Jobs In Telco Revenue Assurance

Sorry to anyone who searched the blogosphere to look for a new job and found this entry. I am not offering any jobs in revenue assurance. I am also sorry that you are searching for a job in revenue assurance. Do not get me wrong, I think RA is a noble line of work. Good on you for also knowing that your line of work is called “revenue assurance”. Plenty of people actually doing it have no idea what it is called. The reason I say I am sorry is because, unfortunately, you might find jobs in your search that are labeled “revenue assurance” but have absolutely nothing to do with your revenue assurance skills and experience. Some revenue assurance jobs are about a rarefied accounting discipline where the objective is to ensure that revenues are correctly recognized in the accounts. That is especially common in businesses and groups headquartered in the US, where correctly following the exact wording of the accounting policy is a very big deal. Other revenue assurance jobs are all about niche kinds of IT development. They want people to do wonderful things with code and databases and such, creating new tools and products that, when switched on, will automatically put the world to rights. Now, do not get me wrong. I think that clever revenue recognition accountants and clever IT developers are all smashing lovely people, with an important job to do and who add a lot of value to their business. But you could hardly think they do the same thing. I would bet good money that there is not a single person on the planet who could honestly claim to have done both jobs. There is no point trying to do it all, because if you try to be a jack of all trades, you end up being master of none.

It gets worse. Most jobs ask for umpteen years of experience in telecoms businesses. Yeah, right. Because all telcos are just the same as all other telcos, yeah? Of course not. Trust me, everyone thinks like that until they try working for a completely different kind of telco. At that point, they get a nasty shock about just how different those businesses are. The similarities between, say, a voice reseller, a wholesale carrier, an ISP, and a wireless virtual network operator are pretty abstract. There is a world of difference between being the kind of telco that buys its services from the incumbent and sells it to domestic customers and, say, the kind of telco that is the incumbent. So you would think that, when asking for experience in revenue assurance, people might be more specific about what kinds of telcos they want the candidates to have experience of. They rarely do. Which either means that people from different telcos background are either wasting their time, or, are successfully competing for jobs that arguably you might as well offer to people who have never stepped inside a telco before. I mean, how many years do you need to spend working in telcos before you know enough about US GAAP to do a decent job of working out what can be accounted for as revenues? And why is IT development experience inside a telco so much different to IT development experience gained outside of telcos?

Of course, the real problem is not with the candidates for revenue assurance jobs. It is with the people who offer the revenue assurance jobs in the first place. If only they knew what revenue assurance is, knew what they wanted, and knew what a good candidate looked like. To do that takes sufficient experience to write a good revenue assurance role profile and identify the appropriate candidate. The problem is, most of them do not have that experience…

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.