Future of Hotel Call Accounting
Call accounting has been around for decades to track, manage and bill or allocate phone calls. By the mid-1980s, call accounting was a necessary and very profitable tool for almost all hotels/motels. Some properties made thousands of dollars each month with call accounting.
Now that cell phones are everywhere and long distance rates have significantly decreased, call accounting does not allow properties to bring in nearly as much revenue as before. For many hotels/motels, call accounting has been forced to take a back seat in their organization. A few have gone as far as un-installing phone systems all together. So, is there a role – and a future - for hospitality call accounting? Do hotels/motels still need call accounting systems? The answer to these questions is a profound YES and YES!
Call accounting plays a vital role in hotel/motel management and is as important and beneficial for hotels/motels today as it ever was, and in so many ways. Call accounting products allow hotels/motels to bill guests for all phone calls that the property will have to pay for, recovering costs (plus fair mark-ups and/or surcharges for amortized equipment/service costs, profits, etc., too, if desired). Calls included here are: information; international; and many measured or metered calls. Some managers say that just a few information or international calls a year from guests could cost much, much more than a call accounting system, so they don’t take any risk – they always install a system in every property! Of course, calls without “costs” can be billed, since these calls still use property resources and could properly bear a part of total telephone costs**.
Managers can also detect phone misuse or abuse, optimize phone system performance, allocate telecom costs by department or extension, set special rates for VIP guests, and decrease billing errors. Knowing which room called 911 or having proof that wake-up calls were made – and more - also makes call accounting valuable – one lawsuit/problem could cost much more than a call accounting system!
Hospitality call accounting has a bright future. Hotels/motels need a way to track and bill phone calls to guests and departments. As PMS and phone systems get more advanced, as internet and VoIP are used more and more, call accounting companies must stay in step and improve, too!
*(NOTE: We strongly urge properties to charge for ALL calls, but at fair AND lower rates – some properties still charge rates that are way too HIGH! High rates will not work in the long run, plus they give properties AND call accounting bad “press”.)