Q. Effective Billing: IFM and Billing Manager
Effective Billing: IFM & Billing Manager
What is it?
The ILL Fee Management (IFM) is a feature provided by OCLC to prevent unnecessary time and money spent on processing invoices. OCLC is capable of tracing each activity made between each library. With this resource, IFM immediately knows when to charge or credit the library’s OCLC account and streamlines the billing system. This financial feature can easily be activated on ILLiad by changing the payment method from your Constant Data’s max cost.
How does it help?
Once IFM is activated your OCLC account will automatically credit/charge for each request filled by/for your library. This will essentially reduce the extra time and costs spent on processing invoices. OCLC keeps a chart of the activities used with IFM, so it becomes easier to work or collect statistics for the department. By using IFM, you may relieve the accounting department from the extra workload and help to become more eco-friendly as well.
ILL Fee Management (IFM)
To activate IFM from within ILLiad:
Go to System tab and click into Resource Sharing Settings
Go to Constant Data tab and choose Default on the scroll down bar
Go to Max Cost section and choose IFM on the type scroll down bar
Of course, do not forget to save.
Below is a workflow diagram of billing without IFM
Compare that to a diagram of billing with IFM:
Although IFM is the most convenient billing option to choose, some institutions might not see the value of it. However, IFM is not the only option given to reduce the time given to paper invoices. ILLiad also has the Billing Manager, which needs to be activated from ILLiad Staff Manager. Unlike IFM, Billing Manager is used for organizing and saving invoices within a time period to be sent manually to other institutions in batches. This method still consumes less time and costs compared to processing paper invoices.
Atlas has produced great documentation for using the Billing Manager. To get started, check out the ILLiad documentation for Billing Manager Basics:
Billing Manager on a Shared Server
Contributed by Heather L. Brown, UNMC Library.
Price structure and invoices can be customized for libraries in the shared server environment. When the respective libraries have different fee structures, libraries can customize billing additions, defaults, service levels, etc. in the Customization Manager. The primary library can choose not to, but other libraries should preface the billing category with their NVTGC.
The key value for WebDefaultBillingCategory and LendingBillingDefaultCategory should be changed to reflect these differences in price structure.
After customizing your invoices, save them to the appropriate server folder and add your NVTGC to the file name (e.g. UNMBorrowingBillingManagerInvoice.doc). In the Customization Manager, go to Borrowing, then Billing, and then BillingMonthlyInvoiceBorrowing.
Next, go to Doc Del, then Billing, and then BillingMonthlyInvoiceDocDel.
Finally, go to Lending, then Billing, then BillingMonthlyInvoiceLending and change the Key Value to the appropriate file name.