XENIA — The Greene County Treasurer’s Office launched a new automated cashiering system Friday.
Treasurer Kraig Hagler took office in February and knew by his second week that there had to be a better way of processing payments. Hagler brought the issue to the county commissioners, who ultimately approved a bid award for Nortech/ReCo.
Customers who dropped by the office Dec. 6 were already seeing changes in operations as Nortech/ReCo President Gary Norton put the finishing touches on the installation.
What was a four-or-more-step process — using manual data entry and cash registers — is now automated, completed, and documented at the point of sale. Before, taxpayers would leave the office with a receipt simply stamped with “paid” at the top.
“Now each individual station has its own scanner so when a customer pays their taxes, the parcel is scanned, the method of payment is received, and they leave with a detailed receipt, which communicates directly over to our real estate system,” Hagler said.
The new system captures data that employees previously calculated and entered by hand. The check or credit card goes directly to the bank and the payment information goes directly into the system. Each of the systems can now electronically come together to print one report.
And less human contact means minimal opportunity for error.
“As long as the transaction is done correctly at the point of sale, everything else is done correctly,” Hagler said. “(But) it’s easy to correct a transaction if there’s an error or a question.”
Beyond boosting accuracy and promoting accountability, Hagler said the streamlined process increases daily efficiency.
“The time it’s given us back is essentially going to change the efficiency of the whole office to open ourselves up to doing things that we’ve never been able to do, without increasing staff,” he said.
That doesn’t mean roles aren’t needed — there’s plenty to do in the office, which the treasurer describes as “the bank of the county.”
“Most of the money in the county comes through this office,” Hagler said. “Departments come here for pay-ins … all of those checks are brought down on a daily basis and deposited here.”
Nortech/ReCo, which six other Ohio counties are also using, offered the lowest cost, comparatively — $87,645 for the first year with an $18,895 annual support fee.
Hagler said the update is already on the way toward saving the county money. More time has allowed the treasurer to re-negotiate a bill printing contract, plus consolidate and close unused bank accounts. The office will also be able to cut down on mailing and postage costs, and reduce the amount of overtime earned, he said.
Signing with a new credit card company will lower the 2.2 percent processing fee to 2 percent, so costs will be reduced for customers, too, once that launches after the first half of the year.
Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.