Double Billing

I was talking today to a colleague, whose name, role and company best be kept anonymous, and they advised me a recent incident where their RA vendor issued two bills, for the (exactly) same service, to different parts of the company. These two parts of the company were both expecting an invoice due to internal hand-overs taking place at the time and so both authorised and made the payment. This was only picked up some time later, by chance, when the two people met on something else and it got raised.

All of which raises a number of interesting questions. Firstly, how does a company selling RA products/services which help telcos reconcile high volume, low value transactions across complex network, mediation and billing domains, then not get their own low volume, high value billing right? Secondly, if an RA vendor is doing this (accidental or deliberate, it doesn’t matter), how much more might it be occurring? Third and lastly, I am a fan that RA focus on “revenue” not cost as I believe there is enough complexity in that alone but I am sure an RA methodology could be applied to proactively identify these instances. Now that would lead to an interesting discussion – “we used the RA product/service you provided to find a leakage/loss associated with the RA product/service you provided”.

Mike Willett
Mike Willett
Mike is a Partner at Ernst & Young, Australia. He is responsible for enterprise intelligence, helping clients to improve their management and use of data. He can be contacted at:

Mike was previously the Director for Fraud & Revenue Assurance at Telstra. He started his career at BellSouth (now Vodafone) in New Zealand and then moved to Praesidium Services in the UK. Mike graduated from the University of Auckland in New Zealand with degrees in psychology and marketing.