Telco Ltd. Blog

Call accounting: understanding your company’s call activity

Have you ever needed to know what call volume is for certain extensions, departments or phone lines?  Get a list of long distance activity without waiting for your next phone bill to arrive?  Determine who in your organization makes the longest calls, most expensive calls, or most personal calls?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to take a serious look at Call Accounting software.

Call accounting software is software that’s typically installed on one computer in your organization, and as inbound or outbound calls are completed, captures certain call details from your phone system.  Typically, the information gathered includes the date and time of the call, the extension that participated in the call, the line the call was on, duration of the call, whether it was inbound or outbound, and either the Caller ID (on inbound calls, if you have Caller ID from your dialtone provider), or the phone number dialed (on outbound calls).

What’s great about call accounting software is that, rather than just collecting call data for you to sift through, you can run several different types of reports on that data to quickly find what you’re looking for.  For example, say you want information on all calls made by a specific extension on a certain day last week.  This is easily done with call accounting software.  If you’re more interested in, say, the 10 longest calls from today, you can get that also.  The types of reports available vary depending on the brand of call accounting software you buy and its features, and to a certain extent, the phone system model you own.

Report example

Report example

With call accounting, you can get information on calls that your dialtone provider is not privy to (for example, which extension made or received a call); at any rate, most dialtone providers report on long distance calls only.  With call accounting software, you get information on all long distance and local calls, and you don’t have to wait a few weeks to get the information (in fact, the call accounting software is usually updated instantly on the completion of each call, so your data is practically real-time).  If you have more than one manager who needs to generate and view call reports, most call accounting packages have an option of a multi-seat license; if you think you may need this, it’s best to ask upfront so you make sure you’re getting what you need.

At the end of the day, it’s all about efficiency and controlling costs.  Call accounting software is a great way to determine whether your employees are being used to their capacities (or overwhelmed, or avoiding using the phone altogether), determine whether you need more lines, find out whether unauthorized calls are taking place and by whom, and more.  The one-time charge you pay for the software is a drop in the bucket compared with the money you’ll save on an ongoing basis by clearly understanding (and being able to react intelligently to) call activity in your organization.

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