Call Accounting is an Important Element of Expense Automation
Nearly every business function today has been automated one way or another. Human resources, training, collaboration, sales, customer support and even socializing have gone the way of automation, which can help save money by removing the manual steps in complex processes and allowing people to share information better.
Small to midsized companies (SMBs) now have a variety of automation solutions available to them (whereas they were available to only the largest companies before). Cloud-based solutions make it easy to automate a number of processes, and doing so can be a good competitive advantage, according to a recent blog post by Christal Bemont writing for Financial Executives International.
“In today’s competitive environment, it’s more important than ever for small and mid-size companies to make sure they have the right technology in place to grow quickly and efficiently,” she wrote. “With so many competing priorities, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Believe it or not, automating expense management is a great place to start.”
Automation can help curb unnecessary expenses, administrative time, errors in billing and payments and the deliberate misuse of resources by employees. Given how much companies, even SMBs, pay for telecommunications today, automating call data can pay off.
“While finding the right tool to automate your processes takes time, the payoff is worth it,” wrote Bemont. “SMBs can save money and time – both of which are invaluable to growth.”
There is strong analyst data to back this up. According to Forrester (News - Alert), automating expense management (all different kinds of expenses, not just telecom) can cut the cost of every expense report transaction by more than 50 percent. In addition, they save time: expense approval cycles are 28 percent faster compared to a manual system.
When it comes to automating telecom, call accounting and reporting solutions are the tools of choice. These software solutions capture call detail records (CDR) from telephone systems to report on telecom usage, telecom costs and employee activity. They can help companies locate waste and fraud, and track employee productivity.
A good call accounting solution supports collection and processing of CDR from all telecom sources (on-premise PBX (News - Alert) and VoIP servers, Centrex and other hosted services, local and long distance carriers, conference services and wireless handsets) to facilitate consolidated reporting and analysis of an organization’s entire voice network. It offers users pre-defined reports, a custom report designer and an on-demand traffic analysis tool to address any reporting need and allow decision makers to make informed business decisions for the organization.
In telephony-heavy functions such as sales or the contact center, call accounting automation becomes even more critical. They can help identify abandoned calls or incoming calls that wind up in voicemail, both of which have a negative impact on customer support and selling. A good call accounting platform will provide managers with detailed metrics on answered and abandoned calls, ring-time summaries, and hourly, daily, and monthly statistics. It’s an ideal way for organizations to gauge their call center or sales department’s effectiveness and give them the opportunity to be proactive with their customer service approach.
Edited by Alicia Young