Positive Trends in Debt Management

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1 Positive Trends in Debt Management Ted London, Executive Consultant, CGI-AMS August 16, 2006 Introduction Taxpayers are getting more sophisticated Private sector collection operations are getting more sophisticated State accounts receivable levels continue to rise Conclusion: Tax and Revenue Collection Programs must evolve and adapt new strategies just to keep pace The good news is that many good ideas are already available on the marketplace 2 1

2 Evolution of Debt Collection Strategies Over Time Operational Performance Mainframe billings Paper files Initial automated case management tools Predictive dialers (Efficiency gains) Enhanced Case Management tools Use of decision analytics (Efficiency and Effectiveness gains) Enhanced workflow based on data analysis More effective use of third-parties Additional payment options (Efficiency and Effectiveness gains) 1970 (and before) Beyond - 3 Debt Collection Advances in the 1970 s and Early 1980 s Beginning to explore of the use Automated Technologies Mainframe systems generating Bills Significant manual processes to clean-up cases Hardcopy lists of debtors distributed to collectors Large paper files Paper calendars or stickers on files used for follow-up dates Manual monitoring of payment agreements Most collections done in a field setting 4 2

3 Debt Collection Advances in the 1980 s and Early 1990 s Expanded automation beyond billing Automated tickler systems Automated systems to record and monitor payment agreements Usage of outside collection agencies Significant manual intervention Begin of movement from field to office settings 5 Debt Collection Advances in the 1990 s through 2006 Dramatic improvements to collections effectiveness Usage of call centers Usage of the Federal Treasury Offset Program (TOP) Some automated capture of levy sources Electronic Funds transfer for payment agreements Usage of decision analytics for case scoring Increased usage of private sector collections agencies 6 3

4 CGI-AMS Industry Review In the Fall of 2005, CGI-AMS reviewed the operations of ten different collection organizations Examined many aspects of their operations Risk management Collections processes Payment options Collections tools Management reports Benchmarked various aspects of their operations Identified best practices Significant Overlap: Identified many positive trends in debt collections 7 Organizational Comparison Organization Make-up State/Provincial Tax Agencies: 6 Federal Tax Agencies: 2 Private Sector Operations: 2 Organization Staffing 800 to more than 50,000 Collections Staffing 100 to more than 3,

5 CGI-AMS Direct Operational Reviews CGI-AMS has conducted collections operational reviews in a number of jurisdictions during the past 12 months Identify current best practices Benchmark practices against comparable agencies Review operation Estimate revenue opportunities 9 Impact So what Why do I care Increases in revenue are available: over $1 Billion realized from 5 projects in particular Constant demand for More, More, More: Taxpayers Complex taxpayer situations Competition for wallet share Constant demand for Less, Less, Less Staffing resources Intrusion of taxpayers 10 5

6 Positive Trends Summary Risk Management Collections case management tools Changes in Business Processes Payment Options More effective use of private collection agencies 11 Risk Management 6

7 Timing Collection Actions Based on Risk Scores Delayed collection actions for low risk taxpayers Number and timing of notices altered based on risk scores Less efforts on accounts unlikely to ever pay Faster assignment to Outside Collection Agencies Faster actions for cases needing collection actions Risk models are integrated with case management workflow 13 Prioritization of Inventory Based on Statistical Models Movement from Treating all taxpayers the same to Treating all similar taxpayers the same Use of yield instead of strictly dollar amount Order cases for phone call based on risk score Alter rates paid to PCA s based on risk scores Assignment to staff based on risk score 14 7

8 Collections Case Management Tools Usage of Mature Collections Case Management Systems A number of departments are refreshing (or planning to refresh) systems which are 8-15 years old Key features: Table-driven, flexible workflow Retention of outbound correspondence Automation of skip-tracing and asset searches Automation of involuntary collection actions Integration with risk management 16 8

9 Self-Service Payment Agreements Implemented through both the Internet and touchtone telephone Agreements within business parameters Often require EFT Low default rate Staff able to work other cases 17 Usage of Sophisticated Call Centers and Technology Telephony technology is providing more flexible options for organizations Decentralized centers at multiple locations Home-based users VoIP to decrease costs Predictive dialers continue to provide reduced costs for large scale outbound call operations Centralized (or logically centralized) call centers also reduce the cost of supporting the taxpayer 18 9

10 Automation of Involuntary Collection Actions Automated verification of current condition Automated initiation of actions based on workflow Reduction in manual efforts Department must ensure they can respond to phone calls Automated monitoring of cases previously deemed uncollectable for new asset sources 19 Automated Asset Gathering Government typically has many ways to gather asset information for free Other agencies Data supplied to government Historically gathering asset information has been manual Agencies are now capturing asset information directly from remittance equipment Through automated asset gathering and advanced workflow, cases can be automatically prioritized based on available asset information 20 10

11 Changes in Business Processes Strong Customer Service and Robust Compliance Processes are not Mutually Exclusive 7-10 years ago customer service was a key trend Many organizations were so focused on customer service that compliance rates fell However, appropriate customer service can in fact increase both shortterm collections, and long-term compliance rates Customer service from a compliance perspective: Proactive education for new customers Timely actions and follow-up on cases Fair, equitable and courteous treatment 22 11

12 Focus on Return On Investment (ROI) Different actions and treatment paths produce different returns Agencies typically do not have sufficient resources to work all cases Through analysis and planning resources can be re-directed to the programs with the highest ROI This data can be used to convince Legislatures to allocate additional resources 23 Increased Usage of Phone Collections Instead of Field Actions Typical collectors can make phone calls in a day versus field visits in a day More tools are now available from a desk setting Asset searches Skip tracing (including free Internetbased searches) Some field visits will continue to be needed Field visits can indirectly improve voluntary compliance Certain actions can only be done in the field The key is to find the right mix to maximize short-term and long-term ROI 24 12

13 Payment Options Increased Payment Options Electronic Funds Transfer Credit/Debit Cards Government only Increased usage of electronic payments over paper checks 26 13

14 Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for Payment Agreements Direct Debit Proven to reduce default rates Less expensive to handle EFT Mandatory for some agencies 27 More Effective Use of Private Collection Agencies 14

15 Timing of Case Assignment Usage of PCA s will continue because Government is unlikely to fund all viable State positions Reviewing portfolio for cases best assigned to a PCA Alter timing of assignment based on case characteristics Use of primary and secondary placements Review performance results and updating placement criteria Determine which types of cases each PCA works well 29 Commission Rates Utilize different rates to maximize value and ROI Lowest Rate is generally not best Requiring a minimum level of performance Use risk scores to vary commission rates Provide upside on rates for higher collection rates 30 15

16 PCA Contracting Multiple PCA s who compete with each other Change percentage of cases going to each PCA each month Terminate contracts for low levels of performance Ability to add and divide work to new PCA s over time Primary and secondary placements 31 Where is the direction of collections tools and processes? 32 16

17 What will the future bring? Technology Balancing the cost of technology with the amount of revenue increases Integrated Tax System vs. Tailored Collections Solution Collections Case Management as part of a Service Oriented Architecture Statistical models that automatically refine collection strategies 33 What will the future bring? Processes Increased access to taxpayer information More use of Electronic Payments More payments through upfront withholding to reduce collections issues Less reliance on non-filer processes More proactive contacts More automated assessments 34 17

18 What will the future bring? Organizationally Sharing between Government Agencies Debts, Data, Systems More use of targeted staff augmentation More two-way offsets between agencies More Government issued licenses tied to tax compliance 35 Contact Information Ted London Executive Consultant Tax and Revenue Specialist CGI-AMS (916)

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