Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Why Call Accounting Software?

Call accounting is software or hardware that provides metrics for telephony functions such as traffic analysis, toll fraud alerts, network management, E911 notification and cost allocation to various corporate levels.

Historically the software has been an invaluable tool for corporations that required control over telephone usage costs. Call accounting systems generally capture and report on call type, origin, date, time, duration and dialed digits. The system stores the data and utilizes the information to calculate cost and generate desired reports.

Call accounting can generally reduce telecom expenses from 10% to 40% by highlighting misuse and abuse, discovering supplier billing errors and increasing productivity through greater network and workforce efficiency.

Environments that are not monitored tend to have excessive charges for directory services, specialty numbers, personal and overseas calls. The implementation of a call accounting system can pinpoint calls to individual extensions for greater accountability. In fact, simple awareness of the impending installation of a new call accounting package circulated among staff curbs misuse immediately by approximately 10%.

Supplier billing errors can be a costly revelation. A Gartner Group study found 12 to 20 percent of corporate telecom invoices contain billing errors and 85 percent of such errors are in favor of the carrier. A good call accounting system can provide accounting assurance through bill reconciliation.

In this era of heightened security, it is imperative that a call accounting software package monitor suspicious, fraudulent and malicious behavior. Calls to E911, emergency services or to specific calling patterns can be tracked and notified to authorized personnel. In 2002, the United States Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act following fraudulent operations by companies, such as Enron and WorldCom. Call detail reports can be used to provide documented proof of fraudulent behavior.

Over the years call accounting has evolved from a single processor MS DOS system to elaborate SQL databases with globally accessible browser-based solutions. Web browsers are either pre-installed with the operating system or freely available downloads from the internet. Browsers are popular because they can access information remotely from a public IP address or via a virtual private network (VPN). Therefore an individual can access his stock quotes, read the latest headlines and review call accounting reports through various tabs on the browser. Web browser based systems allow enterprise users to easily manage many sites from a centralized location.

Many corporations are developing total communication management solution (TCMS) strategies to manage their growing communication spend. Call accounting is the core of any powerful communication management portfolio.

RSI (www.telecost.com) is recognized as an industry leader in the field of communication management. The communication management product portfolio includes tailored integration to the most popular switching and network manufactures. RSI has been granted Nortel Developer Partner status with recognition for its core portfolio as Compatible Products. RSI is a Cisco Technology Partner, Siemens HiPath Ready Standard certified, Avaya DeveloperConnect Member, Mitel MiSN Member, Adtran Complementary Solutions Provider, ShoreTel Technology Partner, NEC Univerge Partner and Alcatel Applications Partner.