First Wessex is now using Orchard’s business process management (BPM) solution to automate its rent refund process. Users can now request a refund that can be authorised by appropriate members of staff before reaching the finance department for processing.
Although First Wessex had already developed a rent refund workflow which took care of the authorisation aspect, once it reached its finance team, the whole process became manual. This involved data being re-entered and therefore increasing the risk of errors. The housing provider then discovered that there was more that could be done by using automated processes within its Orchard housing management system and OpenAccounts.
Using Orchard’s BPM solution, First Wessex created an automatic sundry payment within OpenAccounts. This removed the need for any physical paperwork and automated the process of adding the transaction to a tenant’s rent account, thereby eliminating any duplicated data-entry processes.
Donna Jones, accounts manager, First Wessex, said, “The automation of this process has removed duplication, therefore reducing the notional cost of processing a rent refund. By reducing the manual input, it also removes the risk of data being keyed incorrectly and therefore the need to repeat the process, incurring additional bank charges and causing customer dissatisfaction.
“The resource time released by the automation of rent refunds has enabled the sales and rents team to go ahead with the addition of two further monthly Direct Debit collections which will help our tenants.”
Rachel Miller, rents and sales ledger supervisor, First Wessex, said, ”We like how the system generates a batch and posts directly to Orchard Housing at the touch of a button. This means the refund shows on the rent account immediately, providing greater accuracy when information is given to the tenant. The purchase ledger team no longer needs to manually input information into OpenAccounts or needs to get another member of the team to check the details, which is saving a lot of time.”