iSocietyManager is a real estate and facilities management software suite for residential and commercial real estate. One of the biggest challenges in managed societies across India is to collect monthly dues. This remains a challenge due to manual work needed to post monthly bills which is error-prone and then multiple reminders that residents need to pay dues. Today, we describe in detail one of the most used features on our software suite which saves our largest customers lakhs of rupees in manpower every year and also reduces delinquency rate by almost 90%. Billing & Accounting module in iSociety Manager is used by finance teams of societies to automatically generate and post invoices as accounting transactions.
In a world where #Amazon and #Flipkart are working hard to remove every friction to help customers open their wallets, RWA and facilities management are stuck in the 90s when it comes to collecting monthly dues. Often residents are left waiting on a physical invoice, errors in accounting are rampant and residents forget to pay on time. iSociety Manager takes this pain out by automating the whole process for both facilities management as well as customers.
iSocietyManager has inbuilt integration with SAP and other Enterprise resource planning(ERP) tools through web services to automate posting of Bills & Payments. This reduces the effort for managed societies by automatically posting bills at a set time every month and mitigates human errors in accounting and reconciliation in SAP. This feature is deeply integrated with the ERP system to give the flexibility to finance teams to set parameters based on their needs.
This idea was conceived during a discussion with the accounting team at Jaypee Group. The accounts team described their major challenges related to collecting monthly dues as follows:
- Time Consuming process: Posting to SAP was a time-consuming manual process at the time due to the high volume of monthly bills.
- Error-Prone: Bills are prone to errors due to human involvement in the reconciliation process.
- Cost: Team spent weeks working on this every month.
- Stale Data: Often, due to the lengthy process, by the time current bills were posted, there were already new bills available in the system.
- Not Scalable: Units were expected to increase exponentially in the near future and teams were not set up to scale.
iSocietyManager team after multiple meetings with the SAP team at Jaypee came up with a solution to auto-post bills using web-services. Although Jaypee team insisted on SOAP-based approach, after a few technical interactions and demonstrating the benefits of newer REST Webservices, REST was chosen.
The first phase of this solution enabled invoice posting automation to take the pressure off the team. In this solution, our team enhanced iSocietyManager current functionality to include:
- SAP / Customer Code
- Charge Codes and their respective GL Codes
- Tax Codes and their respective GL Codes
- Publish REST API to the third party with a secure connection.
Once deployed, it increased efficiency in the overall system by 50%. We initially synced data biweekly and increased the frequency to daily after 4 months of beta testing.
Jaypee accounts team has benefited a lot due to this automation. Few noted one are:
- Increased Efficiency: Savings of 84 man hours that were earlier spent in posting bills and payments in SAP.
- Reduced Errors: There is no human involvement in reconciliation, hence reducing errors.
- Scalable: This solution helped scale the team to support 10s of thousands of units without the need for more manpower.
- Real Time: SAP is updated automatically to provide most updated records of collections, billings etc.
- Easy access to delinquency data: System can generate updated reports for delinquent units and unpaid dues at any time.
We have since extended this new feature to many other societies and have included Tally as another alternative ERP. As always, delighting customers remains our top priority at iSocietyManager. 🙂