Online Workshop–First Issue Tax Billing

We are pleased to offer an online workshop to discuss preparing your first issue tax bills. We have scheduled the workshop to coincide with the beginning of this annual process. If you are a new collector, or just someone that struggles with the process each year, this will be a great class for you!

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Online Workshop–All About Dogs

We are pleased to offer an online workshop to discuss adding, noticing, and licensing dogs. If you are a new clerk, or just someone that wants to know more about the process, this will be a great class for you!

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Paperless Billing: Adding and Removing Email

We have had numerous calls as of late, regarding how to add someone to, or remove someone from, Paperless Billing. We thought a short blog post was warranted.

Paperless Billing is an option that, if your town has the Tax Kiosk Comprehensive configuration, and it is enabled, provides online PDF invoices and paperless notifications. When a taxpayer makes a payment on the Tax Kiosk, prior to submitting the shopping cart to Invoice Cloud for payment, the payer will be asked if they wish to opt-in to receive notice of future tax bill invoices electronically by email rather than by mail.

It is best to have your customer opt-in to Paperless Billing online, however, if they are in your office, are having difficulty opting-in themselves, or would like to opt-in but not make a payment online, you may initiate the opt-in confirmation email process for them from within Tax Collect:

  1. Log in to Avitar Collect.
  2. Find the parcel.
  3. Select any Invoice (paid or unpaid) for the taxpayer.
  4. Click the Edit Invoice Menu.
  5. Click Internet Kiosk Settings.
  6. Click Paperless/Email Settings.
  7. Check the box titled Provide This Parcel’s Invoices Paperlessly.
  8. Enter customer’s email address.
  9. Click OK.

Note, until the customer completes the process they will not be scheduled to receive Paperless Bill Notifications. Make sure your customer watches for an email from the Internet Kiosk. They will need to confirm this request by clicking a link in that email.

Removing Paperless Billing

Let’s say a property has been sold. The previous customer had Paperless Billing, but no longer needs to receive electronic invoices. You can remove the Paperless Billing by following the above steps, except uncheck the box labeled Provide This Parcel’s Invoices Paperlessly.

To finalize either process, you must continue with the following steps the next day:

  1. Click Utilities.
  2. Click Internet Kiosk.
  3. Click Download All Paperless.

This functionality is only available as part of the Comprehensive Tax Kiosk configuration. Please click the following link for additional information on Paperless Billing found in our online documentation: Avitar Tax Collect Internet Kiosk.

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Online Workshop–Lien Notices and Lien Execution

We are pleased to offer an online workshop to discuss preparing your lien notices and executing your lien. We have scheduled the workshop to coincide with the beginning of this annual process. If you are a new collector, or just someone that struggles with the process each year, this will be a great class for you!

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Incorrect Email Addresses

It has been brought to our attention that when processing online and lockbox batches, there is an issue with customer email addresses being overwritten with erroneous email addresses.

Before you begin to process your online or lockbox batches, we ask that you log out of Clerk and log back in again. We should have a fix for this issue in our next Clerk update.

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Default Owner in Clerk

Did you know you have the ability to designate an owner as a “Default Owner” in Avitar Clerk? The Default Owner is typically your Town’s name and is used to simplify the process of entering town clerk services for when you don’t want to create a new owner just for a one-time transaction (e.g. photocopies, fax).

To set the Default Owner:

  • Utilities | System Administration | System Options
  • Select Default Owner
  • Search from the Town database for your owner (e.g. Town of Boscawen) and select.

To use the Default Owner, when processing a town clerk service:

  • Select Services | Other Town Clerk Service
  • For Owner Lookup, you must select the Town database and then click Default Owner

For more useful tips, please check out our online documentation.

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Online Workshop — Delinquent/Lien/Deed Notices and Setting Dates

We are pleased to offer an online workshop to discuss Delinquent/Lien/Deed Notices. At the workshop we will also discuss choosing all your dates for liening and deeding, as you need these dates in order to create your Delinquent Notices.

We have scheduled the workshop to coincide with the beginning of this annual process. If you are a new collector, or just someone that struggles with the process each year, this will be a great class for you!

The online workshop will be held January 25, 2022 from 10:00am to 11:00am.

To sign up for this workshop, we’re trying something new, in which you’ll sign up on our schedule and receive the Zoom meeting information the day of the workshop. To sign up for the workshop, click here.

Again, this workshop will just be one hour long and will focus on the single topic, but if there is time remaining before the hour is up we can address your questions. We anticipate having more of these workshops throughout the year, devoted to a single topic and scheduled to coincide with upcoming tasks and events on your schedule. If you are unable to attend the workshop we will try to make a recording of the session available as well.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop.

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Year End Preparation

As we receive a higher volume of calls this time of year assisting Collectors in their Year End Close, we thought it would be beneficial to write a blog post to give you some guidance in preparation.

Before Year End hits, you can look at your reports and make sure you have the documents to back up your figures. For example:

  • Run the Abatements Report, Reports | Abatements, for the entire year. You should have a signed abatement form for each abatement and the total should be equal to what is on your Abatement Report.
  • Run the Refunds Report, Reports | Credits | Assigned To | Payables | By Assigned Date, to make sure it matches the amount Finance has.
  • Run the Collections YTD report, Reports | Collections YTD.  You should have signed warrants from your Selectmen/Assessor that equal the totals in the Committed & Supplemented column. 

Once you are finished entering payments for the year, you will need to print your reports and balance for the month of December. Then you will be able to move on to running reports and balancing for the year. Keep in mind, you CANNOT post any transaction/payment for 2022 until your 2021 fiscal year has been closed in collect.

Previously, if you posted a transaction (payment, abatement, refund) after year end but before you closed the fiscal year, you had to call Avitar for a script to update the monthly balance report. With our 7.0.4 update, if you post a transaction after year end but before you close, when selecting the Monthly Balance or Lien Redemption report, a message box will display notifying you that “You are currently past the end of FY2021, but not yet into FY2022. The effective dates for transactions done in this period will be modified to be included on this report.” This process will eliminate the need to call Avitar for a script.

Since there are many reports that need to be created/printed, we have several Year End Tips and Tutorial topics with more detailed instructions for:

  1. Monthly Balancing
  2. List of reports that are necessary for most audits.
  3. Reviewing, understanding, balancing, and submitting your MS-61.
  4. Creating a backup of your data.
  5. Performing the actual Close Period.

If you encounter any issues, or have any questions, please feel free to call us.

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2021 New Clerk Training-Rescheduled

We have rescheduled the virtual New Clerk Training session that was previously scheduled for August 10th, 2021. The new training date is November 23rd, 2021. This session is open to new clerks, whether you are new to the position, new to the Avitar Clerk system, or just need a refresher.

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Update Ideas/Requests?

Just a quick note to let you know we are currently working on a Building Permits update that we hope to have out in the next few weeks. The update includes a number of requests from many of you, such as new attributes (applicant and contractor email address, septic last inspection date, etc.), some changes to reports (updated census report, filters for receipts report, etc.), and the ability for those of you in communities already using Invoice Cloud to accept over the counter credit cards.

In the meantime, if you have any similar ideas and/or requests that you’ve been keeping to yourselves, now would be the time to let us know. You can call (603-798-4419) or email us (permitsupport@avitarassociates.com) and we’ll see if we can include it. And watch your email for notification of the upcoming update.

Thanks.

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