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BILLING & TARIFF DIVISION Functional Description

The experienced staff of the Billing & Tariff Division produces the invoices for the services performed by the various terminal and operational areas of VIT. The Billing & Tariff Division strives to provide a high level of support and service to internal and external customers while maximizing the revenue flow to VIT. The highly motivated and knowledgeable staff respond quickly to all customer inquiries. The division also maintains the rates and contracts used by VIT. VIT&s publicly filed tariffs are published in paper form as well as filed electronically in the Federal Maritime Commission’s A.T.F.I. systems using in-house developed technology.

A sophisticated custom Billing system permits the flexibility to quickly and easily accommodate the individual needs and requirements of the VIT customer base. The Billing & Tariff division is responsible for the archival and reporting of all revenue related supporting documentation. A new state-of-the-art document management and imaging system is utilized for the paperless retention and electronic representation of this documentation while offering the benefits of rapid retrieval and document security.


The Central Purchasing Division provides control and functional oversight of the purchasing and inventory processes and software systems. Central Purchasing is responsible for ensuring compliance with corporate policy and procedures and has as its main customers all other divisions within VIT. Corporate policy applies to all purchases and purchase-related documentation prepared and processed within the company. Central Purchasing has commitment authority for procurement, responsibility for obligating the company, and for making the final determination of supply sources, quantities purchased, delivery schedules, and price negotiations. Additionally, Central Purchasing is responsible for purchasing and inventory systems administration, company wide contracts, bulk purchases, office supplies, terminal supplies, safety supplies and general system control functions.


The Credit, Collections and Claims Division is staffed by seven individuals: four clerks who perform various functions, two claims investigators, one of which allocates a portion of their time handling collection matters, and a supervisor. The supervisor and part time claims investigator collect all of the revenues that are generated and billed to VIT customers. Customers accounts are assigned management responsibility based on size with the largest being directly administered by the supervisor. The average bad debt write-off during the last nine years has been an astonishing nine hundredths of one percent of all VIT revenues. Days Sales Outstanding have averaged less than two days over VIT’s established customer credit terms. Less than two percent of total outstanding customer receivables are over one hundred and twenty days old. A new document management and imaging system automates the process of generating and sending past due advises to customers each business day. The system determines which open invoices are past due, organizes them by age bucket and customer, prepares each advice as an image of the original invoice with additional advice date affixed, and automatically faxes them to customers.

Due to the fact that a great deal of effort is placed on the collection of the accounts, it is very rare that cargo, equipment or vessels are seized to effect payment. The composition of the accounts range from the largest steamship lines in the world to the smallest shipper. The division is also responsible for the investigation of all accidents that occur on the four terminal facilities operated by VIT. This includes damage to cargo, equipment and property. Resolution and settlement of claims are handled within the division, eliminating the need to utilize the court system.


The General Accounting Division of VIT consists of three sections: Bookkeeping, Accounts Payable and Disbursements, and Payroll. The Bookkeeping section is tasked with the perpetual reconciliation of accounting subsystems to the General Ledger, monthly and annual Financial Statement preparation, and tracking of miscellaneous receivable and liabilities. The Accounts Payable and Disbursements section is responsible for auditing of vendor accounts, and the corporate treasury function. Payroll is tasked with the processing, payment and reporting of union and staff wages and benefits, statutory payroll withholding compliance and governmental filing of wage information.


The Financial Systems function provides end-user support in each of the Accounting divisions for all Financial software applications and related procedures for usage. These applications include both mission critical host computer based financial applications which reside on central VIT minicomputers as well as PC based local area network decision support tools. Primary support functions include acting as liaison with the Information Systems department support programmers, financial systems analysis, and the procurement, development, maintenance and installation of both in-house and off the shelf financial software. Recurring Accounting related duties include generation of monthly financial and operational statistics and graphics, annual fiscal budget development, cost accounting, Accounting LAN support and maintenance, and end-user software training. Financial Systems has been key in the design and provision of decision support systems and data warehousing which provide strategic management information and flexible end-user reporting tools. Financial Systems performed analysis, design and implementation of the new VIT Electronic Document Management Systems which was deployed in 1996.

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