We are very good at troubleshooting the issues our customers bring to us. I’m proud of the teamwork that we have with each other, and how good we are at teaching our customers more efficient ways to assist them in their positions. I enjoy hearing, “Wow, you called back really fast!” I enjoy hearing the relief in our customers’ voices when I say, “I can help you with that.”
Support means finding the most effective way possible to resolve a customer’s issue in a courteous manner, while also giving them the knowledge and tools they need to repair similar problems in the future.
Would it be safe for me to say that, what you expect from customer service, I am prepared to give? Yes! When I think of what the customer might be going through at the time, I can give them better support, have more compassion, really try to listen a little more closely, and be more patient. I am able to think of what a customer might be going through by thinking about what I or someone I care about is going through, and what I would want for them when they call support. What support means to me, from the perspective of me calling for support:
- Last line of defense. I have tried everything I can possibly think of, and if support can’t fix it, then I feel as though I’m out of luck.
- I expect whomever I call to actually listen to my problem.
- I don’t expect to get the runaround or have them try to talk me out of what I’m trying to do.
- When they say I will get a call back, then I expect them to call me back.
- They should sound like they’re happy and willing to help me. Also, if they’re too scripted it’s a turnoff because I don’t know if what they’re telling me is real or if they have to say it.
- I feel really good when I get good customer service and I am much more willing to cut the support person some slack if I can tell they are really trying to solve the issue I’ve come to them with.
I believe that support is making the customer feel comfortable calling for help, no matter how “stupid” they feel the issue is. We are here for them regardless of the complexity of their issue. Support is teaching the customer how to perform a task and encouraging them to learn it. Support is the customer’s biggest cheerleader. I think it is important that we get excited for the customer, especially when they are excited that they have learned something. Support is remembering that our customers are not working with the BS&A applications eight hours a day, five days a week. We need to remember that a small issue to us might seem like the end of the world to them. We need to reassure them and help them get through their crisis. Support is making sure that while providing the best help possible, we do so as a team. Through the team aspect, we are able to accomplish so much more and deliver the best customer service.
I believe our support is above and beyond the traditional definition of the word. We don’t sound “scripted,” and we get to know our customers on a personal and friendly level to make them feel comfortable continuing to call for help. We often join in on others’ support calls just to see if we can lend a hand (or brain) if needed. We take on large projects and team up to be sure our customers are taken care of. I love hearing us be compared to other companies’ support departments and the praise we get for being so much better on so many levels. Support is bearing the weight of our customer’s problem and having them immediately feel it leave their shoulders when we get on the line with them.
Support, to me, is giving assistance and/or taking part in helping another. Support means patience and teamwork. It is a time to help others gain knowledge and advance their skills at the position they are working in. Support means being a mentor to others and lending a hand when time permits. Support is a job of nurturing and reliability, making customers aware that someone is willing to help. Support is never leaving a man in the field and always being sure everyone on your team is happy and secure in their job. Support means honor; everyone needs to give it and receive it.
Processing monthly bank reconciliations can be a very time-consuming task, what with juggling checks, deposits, and miscellaneous transactions – especially when there are multiple bank statements. Staying organized within each of these transaction types is the key to streamlining the reconciliation process. Available in both our Cash Receipting and GL/Budgeting applications, our Deposit Creation feature is just the tool you need.
Deposit Creation is an additional verification measure of your daily receipts. It organizes deposits by deposit date, deposit amount, and deposit bank, and you may view associated journal entries for individual receipts directly from the deposit screen – no need to exit the tool.
Deposits are created based on receipts taken in for a particular bank over a date range that you specify. During reconciliation, deposits can be cleared in their entirety based on what the bank received, rather than requiring you to find each check item that made up the deposit amount. This can be a valuable time-saver.
Deposit records can be saved for future reference; the Deposit Creation tool provides a search feature that lets you locate receipts and journal entries from previous deposit records. Additionally, you may enter notes for any deposit adjustments, and attach pictures or scanned documents, such as a stamped receipt from the bank.
In short, we believe our Deposit Creation tool can be a tremendous help to you. Instructions are in your software manuals, or you may contact us at any time by calling (855)272-7638, or through your program by going to Help>Contact Customer Support>Request Support Phone Call.
User Group Meetings
We are holding Payroll User Group meetings 11/28/2013, 12/5/2013, and 12/12/2013. Please click here for more information or to sign up.
What types of W-2s do you need?
If you file electronically with the Social Security Administration, any type of W-2 will do. You can use either the 4-up or 2-up format, and we can customize the Payroll program to match those forms. If you do not file electronically, you will need to get the 2-up style with red pre-printed boxes.
Issues last year with the blank 4-up form and envelopes.
A custom format was created in the program to match envelope DW4DNALT. If you use this envelope, please contact support so that we may send you the custom format.
Health care costs are now a requirement.
This year, every employer is required to display their health care costs on the W-2. If you are tracking this through the Payroll program, make sure that the deductions and expenses are labeled correctly in Program Setup>Database Setup>Deductions & Expenses>Tab 2 (for each deduction and expense). If you are tracking health care costs on a spreadsheet, we can import that into the program before the end of the year. Please contact support for details at either (855) 272-7638, or through your Help menu (Help>Contact Customer Support>Request Support Phone Call or Email Support).
Manual Help: New Year Prep/Old Year Wrap Up
Go to Help>View Documentation>Download Latest Manual (if you are using the latest version, you will be notified). Return to Help>View Documentation and select Manual. Open “New Year Prep/Old Year Wrap Up” in the Contents pane for a useful guide to this yearly process.
Video Help: Processing W-2s
Visit the following link for a helpful video on processing W-2s: http://www.bsasoftware.com/Learning-Center/Financial-Management/Video-Tutorials/ID/299/categoryId/21/Processing-W2s.
Update on the Affordable Healthcare Act
In July 2013, the Obama Administration announced they are delaying the mandate for businesses to provide health coverage until 2014, and have since further delayed that mandate until 2015. This announcement affects employers with 50 or more full-time employees; they will not be subject to penalties until 2015. This does not change the mandate for individuals to have insurance starting in 2014.
Export for PPACA Subsidy Exposure and Liability Calculator
As part of the Affordable Healthcare Act, employers are required to provide affordable health care to eligible employees. If the cost is not considered “affordable,” the employer faces potential penalties if the employee chooses to purchase insurance from the marketplace, and receives a subsidy to help offset the cost. As a result, our customers are beginning to work with their insurance reps to determine penalty risks. In order to calculate this employee demographic, information needs to be provided to the agents:
- Employee ID
- Employee Name (last name, first name)
- Date of birth (MM/DD/YY)
- (F)ull or (P)art time
- (H)ourly or (S)alaried
- Hourly rate or Salary amount
- Estimated annual W-2 amount (if hourly, this is hourly rate x average hours in pay period x pay frequency; if salary, this is the salary amount).
- Average weekly hours – this is not needed for full time employees. For part time employees, this is the average hours in pay period converted to weekly hours (i.e., 70 hours in pay period and bi-weekly=average hours/2).
- Date of hire
- Federal tax status (S or M)
- Federal allowances
- Employee zip code from contact information
- Job class
This export is found in the Payroll program: Go to File>Export>Employee Exports and select “PPACA Subsidy Exposure and Liability Export.” This file can be exported to Microsoft Excel, as depicted here:
BS&A provides an easy-to-use CASS Certification process in our Utility Billing, Tax, Assessing, and P.R.E. Audit applications. CASS is a United States Postal Service (USPS) acronym that stands for Coding Accuracy Support System.
The term CASS is widely used by the USPS when referring to the verification status of an address list. This process will go through the parameters that you select for your database, then verify or change the address accordingly, or simply display a warning that the address does not exist and could not be certified.
CASS standardizes the following address information:
• street address
• carrier route
• delivery point codes
This is accomplished by comparing the mailing information to a very large national address database and making correction(s) if necessary.
IMB (Intelligent Mail Barcode) is a 65-barcode that the USPS uses for pieces of mail in the United States. The IMB incorporates the routing ZIP code and tracking information for a fast and more efficient service by the USPS. Our software has the ability to set up and use this IMB barcode.
The end result of utilizing the CASS Certification process is an accurate address that is printed exactly how USPS wants to see it – which includes the printing of the IMB. This allows the USPS to process mail much more efficiently. The gained efficiency is passed along to the mailer in the form of discounted postal rates – also known as “Automation Prices.”
Of the many different types of automation prices (postcards, letters, flats, full-service IMB tracking), postcards are by far the cheapest, and therefore used by most municipalities in Utility Billing.
The ACH (Automated Clearing House) process has been around for a number of years. It is an electronic network for financial transactions in the United States, generally used for direct deposit or direct debit from checking and savings accounts.
The ACH process is available in BS&A’s Accounts Payable and Payroll applications to direct deposit funds into customer or employee accounts. In our Tax, Utility Billing, and Miscellaneous Receivables applications, the ACH process is set up to directly debit from a customer’s bank account to pay tax bills, utility bills, or miscellaneous invoices on a specified date.
Rules and regulations that govern the ACH network are established by NACHA (the National Automated Clearing House Association) and the Federal Reserve. In 2012, it is estimated that 21 billion ACH transactions, totaling $36.9 trillion in credit card payments, were handled by various networks. BS&A follows these rules and regulations in all of the aforementioned applications, with regards to setup and function.
Performing ACH functions reduces paper processing and mailing fees, as well as moves money quickly from one account to another, providing a convenient method of electronic funds transfer.
Whether you are depositing funds or deducting funds from a customer account, it is recommended that you document authorization specifying what will be deposited/deducted, and when the transaction will take place. In the Tax application, with regards to payment of property taxes, it is recommended that you renew the authorization each year. This is done to ensure that the tax bill is being paid by the correct taxpayer from year to year.
Customers’ account information is entered in a secure area of the BS&A applications, only viewable by an administrative user. When exporting data to other users/vendors, the ACH account information for individuals is not included, in an effort to further security.
ACH setup in the BS&A .NET applications is simple, and includes the customer account information and the municipality bank information. A pre-note is then processed to verify that all account numbers and information is correct. When processing an ACH export transaction for payments within the various applications, a payment is applied to the account at the time of the export. The file that is created is then uploaded to the municipality’s bank, and the transactions are processed from the various customer bank accounts.
To set up ACH within any of the BS&A applications, please contact customer support by clicking on the Help menu and selecting “Contact Customer Support,” or by calling us at (855) 272-7638.