Hamilton County is the fastest growing and fourth most populous county in Indiana. Since 2010, they have used Teller for an increasing number of departments, including the Treasurer and Health departments.
A check payment at Hamilton County’s Health department triggered a long process. After manual validation and daily reconciliation, checks were sent to the Auditor’s office, where each check was entered into the county’s financial system. Then the Auditor’s office would send the checks to the Treasurer’s office, who would log them all onto a big payment to the appropriate fund so it could be part of their day’s received money. Finally, the Treasurer would deposit the checks with the daily deposit.
Needless to say, this process was onerous and time consuming. It was also not compliant with the State Board of Accounts.
Three components were implemented to help this situation. The foundational piece is check scanning/endorsement machines at the point of sale. The second piece is an export from Teller (at the Health department) that directly imports the day’s collections into the county financial system for the Auditor.
Finally, a barcode was added to the Health department’s daily report of collections. When the Treasurer scans that barcode in a payment window, all the checks from the Health department batch are automatically loaded as tender onto the payment, allowing the Treasurer to efficiently allocate the money to the right fund(s).
On the Treasurer’s side, this automated workflow saves reprocessing hundreds of checks. It removes human error and frustration. “We were just talking about processes with a lot of heartache and now it’s just pushing two buttons,” said Jennifer Templeton, the County Treasurer. Scanned checks (with sensitive information redacted) are available in the system, which helps with research. Electronic check deposit is also implemented.
Creative use of technology turned into a big win for Hamilton County. The ability to meet the internal controls the state requires is a huge weight off their shoulders, and they are saving a ton of time doing it! “I think it’s really good,” says Teressa Meredith from the Auditor’s office, who looks forward to getting more departments on board with check scanning.
“We were just talking about processes with a lot of heartache and now it’s
just pushing two buttons.”
– Jennifer Templeton, County Treasurer
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