Understanding Account and Billing Management

This chapter discusses:

Click to jump to parent topicBilling Account Management

CRM provides billing account management functionality that works differently depending on the industry's needs:

A bill (for example, a cellular phone bill) is a collection of bill items (monthly service charge, federal tax, and so on), and each of these items is linked to one or multiple bill events (for example, call details). During customer interaction, CSRs can review billing information (bill and bill items) in summary and detailed views and view bill images in HTML format, which enables them to address customer inquiries quickly and effectively.

The billing framework provides front-end billing functionality through the implementation of integration points. For example, the Bill Dispute and Adjustment integration enables CSRs to create disputes on account balance, account usage, bill item, and bill event. Administrators can set up application rules to decide whether a dispute needs to be routed to the Billing department or can be adjusted in the customer’s account instantaneously (if the disputable amount does not exceed the threshold value).

Note. Prepaid accounts are slightly different functionally. A positive balance must be available on the prepaid account before services are rendered. The billing framework provides a mechanism for the CSR or customer to top-up the account balance and to check balance and other account information. Disputes are not supported with prepaid accounts.

The CRM system uses cases to handle disputes for the communication and energy industries. When a customer logs a complaint with a CSR regarding a bill dispute, the system captures the dispute information and creates a bill dispute case. If the dispute can be adjusted (determined by configurable application rules) instantly, the system credits the disputable amount back to the account in the CRM system and sends a credit transaction to the billing system for account update. The dispute case is closed. However, if the dispute needs further investigation from the billing side, the system publishes a message to the billing system to begin the process. The case remains open until the dispute is resolved. Bill dispute effects on account balances or billing information are updated and reflected in the CRM system accordingly.

All transactions between CSRs and customers regarding billing inquiries and disputes are captured as interactions.

Note. Bill Disputes functionality is used by Communication and Energy solutions only.

CDH Customer Merge

If CDH integration is activated in the system, merge routines are used to handle the consolidation of customer records for billing accounts.

See Understanding Customer Data Hub Integration.

Click to jump to parent topicAccount Creation

Billing accounts in the communications services and energy industries are created in two ways:

Note. Prepaid accounts can be created through an order or imported from a third-party system. Imported prepaid accounts are automatically assigned to the anonymous prepaid customer.

Click to jump to parent topicThe Account Framework

Accounts provide a framework to manage the services and products that have been purchased or subscribed to by customers of a communications services and energy provider. Invoices, which are typically generated by industry-specific billing applications, are generated at an account level. All requests and orders, whether for new services or changes to existing services, are managed at the account level. Accounts dictate billing information such as bill payment type, invoice frequency, and bill payment information, including credit card numbers. Account setup and management in PeopleSoft CRM industries is generally driven by the requirements of a specific billing application. PeopleSoft CRM industries integrate with any standard billing system, including PeopleSoft Billing.

The accounts framework enables the enterprise to:

Click to jump to parent topicAccount Hierarchies

A communications service or energy company's business accounts are supported through account hierarchies, with a parent and child relationship between accounts.

Subordinate Accounts

Subordinate accounts do not receive a bill, although the usage is tracked to the individual account. For example, ABC Company provides cell phones for employees. ABC Company receives an aggregate bill that tracks the usage of each employee. Individual employees, the subordinate accounts, do not receive bills.

Nonsubordinate Accounts

In nonsubordinate accounts, the child account is responsible for bill payment. For example, ABC Company sponsors a corporate credit card. The parent account belongs to the ABC Company, and the child accounts belong to the employees to whom cards have been issued and for whom separate accounts have been defined. The employees are responsible for paying the accounts.

Sponsored Accounts and Sponsoring Accounts

Sponsor accounts are responsible for sponsored rates. For example, a company may sponsor the subscription (monthly cycle fees) for a mobile phone service for its employees. However, the employee is responsible for any additional usage fees. Therefore, the bill item that is associated with the subscription fee is associated with the sponsor bill, not with the employee bill.

Individual Accounts

These accounts are owned by individual customers, and the primary account holder is responsible for associated billing.

Note. These hierarchies, as well as bill consolidation, take place in the billing application.