For most tax teams, property tax bills are a major source of paper mail received each year. One property tax manager at a multifamily firm we spoke with received 78,000 tax bills in 2021 alone – almost all of which were paper.
If you’re operating nationally or globally, bills may be coming from 100s or even 1000s of taxing authorities. All of these may come in slightly different formats, with different deadlines, and variations on how exactly they must be paid. Tracking that the bills arrive, ensuring they’re correct, requesting checks, staying on top of payment installments, and meeting due dates is a lot for a team to manage.
But managing the property tax payment processes is serious business. Property tax bills that aren't paid on time come with significant financial penalties and interest fees. As such, organizations managing multi-property portfolios need reliable tools and systems for managing multiple deadlines and payment documents. What’s more, they need methods to reduce duplication and improve data accuracy.
For these reasons, we’re seeing more companies automate manually intensive processes with payment integrations. Below are some of the main benefits of payment automation for property tax bills.
It’s no question that payment processes represent a lot of heavy lifting for property tax teams. Consider the traditional process:
Clearly, integrating your property tax management and AP systems helps to reduce duplication of effort, manual re-keying, and general back-and-forth during payments. What’s more, payment integrations also help ensure you aren’t providing multiple versions of data to different stakeholders (both internally and externally) by mistake.
If you’re drawing from a single source of truth that’s integrated across systems in different departments, property tax bill statuses will be visible to key stakeholders and maintained in a system of record.
Now more than ever, security is top of mind for property tax teams. Payment processes should be optimized to reduce risk as much as possible. Paper checks can be prone to fraud, while manual data entry can introduce errors and lead to missed or duplicate payments and expensive penalties.
What’s more, sharing disparate spreadsheets and systems with stakeholders can expose companies to risk. These types of systems can make it difficult to track who has access to what data, and what changes have been made.
AP integrations, such as the itamlink-Nexus AP automation link, provide an electronic audit trail so it’s clear what was completed when and by whom. What’s more, you can set up designated approvers in the system, like your CFO, controller, or billing specialist - ensuring that tax bills are seen and signed off on by the right person. Ideally, automation extends after the payment was made to bring back payment receipt data.
As property tax teams continue to move to specialized software to best suit their needs and industry, our reliance on data grows, and teams have less capacity, payment integrations are a clear opportunity to streamline workflows and give time back to your AP team.
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest property tax management tips, tools, and resources right to your inbox