Reconciliation is too important to overlook. Without accurate systems in place, you could be paying too much and billing too little, and not know a thing about it. Yet many operators still choose to turn a blind eye to variances that may range from 0.5% to 5%, simply because they don’t have the tools or the time to check for accuracy.

Relying on the figures to balance themselves out over time has never made good business sense. But in today’s climate of cost cutting and falling or static revenue, leaving your single largest cost to the discretion of a competitor’s interconnect billing system is simply asking for trouble!

How it works

Reconciliation, in the interconnect world, is the process of verifying that the interconnect statement received from another operator is acceptable for payment.

For it to work effectively operators need to agree on common standards and processes for exchanging information, reconciling and settling interconnect statements and issuing compensation payments. Cooperation between operators is paramount. Without mutual agreement on the format for the statements and a timetable to work to, conflict and disputes will become regular occurrences.

On the other hand, an effective reconciliation process with agreed standards and processes will produce numerous benefits, including reduced billing inaccuracies and reassurance that the bills are a fair representation of what really occurred. It can also help save operators valuable time spent trying to identify the differences between two accounts of the same traffic.

The widening gap

Reconciliation margins are widening due to the increased pace of change and complexity of interconnect agreements.

The trend to introduce cost-based interconnect pricing has led to rating models based on the use of network components, rather than on distance, causing yet further complexities.

And with billing rules like the recent changes to the method used to calculate bills to and from BT for Number Translation Services, content rating, percentage revenue share models and complex discounting, it is no wonder that many operators give up trying to reconcile their invoices and pay whatever figure arrives in the post!

Looking ahead

Monitoring the process as it happens is the simplest and most effective solution. Dialogue between the operator and the interconnect partner has traditionally only taken place some time after the end of the billing period. But imagine if daily cash flow positions were posted on a secure web page . . . and it was updated daily with the value of the calls sent and received, showing the cumulative position to date and the projected month end totals.

This is what iCONX was specifically designed to do. Comparisons against historic periods are run continuously and any significant deviations flagged as they occur, highlighting potential reconciliation errors as they arise and helping both parties to manage their cash flow.

iCONX is constantly developing its product range and technical expertise to offer our clients the very best solutions for complicated issues like reconciliation. Our unique suite of real-time reports warnings and alarms means that any errors in the interconnect and reconciliation process are highlighted for action instantaneously.

With the correct systems in place, reconciliation no longer has to rely on guesswork.

For further information or advice on the reconciliation process, please call us on +353 1 529 1700 or e-mail