What’s the Difference Between Call Accounting and TEM? 

You must be wondering what Call Accounting is and how it can help you and your organization? Call accounting can be considered the ancestor of telecom expense management. It is used to monitor who made calls, where they made these calls, and how long the calls lasted. But how does call accounting and TEM fit together? This is the 45th reason why you should go beyond telecom expense management.  

What’s the Difference Between Call Accounting and TEM? 

What is call accounting?   

Call accounting is used to track, control, provide visibility, and chargeback for wireline telecommunications – focusing mainly on the hardware connected to the telephony infrastructure. The objective is to re-allocate the costs of calls made through fixed telecom but can also be applied to mobile calls.  

Most organizations have a vast inventory of business communication technology and systems, such as PBX phone systems, IP Telephony systems, VoIP services, and wireless devices. Other collaboration tools, such as Microsoft® Skype for Businessare on the rise in many organizations as well. Collaboration tools are ones that allow for calling, video chat, screen sharing, and more! The combination of communication services being used throughout the company is making it more challenging to keep track of call record details. This is how call accounting can help you.  

For example, when Ivan, an employee in a large manufacturing company, makes, receives, or abandons a call on his phone, the call accounting system will detect it and record any associated information. The system will track things like how long the call lasted, when the call occurred, where the call originated from, where the call is going, who was called, etc. By doing this, the system can provide costs and usage of telephone services to the company, helping them gain insight on cost optimization and allow for chargeback to the right business unit. These reports can then be loaded to a TEM software and validated against invoices and contracts. This would provide Ivan with a user statement, which allows him to know the usage and cost for his phone line, giving him and all the other employees at his company, the opportunity to alter their consumption behaviors. It also provides Ivan’s manager access to the details so he can see trends, identify outliers, understand the types of calls being placed and the costs associated for his team.   

Upland Cimpl provides call accounting as part of their technology expense management solution and can be used to help gain insight into everything related to call records. Call accounting is used in Cimpl to record, analyze, allocate, and optimize all of the information tracked regarding fixed and wireless communications throughout the company.  

What is TEM?  

Telecom expense management is defined by Gartner as the management of technology costs encompassed by IT and finance departments. However, TEM means more than just telecom, it now includes all wireless and wireline, data and infrastructure as well as the management of IT, M2M, IoT, IaaS and even cloud subscriptions.TEM helps with tracking telecom costs and more. It provides the platform or services necessary to help organizations centralize and validate monthly invoices, enables the automation of manual and repetitive processes, tracks telecom and IT inventory, enables the governance of policies, and so much more.   

If we go back to Ivan at the large manufacturing company, he has a mobile phone, a desk phone, a computer, a second monitor, and all the cloud subscriptions and services that are needed for him to get his work done. Then there is the Internet service that his provides him, the telco servies, all the wires and modems, and more, to make sure everything is running properly and smoothly for him. Now multiply this by the number of employees his company has. Wow! That’s a lot – and excel sheets don’t cut it anymore.  

Here are some things that may apply to you: 

  • Your IT team has little or maybe no visibility on all the devices and services that each employee has. A TEM service comes in to save the day. With a TEM service, the IT team can see who has what device and service allocated to each employee and enables them to keep an accurate inventory.  
  • By keeping an accurate inventory, the company at large can retire unused devices and services. They can also see the employee usage and can allow them to receive reports based on their usage and compare them to their team’s average and the company’s average.  
  • A TEM service also allows for contract management. Depending on the types of calls being made, this organization can now compare contracts with different service providers and choose the best option for them.  
  • TEM also allows the organization to dispute the contracts if they notice any discrepancies.  


How does call accounting fit in with TEM?  

Call accounting and chargeback are components of telecom expense management. Call accounting takes care of service billing, provisioning, chargeback, and cost optimization, and it adds a source of information and granular details specific to calls that supports TEM programs. TEM incorporates invoice contract management, inventory management, order and provisioning, sourcing management, usage management, dispute management, reporting, and business intelligence with call accounting capabilities, working seamlessly together.  

Here are some of the benefits you can gain from incorporating call accounting and telecom expense management together: 

  1. Allocate costs to the right business unit and end-users 
  2. Gain clarity over rates for call activity 
  3. Discover zero-usage accounts 
  4. Monitor usage and call activity 
  5. Reporting and business intelligence for the finance team 
  6. Encourage self-awareness and compliance 
  7. Fraud prevention 
  8. Cost recovery 
  9. Boost productivity 

As TEM continues to evolve, we are constantly looking into the future to the EDF – the Enterprise Digital Footprint. The EDF is our vision of how modern, flexible IT asset and expense management should work for the Digital Enterprise by helping companies answer some basic questions about their technology expenses. “What do people have?” “What does it cost?” & “Do they still need it?”. 

Want to know more about how call accounting and TEM can help you? Contact us.   

Is a telecom expense solution for you?

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Is a telecom expense solution for you?