1.1 BACKROUND OF THE STUDY
Technology nowadays has played a major role in the success of business and helping business to become more competitive in the industry as well as in the economy. Having a broad understanding and a responsible knowledge of information technology and its role in the new economy enables the business to be successful and reach its goals effectively and efficiently.
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Since the use of manual system on billing is very time consuming, it is usually done and used only by extremely small establishments. This is where the introduction of computer technology integrated with manual procedures started in businesses. This system will deal with the company billings and also keeps a record of stocks. It is not only highly accurate but also saves much time and money over the long term. The main advantages of a computerized billing and accounting system is fast and accurate invoices, credit notes, purchased orders, printing statements and payroll documents are all done automatically. The accounting records are automatically updated; the data is instantly available and can be made available to different users in different locations at the same time. Computerized accounting programs reduce staff time doing accounts and reduce audit expenses as records are neat, up-to-date and accurate. Billing system can give the company and its clients all of the required data that they will need for items related to billing.
The major advantage of having billing system in place is that they allow you to effectively manage customer payments. The Royal Residence Condominium is the third project of a proven and tested company, the BESTWAY Construction and Development Corporation, in the field of Real Estate Residential Development. The project was conceptualized to offer an innovative property investment opportunity and set a benchmark in making upscale residence-service provider, a lucrative business. The project was completed in a period of one year, from the ground breaking in September 2010 to receiving its Certificate of Occupancy in September 2011. The Royal Residence Condominium has been established to meet the growing need for convenient, safe and wholesome residence-provider and as a second home to qualified university and college students, board reviewees, and young professionals in the metro City of Baguio.
The Royal Condominium is a 7-storey building with 4 commercial units (canteen, mini-mart and stock bar, laundry shop and salon spa) and 12 condominium residential dormitory units. Each unit consists of 12 condotel-like rooms. The Royal Condominium is located along Rimando Road, Aurora Hill- Trancoville, Baguio City.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The study aims to design a computerized registration and billing system for Royal Condominiums. The proposed system will minimize, if not, eliminate the existing problems the company encounters with regards to the registration and billing system. The minimization and or elimination of the existing problems would then make the information more effective, efficient and reliable. It will also facilitate an organized billing system for the user through the implementation of a computer – based information system that can help in the organization’s operations to become more efficient and reliable. The study aims to answer the following questions:
1.2.1 What are the hardware to be used in the billing and registration system?
1.2.2 What are the processes involved in the said system?
1.2.3 How to incorporate the billing and registration system in the existing setup of the company
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.3.1 To identify the hardware to be used in the billing and registration system.
1.3.2 To enumerate the processes involved in the billing and registration system.
1.3.3 To know how the billing and registration system be incorporated in the existing set-up of the company.
1.4 IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
The researchers have conducted a study about the application of a Front Office System (FOS) with regards to Billing and Registration to Royal Dormitory and Condominium since there is no existing Information System (IS) yet. Manual transactions of more or less 200 tenants have given rise to problems in processing records. In line with this, this study of application of a FOS will provide an appropriate solution. It will give a faster recording transaction and more accurate records to improve the business process. A shift from manual transaction to an automated one will benefit both the business and the residents for both greater satisfaction and comfort. Being a student is never easy. But this study will make the researchers more patient and prepare them to the fast approaching business world. As students, it will help the researchers be knowledgeable in the operation of a business. Since they are yet to be businesswomen, it is a stepping stone to professionalism. To other researchers, this will serve as a guide and a motivation. Hardships had been a deposit but success is always priceless, indeed.
1.5 SCOPE AND DELIMITATION
The research was conducted to be able to give solutions to the problems being encountered by the Royal Residence Condominium-Dormitory. Conducting such research requires a deeper understanding the problems of the business entity. The research covers the problem of the said business entity with regards to their registration and billing system. The researchers proposed an Information system – Registration and Billing System – which can help the entity to lessen errors when it comes to recording transactions among their tenants (College students, reviewers, transients and others) because the entity does not have an existing information system. The proposed system would then require less processes and human errors with the desired output of the entity. More or less 200 tenants occupy the said entity in which it composes of men and women of with different age brackets. Tenants of the dormitory came from different provinces who are usually college students.
The said entity is near universities and also near different business establishments which gave interest to customers to live to the Royal Dormitory and Condominiums. Before the research started, researchers scheduled interviews which were used by the researchers to create a proposed system by conducting an interview with the owner/manager which have great control over the registration and billing system of the company. With the help of the information given by the owner/manager of the entity, researchers were able to understand the main problem of their entity and be able to propose an appropriate Information System with regards to the problem. The researchers collected the needed data and information for their proposal. After gathering such information, problems being encountered by Royal Dormitory and Condominiums were determined and possible solutions were planned. However, different problems may also arise especially if the proposed system of the researches will be effective or might add more errors with regards to the records of the business entity which composes of payment of rent, electric bills, food, violations, and others.
The management must make sure that the staff or employee who will control or operate the proposed Information System must have knowledge and be able to know how to handle if ever he/she encounters problem with the system. The proposed system does not cover losses and damages with regards to personal things, money, or gadgets inside the condominium. It only covers the organizing or recording different transactions which are registration of each tenant, their monthly payments of rents or violations and billings of each tenant. The researchers limited the research with these processes to be able to focus on a certain problem which the entity needs at the present. First month of using the information system may result to confusion on how it works and it might also have positive impact with the management and also with the tenants. We cannot also deny the fact that the proposed Information System may arise different problems but as much as possible avoid them. The said research will take five months to finish and be able to help the entity solve their problems and the proposed system has a useful life of 3 years.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Billing System – It is a combination of software and hardware that receives call detail and service usage information, groups this information for specific accounts or customers, produces invoices, creates reports for management, and records (posts) payments made to customer accounts. Information System – It consists of a collection of people, processes, data, models, technology and partly formalized language, forming a cohesive structure which serves some organizational purpose or function. Registration System – it is a system that allows registrars to make changes to the database in real time.
Anonymous. (2012). Management snformation systems (MIS). p 3 Billing system. (2009). Billing dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.billingdictionary.com/ Glossary. (2009 – 2013). European Identity. Retreived from http://www.eurid.eu/en/
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Online Registration System
Another study is the “Online Registration System” which was conducted by Al-Shaikh in Jordan. According to Al-Shaikh, the problem is the difficulty to register and manage the data of more than 15,000 students who are taking their exams in the universities using the conventional manual system. Using this system, it is hard to communicate between the colleges and the unit that is responsible for the examination of the students. The gathered data can be inaccurate and the fact that not all the colleges fill their students’ data properly or correctly and data storage might be susceptible to corruption at any time. In his study, the proposed system is the Online-Registration system but it is just a sub-system of Web Portal. Web Portal is defined as a system that presents information from diverse sources in a unified way.
The proposed system is a 3-Tier web-based. 3-Tier Architecture is a Client/Server Architecture. In registration system, as a result, after entering the student data to the system, user can have the confirmation to assure the students was enrolled into the exam and the exam receipt to be given to the student. For the reporting subsystem, it will be easily know how many students applied for the exam and the fees required for each student. Last is the repository subsystem where the user can download the files necessary to manage the activities. Computerized Billing for Time Improves Client Communication and Firm Profitability
As cited in the article entitled “Computerized Billing for Time Improves Client Communication and Firm Profitability” by Murphy (1996), he stated that, accounting firms can improve their profitability and relation with clients by automating client billing with computers. Accounting firms can use personal computer as an economical means of computerizing the billing process.
A Computerized Billing System allows accounting firms to more effectively manage their employee’s productivity and give them the means to analyse the hours available and hours billed of each employee. A Computerized Billing System provides more control over accounts receivable and client work processes. Computer in Today’s World Philippines
According to the article entitled, “Computer In Today’s World Philippines” by Bitter (1995), stated that the function performed by the computer division of various organizations has become identified as data processing program expedite many business functions such as the accounts payable system. They keep records of vendor’s number, special accounts and dates of payments.
There are many advantages in using an accounts payable package: all information remains in one done automatically; calculations are easily made; the time involved to do work is greatly reduced. Information to Computer and Information System
According to the article entitled “Information to Computer and Information System” by Syzmanski (1998), Computers are used in business for many tasks that can be grouped into category called data processing. Data processing includes tasks such as word processing, billing, and assembling number and facts associated with general office functions, such as order processing, inventory and billing.
A research about Billing System was conducted by various students from International School of Informatics and Management in Jaipur. This study, therefore, is closely-related to our topic which is Billing and Registration System. According to their case study, there are several problems with the existing system the business uses that must be worked on and improved. That’s why they decided to make and propose some solutions for the said system. The researchers – Anil Kumar Anjana, Bhaiya Lal Anjana, and Saurabh Jai – figured out that time (to retrieve and store data) is a common problem with the existing system the company uses. The system also requires a lot of paper works and even a small transaction requires many papers to be filled. Thus, any fortuitous event (such as fire and such) can easily destroy all the data of the organization.
A loss of even a single paper or a document can lead to a burdensome situation for the business, because all of the papers are interrelated. Another problem states that the data cannot be shared or utilized by different persons at the same time. Actual movement of the data must be done in order to make it usable by several persons at any time. To sum it all up, these problems should be solved by altering or improving its processes. Time is always of the essence, and it is very important in businesses. Just by the mere identification and analysis of the problems being showed in the existing system, it would cost the business itself MORE once these are not solved.
They also conducted a feasibility study with regards to their proposed system. They considered the technical, behavioural, and economic feasibilities of the study. They identified things from software to the hardware that the system might be using once it is implemented. In terms of behavioral feasibility, they studied or evaluated the behavior of the end users of the system which may affect the system’s implementation. Some people are resistant to changes. So, a good estimate should be made on how strong a reaction the user staff is likely to have towards the development of a computerized system. As the aim of the system is only to satisfy the information needs, no employees will lose their position by the proposed system. In fact, the proposed system will help the organization in reducing the voluminous work involved.
With the economic feasibility involved, the procedure is to determine the benefits/advantages and savings that are expected from the system and compare it with the costs to be generated once implemented. If the benefits outweigh costs, such as manpower and hardware and software costs, then it is said to be that the system is approved and ready to be designed and implemented. But, if otherwise happens, wherein costs are greater that the benefits, further alterations should be made in order to make the proposed system a better one. Design and Implementation of Accounting Models for Services in Agent-Based Information Systems According to Rupert Rockinger and Hubert Baumeister, the fast growing field of electronic commerce brings today’s applications to their limits. Information systems are now being used to further automate the processes. A fully automated process can also help busy users who want to spend as little time as possible with a single transaction. A system capable of accounting can return the needed product without requiring any further attention by the user. In the study of Rockinger and Baumeister the design and implementation of the basic agent framework billing system (BABSy) is described. It includes an overview about payment models in everyday life, parts of the system that are already being used today, and where BABSy takes its place in this context, and describes the architecture of BABSy and its implementation using the FollowMe framework.
The term ’service’ is used in the study instead of merchandise since in the electronic world goods are often virtual. Buying information for example can be considered the service of supplying this data. With all the benefits of agent technology in mind, one would expect that there are many solutions available for accounting in commercial agent frameworks. This, however, is not the case at this time. Mostly this is due to the fact that agents cover only a certain aspect of the behavior model. To identify the participating agents let’s take a look at a conventional transaction. Say, for example, you buy a meal at your favorite restaurant. Two parties are obvious: you, the paying customer, and the selling restaurant owner. The third party in the interaction is a banking service that provides the guarantee for the payment used. When paying cash this is the central bank of a country that guarantees the value of your bank notes; for credit card payment this is the credit card company; and when paying by check this will be bank that issued the check. Either way there is always a third party involved that both others must recognize and trust. So within the agent framework three independent components are needed.
One for the provider, one for the customer and a third that represents a banking service. In this paper the design of the accounting system BABSy for services in an agent community was presented. This can greatly improve the value of electronic commerce applications in the future.The design of the BABSy core components covers the most important payment models while still leaving room for further functionality. Most components can be extended for much greater complexity if desired.
Online Bill Payment 2.0
Digital financial transactions have caused the increase in consumer convenience and its ease of use that was evidenced by a Consumer Trends Survey conducted by Fisherv Inc. in 2011. Despite the former, e-billing and e-statement users reduced bad debt by 50 percent and at the same time has reduced the reconciliation costs by 40 percent. Electronic billing also has reduced the use of paper, meaning no postage and no wastes. Another upgrade in the digital financial transactions is the personalization of online payment. In one study, payments increased more than 350 percent payments were made with personalized tools compared to other Web-based payment systems (source: confidential client data). According to Mark Snow, the main reason why personalized online billing is more effective than that of the others is the intrigue it creates in the minds of the users. The moment they see that personalized link to access their own website, curiosity kicks in and they want to see more.
The ease of access and the convenience that regular online billing providers are doubled by the personalization of the existing systems by directly integrating the billing and payment system to the provider’s account that increases efficiency and reduces the time is called the consuming manual payment processing. He also cited in the article the steps taken in the personalized online payment which starts by sending a personal notification that directly goes to the patient via letter or email. In that letter, there would be an existing link and password that would lead them to the patient’s personal website where the existing personal information and the services the patient has undergone. In the said link, the patient can already pay their bills via credit card, debit card, or ACH on their account and can even update their personal information. And with just one click of a button, their payment is processed, confirmation of payment is sent to both the provider and the patient, and the money is already deposited into the provider’s account.
Al-Shaikh, A. M. (n.d.) Online registration system. Retreive from www.cscjournals.org Anjana, A.K., Anjana, B. L., & Jain, S. (n.d.) Billing system. International school of informatics and management. Jaipur. Snow, M. (2012). Online bill payment 2.0. Health Management Technology, 33(10), 18-19. Bitter, Gary G. (1995). Computer in Today’s World Philippine. The McMillan Com. Smith, Murphy L. (1996). Computerized billing for time improves client communication and firm profitability. (Management of an accounting practice) the CPA journal Syzmanski, Robert A. (1998). Introduction to computer and information systems. merrill publishing co. R. Rockinger. (1999). Design and implementation of accounting models for services in agent-based information systems. Master’s thesis. Institut f¨ur Informatik. Universit¨at M¨unchen, M¨unchen. Germany.
3.1 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Quantitative research methodology was used for this study. Quantitative research is a formal, objective, and systematic process. In situations where little is known, like in the case of Royal Residence Condominium-Dormitory, quantitative method was used in conducting the interviews, to focus groups, and others. Data based on the interview were used by the researchers to find out problems of the existing system used by the said company. Once the problem has been identified by the researchers, then, the quantitative approach will be used to measure to what extent this problem may have to the company and its customers. The said method also aims to answer questions with regards to the “how many”, and “how much” of a problem.
3.2 RESEARCH TOOLS
The researchers interviewed the marketing officer from the accounting office of the Royal Residence Condominium-Dormitory. Researchers asked for the information about the company and the existing system the company is currently using and other relevant information that are useful to the study. The actual interview was recorded by the researchers.
It has been observed that the administration keeps a lot of paper files. In addition, manual transaction is very evident. These caused problems, and in effect, the researchers proposed the Registration and Billing System. Journals
The researchers used some published journals and other related research papers for reference and for comparability purposes.
3.3 EXISTING SYSTEM
Currently, the Royal Residence is utilizing the Microsoft Excel as its system. This software is a spread sheet application developed by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language. Using excel, the company is able to keep a record of its tenants. One unit has its own excel file where every tenant has his/her own worksheet where his/her amount due can be found. In that worksheet, the utilities payable of the tenant and even the other payables like penalties/ interest are already computed just by entering the formula. Since the system can perform the calculation, the company can determine the total amount due of each tenant by using the functions of excel. In this system, the company still performs the manual input.
3.4 PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED WITH THE EXISTING SYSTEM
During the interview session with Miss Maria Vilma T. Lerpido, Marketing Officer from the Accounting Management of The Royal Residence Condominium-Dormitory, we asked her if they have been facing some problems with the registration and billing system they are using in the business. And as evidenced by the interview we conducted and through our observation, we have figured out some complications with the system.
As for the royal residence condominium-dormitory, time is one of the problems they are encountering with their system. We could say that it is time-consuming because manual input of data is being practiced. In addition to this, we, the researchers, have noticed that the records of the tenants in each unit in their condominium-dormitory are being individually filed in excel. Each excel file contains the records of the each tenant in different worksheets. One file is equivalent to one unit, with several rooms, in the condominium-dormitory wherein it contains its corresponding tenants’ records. The file consists of the tenants’ payment dues – from the monthly rental up to the electric and water bills a tenant has incurred.
Computation of the penalty dues and other expenses by the tenant is being performed by the Microsoft Excel itself. Thus, once an authorized personnel looks for a tenant’s records, it would take time for him searching the name from the list of the documents saved in the computer. So, what if all of the tenants – more or less 200 – would pay their dues at the same time, would the staff do the computations that fast and easy considering that s/he will be accommodating numbers of customers in just a short period of time? The system must be developed to improve its performance, less cost, less pressure, and with that, the personnel can just simply look for the records with the already-computed charges, then, it can already be printed as a physical evidence of the tenant’s accounts.
RESULTS AND FINDINGS
4.1 PROPOSED SYSTEM
One of the advantages of the system is that, it is time saving. It is created in order to save time creating and sending invoices. It has low mistake risks, secured from typographical errors, miscalculations, and erroneous invoicing to the customer. Another is it provides a lot of different features. You can adapt billing program to yourself considering specifics of your business. For example you can define when, to whom, and how often you want to send recurring invoices. It is a cost effective way to protect a record through a centralized application process. Renewal and subsequent changes concerning ownership details can also be handled using this centralized process. And registration ensures a single, consistent approach to monitoring quality service. It gives confidence that all tenants have achieved the same essential levels of safety. For the disadvantages of the system, Registration and Billing System would be costly. A small business may not afford this. If in case it can purchase, return of investment would take longer. Purchasing this system is a costly investment.
Sometimes, the money paid could be used to other greater income generating investments, with higher assurance of return. When the system is implemented, there will be a reduction of labor force. There will be less job opportunities for human resource. And in some instances, the labor force would be too dependent with the system, and considering that the system is not 100 % guaranteed free from error. When the labor force doesn’t personally check the entered information, an overstatement or understatement of accounts may happen. Though, this is one-in-a-million case, the system still possesses accuracy. The system still follows the input data. Once they are mistakenly done, the system will also provide an incorrect output. For example, when the tenant/administration entered a wrong tenant number for a specific payment, then the system will follow what was entered. It cannot detect such an error.
The system is restricted to cash payment only. Credit cards and bank transactions are not involved.
4.2 DATA FLOW DIAGRAM
4.2.1 CONTEXT DIAGRAM
Registration and Billing System consists three entities – tenant, administration, and accounting. In this system, it starts with the tenant entity wherein it gives details that are needed by other entities. Once the tenant gives those details, the system will work on it in order to produce outputs from the entities in the said system.
4.2.2 DIAGRAM 0
Diagram 0 is a confounded version of the context diagram that shows the major processes done in the system. The start of these processes is to classify the old and new tenants. If tenants are new, a new profile is created, saved in a data store, and the tenant details are used by the system to proceed to the next processes – create statement, apply payment, and lastly, create reports needed by the administration and accounting entities. On the other hand, once old tenants are sorted, processes would already follow (same with the preceding processes with a new tenant)
184.108.40.206 DIAGRAM 1
Process 3 of Diagram 1 revealed three further internal processes – find tenant records (3.1), classify dues (3.2), and compute payment due (3.3). The processes are related to payments – past dues, city services, and rent payments. They have to produce statement of accounts to tenants and invoice details to accounting entity, and the cycle continues.
220.127.116.11 DIAGRAM 1
Process 4 of Diagram 1 revealed three further processes – record payment (4.1), create cash receipts (4.2), and update account (4.3). They produced and updated accounts to the involved entities, tenant and accounting, respectively.
4.3 DATA DICTIONARY
Description: One that pays rent to use or occupy land, a building, or other property owned by another. Input Data Flow: Statement of account, Cash receipts, Tenant code Output Data Flow: Personal details, Payment details
Description: A body of persons who manage.
Input Data Flow: Tenant Profile, Report Details
Output Data Flow: Tenant Number
Description: The system of recording and summarizing business and financial transaction and analyzing, verifying, and reporting the results. Input Data Flow: Invoice Details, Tenant Accounts, Updated Accounts Output Data Flow: Financial Statement
SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATION, AND CONCLUSION
This project involves information system specifically, registration and billing system. The goal is to make the registration and billing of Royal Residence Condominium-Dormitory easier and more accurate. This has been done by improving their existing system through automation of the said activities. Before, their registration and billing system is manually-operated and it is time-consuming. The research covers the problem of the said business entity with regards to their registration and billing system which can help the entity to lessen errors when it comes to recording transactions among their tenants (College students, reviewers, transients and others) because the entity does not have an existing information system. The proposed system would then require less processes and human errors with the desired output of the entity.
Registration and Billing System is effective. However, some recommendations are advised. The researchers recommend further study of the system. It is believed that longer period of research would provide more information that would let users maximize the ability of the system. It is also recommended that the visual presentation of the system be improved. For validity purposes, a good visual presentation would let the users input the correct data. This will reduce human error. The system covers only the registration of the tenants themselves. Registration of all belongings, particularly those gadgets and appliances, is therefore recommended for safety purposes. In addition, the system is limited to cash payment only. As a result, the researchers recommend that credit and bank transactions be included. The researchers also recommend making an assessment of the tenant’s point of view about the system. It is important to acknowledge this since Royal Residence exists because of them.
This study aimed at improving the existing system of Royal. The results of this study indicated both positive results and negative results. It can be concluded that the findings were consistent with their results. Furthermore, this study found that the registration and billing system helped the administration and accounting department for the safe keeping of their documents. In addition, the study also revealed some obstacles that the entity had to face when they applied the system. These obstacles may be summarized as costly, labor force will be lessened and it is not free from human error. However, in the long run, the system is more preferred. This is supported by the earlier findings. To sum it up, elimination of manual transactions benefited the company. The proposed system made transactions faster and more accurate. It is far more advantageous when compared to manual transaction and the existing system by the business-Excel. Thus, introduction of Registration and Billings System is effective and yield the
expected positive results.