Call accounting is software or hardware that provides metrics for telephony functions such as traffic analysis, toll fraud alerts, network management and cost allocation to various department. There are countless call accounting vendors that tout their various features and niches. Some specialize in professional bill back, others focus on the unique requirements of hospitality environments and others offer generic solutions for general business requirements.
Call accounting has evolved since early iterations during the dawn of desktop computing. Their popularity remains high as systems grow and adapt to latest billing requirements, computer operating systems and web integration.
Call accounting systems vary in price, performance and functionality. Some of the more elaborate systems integrate ACD reporting, carrier comparisons, grade of service calculations, switch management, equipment inventory and billing integration. Many systems have transformed and boast SQL databases, web browser capability, automated reporting and notification, enterprise reporting and manufacturer compliance.
There are many choices for an average business. It is virtually dependent on your budget and needs to determine a viable solution. Many interconnects and equipment vendors have solidified relationships with call accounting providers. They may be of help if you select and deploy their hardware.
In a professional environment, it may be desirable to have your call accounting transactions automatically integrated with your accounting system. You should ask your vendor whether their call accounting software is compatible.
In a hospitality environment, it is imperative to have flawless integration with your property management system (PMS). Your telephone calls should be allocated to guest folios seamlessly. Many hotels also require billing for conference rooms, internet usage and night audit reporting.
A search of the internet may yield countless results not necessarily in order of price, quality or reputation. You will have to weed through many pages, many demonstration packages and many inquiries to find your solution. You may also find that cost is not necessarily related to quality.
Some call accounting systems are readily available on the web for download or online demonstration. Some of the more elaborate systems require a sign up process.
You should keep in mind that whatever solution you select should be backed by a good maintenance program for software updates, tariffs and inquiries. The software should be available to trial. You should consider installing the software before purchase to determine if it fits your needs. This will give you a good idea about the quality of the software and the company providing the solution.