Within the City Treasurer’s Business Services department, the Revenue Recovery section is responsible for collecting delinquent receivables owed to the City. These receivables include utility accounts; business, liquor and special license fees; false alarm charges; and accounts referred by other City departments.
The audit found collection efforts could be improved by using accounts receivable aging reports, developing complete and organized policies and procedures, and evaluating Revenue Recovery’s collection tools. Specifically, past-due accounts were not contacted timely, documented collection efforts were inconsistent and account write-offs were not performed in accordance with City accounting policy. Further, Revenue Recovery does not evaluate its collection agency contract or use the state’s debt set-off program to collect receivables.
In addition, revenue recovery program management and oversight could be improved. For example, enhanced collection data tracking could help improve effectiveness, reporting and program management, and establishing and sharing a policy for site visit practices could enhance revenue collector and public protection. Further, differentiating between payments received after revenue collector contacts and those received after auto-generated phone calls or letters and accurately tracking collectors’ daily activities may improve program effectiveness.