Design And Implementation Of Automated Water Billing Utility Service

Computer Science Project Material with Source Code Included

Computer Science Project Material with Source Code Included


Abstract


This research work is concerned with the design and implementation of automated water billing utility service using Akwa Ibom Water Company, Ikot Ekpene as a case study. An automated water billing utility service aids to register, compute and also record the billing information of consumers of water services of a company. The system was necessary because the manual system of billing was associated with several problems such as inaccurate computation of water bills, poor record keeping, difficulty in obtaining reports of the status of the bill of customers. The software development methodology used is Object Oriented Analysis and Design Methodology (OOADM) and the programming language used is Visual Basic 6.0.


Table of Contents


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Approval Page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgment
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents

Chapter One:

General Introduction

  • 1.0 Introduction
  • 1.1 Theoretical Background
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Significance of the Study
  • 1.5 Scope of the Study
  • 1.6 Organization of the Research
  • 1.7 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two:

Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 The Concept of Water Billing System
  • 2.3 Methods of Water Billing
  • 2.4 Stages in the Water Billing Process
  • 2.5 Data Gathering for Water Billing
  • 2.6 Generating Water Bills
  • 2.6.1 Distributing Water Bills
  • 2.6.2 Modes of Payments to Improve Services of Water Billing Companies

Chapter Three:

System Analysis and Design

  • 3.0 Introduction
  • 3.1 Research Methodology
  • 3.2 System Analysis
  • 3.2.1 Analysis of the Existing System
  • 3.2.2 Problems of the Existing System
  • 3.2.3 Analysis of the Proposed System
  • 3.2.3.1 Advantages of the proposed system
  • 3.2.3.2 Disadvantages of the proposed system
  • 3.3 System Design
  • 3.3.1 Input Layout
  • 3.3.2 Algorithm
  • 3.3.3 Program Flowchart
  • 3.3.4 Output Layout

Chapter Four:

System Implementation and Documentation

  • 4.0 Introduction
  • 4.1 System Design Diagram
  • 4.2 Choice of Programming Language
  • 4.3 Analysis of Modules
  • 4.4 Programming Environment
  • 4.5 Implementation
  • 4.6 Software Testing

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.0 Introduction
  • 5.1 Constraint of the Study
  • 5.2 Summary
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix A (Source Code)
  • Appendix B (Output)

Chapter One


Introduction

Effective billing and collection systems are a critical component for ensuring the viability of a service provider. Improving billing and collection activities has an immediate impact on the revenue streams of a service provider that can, in turn, help the service provider in improving services. However, while effective billing and collection practices depend on many internal factors (including customer databases, the extent of metered and unmetered service provision, tariff and billing structures, delivery of bills, and facilities for customer payments), the institutional arrangements under which service providers operate and provide services determine whether such practices will remain sustainable in the long term.

Efficient billing and collection practices can set incentives for the provider to effectively charge and collect water bills while also fulfilling a commercial orientation to services Most water utilities and service providers are under severe financial strain, with insufficient funds for routine maintenance, replacement, and expansion. Poor financial health is a result of a number of factors including inefficient operations, poor levels and/or absence of metering, poor billing and collection practices, poor structure and levels of water tariffs, increased and inefficient operational costs, and weak management. Billing and collection systems hence are critical for ensuring financial sustainability and for achieving cost recovery, especially if a service provider is looking to expand services and improve the equity of service provision [1].


1.1 Theoretical Background

The technologies used to implement the system are Visual Basic 6.0 programming language and Microsoft Access 2003 database. The programming language is used to create an interface that would be used to capture and compute water billing details and the information can be saved to the database for future retrieval. For instance, the source code below is used to query for bill records of customers using Adodc data control that is linked to the database by next due date for billing or by account number.

Private Sub Command1_Click()

Adodc3.Recordset.Filter = β€œNEXT_DUE_DATE_FOR_BILLING =’” & Text1.Text & β€œβ€˜β€

End Sub

Private Sub Command3_Click()

Adodc3.Recordset.Filter = β€œACCOUNT_NO =’” & Text2.Text & β€œβ€˜β€

End Sub

Fig 1.1: Query form for existing records


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The following problems were identified to be faced by water billing companies like Akwa Ibom water company:

  1. The manual approach of billing customers is associated with numerous errors and mistakes.
  2. It is difficult to get accumulated bills from customers as tracking payments manually is difficult.
  3. It is difficult to accurately compute water bills.
  4. Delay in getting reports that pertain to water bills.

1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to design and implement automated water billing utility service system. The following are the objectives of the study to realize the aim:

  1. To design a system that will be used to capture water billing details to database.
  2. To develop a system that can be used to compute water bill
  3. To design a system that can be used to present reports of water billing.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The significance of the study is that it will provide a more accurate and reliable approach to the computation of water bills as well as the storage and retrieval of bill records of consumers. The study will also serve as a useful reference material for other researchers seeking related information on water billing.


1.5 Scope of the Study

This study covers the design and implementation of automated water billing utility service, a case study of Akwa Ibom state water company.


1.6 Organization of the Research

This research work is organized into five chapters.

Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it presents the preliminaries, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.

Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.

Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It presents the research methodology used in the development of the system, it analyzes the present system to identify the problems and provides information on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed system. The system design is also presented in this chapter.

Chapter four presents the system implementation and documentation, the choice of programming language, analysis of modules, choice of programming language and system requirements for implementation.

Chapter five focuses on the summary, constraints of the study, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Bill

A written statement of how much money is owed for items purchased or services provided.

System

A collection of related parts working together to achieve a particular goal.

Revenue

Money that comes into business from the sales of goods or services

Tariff

A list of fees, fares or other prices charged by a business.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.0 Constraints of the Study

The following stood as constraints to the study:

Time:

The time given for the research work is too short, a research work of this nature requires more time for proper development.

Materials:

Few materials were found pertaining to the study. And this limited the bulk of the literature review to the ones found.

Finance:

The high cost of transportation coupled with the high cost of text books, and internet browsing also limited the research study.

Administrative Protocols:

Too much protocols were involved before obtaining relevant information from the case study and this in turn limited the research work.


5.1 Summary

Billing is a very important aspect of any Water supply System as it pertains to the financial aspect. Besides fixing tariffs, billing plays an important part to the development of the organization. Computers can be applied in the billing process. For a water billing system, which is complex, repetitive and has voluminous data, computerization is recommended. It is also very useful in the storage and retrieval of billing information.


5.2 Conclusion

A computerized water billing system is very useful and important, it eliminates the pitfalls of the manual system and it provides a better alternative to calculating and updating the bill of customers.


5.3 Recommendations

The following recommendations are offered based on the findings of the study:

  1. The management of Akwa Ibom water company should make effort to computerize the water billing system.
  2. Staffs of Akwa Ibom water company should be trained to be computer literate
  3. ICT professionals and computer programmers should be consulted to develop an effective system for the billing process.
  4. Management of the company should also provide good services to its customers for them to be happy to pay their bill when due.

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