BriteRecon – Interconnect Reconciliation

Reconciliation is an important process in telecommunication billing between carriers. Too often many carriers overlook the importance of reconciliation due to the complexity of the processes and the amount of resources required to reconcile invoices received with the information at hand. Many do not realize the amount of losses due to lack of reconciliation being performed to check the accuracy of figures. Some consider the amounts to be too small to pay too much attention to and that is the reason why many carriers still choose to ignore the differences. However, the differences may seem small percentagewise but could be huge in terms of monetary value. These issues only exist because operators who don’t have the right tools and resources to reconcile.

Reconciliation margins are getting bigger and wider due to the increasing pace of changes in billing and rating and the complexity of agreements between operators. Rates, for example, are constantly being updated, sometimes on a daily basis, due to the demand for lower cost and better quality among carriers. Operators are finding it harder to keep up with pace of changes and without proper tools and system to maintain this data, some will be left behind and fail to update their information accordingly. It is due to this that discrepancies between amounts billed between operators increase. With the lack of advanced work being done, the amount will become even bigger and it will become harder to track and reconcile differences.

BriteRecon is one of the modules being in BriteOptimizer and it is tightly integrated with BriteAccount and BriteConnect. Typically, operators exchange invoices and if there are discrepancies which cannot be resolved at the surface level, detailed reconciliation would be used.

Operators would exchange data at the summary level, at which point the first level of reconciliation can be performed. Incoming CDRs from one operator are compared against outgoing CDRs from the other and differences are shown to the user. If this level doesn’t produce results then operators would exchange CDRs and a more detailed comparison is then performed. Again the user is presented with a report of the findings.

To avoid massive comparisons, only discrepancies within a predefined tolerance threshold are compared. The process itself is quite complicated and is discussed further in the section below.

BriteRecon Processes

For this to work effectively, carriers need to agree on a common procedure and variables for exchanging the information needed for reconciliation. They need to have agreement on how to reconcile, settle the differences and perhaps compensate each other when there are discrepancies. A good reconciliation process can help ease the processes by providing accurate information of the differences and intuitive methods of reconciling the differences.

To do this, BriteRecon requires the detail of the invoice to be entered such as the breakdown of the amounts by dates, call type, destination, cost band and/or duration. This information will be compared with the information available at hand. The information in incoming invoices received from the other operator should be available for the owners within their billing system in the form of all outgoing CDRs sent to the other operator. As these CDRs have already been processed and summarised, it would be quick and easy to compare against. The system can pull all the relevant data with the same breakdown of keys as the ones from the invoices and statements. The amounts are compared at a higher level, invoice total and can then be drilled down to lower levels
based on differences.

Reconciliation Results

Certain thresholds of variances can be pre-set and applied during reconciliation. If an invoice amount is deemed to have high variance and above the allowable tolerance, the information can be further investigated by presenting the data with different level of breakdown. They can choose to show the amount by, for example, date or other variables. By that key, they may decide which dates have differences and that require further investigation. They can further investigate by drilling down to another level of breakdown, such as call type, destination, cost band, duration or count for each of the dates that have higher variance. The system will help the user identify areas of contention by highlighting those with higher variances. The keys are not fixed, and they may choose to drill down using different sets of keys or different sequence of keys.

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