How Boston Properties Leverages UBM to Streamline Bill Payment, Lower Administrative Costs, and Track Sustainability Progress

How Boston Properties Leverages UBM to Streamline Bill Payment, Lower Administrative Costs, and Track Sustainability Progress

Simple Invoice Processing

To simplify the process of paying its utility bills, BXP part­nered with Enel X and began using Utility Bill Management (UBM). With UBM, Enel X takes over all processing of BXP’s invoices, from bill receipt to payment. Enel X manages 10,000 annual utility bills for BXP across 939 active accounts.

Automatically Auditing for Accuracy

Enel X’s service not only handles the bills, it also provides audit and validation of line-item detail for each of BXP’s utility bills. If any errors are discovered, Enel X works directly with suppliers and utilities to resolve any issues, helping the company avoid unnecessary costs.

Centralized Data for Efficiency and Sustainability Reporting

Enel X’s platform also provides a central location to improve the quality and completeness of energy efficiency data for reporting to industry standards like ENERGY STAR and Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). Utility bill data from BXP buildings is integrated directly with ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager for automated data uploads, removing the burden of manual reporting from staff throughout the organization while providing the company confidence that the data they’re reporting is accurate and up-to-date.

Utility payments are such an outsized component of our AP
process, but they require a level of property-level / region-specific verification that is burdensome for the team to manage. Enel’s platform and solution provides the needed level of assurance and streamlined efficiencies to elevate the integrity of this critical process.

Thomas Christophersen

Director of Applications at Boston Properties

Automated, On-Time Payment

BXP also began using Enel X’s Bill Pay, a feature of UBM for automatic invoice payment. Enel X issues payments on a daily basis to BXP’s vendors—the payments come directly from BXP’s bank account and are issued through Enel X’s banking partner, J.P. Morgan.

No Late Fees

With Bill Pay, Enel X assumes all risk of late payment, relieving companies of the often heavy financial burden associated with late fees. Thomas Christophersen, Director of Applications for Boston Properties, noted that with so many different bills each month, it was only natural for BXP to partner with Enel X.

“Utilities are such a big component of our business,” he said, “but it’s not as if we can challenge the utility company and say ‘I don’t like the price here.’ There’s no negotiating. We just need to get it paid, and who better to do that than someone who’s an expert in this niche—a company that knows the ins and outs of utilities. We let Enel X handle it, so that we have a comfort level knowing bills are getting processed and paid in a timely manner.”

A Simple Handoff

At BXP’s request, Enel X took over payment of bills in groups, moving at a pace the company was comfortable with. As Christophersen noted: “The transition process is obviously a sensitive handoff, given the commitments involved.”

Enel X soon took over payment of all bills, and the entire transition process went smoothly, according to Amy Gindel, Senior Vice President of Finance & Planning at Boston Properties. “It was a great onboarding experience,” Gindel said. “It was fairly seamless, and now it’s running like clockwork.”

Increased Employee Productivity

Prior to Bill Pay, BXP employees were spending time manually handling and paying bills, an inefficient use of both money and resources. Implementing Bill Pay relieved the accounts payable team from the task of paying bills, allowing them to focus on more important projects. “The service is a no-brainer for any accounts payable team,” Gindel said.

SOC-1 Compliant

Enel X’s UBM process is also SOC 1 compliant, an important benefit for a publicly traded company like BXP. “SOC 1 pushes a lot of burden away from us—we can rely on Enel X’s SOC 1 controls,” Gindel said. “For years I had to perform extra controls to ensure compliance.”

The service is a no-brainer for any accounts payable team.

Amy Gindel

Senior Vice President of Finance & Planning at Boston Properties

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