4 Challenges When Managing Certificates

Controversial opinion, the way registration services have manage copy certificates in the past were not optimised for registrars and had room for improvement.

Even today, this area of registration is often managed through the input of stock levels into various spreadsheets and relies on a manual heavy process which can result in issues when certificates need to be checked or re-ordered.

In today’s post on the Stopford blog, let’s look at 4 of the most common issues registrars come across when managing certificates.

Inventory checks are time intensive

There are few things more frustrating than having to re-count a certificate pack because it didn’t match your expected inventory count. When certificates are issued through appointments, ceremonies or general purchases, services are always diligently recording the volume distributed throughout the day with the aim of reconciling this during the end-of-day stock check.

This has been done in the past by keeping count on paper, entering certificates used in spreadsheets or placing notes against appointments where this happens in their diary system. However, this tends to be easy to forget to do, and can be time consuming for the person conducting checks to search all appointments for any notes left against them.

By introducing a way of recording certificate issue in real-time, stock counts can be automatically updated to reflect the inventory held. This gives you an expected number of certificates in each pack, reducing potential re-counts and late(r) nights.

Reporting is not always automated

On top of checking for general certificate inventory, the addition of further manual or partially automated (depending on if you’ve got formulas in place) processes can add higher costs and tasks to your day. Reporting falls into this category of time consuming tasks.

Over the years, registration teams have carefully developed their own reporting templates to minimise the manual needed. However, this still proves to require ample time in bring forward end-of-day checks and income from the cashbook into a comprehensive summary for their required time period.

Automation is offering a great opportunity for services going forward. Through built-in inventory and revenue monitoring, data on certificates can be made easily accessible to create even greater time savings.

Easier to make mistakes

As we know, certificates come in a variety of types, costs and that’s before you consider the ways in which they can be issued. As you can expect, keeping track of all these factors during a rush of appointments or while managing other tasks can be difficult, making services more prone to human error.

This can result in missing certificates and a higher number of spoils with no log to indicate how this might have happened. What makes the situation more difficult, is that there aren’t easy ways to resolve or investigate situations where certificates are missing. Unless recorded manually as issues take place, it’s difficult ascertain where an error has taken place and by who until it’s recorded later in the day.

By reviewing stock activity throughout the day and reviewing appointment types that took place that day, it can be made easier to resolve obvious discrepancies, but it can remain difficult to identify the error. This is an issue that Stopford’s new Certificate Stock module for Registrars Booking aims to tackle, identifying packs with erroneous stock volumes during the end-of-day checks, making it easier to investigate stock errors in a timely manner.

So. Many. Systems.

With no out-and-out solutions that can be used to tackle the specialised management of registration certificates, more generic tools have been adopted in their place. I’m sure we’re all familiar with using Excel or a different type of spreadsheet for our inventory/cashbooks! With various sheets and systems to traverse between, it can get difficult keep track of and find the data you need.

By using one specialised system that connects with other registrars orientated features, you will open the door to an all-in-one system where you can complete every task in a more cost and time efficient way than ever before.

Tired of working from spreadsheet to spreadsheet managing certificates? Stopford’s Certificate Stock feature for agenda for registrars delivers on everything from issuing and spoiling certificates, to monitoring stock and income all in one system. Request a demo through our contact form below.