Utility Finance Specialist

Town of Surf City, NC 28445

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Position Description

The Utility Finance Specialist performs complex advanced technical and professional administrative work leading, planning, organizing, and managing the public utility business operations for water and sewer customer relationship management of the Finance department.

Duties and Responsibilities:

These duties and responsibilities are not intended to be all-inclusive. The employee may perform other related duties as negotiated to meet the ongoing needs of the Town.

• Work includes the supervision and coordination of the day-to-day financial activities for the Water and Sewer Finance Department, including customer service, collections, metering, water and sewer capital project accounting;
• Provide effective leadership to manage customer relations, billing and collection business operations for the Town of Surf City with the goal to achieve optimal performance and continuity of service levels, ensure excellent customer service and interdepartmental cooperation, and maximize technological advances in a rapidly changing business environment;
• Serves as a division leader, providing oversight, assignment of tasks, technical guidance and training to utility staff in relation to work orders and other streamlining processes, along with the interdepartmental facilitation of the management of the utility operations;
• Manage business processes with accuracy in customer information system applications, interfacing applications, and upgrades which requires detailed analysis, critical thinking skills, planning and coordination;
• Ensure workforce is adequately trained on software applications and business processes for maximum performance and continuity of service levels;
• Manage phone tree messaging system to ensure professional and streamlined communications to citizens and utility customer base;
• Prepare and analyze detailed financial reports and utility metrics, and interface with auditors;
• Conduct and collaborate on internal operation audit studies for various business processing, including reporting the results of procedural analysis and making recommendations for improvement in processes and related workflow controls;
• Communicate with Town Manager and other departments to assist staff with compliance with policies, internal controls, accounting principles, and other regulatory requirements;
• Ensure privacy rules and PCI compliance;
• Oversee and update customer service policies, procedures, and manuals;
• Troubleshoot, research and resolve complex business processing issues within the department;
• Serve as leadership liaison to multiple utility operation departments to facilitate interdepartmental cooperation for quality control and workflow resolution;
• Serve as leadership liaison to Town Manager and IT departments for effective use, integration, evaluation, and testing of customer information system/e‐commerce/communication/technology enhancement and software upgrades;
• Maintains FOG (Fats Oils & Grease) and RPZ program and information as it relates to utility accounts; coordinates & assists Public Works with these programs as needed;
• Serve as leadership liaison to Town Manager for auditing and internal control requirements;
• Serve as leadership liaison with Town Manager and utility staff preparing for and during emergency operations including communications, outage management and coordinating services;
• Respond to inquiries and complex issues from Town officials and the general public exhibiting extraordinary professionalism, communication and customer service techniques;
• Present information to Town Council as necessary;
• Manages the departmental functions for Utilities including billing, FTP transfers, work order creation, payment entry, customer information and data, account set-ups and disconnects, set-up of monthly meter reading equipment (Itron and MVRS), remote deposits, and any necessary reporting or notice distributions.
• Transmits bank files to the bank for ACH drafting.
• Researches billing issues and prepares written correspondence to customers.
• Analyzes customers’ accounts, monitors extended payment agreements, researches and corrects billing issues, and responds to service requests.
• Provides administrative support by answering the phone, screening and referring callers, locating and providing information to citizens, maintaining the department filing system, typing, printing, faxing, distributing departmental correspondence, distributing mail, and maintaining records.
• Provides general assistance to citizens visiting Town Hall by responding to inquiries or directing citizens to the proper department.
• Performs other duties of a similar nature or level.


Education and Experience:
High School Diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and one (1) year of customer service, billing, or similar experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job such as those listed above.

Licenses and Professional Certifications :
• NC Driver License

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Thorough knowledge of customer relationship management in the public utility industry; accepting utility payments, credit, and collections in an e‐commerce environment; meter readings, billing and adjustment procedures; and customer communications including utility notifications, phone tree messaging, website and social media;
• Ability to organize the workflow and coordinate activities; knowledge of effective supervisory and motivational practices;
• Ability to attend work regularly with a strong work ethic; exhibit exceptional initiative, dependability and the resolve to lead and manage operations in a fast-paced and rapidly changing work environment;
• Ability to collaborate, independently solve problems and initiate decisions within the scope of responsibilities, communicate, direct and implement effectively;
• Comprehensive technological skills and knowledge of electronic correspondence, word processing, spreadsheet, and highly technical department specific software applications;
• Thorough knowledge of federal and state laws, Town ordinances and procedures governing billing and collection of Town revenues;
• Thorough knowledge of privacy rules including, but not limited to, Red Flag Rules and Payment Card Industry Standards (PCI compliance);
• Thorough knowledge of utility outage system tracking and reporting;
• Ability to test software interfaces, upgrades and verify data for accuracy in automatic meter reading (AMR), online payments (WIPP), and financial software utility billing and collections modules (MCSJ), and all associated highly technical managerial and interfacing software applications in the daily business operations;
• Excellent proactive verbal and written communication skills including professional digital and written communication; ability to communicate technical ideas effectively, both orally and in writing, across a variety of audiences;
• Strong ability to comprehend and deal with a variety of complex records and transactions in an expedient and accurate manner;
• Critical thinking ability to perform detailed and accurate financial and data analyses; prepare and maintain multiple complex customer information systems and reporting;
• Ability to create and maintain the integrity of confidential files and electronic transactions;
• Ability to effectively plan, coordinate, and leverage financial, personnel and technological resources in business operations and project management;
• Ability to adjust to rapidly changing business environment and technologies, which requires continuing education and adaptation;
• Analytical ability and inductive reasoning to adapt policies, procedures, and methods to fit unusual and complex situations;
• General knowledge of governmental accounting procedures and fiscal management;
• Ability to establish and maintain extraordinary team-oriented working relationships with Town officials, supervisors, and associates;
• Ability to meet and deal courteously with the public, exhibiting extraordinary professionalism and customer service skills.

Working Conditions

Employee is subject to inside environmental conditions having the lighting, temperature, and noise of an open-floor-plan office environment.

Physical Requirements:
Work is performed within an office environment, primarily behind a desk, and frequently includes the operation of a computer. The employee must read and write, and interact with others in person, over the phone, and via other devices. The employee may move about within the facility to access file cabinets, documents, office machinery, and other equipment. This position typically requires fingering, grasping, feeling, talking, hearing, seeing, and repetitive motions. Work is predominantly sedentary, exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body.

Direct Reports: None