Cities of San Clemente, Concord and Cerritos Gain Real-Time Integration With Their Existing Finance, Utility Billing, Permitting and Licensing Software Systems
SAN DIEGO, CA – May 3, 2006 – The cities of San Clemente, Concord and Cerritos, Calif. have chosen cashiering and payment management software from The Active Network, Inc. (www.TheActiveNetwork.com) to integrate payment collection across their internal departments, streamline cash management, and offer citizens greater convenience and service options. Using Payment Manager software from The Active Network, a major solutions provider to local governments, the cities are gaining a solution that integrates with their existing business software systems for real-time data exchange using one, single point-of-sale system. The cities can also offer citizens the convenience of paying for any local government service online or in-person.
For finance staff, Active Payment Manager software standardizes cash handling for all departments on one point-of-sale system, integrating payment collection across multiple city or county departments and producing one set of financial records. The software provides real-time payment processing, automatic bank reconciliation and settlement with financial institutions, a single reporting tool for all transactions across the organization, and a standard point-of-sale system to accept payments over the counter, by phone or the Internet. Payment Manager also recognizes each transaction event with the correct financial controls, providing detailed transaction histories and an accurate financial picture. With Active Payment Manager’s ability to integrate with multiple software systems, city IT staff no longer has to support multiple point-of-sale systems. The technology integration capabilities also allow municipalities to implement best-of-breed citizen service solutions without requiring replacement of back office applications.
“We needed a city-wide, front-end cashiering solution that would be consistent across all of our facilities, integrate with our existing systems, and give us greater control over our financial process,” explained Tom Rendina, finance manager, city of San Clemente. According to Rendina, the city had payment and transaction activity occurring at multiple facilities, but the activity was not reaching the finance department’s general ledger and finance staff was only getting summary level transaction information. Adding to this, San Clemente’s finance, recreation and community development departments were all using different software systems for their daily operations without a common point-of sale application.
“Using Payment Manager, we’ve moved from a very labor intensive process, where it was challenging just to deal with the daily cash reconciliation, to a level of very centralized control, raising the bar in terms of revenue recognition and real-time transaction activity,” added Rendina. “Now transactions are taken and posted at the same time and we’ve eliminated the daily upload to our general ledger and any data duplication. We’re also getting very detailed transaction information.”
Prior to choosing Payment Manager software, San Clemente reviewed several software vendors. Explained Rendina, “One of the competing software vendors had not worked with our CRW software for permits and licensing. The company would need to write interfaces and there was still the issue of satisfying our recreation department’s needs. We chose Active’s software because we knew the team had done integrations with CRW software and would also be able to do a fast integration with our finance software, EDEN. We were already using Active’s software for our recreation administration, so the choice was clear.”
The cities of Concord and Cerritos also had several departments accepting payments, creating more work for the finance staff and inconsistencies. Concord serves more than 121,500 citizens and its Community and Recreation Services department takes payments at ten sites that have 17 terminals. Billie Fivella, senior programmer analyst for the city of Concord, wanted to see all payments accepted in city offices going through one point-of-sale system. Said Fivella, “We needed better cash handling practices throughout our city with the ability to track the flow of money through our system. Active’s software offered sound accounting practices, in terms of the way it handled money, accurately recognizing transactions as revenues or expenses and giving us a very accurate financial picture. The software could also integrate with our financial software, permitting software and business license systems.”
First time integrations were done between Payment Manager software and Concord’s Lawson financial software, used for general financial management, and the city’s HdL business license software. Added Fivella, “The integration gives us the ability to offer the same receipting process throughout the city and eventually offer citizens the ability to do their city business in one place. We’ll be able to enhance our level of citizen service in terms of consistency while offering increased payment options, whether it’s signing up a child for a swim lesson and paying for a business license at one location and taking payments over the Internet. We want to get to that next level of service.”
The city of Cerritos accepts payments at its recreation office, performing arts theaters and golf courses. According to Finance Manager Becky Lingad, the Cerritos staff saw the need for a new cashiering and point-of-sale solution when the city’s recreation office began accepting credit cards. “As the number of people began using credit cards, it started to create more work for our finance staff. We needed to take time to verify transactions and check into individual issues, and then manage the balancing. There are a lot of software programs out there that accept payments, but if the payment feature isn’t integrated into the finance department, you’re faced with duplicate entry and reconciliation headaches.”
Cerritos’ implementation of Active Payment Manager software coincided with its 50th anniversary celebration on April 29. For Lingad, this was excellent timing. “We’re proud of our service record and making all of our services as accessible as possible for citizens is a priority. With Active’s software, we now have an integrated payment system that makes life easier for everyone. We can check account histories quickly and ensure fast service and we can offer multiple payment options and convenience, day or night. Our citizens will be able to pay a water bill, sign up for a class, or purchase a business license at one of our front counters, or even online, and we’ll be able to track and manage that transaction in real time.”
Like the city of San Clemente, Cerritos is also using EDEN software for its daily financial operations, as well as Hansen’s software for permitting and licensing. Payment Manager was able to integrate to both of Cerritos’ systems.
About The Active Network, Inc.
The Active Network, Inc., based in San Diego, Calif., provides application services technology and marketing access to community service organizations, and is a leading online community for active lifestyles. The company’s application services help organizations increase efficiency and reduce the cost and complexity of managing community activities and fundraising events, payment collections across multiple departments, citizen alerts and communication, and Web content. The technology automates and streamlines information collection, activity registration, facility reservation, tee time reservations, pro-shop management, membership and fundraising management, payments and cash handling, customer service response, Web content management and other daily administration. The company delivers marketing access through integrated marketing and consumer promotions that provide leading brands direct access to active consumers. Organizations can also access marketing services that promote community use of online services as well as marketing partnership programs that create additional revenues for organizations through new services for the public. Through the company’s Web properties, www.Active.com, www.eteamz.com and www.ActiveGolf.com, The Active Network provides consumer services and resources that support participation in healthy lifestyles. The Active Network serves organizations and participants in multiple markets throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, please visit www.TheActiveNetwork.com or call 1-888-543-7223.
Shelly Burnside, The Active Network, Inc.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 858-964-3813