In our recent blog, Challenges in Managing Property Taxes Remotely, we discussed some of the most common difficulties property tax managers and analysts have been facing over the past few months. After gathering their feedback, it was increasingly evident that, as working remotely becomes the new normal, the need for effective property tax technology is more important than ever. There is no doubt that this global situation has presented new and complex challenges to organizations across all industries, forcing many to re-evaluate their immediate operations and priorities.
Top of mind for many working with multi-property portfolios is a tech enabled property tax management solution. Looking to address major issues in the property tax management process brought to light by the circumstances of the pandemic, organizations are rushing to enable their teams with easy-to-implement solutions that can close gaps in their workflows now and in the long term. These gaps include managing hard-copy bills, submitting payments, tracking jurisdictional changes and improved collaboration and automation overall.
For any company that owns, occupies or manages multiple properties, receiving documents from jurisdictions that still rely on mailing out physical bills and notices can be a difficult process to administer efficiently. In fact, dealing with any kind of important physical document poses a problem, especially when no one is present at the office to collect, photocopy or scan and distribute them to the appropriate person or teams.
As a result, many organizations are looking to improve the efficiency of this process for the long term by using cloud-based technology that can also store and manage documents. As an example, itamlink can make these documents accessible to entire teams regardless of location. Organizations are able store and index documents, like tax bills and assessment notices, and associate them to specific properties and parcels in a portfolio in one collaborative system. The document can then be viewed by anyone with access to itamlink, including external parties.
Under normal circumstances, a number of organizations still rely on manual processes for payment approvals that include collecting physical signatures as part of their validation process. This can make paying tax bills an unnecessarily arduous process and is proving to be even more challenging for many professionals as they struggle to navigate the traditional payment approval procedures in a remote work environment.
Organizations that upgrade their processes to a system that enables electronic payment validation and automated AP integration can not only save time when in the office, but are able to ensure continuity of work, even in time of crisis. With itamlink all departments including accounting, property tax, and finance, can access the system and manage their payment processes with little to no disruption regardless of their location.
Furthermore, moving to a tech-enabled system makes the entire process more secure than traditional approval workflows. Electronic approvals are more accurate and easier to audit than physical approvals. Since the information automatically flows through the system and communicates to ERP and AP systems directly, there is no need to manually re-enter already approved data into another system.
Tracking payment and appeal deadlines has always been difficult with a multi-property portfolio simply due to the vast number of important dates involved and the inconsistent processes and timelines that exist from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Now that various jurisdictions have adjusted property tax payment, appeal and compliance deadlines, monitoring, maintaining and communicating these changes to a disparate team has become even more challenging.
Organizations that take advantage of collaborative solutions have a much easier time tracking and sharing information in real-time. For instance, itamlink’s live, interactive calendar makes it easy to display and monitor deadline changes and enables different notification options to help ensure deadlines are never missed, even as dates are constantly changing. Key dates can be maintained by anyone with the appropriate access to the system, including third party service providers. This helps reduce the need to chase down different sources of information and eliminates the risk of working off of outdated versions of a document with incorrect due dates.
Evidently, one of the major underlying challenges in working with property tax is managing the multitudes of data associated with each portfolio. Accessibility to property tax data is extremely important in both times of crisis and prosperity, as it has an impact on strategic decision making throughout different departments and across many levels of an organization.
This is why introducing a tech-enabled system that focuses on collaborative, data management and has the flexibility to import, store, export, manipulate and analyze data can be incredibly valuable. The itamlink platform breaks down silos by promoting a connected environment across departments, supporting all types of integrations with real estate and accounting software, along with ERP systems and data providers. Integrations like these help eliminate data input errors and increase overall productivity in the long run.
The pandemic has served as a huge motivator for large spread organizational change bringing tech-enabled property tax solutions to the forefront of strategic conversations. As many organizations re-evaluate their immediate operations and priorities it is important to maintain momentum, and make decisions that have a lasting impact on teams and their efficiencies while employees and decision makers are open to change.
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