Unrivalled

Automation


Do you want to automate all Direct Debits, Moves and Discounts?

With up to 22 separate process automation stages, our online forms quickly guide citizens through what they need to provide, and, from this, automate the updates as if they were completed by a fully trained officer.

Revenues is tricky

At first, you might think that processes like Direct Debits and Single Person Discounts would be simple.

Yet, when you take into account the varying policies on accounts with recovery/Council Tax support already on them; the complexity quickly increases.

Add in the fact that a change of address can affect:

- updates to four accounts
- Direct Debits
- Discounts and
- Benefits

You can end up with long interrelated processes.

Wolverhampton City Council has fully automated

100%

of Direct Debits in 2020

Building an engine

Keep scrolling to find out more
To solve the complexity of
revenues processes we
needed to build a new
Engine
One that made online forms
Simpler
that prevented
duplication of work
and that could automate
Everything
The result was IEG4's
Revenues Process Orchestration
solution

Revenues Process Orchestration
covers four separate services:

- Direct Debit
- Single Person Discount
- Discounts, Exemptions, DBR
- Change of Address

All IEG4 online forms, have a built-in edit mode feature ensuring you can change all wording within any question help text, guidance and even support alternative languages. They also have functions to send emails when a customer saves and/or submits a form and will even remind the customer to complete a partially completed form within a certain amount of time.

We'll walk through why IEG4's RPO delivers experiences and automation that ensure the expectations of citizens and council staff are exceeded.

Councils that have chosen Revenues Process Orchestration

Direct Debit

In order to fully automate Direct Debits without exception, you need to know that the customer is providing valid information and, importantly, whether their circumstances mean that you want to allow them to set up a Direct Debit. 

For example, you may not want a customer whose account has already been passed to the bailiff/enforcement team to be able to set up a Direct Debit. With real-time integration to the back-office, IEG4's Revenues Process Orchestration will not only detect this, but will enable you to provide personalised warning messages to the customer based upon a recovery stage for them.

RPO will also check whether there is a history of bounced Direct Debits or where the recovery team have overridden the normal rules in order to allow a Direct Debit to be set up. Of course, the service can check the validity of their bank details, when the citizen submits the form with the back-office being updated throughout.

Features

Validates account number prior to submission

Checks that the account is open and that the surname/organisation name matches to the account

Checks the recovery stage status and presents messaging, specific to their circumstances that you can amend

Checks for a history of returned (bounced) Direct Debits

Checks for recovery team notes that indicate that the normal rules should be overridden

Real-time premium bank validation check with GBG Loqate

Supports all your different payment options

Automatically generates a digital Direct Debit mandate from the bank look-up and the council's details

Updates the back-office Council Tax account in real-time with the updated payment method/instalments, so that the customer's chosen frequency is reflected

Updates the back-office Council Tax account in real-time with the customer's contact details

Updates your document management system and completes the task automatically

Benefits

Ensures data accuracy at the outset

Ensures no re-work/exceptions are created

Ensures that your council's recovery policy can be adhered to

Ensures that you don't need to subsequently contact a customer who thinks they've set up a Direct Debit when they should in fact be contacting an enforcement agent

Ensures that messaging presented is personalised to the customer and guidance about their next steps/action is tailored to their circumstances and your preferences

Real-time bank checks provide compliance with BACS Direct Debit policies

Removes issues around having the mandate/service signed off as it has already been done by many councils/banks

Removes the time spent re-keying updates to the back-office

Ensures contact details are up to date for campaigns/eBilling etc.

Maximises Direct Debit usage and therefore recovery levels

Audit of all updates is maintained for compliance

Proactive prevention

RPO will automate 100% of Direct Debits, but it does so much more. It prevents citizens with a poor history of keeping up with their Direct Debits from automatically setting these up.

Plus, for every single recovery status, you can provide custom messaging to your citizens. So, if the account is with enforcement agents (bailiffs) you can signpost the citizen to make a payment/go to the bailiff's website.

Single Person Discount

Enabling citizens to apply for, or end their, Single Person Discount online ensures that you can meet the digital demands of those applying and maximise the likelihood of getting the information from customers wanting to tell you about someone moving in.

Indeed, with Single Person Discount fraud believed to be highly prevalent, it's all the more important to have an online service to point customers to when there has been a change.

Single Person Discounts can involve ending council tax accounts, transferring people,credits, and even changes in circumstances where Benefits are involved. This isall handled and automated with Revenues Process Orchestration.

Features

Validates account number prior to submission

Checks that the account is open and that the surname/organisation name matches to the account

Real-time account and address look-up

Support for both applications and cancellations of Single Person Discounts

Caters for different application scenarios where a person has moved out/passed away/etc.

Supports local rules on how far back to automate, based upon backdating policies

Recognises the presence of Council Tax support and asks them, in line with GDPR, if a Benefit change in circumstances can also be carried out

Supports the ability to also set up a Direct Debit on the newly created account, if applicable

Updates the back-office Benefit claim where Council Tax support is in place (NB - Benefit APIs required for this function)

Updates the back-office Council Tax account in real-time including ending accounts/creating new ones, transferring any credit, moving the liable person to the new account, setting the discount, adding forwarding addresses, etc.

Updates the back-office Council Tax account in real-time with the customer's contact details

Updates your document management system in real-time

Benefits

Ensures data accuracy at the outset/human error around effective dates is removed

Council staff do not have to spend unnecessary time dealing with exceptions related to incorrect information e.g. account numbers

Better compliance with the law as a new account will always be created where a person has moved out/passed away, rather than the short cuts officers might take in simply removing the person that was previously liable

Billable revenue is increased by virtue of providing a simple means for customers to cancel their Single Person Discount quickly and easily

The council has an avenue through which to service people that have had a change in circumstances when doing a Single Person Discount review

Removes the time spent re-keying updates to the Council Tax account in the back-office

Removes the time spent re-keying updates to the Benefit claim in the back-office where Council Tax support is in place

Removes the time spent manually indexing/dealing with the update to the document management system

Ensures contact details are up to date for campaigns/eBilling/etc.

Maximises Direct Debit usage, as customers can set these up as a part of the Single Person Discount process, and therefore recovery levels

Audit of all updates is maintained for compliance

SPD Smarts

The SPD service will check a person's account matches the details provided and also whether the account is active.

Supporting both applications and cancellations, the service also minimises exceptions by surfacing details of the occupants held against the account in real-time for the citizen to select. This means that they don't need to type in the details of the person that is moving out (delivering better UX) and there's no chance of being unable to remove the correct person.

Discounts, Exemptions and DBR

Owing to the large number of Discounts, Exemptions and the different questions/supporting evidence needed, councils typically have many separate forms. However, with digital being about more than simply replicating paper, it is an opportunity to provide something better. i.e. A solution that asks a customer about their circumstances and, from that, guides them to the appropriate Discount/Exemption and the information they need to provide. 

RPO provides exactly that. Enabling citizens to provide details of who they are, the property in question and the means to apply for a reduction based on the person’s status, disability, or property. 

Supporting 27 different Discount/Exemption scenarios and Disabled Band Relief, it is a one-stop digital shop for customers seeking reductions..

Features

Validates account number prior to submission

Checks that the account is open and that the surname/organisation name matches to the account

Real-time account and address look-up

Support for both person-based (disregard) and property- based (empty, etc.) discounts (11 types)

Support for person-based and property-based exemptions (16 types)

Support for disabled band relief

Supports the ability to apply for multiple disregard discounts e.g. one person being a student and another a carer

Dynamically establishes the correct supporting evidence required and enables this to be uploaded online

Supports the ability to also set up a Direct Debit on the newly created account if applicable

Updates the back office Council Tax account in real-time including ending accounts/creating new ones, transferring any credit, moving the liable person to the new account, setting the discount etc.

Updates the back-office Council Tax account in real-time with the customer's contact details

Updates your document management system in real-time with the form PDF

Updates your document management system in real-time with any evidence uploaded with the form

Benefits

Ensures data accuracy at the outset

Council staff do not have to spend time dealing with exceptions related to incorrect information e.g. account numbers

Better compliance with the law, as a new account will always be created where a person is removed from liability

Ensures the service is more visible and people get their discount/exemptions at the time it is applicable and the council does not get massive backdates of exemptions

Removes the time spent re-keying updates to the council tax account in the back-office

Removes the time spent manually indexing/dealing with the update to the document management system for the form

Removes the time spent manually indexing/dealing with the update to the document management system for the supporting evidence provided

Ensures contact details are up to date for campaigns/eBilling etc.

Maximises Direct Debit usage, as customers can set these up as a part of the Single Person Discount process, and therefore recovery levels

Audit of all updates is maintained for compliance

One form to rule them all

The Discount, Relief and Exemption service covers all of the different discounts and exemptions in a single place. It is also includes Disabled Band Relief.

As well as verifying the account details are accurate, it also retrieves the current occupants, in order to select which is disregarded, exempt etc.

With support for each person having different disregarded statuses, a dynamic evidence page, customisable by you and with the ability for evidence upload, it really is a single form to rule them all.

Change of address

Moving home is something most of us will do at some point and Change of Address is one of, if the not the, highest volume transactions a council receives. Because this is also the most complex of Council Tax transactions, it is particularly beneficial to a council if this can be automated.

Whilst most online forms relating to Moves might cover capturing details of the move and maybe Direct Debit, IEG4's solution is able to capture details of the move, discounts, exemptions, disabled band reduction, Direct Debit and eBilling in one single form. With this, the complexity of integration increases significantly. 

Indeed, IEG4's RPO will even carry out checks and updates beyond what the customer has provided.  For example, a tenant not knowing who their landlord is, could result in a void account being created. RPO will search for responsible parties on the property and make the relevant one liable with a discount automatically. 

With no human involvement, even more complex moves involving updates on four separate accounts can be fully automated!


Features

Supports moving out/within/into the council in one form including owner, tenant, resident scenarios

Validates account number is valid prior to submission for moving out/moving within scenarios

Real-time account and address look-up for people moving into a property

Support for citizens being able to apply for Discounts/Exemptions and disabled band relief

Captures details of empty/unfurnished periods to automate the appropriate occupancy periods/discounts

Supports automated ending/adding of Single Person Discount where a sole adult is resident for a period of time

Supports the ability to notify multiple council departments that a customer opts into

Supports the ability to also set up a Direct Debit as a part of the move

Intelligently detects if a move has already been processed on the date in question, i.e. person moving out has already reported the person moving in

Intelligently searches for responsible parties where none have been provided by a vacating tenant to minimise/remove void account creation

Updates the back-office Council Tax account in real-time including ending accounts/creating new ones, transferring any credit, moving the liable person to the new account, setting the discount, adding forwarding addresses, etc.

Updates the back-office Council Tax account in real-time with the customer's contact details

Updates your document management system in real-time with the forms and evidence uploaded, where applicable

Benefits

Ensures data accuracy at the outset/human error around effective dates is removed

Council staff do not have to spend unnecessary time dealing with exceptions related to incorrect information, e.g. account numbers

Up to four accounts all updated in real-time as a part of a move, massively reducing administrative effort

Billing costs are reduced as the effective dates, discounts present are all accurate from the outset

The council has an effective way to channel shift all moves - particularly relevant post lockdown

Removes the time spent re-keying updates to the Council Tax account in the back-office

Removes the time spent re-keying updates to the Benefit claim in the back-office where Council Tax support is in place

Removes the time spent manually indexing/dealing with the update to the document management system

Ensures contact details are up to date for campaigns/eBilling etc.

Minimises void account creation, which in turn maximises the likelihood of quicker/higher recovery rates

Maximises Direct Debit usage, as customers can set these up as a part of the Single Person Discount process, and therefore recovery levels

Audit of all updates is maintained for compliance

A single cohesive experience

Reporting a move with our service includes the usual scenario such as report a move within, a move out, and different behaviours for owners and tenants.

But where it stands out is in its ability to capture discount/exemption/disabled band relief, Direct Debit, eBilling sign up as a part of a single user journey.

Challenges you Face

Articles

Want to read more?

We've written a blog about RPO called: Prevention, Orchestration, Automation. You can read this by clicking the button below.

RPO Blog

Wolverhampton Council chose IEG4 to automate revenues and benefits processing

Read their
case study

Challenges you Face

White paper

Is Revenues & Benefits the ‘go to’ digital exemplar for other council services to model upon?

Revenues & Benefits are the most complex and high-volume areas of services within councils.

In our white paper, we examine:
·        what the service should be like
·        what it can be like now
·        what it could be like in the future

We highlight how these two services should be leading the way in councils’ transformation of services.

Download now

Challenges you Face

Find out more

We are running a number of webinars around RPO, details of which can be found here.

Events