Utility billing audits made easy with GIS


Without a doubt, the biggest challenge facing municipalities across
the country is a dwindling supply of revenue. Communities are
continually pressured to do more with less, and tough choices are always
on the horizon. Fortunately, GIS offers a cost-efficient way to audit
existing revenue streams to ensure that all forms of income are
maximized in these budget-lean times.

The Village of Lincolnshire recently took advantage of its access to
this technology to conduct an audit of its billing records. GIS was used
to compare the Village’s address database to finance records for water
and sewer billing to find discrepancies. Once the differences between
the two sets were identified, GIS generated a spreadsheet of issues and
then mapped them across the Village. These two products allowed Finance
and Public Works personnel to review the mismatches quickly and
determine if there were any customers in the Village who were being
improperly billed. As a secondary benefit, both address databases were
reviewed for accuracy to ensure that the community is using the most
accurate and up-to-date information available.

Without GIS, the Village would have had to manually compare the
address lists or hire an outside auditor at considerably greater