What is Call Accounting in ?

What is a Call Accounting System?

Call accounting software collects, records, and analyzes voice call data to provide insights into telephone usage and costs. Traditionally, call accounting systems focused on detecting activities like outbound and inbound calls, ring outs, routings, and abandoned calls. However, today's call accounting solutions go beyond basic call logging and bill back services to provide hotels with robust reporting, visualization, and management of their telecom network.

Telecom and Call Cost Management for Hotels

Telephone usage was once a major expense for hotels, with long distance, local, 800 number, and international calls adding significantly to monthly phone bills. With guests making calls from their rooms as well as staff communicating by phone, hotels needed to actively manage their telecom costs.

Today, telecom costs have been greatly reduced. Hotels now use their PBX (private branch exchange) systems that route calls between guests and staff, and VOIP (voice over internet protocol) systems route calls over the internet rather than traditional phone lines, bringing tremendous savings. Additionally, hotels used to bill guests for in-room calls, which added a decent amount of annual revenue to otherwise slim profit margins. However, as technology evolved, so did the way guests communicate. In-room calls have significantly declined as guests now prefer using their personal mobile devices.

How has Call Accounting changed?

Call accounting has been around for years, but what does that term mean today?

Back in the day, hotels used to bill guests for in-room calls. But as technology evolved, so did the way guests communicate. In-room calls have significantly declined as guests prefer using their personal devices. So, does call accounting still hold relevance?

To answer this question, we need to understand the opportunities this shift in communication offers hotels.

Today's call accounting is less about guest call bill back and all about insights. Modern call accounting leverages advanced capabilities like speech analytics, interactive dashboards, and AI to extract deeper value from call data. With real-time monitoring, historical analysis, and forecasting powered by call accounting software, organizations gain visibility into usage trends, customer interactions, agent performance, and more. The purpose of call accounting has expanded from basic call tracking to a multifaceted analytics tool for optimizing communications, costs, and customer experience.

Every phone call made by your guests is not just a conversation; it's a valuable piece of data.

connectivity diagram showing profitwatch screenshot to a Fosse PMS system and a Avaya, Mitel, NEC PBX

What Insight Does Call Accounting Data Offer?

Call accounting can tell you about your guest's call patterns, peak staffing needs, and the most frequent numbers dialed. It can help you to make informed decisions to optimize the services you offer.

  • Improve Guest Experience: Understand when your guests need services, like room service or housekeeping. Trend data can also act as a quality control measure if rooms aren't being thoroughly cleaned or if there is an increase in maintenance issues.
  • Resource Allocation:: Call accounting reports ensure the right staff is available during peak call hours. Abandoned calls and unanswered calls tell you if your clerks aren't at their assigned desk when they should be.

    Plus, reports in call accounting identify ways you can reduce yours communication costs, locate unused communication infrastructure, and increase call routing efficiency.
  • Enhanced Security and Reduce Liability: : Lastly, call accounting can detect suspicious call patterns or alert you to emergency situations promptly, which helps you to comply with Kari's Law, reduces your liability, but most importantly, this ensures the safety of your guests.

Kari's Law and Safety

banner about Kari's Law, red and blue rectangle image

Kari's Law was enacted in February of 2020 and named after Kari Hunt Dunn who tragically lost her life in 2013 at a hotel when her children were unable to connect with emegerncy services because they didn't know to dial 9 to reach an outside line on the hotel's multiline phone system (MLTS).

This law now requires all hotels and other lodging establishments with multiline phone systems to reconfigure them so guests can dial 911 directly, without needing to dial 9 or any other number first. This is crucial for allowing guests to quickly and easily contact first responders in case of emergencies. For hotels, compliance with Kari's Law is not just a legal obligation but an important step to ensure guest safety and potentially save lives. With the high turnover and variety of guests passing through, hotels must keep their phone systems up-to-date and 911-accessible.

ProfitWatch Call Accounting Software

Because it's not just about billing back calls anymore, Metropols' ProfitWatch Call Accounting Software has been a preferred choice by leading hotel brands for 30 years due to its call management features but also its instant 911 call alerting capabilities. It combines compliance and efficiency, designed to simplify your call accounting processes with a user-friendly interface, seamless PBX and PMS integration, and automated call costing, invoicing, and alerting features to bring a wealth of benefits to your hotel.

Metropolis is your ideal partner in the hospitality world, so if you are ready to learn most about how call accounting can help your hotel, visit the experts at

banner cta blue with hotel background, cta for profitwatch call accounting software screenshot