You very rarely hear people making a well-constructed argument for why a dedicated revenue assurance department may be unnecessary or superfluous. Most arguments in favour of revenue assurance make the assumption, usually unstated, that to have revenue assurance you need people employed to do revenue assurance. The basis of this thinking is that revenue assurance cannot happen otherwise. However, I find this is often a self-fulfilling prophesy. In many businesses that employ a revenue assurance department for the first time, the people employed get a lot of freedom to define their own roles. Very often this freedom continues indefinitely; execs unfamiliar with revenue assurance may even become wary of challenging the “experts”, so leave them to do as they think right. What is really happening is that the organisation’s thinking on the scope of revenue assurance, and the methods that should be used, are changed to suit the department. The people paid to do revenue assurance just apply the phrase “revenue assurance” to whatever they happen to do, as if their roles and responsibilities completely define the term. Of course, this just discourages and annoys people throughout the organization who do revenue assurance tasks alongside their other work. Having a department synonymous with revenue assurance in fact means that revenue assurance becomes synonymous with the department. So if you make one team responsible for revenue assurance, you may find you have very effectively removed responsibility from everybody else in the organisation.
Two separate individuals blogged good arguments against having a revenue assurance department, in the conventional sense, yesterday.
The first argument, from Randy Shillman, continues his theme of involving users in the understanding of billing anomalies, see here.
The second argument reflects my own experience of some people’s attitude to the job of revenue assurance. The author’s anecdote about the go-go world of revenue assurance is here. Stories like these are why I can sympathise with execs who struggle to see the value in revenue assurance. Enjoy.