About Bill CAPture

Bill CAPture is a utility data acquisition service of EnergyCAP, Inc., the industry leader in utility bill management software. More than 10,000 energy managers in 3,000 organizations have tracked more than $25 billion in energy spending using EnergyCAP’s specialized software.

Bill CAPture staff and partners have over 50 years of combined experience in the utility bill industry supporting our Bill CAPture operation!

What Our Clients Say

“I’m very pleased with the Bill CAPture service and would be happy to provide references for prospective clients.”

Environmental Planner - Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority

“EnergyCAP’s Bill CAPture service is very easy to use, fast and accurate.”

Admin III, Finance - University of California San Francisco

“The efficiency of EDI invoice processing eliminated duplicate data entry, reduced the turn-around time for vendor payments, and improved data review.”

Business Analyst - University of California Davis

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A. Bill CAPture removes the burden of manually entering utility bills by leveraging technologies and partners to handle every bill format for data entry, auditing, reporting and optional export to your accounting system.

Client utility bills can be provided to us via scanned image files or from other electronic files provided by vendors. Bills can be downloaded from vendor websites. Our staff converts your data to an import-ready format for the EnergyCAP database.

With the data in EnergyCAP, we can then provide customizable utility audits, and distribute results to various users. If you are hosting your own energy database, you can export data in a spreadsheet format for use by your system. For clients who need to pay bills, EnergyCAP can interface with your accounting system to provide all necessary billing data, including GL records for each account/meter combination.

Think of Bill CAPture as a three-step process:

1. You provide bills to your Bill CAPture service in an accepted format.
2. We process the bills to an online energy management database.
3. Bill data is exported in the desired format for the desired application(s).

A. Current client performance suggests an initial recovery of 1-3% of utility spend in the first year and 0.5% annually thereafter with bill and tariff audits. But your savings will depend on your current process efficiencies. Indirect savings may include maximizing interest earned on cash flow with just-in-time bill payment methods.

A. Accuracy on utility bill data capture exceeds 99.9%.Quality processes built into Bill CAPture on our end ensure such high accuracy, regardless of the commodity vendor or the specific blend of technologies employed.

A. Any electronic files can be processed, including CSV, Excel, text files, EDI 810, and PDF formats.

A. Each bill is run through as many as 50 user-configurable audits to detect anomalies. Historical and ongoing billing errors are identified so that appropriate action can be taken. Your initial data entry has the potential to realize hundreds or thousands of dollars in refunds, credits, and savings from utility bill overcharges! Going forward, you will be in a better position to identify savings opportunities for any purchased utilities.

A.

  1. Initial consultation
  2. Technology selection
  3. Pricing Proposal
  4. Enrollment

The first step is an initial consultation with a sales representative to discuss what the process looks like. Q&A will include:

  • Will we be processing your bills pre-or post-payment?
  • Do you currently interface EnergyCAP with an accounting system?
  • Can you provide a list of vendors with a number of accounts per vendor and the current formats of bills you received by each vendor?
  • Are there any limitations or considerations in your general accounting practices that may impact the Bill CAPture service?

The second step is to select a technology solution to receive bills and process bills. There are many options available and there are pros and cons with each solution. A sales representative can discuss with you what the pros and cons are for each format of utility bills.

The third step in the process is for a sales representative to provide a pricing proposal. The proposal will detail which options you selected. There is a one-time enrollment fee based on the number of accounts and the volume being processed. Then there is an ongoing subscription fee which is an annual fee added to your annual maintenance invoice. The subscription fee depends on the level of service and the volume being processed.

The fourth and final step in the process is enrollment. Enrollment begins with the project kickoff meeting. The timing in the process for enrollment really depends on the solutions selected. For EDI and flat file solutions, we need to contact the vendors to discuss timing and delivery options. For screen scrape, we need to collect login credentials for all vendor websites, keeping in mind that the more you can standardize login credentials, the better. If outsourcing or rerouting bills, vendors will need to be notified of the change of address so we work with you on all of these processes during enrollment.

A. The most reliable electronic format is a vector-based PDF version of the utility bill. EnergyCAP can process these files more easily using a technique which maps every line item on the bill and automatically transforms the data to a format suitable for import into an energy database.

A. For utility companies that provide login access to all of your bill records on their websites, the Bill CAPture service can use your login credentials to access the utility company’s website and recover your account data for all the bills that exist. This option is for clients with utility vendors that provide utility bill information via an online portal.

A. To answer that question for your specific organization, you need to identify these detailed invoice processing activities by the following six cost categories:

  • Direct Labor Costs
  • Indirect Labor Costs
  • Equipment Costs
  • Postage and Supplies Costs
  • Administrative and Overhead Costs
  • Other Costs

As a quick and simple benchmark, however, we refer companies to the April, 1996 issue of Controller Magazine. In "Cutting the Fat from Accounts Payable," authors Tad Leahy and Ivy McLemore report:

"Typically, the accounts payable process represents the greatest opportunity for improvement in the accounting function ... The stakes are high—look at this example: The average company processes 190,000 vendor invoices per $1 billion of revenue, pays each employee $36,705 per year in salary and benefits..."

In this same article, Leahy and McLemore interviewed Mark Krueger, Vice President of The Hackett Group, a consulting firm in Hudson, Ohio. According to Krueger, "The average company ... processes 11,100 invoices per person per year."

The math is straightforward: $36,705/11,100 = $3.31. That is, direct labor cost alone for payables processing averages $3.31 per invoice. Direct labor represents 30% of fully allocated payables costs when indirect labor, equipment, postage, supplies, administration, overhead, and other cost components are considered. (See below.) We believe this ratio holds for most companies as well. Applying this 30% factor then to the $3.31 direct labor cost above, yields a fully allocated average payables cost of $11.03 per invoice.

In December 1994, The Hackett Group and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants cosponsored a benchmarking study of key corporate financial functions. Four hundred companies, including over 100 major US corporations, participated in this study.

This average invoice payables cost is closely validated by IOMA's (Institute of Management and Administration) "Managing Accounts Payable" publication. In its May 1997 Payables Benchmarking Survey, MAP notes:

"On average, it costs an accounts payable department $16.54 to process a vendor payment...These figures may seem a little high. However, over 7% of the companies responding reported a check-processing cost of over $50...When the numbers were rerun, eliminating all who had entered $50 or higher, the average dropped to $10.55 for vendor payments..."

In summary, your cost just to pay an invoice is probably $10.50–$11.00.

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