Full Description

Comptrollers' Automatic Message Accounting Format Description (CAFD)

Document Number SR-69
Issue Number 04
Issue Date Dec 2000
Replaces TR-FAD-000069 Issue02

    ABSTRACT: Issue 4 of SR-69, Comptrollers' Automatic Message accounting Format Description (CAFD) replaces Issue 3.

    Automatic Message Accounting (AMA) is the switching function that provides formatted telephone usage information needed for the preparation of telephone customer bills. AMA records provide the necessary data items for billing a telephone call. These data items typically include calling number, called number, connect time and date, duration, and service characteristics. AMA records generated by a switching system are input into the Customer Record Information System (CRIS), whose function is to accurately bill telephone users.

    The Comptrollers' Automatic Message Accounting Format Description (CAFD) document provides Comptroller-oriented descriptions and supporting information on the formatting and initial CRIS processing of AMA data recorded by switching systems and special AMA systems. CAFD addresses standard AMA record formats as well as single-and multi entry AMA formats.

    These three formats cover the structure of records output by both new and existing switching and AMA systems. The primary purpose of CAFD provides CRIS message processing, design information. The target audience is first-and second-level Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) personnel with Comptrollers' or information Systems' AMA processing responsibilities. The secondary purpose of CAFD declares the concept of "Billing AMA Format" by making the user's perspective available to the industry. A general availability of CAFD encourages the acceptance of Billing AMA format as the industry standard. Both users and manufacturers will benefit from the adoption of a standardized AMA recording format.

    CAFD contains six volumes:

    • Volume I: General AMA Data,
    • Volume II: Single- and Multi-Entry Record Formats
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    • Volume III: Structure Codes
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    • Volume IV: Call Codes
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    • Volume V: Tables
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    • Volume VI: Modules.
    Volume I addresses Billing AMA format. Billing AMA format record structures are composed of signed, packed, binary-coded decimal fields that are designed for processing and maintenance efficiencies.

    Volume I also provides Revenue Accounting Office (RAO) guidelines for message processing. It describes Comptrollers' audit and control functions that aid in rapidly processing both Billing AMA format and single- and multi entry format AMA data. In addition to AMA processing guidelines, Volume I supports an application level understanding of the format descriptions presented in Volumes III through VI. The application perspective is useful to both users of AMA formats and to manufacturers of switching and AMA equipment. Previously, manufacturers engineered their AMA systems to an abstract set of requirements without the benefit of knowing how AMA records were processed. With CAFD information about both record formats and record processing, manufacturers should be in a better position to meet the requirements of Billing AMA format. LECs will benefit as their Comptrollers' organizations discover that they will have to design and maintain less specialized software to process single- and multi entry formats.

    Volume II contains descriptions pertinent to specific switching systems that output the single- and multi entry formats. Single- and multi entry format AMA data are holdovers from a pre-Billing AMA format era and are used predominantly by systems manufactured by Lucent Technologies.

    Volumes III through VI contain detailed descriptions of all call records generated under Billing AMA format requirements.

    SR-69 replaced TR-FAD-000069.

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