Many organizations have a workable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan in place. However, Environmental Social Governance (ESG) will be the new benchmark going forward to ensure that both your organization and brand stay relevant and socially acceptable. How does your organization get ready and stay ready for this very intricate and detailed reporting that is required for electric, gas, and water consumption?
A nationwide retailer with over 1,600 locations has required reporting for the electric, gas and water consumption for each one of their locations. The information required must be gathered from the monthly invoices. The time to gather this information manually would have taken over 800 hours which would have involved someone reviewing each invoice for each month and contacting the vendor for the necessary information that was missing from the invoice.
Issues to Resolve
- Time constraints – the reporting is needed during the 1st quarter of the year for the previous year
- Personnel constraints – The Accounts Payable team did not have time which required temporary staff to be hired
- Knowledge Gap – the vendor’s invoices vary from vendor to vendor so being able to read an electric, gas, or water invoice was necessary to get the work completed timely
- Invoice Availability – the invoices for a portion of the required review had been moved off-site and had to be recalled for this review.
Identifying the requirements early in the relationship with RadiusPoint and this client created the perfect opportunity for this client to have the required reporting in advance of the need. RadiusPoint provides the monthly utility expense management services for each of the 1,600 locations from receipt of the invoice to the bill pay portion of the process. This utility expense management also involves energy expense management that identifies the usage in kWh, therms, and gallons to create more detailed reporting. Using the information that was already being gathered from the invoices and adding the additional required information, RadiusPoint was able to ensure that this client had the required reporting by location for each type of service.
The data usage that is needed from each invoice is compiled by the chosen ESG company that creates the client’s overall ESG report. Having this accurate data when it is needed was paramount to the client. The data is required during the first quarter of the next year for the previous year which puts a large burden on an already busy Accounts Payable department. RadiusPoint was able to pull together the reporting and provided an ongoing report solution so that the following year, the report would be completed by the last week of January for the entire previous year. This solution allows the RadiusPoint team to review the data and add any missing components on a monthly basis to ensure that all data is reported for the year by the beginning of the following year. This solution alone eliminated the normal delays of trying to identify who would be pulling together this information and when it would be provided.
Once the client looked at hiring temporary staff to pull the additional required data from the invoice, it was determined that this project would involve over 800 man-hours for the 1,600 locations. RadiusPoint’s solution provided most of the required usage data and the RadiusPoint team was able to go through and identify the missing information quickly to populate as required.
Utility invoices are not easily deciphered and having staff to read the invoices and gather the necessary data was a stumbling block for this client. Trying to find the staff that could perform this data gathering task that was knowledgeable about the electric, gas and water services was problematic. RadiusPoint’s team has an ESG department with knowledgeable personnel that easily filled this knowledge and personnel gap for the client.
Having the invoices on hand presented a problem for this client but it was one that was easily resolved by RadiusPoint. All invoices processed by RadiusPoint are electronically attached to the account number and the digital image is saved for up to seven (7) years. Reviewing past invoices was made easy with the information readily available at the click of a mouse.
Most ESG programs make provisions for reducing the cost of those services, but the “how” to achieve these cost reductions can be hard to predict. Measuring consumption is the first step in the right direction to reducing usage and monthly costs. The monthly ESG management services allow for the client to see the usage information on a monthly basis which in turn allows for necessary pivots that could result in a reduction of usage.
RadiusPoint’s monthly invoice processing and expense management services manage the utility invoice from receipt to payment of the invoice. Utility and telecom auditing are also important parts of the monthly service that allows RadiusPoint to fully manage the entire lifecycle of the utility or telecom invoice and service. This client saved over $48k and received their detailed and required ESG reporting on time.