Cornerstone's ALARM Version 31

Centrals save time, money, attract dealers, according to billing software company
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.—Cornerstone Billing Solutions, which last year announced security industry focused products like Billing Plus collections support and the AlarmPayments.com online payment portal, in July announced Version 31 of their ALARM software. According to Cornerstone, the new version is a fine-tuned improvement.

According to a release, Version 31 allows for different net terms for recurring versus service and installation invoices. This means dealers who want short-term or immediate payment for non-recurring invoices will have that option, while allowing a month or more for payment of recurring invoices.

"Most central stations that work with us simply refer dealers to us that may be looking for billing, better software, or more efficient account management," Cornerstone president Scott MacDougal told Security Systems News. "For those centrals, it’s usually: 1) a way to attract new dealers by positioning themselves as one-stop shops; 2) a way to deepen the relationship with their dealers, making it less likely a dealer will jump ship to another central; or 3) a way to ensure that they're getting paid on time from chronically slow-pay dealers."

The new version has built-in protections that warn or guide the user if it appears an error is being made, according to the release. For example, if a payment amount entered exceeds the amount of the individual invoice, a warning pops up. If a user entered the check number in the payment field by mistake, the user can click cancel and start over.

Cornerstone also added seven new reports to ALARM, and enhanced existing reports.

Kerry-Anne McStravick is VP of Quincy, Mass.-based Alarm Central, Inc., a UL-listed central station providing national monitoring since 1978. ACI has been using Cornerstone for a number of years.

"I've learned in my 20 years in the industry that outsourcing is a beautiful thing. About four years ago, we started focusing on the big companies that had small central stations. We convinced them that the way to go was outsourcing, and I realized I could do the same thing. Cornerstone does a tremendous job. They're so much better at what they do than we were," McStravick said. "The new version has really made my life much easier … Years ago, the only dealers who used our billing service were dealers who were in a financial bind. Now it's a real value-add."