meet Accounts Receivable Analyst Tim Allen. Tim works in Accounts Receivable (also referred to as Billing) in our Customer Accounts Department. He works closely with Customer Service and Meter Services. He reviews and investigates unusual meter readings and verifies bill codes and bill types to ensure proper billing charges for hydrant meters, Stormwater fees (monthly and bi-annual) and delayed monthly billing. He reviews installed meters on new accounts or meter replacements to ensure everything is set up correctly. He coordinates with CCWA’s Finance staff if there are monetary or usage discrepancies for larger accounts. He monitors estimated accounts awaiting new meters and stays in communication with Water Production staff for lost water usage. Many customers might be surprised to know that CCWA’s 82,500 monthly bills are printed and mailed from a third party vendor. Tim works with this vendor to ensure it receives the daily billing cycle information and that correct bill inserts are selected.
What Tim likes most about his job is that it is “ordered enough that you can create a routine, varied enough that it stays interesting and flexible enough that you can adapt to almost any situation.” He definitely had to be flexible and adapt when Governor Kemp declared the Shelter in Place Emergency in April and CCWA sent most employees home for a while to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. “My first thought was ‘oh my’ because we have never done our job from home,” he adds. However, after getting everything quickly set up at home, he got right back into his normal routine.
Normal challenges include system issues and the effects of bad weather. Bad weather? Well, even during inclement weather, such as snow and ice events, it is important to keep billing on track so that the number of days in a customer’s billing cycle remains consistent. That means Meter Services continues to read meters and Tim and his two coworkers continue to produce bills. Tim says his biggest challenge currently is learning and becoming proficient with a new Customer Information System that goes live in a couple of months while maintaining accurate and proficient billing with the current system.
When asked if there is anything he would like readers to know about his job, he says “Billing/Customer Service works a lot like backflow device on a meter. Information flows from Distribution & Conveyance to Meter Services to us and then to the customer. When inquiries or disputes come back from our customers, we try to stop it here and resolve it to maintain the natural flow of things. We’re a small team, but we’re more than willing to do what we can to push things in the right direction to resolve the issue,” he adds.
Tim also serves as a CCWA Ambassador. You may have seen him at our Wetlands & Watershed Festival, Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day or other community events. He always has a smile on his face and is eager to pitch in to help! #waterprofessional