|The city bookkeeper bills customers on the first of every month, with a due-date of the last day of every month. Statements and invoices include details of all utilities and services rendered, as well as clear due-dates for all bills. Accounts are considered delinquent if they have not been paid by the tenth day of the following month. At that time, the water operator places an overdue notice on the delinquent customer's door, and spray-paints a circle around the location of the customer's shut off valve. If payment is not made or a deferred payment plan agreed upon by the date specified on the door notice, water is to be shut off. At this time, shut off valves are only available on some properties. Therefore, this process is not always being carried out. However, utility staff has identified properties which do currently have shut-off valves, and as water distribution lines are upgraded by ANTHC through a recent state legislative grant, shut off valves will be installed on all properties which do not currently have valves. Other measures are in place to encourage payment of water bills, in the absence of the ability to shut off all delinquent customers. For instance, delinquent customers were given the option of signing over their PFD assignments, but those who did not sign over their PFD assignments are also having their PFD assignments relinquished without consent through the Alaska court system, in order to pay past due utility accounts. Additionally, the city is currently on a plan to increase water utility rates gradually over the next four years. Customers who have remained current on utility bill payments will have a two-year delay in the increase of their utility bill. As of early 2013, the city's water utility collection rate was 52%, subsequent to the actions discussed above being taken to increase said rate. A second collection rate study was undertaken in early September, and indicated that the collection rate remains at approximately 52%. A further collection rate study will be undertaken subsequent to PFD relinquishments.
Accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll are tracked using the QuickBooks program, and payroll records are maintained by the bookkeeper. A chart of accounts also allows for appropriate allocations of revenues and expenditures using QuickBooks. Accounts are separated into income, expense, bank, accounts receivable, current assets, fixed assets, accounts payable, current liability, equity, income, and expense types. An accounts payable aging summary provided to RUBA staff evidences consistent and complete payment of all incoming bills, and an accounts receivable aging summary evidences tracking of all utility and other service customers and current and past-due accounts. Reconciliation of all bank accounts is undertaken on a monthly basis, and a reconciliation details report is completed and saved in QuickBooks.
The city accepts credit and debit cards for payments. If cash is received, the bookkeeper writes a receipt for the customer, logs the transaction in QuickBooks, then locks the cash in a drawer. Cash disbursement is carried out in the same manner. All purchases are requested through a purchase order form, which is then approved by the city administrator. Purchase order forms include a reference number to be included on all invoices, which are then processed and reconciled by the bookkeeper, and logged in a purchase order book and on QuickBooks, where purchases are also accounted for in the budget. Any purchase over $1,000 requires approval from the mayor.|