Tulsa Public Schools, Oklahoma
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Years as a Tyler Client: 3
Students: 39,000 Tyler
Products Used: Munis®, Versatrans Triptracker®
Campuses: 88 School buses: 250
Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) used Tyler's Versatrans Triptracker software for a number of years to record transportation charges against departmental and school site budgets for field trips and bus rentals to external customers. While their software at the time created journal entries to charge budgets for transportation services for internal use, such as athletics; billing was handled by various departments. Billing to third-party users of district buses was a separate function of Triptracker.
TPS collects thousands of dollars in revenue from bus rentals to external parties, such as churches and vocational schools. They needed an effective method for billing, collection and tracking to ensure that maximum revenue was captured for these rentals. They also needed an effective accounts receivable package to manage external customer billing.
To summarize, they needed … to unify billing for bus services under one department; an accounts receivable software package; and a process that relieved transportation department personnel from acting as the clearing house for trip billing.
In July of 2011, TPS implemented a full suite of Munis financial applications, including General Ledger and Accounts Receivable. Full integration with Triptracker allowed TPS to handle both internal and external billing to better monitor usage, costs and revenues. TPS continued the practice of recording charges for internal usage of bus services, and established a centralized third-party billing through the Accounts Receivable application.
Munis and Versatrans Triptracker integration provided an excellent solution to Tulsa Public Schools' internal and external billing needs for our transportation department bus usage.
Roxy W Roland
Assistant Treasurer, Tulsa Public Schools
Benefits of Munis and Versatrans integration:
- Automatic generation of customer invoices allows for monitoring of outstanding receivables, the ability to send statements, run aging reports and improve collections.
- The treasurer's office is now the contact point for billed customers — while providing opportunities to enhance revenues, separate the billing function and collections, run reports, and improve internal control.
- Automatic billing is efficient and cost effective.
The Integration Solution
Munis and Versatrans Triptracker integration solved both internal and external billing and collection issues.
TPS software created journal entries to charge a school site and departmental budget, as well as departments such as Athletics. The process had worked well to this point, and the district knew any new solution would have to include the practice of recording charges for internal use of bus services in order to realize efficiencies.
While a separate Triptracker function allowed billing external users of district buses, there was no integration with an accounts receivable system. This billing process required a manual and time consuming process, and presented an issue for the treasurer's office on two fronts: they had limited information about the total billings generated from transportation activities; and uncertainty if a robust collection process was in place, potentially risking lost revenue.
Everything changed when the district implemented Munis financial software. Tight integration between Munis and Versatrans resulted in improved business processes — handling both internal and external billing, and providing better monitoring of usage, costs and revenues. With Munis integration, district resources are allocated between departments and the site, giving the transportation department credit for providing services, and ensuring that other departments and sites are using budgeting dollars as intended.
This process also helps to generate additional revenue through accurate billing of external users of district buses. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, the transportation department had requests for more than 3,500 trips and generated 1,500 external customer invoices. "This volume of activity requires a robust and reliable system to generate entries and invoices with minimal manual intervention to accurately manage revenue from trips," said Roxy Roland, assistant treasurer. Versatrans Triptracker with Munis integration handles it beautifully. Roland cites the ability to automatically email invoices has been both convenient and a cost saver for external customers. "They appreciate our ability to provide statements for outstanding invoices," said Roland. Another benefit of this new process is that treasury personnel have developed customer relationships that improve Tulsa Public Schools' collections.
Partnership Delivers Success
After creating their first general billing invoices for external customers the district realized they needed to provide additional information on the invoice. "Every trip provided by the Transportation Department is identified with a trip name, a trip number and a trip date. Without this identifying information on each invoice, customers who used the bus services hard-copy invoice regularly found it difficult to identify which trips they were paying for," said Roland. The district presented the problem to Munis development with a description of what would improve customer satisfaction, and included sample invoices and suggestions. Development responded quickly and positively with a solution that pulled the trip name, trip number and trip date from Triptracker and printed it on the invoice. Roland noted, "This response to a need was crucial to the success of the project. Internal charges to sites and departments now process smoothly without incident."
The district sees significant benefits as a result of strengthening internal controls with the implementation of Munis Accounts Receivable application. The reporting available provides the district with a variety of reports to help track external accounts, information to manage receivables, and the information needed for the preparation of the district's fiscal year audited financial statements. Oversight and management of receivables have moved outside the originating department to a centralized office.
Versatrans' tight integration with Munis Accounts Receivable provides immediately available data on billings, collections and aging of outstanding accounts. The use of TylerForms, Tyler's Output Management Solution, for billing invoices provides a uniform document that directs customers to contact the Treasurer's office for questions regarding bills, allowing the Treasurer to stay informed of billing issues and resulting in an increase in revenues over the prior fiscal year.