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From Reporting Assurance to Finance Assurance – a natural evolution

It has been over two decades since telecom risk management professionals started talking more than just fraud and started to evangelise the concept of measuring broader revenue losses and leakages within their businesses and the term ‘Revenue Assurance’ was born. Today, the maturity of this operational function has moved to a more encompassing term of ‘Business Assurance’.

Today industry organisations like the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG) provide the platform for collaboration between global telecom operators and risk management professionals to continue the advancement in assurance activities as telecom services and networks evolve and adapt.  In the recent RAG event held in Dubai, stc; the incumbent multiplay telecoms operator in Saudi Arabia, represented by Bander Aldajani, spoke on the topic of mitigating reporting risks within the business.

Bander passionately believes in the value that Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management professionals can add by using the best techniques available and this is the reason stc is striving to build a risk coverage map that is comprehensive in scope, their RAFM team have adopted different sources of risk catalogues among them is the RAG Business Assurance Leakage Catalogue to ensure their business is comprehensively covered.

Bander has been vocal in the need to change the name of one of the risk categories within the Business Assurance Leakage Catalogue from Reporting Assurance to Finance Assurance as he introduces broader scope of this particular key risk area.  Reporting Assurance is currently ranked 13th on the list of 25 key risk areas within the RAG Business Assurance Leakage Catalogue, with many telecoms operators focusing on traditional revenue assurance coverage (including billing, charging, rating, usage …etc.), with stc’s RAFM department already covering these more traditional areas, they took a further step to investigate areas with less maturity, among them is Finance Assurance

Bander believes that Finance Assurance is a better suited term for what is a broad set of financial based aspects and that reporting assurance does not adequately reflect the risk area today.

Geoff Ibbett, of Symmetry Solutions, the principal author of the RAG Business Assurance Leakage Catalogue that provides a risk map describing and categorising the risks faced by telco operators, as well as a catalogue that goes into low-level detail, listing many of the root causes experienced by RAG members within their own operations, agrees with Bander.

Geoff commented ‘Finance Assurance will be added to the RAG Business Assurance Leakage Catalogue, it is a natural evolution of Reporting Assurance and reflects Bander’s and stc’s experience, contribution and expertise in this area. Extending the collective experience of telecoms assurance professionals further, documenting many types of revenue and cost leakage that they have encountered in practice, allows other telecom service providers either less mature, smaller in size to prepare and adequately cover these constantly evolving risk areas and threats’.

‘Sharing our own experiences with our fellow risk management peers assists us all in protecting our organisations from revenue loss and cements our position further of the importance of Business Assurance within the organisation’ says Bander.

Geoff commented further ‘The RAG Business Assurance Leakage Catalogue success is solely dependent on professionals like Bander and businesses like stc to assist in ensuring we are sharing relevant experiences and collaborating on latest techniques, strategies and activities being undertaken within the telecoms industry.

Without proactive input by individuals and support from management and telecom service providers risks resulting in revenue and cost leakage will only increase, the dedicated individuals who are passionate about their responsibilities ensure that collectively business assurance continues to grow, expand and become more comprehensive.  We have to recognise the input from individuals, teams, departments, management and the service providers to ensuring the wider industry can benefit from their endeavours.

The RAG Business Assurance Catalogue is free to access by all and is available to download from the Risk & Assurance website at www.riskandassurancegroup.org