Telecom Billing Glossary

This glossary is a resource designed to help companies navigate, administer, and configure the TimelyBill application software.

Knowledge of these key concepts will help you manage customer billing from inside of our OSS/BSS. We've also included relevant links to help you dig deeper into how our software handles specific functions and tasks. Please contact us with questions or comments.

A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  J  |  K  |  L  |  M  |  N  |  O  |  P  |  Q  |  R  |  S  |  T  |  U  |  V  |  W  |  X  |  Y  |  Z

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Term

Definition

A  
  Account balance The amount of money remaining in the account after billing. 
  Account number A unique and searchable numeric identifier for an account.
  Account start date The date and time that an account was created.
  Account status Identifies the life-cycle stage of the account. For example: lead, active, collections, inactive, suspended, or write-off.
  Account suspension A time where billing does not take place for an account. 
  Accounting method The method in which the account invoice and bills are managed. 
  Accounts receivable Outstanding balance due for an account.
  Accruals When transactions are recorded as they occur, even if payment for the product or service has not been received.
  Active account A live account that can be billed.
  Adjustment Crediting or debiting an account.
  Agent Independent sales reps who connect customers with the services they need. Agents deal directly with service providers or serve as sub-agents of a master agent.
  Age of receivables The number of days between an unpaid invoice and the current date.
  Arrears billing A category of billing that occurs after a service has been provided.  Selling a product or service paid in arrears means you don’t receive money until after the pay period is over.
  Audit trail A record that tracks financial transactions.
  Authentication The process of confirming that a user is who they claim to be.
  Authorization The process of confirming what a user is allowed to do, i.e., user permissions and access controls.
B  
  Balance transfer Transferring money between accounts.
  Bill image (PDF) A visual record of the bill as it was sent to the customer. 
  Billing cycle The date on which our billing engine runs and produces customer invoices. Typically between the 2nd and 28th of the month.
  Bill on behalf of Billing On Behalf Of , (BOBO), allows you to manage parent-child companies, organizations and resellers.
  Bundle A group of products that are sold together, i.e., packaged.
  BSS Business Support System with front-end components that manage the customer-facing duties of a company.
C  
  Call typing The process of establishing the type of phone call, i.e., local, intralata, or on-network calls.
  CDR Call Detail Record of a telephone call.
  Child product A product that requires another (parent) product to be purchased along with it.
  Collections An action that is performed when the receivables for an account reach a certain age.
  Collection system A system that handles receivables.
  Commission A  form of variable-pay remuneration to a reseller, partner or agent for services rendered or products sold.
  Contract term The total length of a contract.
  Convergent billing Combining any products, services or goods into a single unified bill.
  Credit limit The total amount of credit that an account or customer is allowed.
  CRM Customer Relationship Management, a system for managing all your company's relationships and interactions throughout the customer lifecycle.
  CSP Communications Service Providers.
D  
  Data grid A form of data presentation that allows users to easily filter, sort, search and export customer data.
  Deposit The amount of money held from an account to anticipate non-payment.
  Discount period The period of time when an event discount applies. 
  Dispute A record tracking any disagreements raised by a customer.
  Dunning The process of communicating with customers in an effort to collect money owed for goods or services provided.
E  
  Early termination charge An amount charged when a service is terminated prior to the end of the contract.
  eSignature An electronic signature mechanism for documents such as quotes or contracts.
  Event An incident. For example, a telephone call or SMS.
  Event attribute A distinguishing feature of an event that allows it to be rated or discounted.
F  
  Failover cluster The process by which a redundant system assumes operations if your primary application, database, or network fails.
  Federal USF charges Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) is a federal program to help ensure telecommunications services are available to all consumers nationwide.
  Fixed contract A contract where the price of the products or services is set. 
G  
  General ledger The accounting records that show all the financial statements for a business or customer.
  Geocoding The process of transforming a postal address to a spatial location on the Earth's surface.
  Graphical User Interface The (GUI), is comprised of the visual elements of our software. For example: windows, data grids, tabs, icons and buttons.
H  
I  
  IIF Intuit Interchange Format, text files that QuickBooks uses to import and export data.
  Initiation charges One-time charges. For example, a non-recurring installation or activation. 
  Invoice auditing A manual or automated review of customer billing to analyze service usage, fees, surcharges, and taxes. For example, TimelyBill's adhoc reporting can be used to efficiently identify unassigned (unrated) usage.
  IP filtering A security layer that allows us to create a set of rules that either discards or accepts traffic over a network connection.
  IoT Internet of Things, refers to a system of internet-connected objects that are able to collect and transfer data over a network without human intervention. For example, smart homes, wearables, energy devices and connected cars.
  Itemization Detailed breakdown of an invoice.
J  
K  
L  
  LEC Local Exchange Carrier is any company certificated by the Public Service Commission to provide local exchange telecommunications service.
  Lifecycle The stages a customer goes through before, during and after they complete a transaction. The process includes these stages: acquisition, service, growth and retention.
  LOA  Letter of Authorization, a legal document that includes info regarding where and when a circuit is terminated or reassigned to another telco carrier.
  Localization The process of adapting a product's language translation to a specific country or region.
  Lockbox A check processing service.
  Logging An application log contains information about events that have occurred within TimelyBill. These events are logged by our application and written to the database. Log entires can include user initiated events, system errors, data transactions and more.
  LSR Local Service Request, the name for an order in which carriers submit to initiate a port order of telephone numbers.
M  
  Mediation Retrieving and merging usage records into a single unified file.
  Migration The process of collecting, mediating and moving data from your existing billing application into TimelyBill.
  Merchant account A type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments, typically via debit cards, credit cards, or ACH.
  Metering A service model in which service providers track usage amounts and charge customers accordingly.
  Mobile responsive Software that adapts the layout to a device or screen size.  i.e., desktop, tablet or mobile device.
  Multi-tenant A multi-organizational structure that allows you to run multiple companies from within a single TimelyBill instance.
  MVNO A mobile virtual network operator is a carrier that does own its wireless network infrastructure.
N  
  NPA Number Plan Area, a telephone service territory, also referred to as an area code.
  Net receivables The maximum number of receivables.
O  
  OOTB Out of the box feature or functionality (off the shelf).
  OSS Operational Support System with back-end components that manage administrative duties.
P  
  Package A group of products that are sold together (i.e, bundle).
  Parent product A product that can be purchased alone.
  PBX Private Branch Exchange, a private telephone network that allows users to talk to one another.
  Portal A web-based interface that gives customers and agents complete visibility into their interactions with your organization.
  Provisioning The process of preparing and equipping a communications network to allow it to provide new services to its users.
  Prepayment An amount paid in advance. 
  Product A tangible or intangible good or service.
  Product attribute A distinctive feature of a product.
  Product charge A charge produced for a product.
  Prorating A way of creating fair charges to reflect changes mid billing period.
Q  
  Quote to cash (Q2C), the steps taken automate three core functions: configure price quote, contract management, and revenue management.
R  
  Recurring bill A bill delivered at specific intervals.
  Rating Determining the cost for specific usage events such as calls, SMS, data transfers, etc.
  Re-activation fees Charges applied when a service is re-activated. 
  Real-time rating Rating an even immediately upon occurrence.
  Recurring charge A product charge that is applied every billing period.
  Refund The money paid back to the customer.
  Rerating Recalculating the price of events.
  REST Representational State Transfer, allows connection, management and interaction with web services in a distributed environment.
  Revenue leakage The loss of revenue from a company that goes unnoticed due to under-billing customers for products and services provided.
S  
  SaaS Software as a Service, a licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis, and hosted "in the cloud".
  Single-Stack A platform that includes all features and functionality within one software system.
  SIP Session Initiation Protocol, a signalling protocol used to establish, modify and terminate a session or call between multiple participants.
  SMS Short Message Service, a common form of text messaging in use today.
  Stage Environment A server that is used to test your data or configurations in a "production-like" environment before being deployed live.
  State and Local Taxes Comprised of gross receipts tax surcharges, interstate taxes, state universal service funds, or state infrastructure maintenance fees.
T  
  Ticket A "help desk" request used in our trouble management system which is monitored by a customer support team.
  Tokenized Swapping out sensitive data (typically payment or bank info) with random numbers for data security purposes.
U  
  UC Unified Communications, the integration of multiple communication tools such as voice, video, and instant messaging into a single "unified" platform. UCaaS refers to UC services which are hosted in the cloud.
  Unbillable An account that cannot be billed.
  Usage rating Customer usage is collected and rated based on the defined rate plans and billed to apply product discounts, adjustments, etc.
V  
  Vendor Specific supplier of goods or services.
  Volume discount A discount that incentivizes customers to purchase in bulk to earn a discount. 
W  
  Write-off Disregarding a small number of receivables.
X  
Y  
Z