We have used BS&A Assessing products since the mid 1990’s and recently purchased the .net Tax program to add to our line of BS&A products. In my opinion they were the “best” choice by far. We switched out of necessity from an aging IBM main frame system with “homegrown” software to the Equalizer and although not entirely seamless, the transition went smother than I had ever anticipated. Even when facing some very “unique and thought provoking” issues, the BS&A staffers are always willing to assist us in our time of need and I cannot thank them enough.
We have been using the Assessing .net package for almost a year now, and almost every day I find something new. The most recent was the “new” STC form 2793 that includes both single and 2 year sales studies on the same page, plus Dan Bengal informed me of how I can run the entire county at one time and get individual forms for each unit. Great time saver!
Greg Hill, Equalization Director
St Clair County, MI
Here in Kent County our tax & assessing software was administered by a very antiquated County system, which was being retired. This forced each municipality to leave the “mother ship” and not only learn a new system but perform many treasury functions that previously had been done for us. For the first time since tax/assessing was computerized, local staff would be performing all phases of tax administration, not just billing and collections. To be honest, we were very anxious (and I had some staff that was very set in “the way it had always been done before” and extremely resistant to change).
Implementation of BSA tax software was the best lesson one could ever have of just wait and see before jumping to conclusions. I can’t count the time we repeat the phrase “That’s it? That’s all there is to it?” after tax support explains yet another simple process.
This software has totally changed (streamlined,) the way we do things in our office. As an aside, our staff has decreased from the treasurer and 3 full time employees to the treasurer and 1 full time employee since implementation in 2003). The product is continually adapting as the ever changing tax landscape evolves. Every challenge the State throws at us has been accommodated by BSA. We are continually discovering something new as we navigate through the program – “look what I just found, this is so cool!” is not an unfamiliar comment in our office.
Here are some features we like:
- Imports and exports – mortgage company, special assessment, payment, spreadsheet, and assessing imports and exports, to name just a few, have allowed us to do with the push of a button what used to take hours or days to accomplish. This not only frees up staff time but allows for much fewer clerical errors and precise transfer of data.
- Links with other BSA applications – the ability to view multiple application info right in the tax program, to interface with other applications, to transfer data again saves time and makes us much more efficient.
- BSA Internet Service – we utilize real-time tax, assessing, utility billing, & delinquent personal property tax info via our website. Our phone calls for information have almost completely stopped since going live with this application. Internet support is very willing to work with us to customize whatever we want out there for folks to view to answer questions saving them and us the time and cost of a phone call. Most importantly, the information seen is current and accurate.
- Reports – the system reports offer the ability to view, print, or save any amount of data imaginable. But, the query options allow users to create almost any report desired in any format needed.
Jan Hollinrake, City Treasurer
City of Kentwood, MI
We have been using the BS&A Assessing software for 15 years now. What we most like about the software is that data entry is straightforward and produces results that can be duplicated with the manual. What I most appreciate is that the software is continuously updated for changes in State law and has all the new State required reports available at a mouse click. What I find most useful is the software’s ability to allow me to use embedded reports or create a customized report of any information in the files that allow us answer to answer any assessing questions we have.
Roger McCarty, Deputy Assessor
Cascade County, MI
Functionality, simplicity, continuous updating, superb customer support, all at a fair price… can’t really ask for much more. And the transition from our old system was quick and painless. No comparison between our old system and the quality of BS&A and the support of your knowledgeable staff.
The most specific enhancement I can think of is that delinquent tax allows us to post delinquent tax payments on the system even before units have settled with us. These payments had to be manually backposted previously. Also, the settlement process is much easier for the local units (and us), allowing them to settle with us much earlier than they used to.
Steve Orchard, Deputy County Treasurer
I like the ease that you can move between seasons in the tax software and the ease that you can print reports, conduct searches by property address, etc.
A huge feature is the database compare report. This report runs in a matter of seconds. You can then print a report showing the differences with the parcel numbers that is affected. I like the way the comment button flashes as a reminder.
Nancy Hickey, County Treasurer
Ionia County, MI
We have used BS&A’s new assessing .net software since it was first available. It has been perfected to the point that it is has become an amazing tool for our Equalization Department.
The .net software allows us to run just about any style report using queries and very specific groups of properties. It also allows us to run countywide sale studies and automatically connects them to the next report in the Equalization process. This is a huge time saver over running them one by one.
The new .net software also links with our GIS information and displays it on the parcel when the parcel is brought up on the screen.
BS&A has been very good at keeping their software up to date with all of the changes that the State has been mandating us to make. They make our job easier because we do not have to worry about whether the software will handle the changes that the STC may make at anytime.
Roger Chappel, Equalization Director
Mason County, MI
The staff in my position before me never used the imports to the fullest capabilities. I have found that they are an immense time saver. I import payments, tax bill requests, special assessments – anything I can. Another feature is the availability of user defined fields. With these, I have my streetlight districts coded for quick entry from year to year, and code taxpayers who have multiple invoices. This allows us to save on postage by printing those separately and stuffing envelopes with more than one statement. Combined, I have slimmed down our tax roll prep time to just a few days.
Jamie Boyle, Deputy Treasurer
Dewitt Township, MI
Using BS & A Tax Software has made Tax Administration run more efficient for me. It has helped me meet my deadlines more easily and just has helped the whole tax process run more smoothly.
Two product features that come to mind are Mortgage Code Electronic Imports. It allows you to mark 400+ parcels paid in just a second or two. It is GREAT and saves sooo much time! Another feature is the way the system handles adjustments (MMT, STC, Boards of Review, etc). It is so easy, fast, and accurate. I always dreaded going through the whole process of doing tax adjustments – and now, it is just another job to do in a day.
Nancy Wolters, Accountant
City of Zeeland, MI
Each year’s database stands alone so it is easy to create a new database for the coming year while keeping a copy of the previous year available at all times for checking past year’s facts and figures.
Copying existing parcel data to a new parcel saves a lot of time. So does merging a parcel from one database into another.
In Huron County, we maintain a county wide master database containing values, names, addresses, etc., but it has no calculations of value. This is used for reporting, change notices, and is the basis for the tax rolls and bills. We have a separate database for appraisal studies that is used to calculate appraised values for equalization studies. The import/export capabilities of the Equalizer make it simple to keep assessed values, names, legal descriptions, sales information, property class and other information up to date in the appraisal database. It also lets us roll over the appraisal database each year so that land and building information does not need to be entered again.
Township values can easily be imported into the county master database. New parcels, names, addresses, legal descriptions input by county staff can be exported for township use.
Walt Schlichting, Equalization Director
Huron County, MI
BSA’s Assessing software is the industry leader. This is due in large part to stay ahead of the technology curve and give assessor’s the tools they need to do their job better and faster.
We are currently on Assessing.NET. The comparative sales analysis and GIS integration have been incredible tools for us at board of review time and has literally cut our staff’s overtime in half.
Matthew Dingman, City Assessor
City of Farmington Hills