Revenue accounting and distribution


Revenue Accounting and Distribution provides the downstream back-office functions of the Fare Collection system. It consists of some or all of the following functions:

  • Sales and transaction data recovery and management
  • Sales and transaction data analysis
  • Cash collection, counting and reconciliation
  • Cash deposit and banking
  • Revenue transfers and reconciliation from sales agents and 3rd parties
  • Revenue transfers from credit/debit card and other customer payment methods
  • Preparation of payment requests and associated calculations or transaction records related to:
    • multimodal fare products
    • concessionary and/or subsidised fare products or passes
    • stored value and electronic purse
  • Recovery/transfer of funds relating to such payment requests
  • Verification of requests for outward payment to other operators or entities in relation to shared ticketing or ticket sales on their behalf
  • Treasury management and banking
  • Accounting and reporting of daily and periodic revenues
  • Audit and investigative function
  • Allocation of revenues among modes, operators and routes based on sales and transaction records, and on the rules for such allocations
  • Funds transfers to other modes, operators
  • Internal funds allocation (notional or actual)
  • MIS
  • Data storage, archiving and retrieval, and data security

Technologies, data and resources

Revenue accounting and distribution are not strictly speaking ITS applications. They are downstream processors of data generated by the ITS systems. They consist primarily of software packages, supporting servers and associated operating platform software. Support devices include cash-counting machines and other peripherals associated with administration functions.

The data requirements for revenue accounting and distribution are primarily:

  • Sales and usage transaction data from the Fare Collection System, including from in-vehicle and at-platform ticket issuing machines and card readers, from sales outlets and kiosks, from 3rd party agents and fare product resellers, and from online transaction providers
  • Sales and usage transaction data from non-ITS sources
  • Contextual data from other ITS systems, including journey records from the CAD/AVM system, driver assignment, equipment allocation records
  • Customer and card data bases
  • Revenue distribution agreements and rules

Advantages and Cautions

The primary advantages of Revenue Accounting and Distribution applications are to:

  • manage the revenue accounting across a wide range of outlets and information sources
  • automate processes which are very resource-intensive when performed manually
  • reduce errors and facilitate full reconciliation
  • allow performance of the revenue distribution function at transaction level, and according to complex and variable rules (too complex to perform manually)
  • provide complete, analysed data to the reporting and MIS functions
  • facilitate competitive contracting involving multiple operators

The principal cautions in relation to Revenue Accounting and Distribution are:

  • as the system is largely automated, system administrators and users may become somewhat disconnected from the values and transactions, and hence less likely to notice signs of (attempted) fraud. Additional measures are required to counter the possibility both of insider fraud and of systematic errors.

Relevant Case Studies


Dublin, Karnataka State (please see Fare Collection Toolkit)