Accounting and billing

In telecommunications (and probably everywhere), accounting and billing are two separate logical entities, although there are cases (for example, real-time prepaid accounts) where they happen together and are strictly intertwined.

Accounting is keeping a tab on who gets what, for example, what metered services a user accessed, when the user accessed them, for how much time, and so on. Particularly, in telephony, which calls were made to what numbers, for how long, for each customer. This process involves generating and managing Call Detail Records (CDRs) for each and every call, where all the above details and much more are stored and can be retrieved. CDRs are also a precious source of debugging and troubleshooting information, ...

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