Answer: The VAT Man

I don’t believe that this particular issue can be found using any conventional revenue assurance reconciliation. This issue was found by simply talking to a colleague in the Finance department.

At the time I was responsible for the RA compliance of all new product releases. Due to staffing reductions I was also asked to take on the responsibility of ensuring that all of Finance’s requirements were incorporated into new product releases. As a result this meant sitting down with the VAT manager and defining his requirements for a new call feature. During the discussion, he explained the rules for VAT calculation and at this point I drifted off, trying to work out how what he told me was possible. I knew that there was a flag on the postpaid rated CDRs for VATable and Non-VATable charging – as of course the customer needs to see it on the bills. However I didn’t remember seeing the same flag on the prepaid CDRs. I went away and did my investigations and found that the flag didn’t exist, furthermore that in no downstream systems did this categorisation take place. After this the next steps were about proving and quantifying the issue – see Eric’s post on the original question for details on this.

I think this particular issue, highlights an area of Revenue Assurance that is rarely, if ever, looked at. As an RA consultant I spend the majority of my time looking at the processes and systems of both the network and IT functions. I tell them where they are going wrong and what the need to do to, to avoid revenue leakage. Until this point in my career, I had never thought at looking at the department I and most RA resource sit in – Finance. 

Dave Stuart
Dave Stuart
David is an experienced manager, having worked for a variety of international telcos. He has hands-on knowledge of fraud management, revenue assurance, risk management and software development. David is currently the Group Director of Revenue Assurance & Fraud Management at Vimpelcom.