May 27, 2015, Mt. Prospect, IL – State and local government spending on technology is expected to increase to $70 billion by 2019, and this includes investment in systems that streamline operations and internal processes.1 Processing payments from community members and taxpayers can be a time-consuming process that can strain internal resources; it’s also a task that’s ripe for innovation.
Cummins Allison, the leading innovator and provider of check, currency and coin handling solutions, explains how investing in automated, cost-effective technologies that simplify processing of checks and cash can make government departments more efficient.
Reduce Operational Costs
Tax offices can be a source of incremental innovation with state and local governments. For example, through thoughtful management and smart technology investments Georgia’s Whitfield County Tax Office has been able to maintain its employee headcount for two decades – while also reducing operational costs by more than 63 percent.
According to Tax Commissioner Danny Sane, his office is “constantly looking for not just the quicker ways to do things, but more efficient ways. Our staff is very much interested in trying to make positive changes.”
Whitfield County’s approach is applicable to the vast majority of government agencies as they balance demands from constituents to keep costs under control while also improving internal operations. “Operational costs are things that we can do something about,” states Sane. “Through many, many pieces of technology, we’ve been able to net our operational costs from $475,000 20 years ago to $175,000 today.”
Improve Public Service with Current Office Staff
During busy times, tax offices – like Whitfield County – can easily process 600 checks per day just for property tax payments, not to mention upwards of 200 additional checks per day for other payments. Checks remain the most popular form of payment processed by most state and local government offices and reducing the time spent on this effort is imperative to maintaining a lean staff.
Manually processing large volumes of checks is time-consuming and tedious, often taking multiple employees several hours to complete the task on a daily basis. Deploying a high-speed, highly accurate check scanning solution can cut this task in half and make it possible to redirect employees’ time to more high-value tasks.
Streamlining check processing operations doesn’t eliminate jobs, it makes current jobs more efficient. Says Sane, “We literally went from two employees working over half a day to one employee being done in an hour or so. The check processing solution has allowed us to redirect employees’ time to help taxpayers and reassign employees to better serve the public.”
Process All Payment Forms Quickly, Accurately
In addition to checks, government offices must also process cash payments from community members. A dual-purpose solution that can process checks and cash on a single device eliminates the need for government offices to invest in two separate pieces of equipment.
For example, Lake County Treasurer’s Office often sees an increase in cash payments, in addition to checks, during property tax season. “When people bring in $5,000 or more in multiple denominations, it can be difficult for cashiers to count,” says Lake County Chief Deputy Treasurer Don Schneider. With a high-speed currency processing solution Lake County employees can “run the cash through at 1,600 bills per minute, check that there are no counterfeit bills and give customers a receipt. Payers don’t have to worry they might have been shorted,” states Schneider. An added bonus: the office has also improved customer service by reducing the amount of time taxpayers have to stand in line.
Put Check and Currency Processing Technology to Work for Your Government Office
With the right technology in place, processing all forms of payments can be simplified; giving government offices, and their employees, more time to serve their constituents. To learn more visit www.cumminsallison.com/checks.
1The Washington Post, Deltek: State, local government IT spending increase is an opportunity for contractors. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/deltek-state-local-government-it-spending-increase-is-an-opportunity-for-contractors/2014/08/22/4f6f0834-288d-11e4-8593-da634b334390_story.html
About Cummins Allison
Cummins Allison is the leading innovator and provider of check, currency and coin handling solutions, as well as full-function ATMs. Our world-class sales and service network includes hundreds of local representatives in more than 50 offices in North America, 6 wholly-owned subsidiaries and is represented in more than 70 countries around the world. For more information about our award-winning solutions, visit www.cumminsallison.com.