13th March 2024

Service charge white paper launched at NHF Finance 2024

Dan Oehlman's white paper was officially launched in Liverpool at the NHF Finance Conference 2024

Liverpool, 13th March 2024 – Trace Solutions, a leading provider of software to the property industry, has today published a groundbreaking white paper authored by Dan Oehlman, the recognised authority in housing association service charges.

The white paper explores the impact of the BlueBox service charge system on two prominent UK housing associations, both of which have recently adopted the software.

It provides a detailed assessment of their experiences and covers everything from implementation, through go-live, to the product in daily use.

The paper identifies (and where possible quantifies) the benefits they have experienced, as well as providing recommendations to other organisations who may seek to go down the same path.

Interviewed at NHF Finance Conference 2024, the paper’s author Dan Oehlman said “I think a really significant finding was the impact on morale.”

“I think a lot of service charge teams feel like they’re in an endless cycle of moving from one deliverable to the next, and it sort of never stops.”

“I think by implementing a system, what both clients were able to say is, that they are looking forward to the future, looking forward to the improvements.”

“And I think that has impacted on other things, like staff retention.”

The groundbreaking white paper, authored by service charge expert Dan OehlmanIn the wake of increased scrutiny from the Regulator, special reports from the Housing Ombudsman, an increased focus from residents, and widespread press interest – not to mention further regulation that is on the way – it is clear that many social housing providers are now waking up to the challenge of service charges.

However, the motive for introducing specialist software such as BlueBox has often been seen simply as a response to the colossal financial challenge of service charges. And this is hardly insignificant: across the top 200 providers last year, the total deficit between costs and service charge income reached a record £581m.

But the white paper demonstrates just how many other tangible benefits the system provides, including accuracy, transparency, visibility, control, and process efficiency.

Download your copy by filling out the form below.

About the author

The paper's author, Dan Oehlman, of Ad Esse Service Charges

Dan has worked in housing for over 18 years, many of which have been spent specialising in service charges. A passionate advocate for transparency, he has focused much of this work on improving the customer experience of service charges, while maximising recovery for organisations.

He has implemented service charge systems and helped teams develop the processes and inputs required to maximise the benefit that comes from implementing service charge systems.


Watch Dan discuss the white paper with Neil Stewart at NHF Finance Conference & Exhibition, 2024


"Not only are service charges becoming more expensive, we're actually recovering less of them. It is a really significant problem within the sector."

Dan Oehlman, Ad Esse Service Charges

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