Category Archives: BMS Partners

Tax Forms and More for Happier Clients

Signed, Sealed, Delivered—Easier, More Convenient and Faster.

F2014-10-03O-Naorms, forms everywhere! There’s 1099’s, W2’s, 1095’s, and utility bills to boot! And now, you can get them all and much more from one reliable, trusted supplier.

Our most recent and successful business partnership is with Rocky Mountain Print Solutions (RMPS). They produce and deliver BMS-formatted forms that integrate perfectly with Black Mountain Software to ensure your form printing is accurate and improves your mailing success.

And, do you make yet another supplier call for printer ink? Now you don’t have to. If your printer ink is running dry from printing all those required forms, consider consolidating your form and printer supply needs with RMPS. Read more >

Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Partners, BMS Products, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Utility Billing | Leave a comment

What is Cloud, in Five Letters

cloud-computing-626252_640 copy

How can five letters leave you so confused, like your head’s in the clouds? Well, when you’re talking about something that you can’t see, is indeterminable in size, and exists “in the clouds,” it’s understandable why people are confused by it. So, we’ve broken down the cloud in five letters:
C, L, O, U, D.

An Explanation of the Cloud in Five Letters (CLOUD)

C – Computing. Cloud, or more formally known as “cloud computing,” is the practice of using a network of remote servers, “the cloud,” to store, manage, and/or process data rather than on a local network server or a personal computer’s hard drive. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Partners, BMS Products, Cloud Computing, Small Cities, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Small Town Stories: Joliet, MT


Shane Ridge Preserve

Over the years, we’ve written about many small towns that Black Mountain Software serves. Though this town is quite typical in many ways to other towns we’ve featured, it has one outstanding characteristic: it is the smallest in landmass, reaching only .29 square miles!

Within its tiny footprint and population hovering around 650 people, it’s surprising to find that Joliet has had a few notable historical residents that have called Joliet home. The first is former Montana State Senator Chet Blaylock who ran for Governor of Montana. Second, is Jack Waddell, test pilot for the Boeing 747 maiden flight in 1969. Read more >

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Reasons to Consider Outsourcing Your Utility Billing Printing


BMS and BDS: they kind of sound the same, and they work really well in conjunction. Black Mountain Software (BMS) has searched long and hard for a billing partner that could meet the specific needs of the utilities we service, and we found that trusted, reliable partner in Billing Document Services (or BDS).

After years of working with US cities and entities on their utility billing, we know one thing for sure: many are short on time, money, and manpower. Outsourcing with quality companies like BDS will reduce this hardship. And because they are a BMS partner, their processes interface seamlessly and efficiently with our software. Read more >

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High Water Bill Have Your Customer Down?

water-bill copyIf you have the job title of Utility Billing Clerk, you have received – probably too many times to count – a phone call or visit from a customer about a “high” water bill. Usually, the causes of a water bill that reflects significant charges are beyond your control. But your response to the customer can be constructive and informative, helping get to the root of the water bill problem.

First, evaluate common causes of a high water bills:
• A leak that was concealed underground or behind a wall
• Victim to an act of vandalism
• An overestimated current reading or underestimated prior reading
• An incorrect meter reading
• Recent additions such as adding or filling a swimming pool or hot tub
• Addition of, or increase to, landscape and irrigation
• Increase of number of people or guests in the household

How to Mitigate the High Water Bill

If filling a pool was the issue, the customer may qualify to receive a partial credit on their sewer bill if their water account includes sewer billing. Read more >

Posted in BMS Partners, City Clerk Cafe, Small Cities, Utility Billing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why More Agencies Are Putting “Cloud First”

Ccloud-computing-626252_640 copyloud computing is no longer new innovation, and many offices have implemented cloud computing as an integrated part of their infrastructure. Local, state and federal governments are getting in on the action as well, by implementing “cloud first” policies for software installations. And Black Mountain Software is no exception!

A “cloud first” policy means that the vast majority of software applications will be accessed on the cloud. If the installation cannot be performed from the cloud, then it will be installed locally, but only if cloud is not available, i.e. “cloud installs are preferable.”

The reasoning behind “cloud first” policies is simple: the cloud offers a faster time to market, reduced installation and deployment costs, scalability, enhanced security and disaster recovery, and a reduction in risk. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Partners, BMS Products, Cloud Computing, Small Cities, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Mountain Software Teams Up to Clean Up! Green Up!

In conjunction with the Polson Chamber of Commerce and The Beautification Committee of Envision Polson, Black Mountain Software contributed to the annual Clean Up! Green Up! event on Friday, April 24.

The first step to having a beautiful, welcoming community that we are all proud of is to have it trash free. Black Mountain Software ‘Green Team’ volunteers spent their Friday evening picking up trash along a two mile stretch of the Polson walking path from O’Reilly Auto Parts to Mission Valley Auto.

Both Black Mountain Software offices are located in beautiful, picturesque Montana regions. Conserving, reusing, recycling, and being mindful of our environment and planet are everyday practices at Black Mountain Software. Read more >

Posted in BMS Events, BMS Partners, BMS Staff, Small Cities | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

All About: Billing Calendars

calendar-27077_640 copyWhen it comes to paydays and money availability, there is no such thing as a “typical” utility customer. Some customers receive their entire month’s income all at one time. Some are paid weekly. Others may rely on regular, but random paydays throughout the month. The best a utility can do is time bills consistently so the customer can anticipate, and budget, for their billings. Customers appreciate their services being reliable, and on a reliable billing schedule.

30-Day Billing Cycle

In one of the Black Mountain Software mini-training sessions, we review our recommended Utility Billing Calendar for folks who bill monthly. The best-case scenario for a utility biller is a system based on an end-of-month billing cycle. Read more >

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Software Tools for Utility Billing Clerks’ Many Hats

Amsterdam_-_Hats_-_0931When that utility bill comes to a customer’s mailbox, it looks so simple: usage, charges, balance and due date. Perhaps it contains a message about upcoming events or holiday service schedules. But does the customer ever visualize the person who produced and touched the document they now behold?

Who is that person?

In a tiny town, it could be the same person who records the decisions made at City Council meetings, maintains the municipal budget and drives the school bus. In a larger operation, paper bills might be handed off to a mailroom clerk for processing.

Many people (or one person with mega-many hats) often contribute to the complex bundle of scheduled procedures that enable water to flow when the faucet is turned on. Read more >

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Montana Road Warrior: “Snow Flies – When You’re Having Fun!”

Latest Version

by: David Morton, Customer Solutions Coordinator and Guest Blogger for the BMS County Traveling Road Show Series

These are the chronicles of one David Morton, road warrior on a mission to solve client problems for Black Mountain’s Governmental Accounting Software. What you are about to read is real.


Tale of a Man and a Snow Fly

January 23, 2015

I drove 1,567 miles last week; Polson to Columbus, Columbus to Red Lodge, Red Lodge to Forsyth, Foryth to Miles City, Miles City to Glendive, Glendive to Wibaux, Wilbaux to Ekalaka, and Ekalaka back.

The visibility was good. So good in fact, I was able to spot two of Montana’s little-known and elusive white Snow Fly. Read more >

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