Government Technology

Tarrant County honored for Electronic Check Deposit System

September 2, 2008 By

Tarrant County's Process Improvement Project in Tax Assessor-Collector Betsy Price's office is one of 24 county programs around the state to be honored this week by the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) Leadership Foundation during TAC's annual conference in Austin.

The programs were selected to receive high honors for innovation, achievement and delivery of service in the 2008 County Best Practice Awards, which recognize county initiatives that serve as a model to others and save taxpayer monies.

"People in counties across Texas are coming up with such creative solutions," said TAC Leadership Foundation Chairwoman Carol Autry. "Counties have so few streams of revenue, and every good idea that can be shared is terribly important."

Tarrant County's program is being honored for Superior Innovation in Technology.

Each year, the Tarrant County Tax Office collects a little more than $3 billion. With 1.5 million customers, eight different locations, 60 taxing partners and two huge databases, the tax office must work efficiently or get lost of in the mire of "business as usual."

Depositing more than one million checks in the time-honored tradition of filling out a deposit slip, endorsing the back and sending it to the bank by courier was wasteful. Tarrant County Tax Assessor Collector Betsy Price looked for ways to streamline this process for its motor vehicle division, all property tax accounts and face-to-face transaction.

In 2007, the National Automated Clearinghouse adopted rules (called Back Office Conversion) that allowed vendors to scan and deposit checks after face-to-face transactions. At about the same time, Chase Bank offered to partner with the Tarrant County Tax Office to deposit all checks electronically.

With the banking industry offering new options to deposit eligible checks by either account receivable conversion or image cash letter, a pilot project worked out how the bank could accept either method, depending on what was most efficient for the situation.

Price then looked at options with vendors to update the county's scanning and account update process. Price learned that the RT Lawrence Corp. had recently developed a product to accommodate back office conversion and wanted to offer it to the government sector.

The final piece of the puzzle was to expand the scope of accounts that could be processed electronically. This proved to be a challenge since the Texas Department of Transportation was not ready to automate their processes, hence significant limitations for motor vehicle transactions.

Price created a process improvement program to study how to deposit all checks electronically, including motor vehicle and vehicle inventory tax operations, and automatically update more property tax accounts. The process looked at how to scan, verify, deposit and post checks electronically with close attention to detail.

Working with five vendor partners and Chase Bank, a new system was developed that exceeded all facets of the program. The county could now undertake electronic deposits, including motor vehicle and VIT payments in improvements and automatically updating property tax accounts.

Launched in Nov. 2007, the project almost paid for itself in its first six months of operation. The total cost of the project was $332,395 dollars in hardware and software and calculated savings in this time period were $290,000. The county will continue to reap benefits through increased funds availability, lower banking costs and reduced administrative costs.

The Tarrant County Process Improvement Project could be duplicated in whole or in part by any check processed in the state. While the Tarrant County solution involved an "all in" approach including all departments, each payment source and every check, program elements could be invaluable to any operation large or small.

| More


Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Fresh Ideas In Online Security for Public Safety Organizations
Lesley Carhart, Senior Information Security Specialist at Motorola Solutions, knows that online and computer security are more challenging than ever. Personal smartphones, removable devices like USB storage drives, and social media have a significant impact on security. In “Fresh Ideas in Online Security for Public Safely Organizations,” Lesley provides recommendations to improve your online security against threats from social networks, removable devices, weak passwords and digital photos.
Meeting Constituents Where They Are With Dynamic, Real-Time Mobile Engagement
Leveraging the proven and open Kofax Mobile Capture Platform, organizations can rapidly integrate powerful mobile engagement solutions across the spectrum of mobile image capture, mobile data capture and complete mobile process integration. Kofax differentiates itself by extending capture to mobility, supporting multiple points of constituent engagement. Kofax solutions dynamically orchestrate the user’s mobile experience from a single platform—reducing time to market, improving process perf
Public Safety 2019
Motorola conducted an industry survey on the latest trends in public safety communications. The results provide an outlook of what technology is in store for your agency in the next five years. Download the results to gain this valuable insight.
View All

Featured Papers