STC deliver a comprehensive bureau service that covers more than bill validation and adds significant value. Some of these aspects include:
STC arrange for the redirection of all invoices to us in the first instance, to ensure that all data is captured and clients meet their obligation to pay utility suppliers on time. We have detailed procedures in place for the management of both paper bills and electronic invoice files, and we are extremely experienced in handling large volumes of invoices. This experience gives clients confidence that invoices will be processed efficiently and correctly.
STC scan all paper based invoices, including paper copies of electronic invoices where available. Scanned images are attached directly to our database records and made available for viewing as PDF copies via our online portal. Images can be intuitively accessed in just a few clicks and can prove invaluable to accounts payable and energy management departments.
Changes of Occupancy
STC handle all incoming and outgoing changes of occupancy for clients with their utility providers. We have strict procedures that cover the steps that must be taken when clients move in or out of a property, in order to guarantee that no overbilling occurs. By embedding ourselves in a client’s COO process, we are always aware of impending portfolio changes and can ensure that COOs can be carried out within supplier timescales.
Payment Reminders and Disconnections
STC process any payment reminders and disconnection notices received in the course of the bureau service. These are prioritised on a daily basis to ensure that payment is made where appropriate, or accounts are suspended, and that no further action is taken by the supplier.
Additionally, STC deal with all disconnection situations where an agent is physically on site. We have a comprehensive flow-chart procedure involving speaking directly to the agent and confirming that the correct legal routes have been followed. Wherever possible, we make arrangements to ensure the disconnection does not go ahead. Often, once the supplier finds out that STC look after the supply point, they are much more agreeable to cancelling a disconnection attempt as they know we will get the issue resolved and any genuine debt paid.
Invoice Payment Files
STC produce accounts payable statements and supplier remittances to help streamline the bill payment process. These files are entirely customisable and can contain any cost and property codes required by a clients accounts payable department. Invoice costs and consumptions can be apportioned to multiple codes and departments. Files are presented in such a format that they can be fed directly into clients’ accounts payable systems, providing accurate and meaningful management information.
Accruals are usually provided on a monthly basis, but STC can customise them in accordance with the company calendar. The system uses a combination of methods based on half-hourly data and self-read meter readings, as well as average cost and consumption to produce an accrual, and will generate warnings and messages if data looks out of normal ranges. This output is then checked and reviewed by our specialist team before being provided to the client.
The accrual information provided is split into a summary sheet, which shows each account and accrual value (to allow easy transfer into the client's financial systems) and a detailed sheet showing all of the detailed calculations used for complete transparency.
STC's Energy Navigator SQL software includes comprehensive systems for the calculation of robust electricity and gas budgets. Budgets are calculated at the individual meter level and combined to produce a single budget figure for each utility at each site.
Budget production involves extensive data cleansing in order to extract a robust value of annual kWh consumption from the data available for each meter. Future price change allowances are made for months that are beyond the end of current energy contracts. Figures are checked by our specialist team and adjusted to allow for any anticipated increases/decreases in consumption.
STC operate a help desk to provide clients with direct support on all utility related meters.
As with all bureau staff, help desk operators undergo a thorough training plan before handling customer data, and as such are well placed to answer the majority of user questions. STC maintains very high level contacts with all major suppliers. We keep a centralised and up to date list of industry and emergency helpline contact numbers, which can be provided directly to users.