Utility Billing | Introduction & Setup

The instructions in this article relate to Utility BillingThe icon may be located on your StrataMax Desktop or found using the StrataMax Search.

Utility Billing provides the facility to create bills for owners or tenants for any electricity, gas or water usage, which are based on meter readings. It also provides a billing solution for marina funds and air conditioning. This functionality is maintained via a 'Sub-Group', which can be selected at the top of main StrataMax screen, next to the building selector tool.

Data can be imported from the main building, also referred to as 'group' to create debtor accounts in the sub-group to reduce the need for manual entry, and bills are issued to either the owner or the tenant. Meter Readings or Invoice Entry can be used to create the bills and this can be distributed via email or printed to post.

Full arrears management, similar to that in the main group when running regular levies and automated application of fees, can be managed with this module. When combined with StrataPay, this creates an easy system that will reconcile the payments to the relevant lot in the subgroup. 

Where the word 'Electricity' is used, this can be changed to 'Water' or any other utility that is being used in the Utility Group for.

We also have the Sub-Groups | Basic Setup Video, which covers this process. 

Sub-Group Types

The following types are available to setup in the Sub-Group area and will issue the following:

  • Marina - Issues levies via Levy Management.
  • Utilities - Issues utility bills based on usage via Utility Billing.
  • Air Conditioning - Issue levies via Levy Management.
  • By Laws - Issues invoices via Invoice Entry.

New Sub-Group Setup

If a building has not been already been set up a new building will need to be created via the Create a New Building menu. Before setting up the Sub-Group, it is strongly recommended to lock the building and perform a backup using the Data Storage menu.

  1. From the Main, search or select New Sub-Group. 
  2. In the Sub-Group section, select the type of sub group you wish to set up. Choose the appropriate Sub-Group type.
  3. In the Lot Emulation section, click on the type of sub group you wish to set up based on the options described above.
    • Emulate All Lots - One for one, copy all lot owners accounts in the main group for the building to the sub-group.
    • Emulate Selected lots - You will be able to tag which owner lot accounts to copy into this sub group.
    • No lot emulation - No lots will be copied. You can set them up individually as required in the Second Debtors function.
  4. Click Add, then Close to exit.
  5. Setup the Sub-Group bank account
  6. Create Account Codes for the Main and Sub-Group
  7. If you selected Emulate Selected lots, tag the lots to emulate from the roll for this building then click OK.

Sub-Group Roll / Debtors

Where there are tenants occupying any of the Lots, the data link to the Main Roll record will need to be removed, to enable the tenants details to be entered in Debtor Maintenance in the Utility Sub- Group. Refer to the Debtor Maintenance article on how to complete / review this area.

Bank Account Setup 

Details for the bank account must be updated, such as BSB and bank account details. This detail is populated from the Main building, and additionally, the Utility Sub-Group will be recognised based on this group. The Payment Reference numbers, when generated on the bill, allow for the payment to settle to the correct account and are different between the Main and the Sub-Group.

  1. In the main building, open the Bank Account Setup menu.
  2. Enter a New Operating Bank Account.

Edit Bill Title

Depending on what type of Utility is being billed, there may be a requirement to change the wording from the standard Electricity wording used on the bill templates to reflect the utility type. The below instructions will allow the description and the measurement defaults to be changed. The income account 101 must be linked first to open Utility Billing with the below instructions.

  1. From the Sub-Group building, search or select Utility Billing.
  2. Select File / Edit Bill Title.
  3. Amend / check the title to reflect the intended utility type. Click OK.
  4. Amend/ check the Units Title and adjust to reflect the usage type.

Marina | Levy & Arrears Notice E-mail Templates

Levy and arrears notices in Marina Sub-Groups will utilise the local Levy or Arrears notice email template if one has been set up. Please refer to the Email Template Manager article to learn how to manage email templates.

Levy Invoice Code Setup

When a building has been set to include an additional fund to manage the Sub-Group, this is managed via the Trading Fund Setup for both groups and includes separate account codes for balance sheet, profit and loss and system account codes. Once this has been set, it must also include a Levy Invoice Code Setup that also matches the additional fund setup. The examples below include a trading fund for a marina fund and the levy invoice code setup.

Marina Sub-Group - Trading Fund Setup

Account Maintenance using additional Trading Fund income account with update codes to match

Levy Invoice Code Setup table example from Sub-Group: