Before the first issue of PT was printed, we did a survey as to what potential readers wanted to see in the magazine. By a 4-1 margin, they said “articles about Revenue Control.” So we revamped the magazine and in every issue there is at least one article about “revenue control,” our PT the Auditor feature.
Its written by a wiley St. Barnard named PT who is the embodiment of a number of nameless sources. Why nameless? Well although ‘the dog’ may be one of the most popular columns in the magazine, it is not particularly well loved in some circles. It tends to hold a mirror up to those of us who run garages and sometimes the reflection isn’t exactly a thing of beauty.
PT pulls no punches and applies responsibility for revenue control or lack thereof equally to line personnel, managers, owners, manufacturers, and yes, once in a while, even to customers.
PT the Auditor is like a 20 chapter mystery novel written by 20 different authors, one per chapter. There is a general theme, a plot line if you will, but each column has a ‘spin’ that comes from the experience of the author.
There have been nearly 200 PT the Auditor columns written about revenue control plus an additional 160 articles featuring the topic in Parking Today. One would think that we would run out of subjects, but it is, and they say in the military, a target rich environment.
We have been at it for 17 years. Are things getting any better? One would hope so. But I wonder.
I make the outlandish statement that between 10 and 40% of the revenue from off street locations goes missing for all sorts of reasons. These include simple error, incompetence, theft, and the like. Its parking’s ‘dirty little secret.’ When I write those percentages, its usually because I have heard of an audit, or a problem, or a story about a location that reflects those numbers. Many have complained about my numbers and say that I am putting down the industry that feeds my family. Nonsense.
We have to be very careful. If we don’t police ourselves, someone else will begin to do so. When cities aren’t receiving their full compliment of parking tax as a percentage of revenue because the revenue isn’t being collected, they just may step in and as Captain Picard on Star Trek TNG would say “make it so.” That has already happened to one extent or another in Miami, LA, and San Francisco.
Even with technology, reporting, excellent hardware and software, audits still find problems. The revenue control issue of PT has numerous articles about what we can do. I’m editing them now. There’s some good stuff here. Check it out on line in a couple of weeks.