Telecom Billing - Reports Generation
Various reports are generated to provide valuable information to management on finance, sales and performance of the system. Different kinds of reports like financial reports, Management reports, reconciliation reports, Network activity reports, etc., can be generated.
Reports contain information that drives business success and help to monitor the health of business, identify any problem areas so that appropriate corrective actions can be taken.
Reporting is one of the areas where none of the Billing Systems can meet 100% requirements out-of-the-box. Definitely marketing or finance departments will come up with such reporting requirements which would need lots of custom development.
If your Billing System is pushing data on Data Warehouse (DWH), then you can transfer reporting activities towards DWH system but still many departments would like to have important reports from the source system, which is the Billing System.
We can categorise reports into two categories:
Core/Canned Reports: These reports are provided by the Billing System as core functionality of the system. Sometimes, they are called canned or standard reports.
Custom Reports: These reports would not be available directly from the system and it would need some development using PL/SQL, PERL, or Shell script, etc.
Different billing systems provide different types of reports in different areas. Interconnect Billing Systems are required to provide more functionalities related to reporting because they deal with wholesale billing.
There is following list of reports required by different departments:
(1) Financial Reports:
Payment reports provide information on the customer's account payments during a period of time. Account Receivables aging reports provide information on the account receivables, outstanding dues, etc.
Disputes & adjustment reports help in identifying the pattern of reasons for disputes & adjustments and help to understand the reason for such disputes & adjustments and take appropriate corrective action.
(2) Management Reports:
Management reports provide information on customers, their products & services usage, call patterns, customer feedback, etc. These reports help to take appropriate steps to reduce customer churn to introduce new services.
Churn is the process of customers disconnecting from one service provider and moving to another service provider and this can be due to many reasons like inadequate customer service or lack of competitive products or lack of competitive charges or it can be due to a natural reason of geographic relocation of the customer.
(3) Reconciliation reports:
These reports provide Revenue Assurance (RA) information ensuring that all the sources of revenue and expenses are under observation and there is no leakage of any sort of revenues. For example, revenue can be lost due to many reasons like leakage in network system or mediation or billing mistakes, demand for introducing new services quickly, etc.
Revenue assurance reports help to identify where the leakage is so that appropriate actions can be taken.
(4) Network activity reports:
These reports provide information to identify the areas of network congestion so that corrective measures (rerouting or adding more resources) can be accomplished to overcome these problems.
Following is further an imaginary list of few other reports, which can be required out of a Billing System:
|1||Revenue Classification reports that summarize revenue information for a specific date range by credit class, customer details, price plan, charge type, etc.|
|2||Customer Details, Aged Receivables and Open Item reports that are provided primarily to assist with collections chasing.|
|3||Daybook reports summarizing the activities of the day and presenting general ledger information.|
|4||Product and Package reports giving details of the products in a database and the packages available in a particular billing/rating catalogue.|
|5||Interconnect Agreement Accounting (IAA) reports that facilitate the reconciliation of outbound interconnect CDRs|
|6||Total number of activation, termination, port-in or port-out on a daily basis.|
|7||Total number of accounts breaching their credit limit on daily basis and how much revenue is going in credit breach.|
|8||Report about the number of events, which were successfully rated, posted internally and posted uncosted for a particular period of time.|
|9||Duplicate events report for a particular service or for all the services (i.e., voice, SMS, MMS, etc.)|
|10||Rejected events report for a particular service or for all the services (i.e., voice, SMS, MMS, etc.)|
Automated vs Manual:
There could be a list of reports which is required on monthly, weekly or daily basis. So such type of reports are developed if they are not available and scheduled within the system, so that they can be sent in end user's e-mail box without any manual intervention.
There will a demand of different reports time to time based on some requirements, such type of reports can not be imagined and developed in advance. So these reports are developed and sent based on demand from different users.
What is Next?
Starting from next chapter, I will cover different types of billing; for example, retail, wholesale, MVNO, roaming, etc.