Real Estate Journal — Owners, Developers & Managers — September 28 - October 11, 2018 — 15A


M id A tlantic

O wners , D evelopers & M anagers By Will Rhodin, Walker Consultants In today’s technology age parking audits are more important than ever


parking facilities often results in payroll allocation of indi- vidual employees to multiple locations. Audits of payroll reg- isters, compared to electronic time cards and totals included on the management statement, often reveal incorrect alloca- tions. In fact, it’s not unheard of to find charges for employees at facilities where they don’t work at all! Exception Ticket Verification Fee computers do most of the rate-calculation heavy lifting. But what about manu- ally adjusted rates, lost tickets, and voided tickets, etc.? Is the continued on page 16A

arking operational au- dits were once a critical daily task for parking

Employee theft often starts accidentally. An attendant may forget to turn in a $5.00 bill one day. No one says anything. The next week, that same attendant may be short on cash and might need lunch money, so he holds back some cash. Again, no one notices. Before you know it, he is driving a brand new Porsche! Fast-forward to 2018. Rev- enue control and audit sys- tems have come a long way in recent years. Today, the audit process is more nuanced. Theft is reduced but not eliminated, and management needs to look deeper to deter and detect prob- lems. For example:

and when the funds hit the bank can indicate revenue malfeasance. For example, an attendant may hold back cash that he has collected, using it to make his Porsche payment. He may replace that money with tomorrow’s funds, and so forth. An operational audit compares Daily Revenue Sum- maries to bank deposit slips to revenue reports produced by the PARCS equipment. Any differences identified should be explained and promptly corrected. Accuracy of Charges to Man- agement Statement Increased automation in

Parking Management Agreement Compliance Many parking management agreements contain restric- tions on chargeable expenses, liability insurance costs per space, allowable percentages for payroll taxes and worker’s compensation and expense variances to budget (or the previous year). Audits include a contract-compliance analysis, frequently revealing deficien- cies and resulting in amounts being repaid to owners by park- ing operators. Cash Deposit Timeliness Discrepancies between the dates that revenue is collected

owners and managers of buildings and complexes of- fering paid parking. Pa- trons paid for parking with c a s h , a n d daily audits

Will Rhodin

were necessary to make sure that all of the money that was supposed to make it to the bank actually got there. Today, with most parking fees collected via credit card and valets issuing tickets via license plate recog- nition scanners on handheld devices, many owners are under the mistaken impression that audits are no longer necessary. After all, you can’t steal if there’s no cash to pilfer. Right? Actually no, parking audits are still essential. While theft has been sig- nificantly reduced in parking facilities with the influx of new payment technology, it hasn’t been eliminated. Thieves are more sophisticated than ever and management needs to look deeper to deter and detect problems. There are a number of problems that can only be detected through an audit, in- cluding parking management agreement compliance issues, cash deposit discrepancies, inaccurate charges to manage- ment statements, exception ticket issues, improper coupon and validation use, liability issues such as PCI-DSS compli- ance, monthly parking access system errors, and accounts receivable control. With the complexity of today’s parking management systems, audits are more important than ever and those audits must be much more nuanced to find all the potential problems. Changing Landscape, But Typical Challenges It wasn’t that long ago that operational audits were busi- ness as usual, both in the field and in the office. Parking man- agers checked lots while office clerks scoured through tickets and reports. Revenue control systems were scarce, and the data provided uninformative. Most parking fees were col- lected in cash, and daily report- ing was manual. The limits of the technology of the time and creative parking attendants combined to make revenue control a real challenge.

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