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.

1 Comment on "Answer: The VAT Man"

  1. David Leshem David Leshem | 8 Sep 2008 at 5:29 pm |

    Hi Dave,
    I had ran into VAT and other taxation issues more than once in my past.
    When properly addressed it should be modeled and discovered by the BV (billing verification) system.
    I consider the Italian market with its complex taxation rules to be THE most complex one and a gold mine for such descrepencies. On top of the VAT there are mobile phone corporate taxes with plenty of exemptions (if you are a nune or a Nato official or what ever than you dont pay vat or dont pay other levy). Funny enough it always surprised me that these VAT and other taxation issue attracted so much emotions. As a rule, they would be fixed overnight, and on the next morning the red eyed team would declined issue ever existed. Italy is a prime example but same was found within the domain of Israeli, Portuguese, Polish and other carriers.

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