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Computerized System and improved efficiency have been the focus of entrepreneurs. As with many business scenarios, getting rid of paper improves efficiency, reduces human error and allows information to ﬂow to an infrastructure without a time-consuming data input process. There is also less chance of handwritten orders being misread and a higher customer turnaround as customers will be served faster. Scott (2011) concludes that automation increases the accuracy of the data, as human error is less likely to occur. The completeness of the data is also improved as the automated systems will process all the data in an efficient manner. Neumann (2010) states that water billing system is a necessary tool to assist small municipalities, utility providers, bookkeepers, operators, managers, and auditors in unifying their water billing services, in order to provide consistent and accurate billing information to clients and service recipients. It is essentially software that processes data and produces invoices in a given format, facilitating and unifying the billing process.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Traditional system is regarded to as legacy system in today’s digital world. These terms are describing manual systems being automated by information technology hardware or software. The development of the software for water bill payment system will entail modelling the current system while eliminating its drawbacks. This idea is to improve the current payment system with the use of internet service.
Computers have played a key role in enriching the quality of life of the human being; in the digital era. They fill so many gaps, which is why they are widely accepted. The main users of the water bill payment system are the customers of Federal Capital Territory Water board (FCTWB). FCT water is saddled with the responsibility to provide potable drinking water to FCT Residents and its environs. The development of the payment system will enable FCT Water Board customers to register on line in other to pay their bill without bottleneck which will instill confidence in the mode of payment of water tariff.
OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main objectives of the study is to develop the automated water billing system which strengthens billing procedures and renders faster services to the concessionaires. Specifically, it aimed to achieve the following objectives:
1. Identify the billing procedures currently in use in the water system;
2. Develop the Automated Water Billing System; and
3. Determine the usability of Automated Water Billing System in terms of:
• Control, and
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There had been claims of unaccounted water usage of up to 30% and more leading to huge loss of revenue. Parts of the losses were due to non-metering of all the supplied water. A system was required to track the supplied and billed water by region as a measure to reduce part of the losses. FCT Water Billing Solution was a versatile application which eliminated the problems found in the whole distribution and billing system.
Water billing system currently in use in the FCT water board is the manual method in computing the amount of bill of the concessionaries. The accounting personnel manually prepare the monthly water bills, pre-addressed bill and post consumption and bill amount of the water bills. They manually accomplish the posting of the payment to concessionaires’ temporary ledger. This method is always prone to inaccurate computations. Regarding the posting of payments, there is a tendency that the input of date paid and debit/credit of a concessionaire may be compromised thus, duplicated collection of payment may happen.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers the federal capital territory Abuja water scheme. The mode of payment will be through the customer user account and will be credited to an approved designated bank account of FCT Water board. Upon payment the customer can print his receipt for the transaction details made. The system will allow for automatic notification of customer’s payment and balance of account via an alert through SMS or email that was registered in the customer details.
ASSUMPTION OF THE STUDY
During the process of data collection, information relating to water billing was obtained from Federal Capital Territory water board. The information was collected from the admin staff during the course of my study. Hence, it is assumed that all the data collected are correct and contains no false information.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Most constraints experienced during the course of writing this project is that of detailed information about the major operations of the water board, the personal manager was a little diplomatic in answering my questions in order to reveal information that may indent the company’s image, though that did not stop me from writing and researching for detailed information. Other constrainsts include
Time. Time is one of major constraints during system implementation and development. Before the system execution it took a year to finish the system project. Even the developers has an assigned task to accomplish, they still manage to attend subjects on their respective classes.
Funding. Funding is the worst possible constraints for the proponents, the funds I needed wasn’t coming when due. However, this constraint will not be an issue for not pursuing the objectives for the development of the System Project.
The software and hardware that the proponents used to develop the Billing and Collection System are also limited. I had to make use of only what I can lay my hand on.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
· WATER METERING is the process of measuring the volume of water used by residential and commercial buildings that are supplied with water by a public water supply system
· BILLING PROCEDURES: refers to the process of sending an invoice to customers for goods or services provided.
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