Up until the early 1980s, most telephone networks in the United States were operated and owned by AT&T. Since AT&T was a monopoly, the firm dictated the services and equipment available for customer use and their charges. Although this arrangement might not have been suitable for their clients, it was simple and straightforward. With time, new entrants into the industry were established, and billing overcharges became rampant.
The need for a better business model and identification of billing errors within the first month led to the development of TEM. Managing telecom expenses had also become quite cumbersome due to the growth in the telecom environment, as most businesses had to deal with more than one vendor.
By the early 2000s, most telecom bill auditors were adding onto their services, and the TEM acronym was adopted by the firms that sought to differentiate themselves from ordinary bill auditors. TEM vendors today offer full-scale services that address all issues related to the telecom expense cycle.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when managing corporate telecom expenses using Excel.
1. Backup your documents
This is an old rule in computing. Any device may fail at one point or the other which might lead to loss of data. Professional IT managers know too well about this risk. However, the issue of regularly backing up the files is often overlooked by many. It is not until a disaster happens that they realize the importance of backing up the information.
Most of the time, the reason why data fails to be backed up is overdependence in the manual backup system. With the pressure mounting to have some tasks completed in time, it is easy to forget to back up the data after working on your Excel sheet. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind to ensure that your Excel sheets are backed up at all times.
2. Consider Online Backup
Online backup is the most secure way of ensuring that your data is safe. Since most organizations already have cloud storage, it is good to utilize it for backing up your expense data. If multiple users are accessing the same Excel document, there is a risk that some involuntary changes and deletions are likely to happen. Therefore, automatic online backup is recommended.
A TEM software like Clearview backs up all your data in the cloud as soon as the data is generated. This eliminates the need to keep transferring the data manually.
3. Have a Separate Physical Backup
Information on a computer is rarely 100% safe. You should have access to the information offline when not on your computer. Consider extra physical storage such as the onsite server. This way, data is available even with an internet outage.
4. Review the Stored Data
It is vital to keep checking the stored information from time to time to ensure its accuracy and to ensure that it is always in a usable format. Always pick a copy of the last stored data online when starting out a new expense management task.
5. Track Charges & Payments for Variances.
You need to have a record of all the charges made to your department as well as the payments made out of the budget allocated. Unfortunately, most of the IT managers pay invoices without crosschecking the bills and the budget and end up paying less or more than the actual figure.
For more information and tips on managing Telecom and technology expenses in Excel, read our Excel TEM Tips eBook.
About the Author: Chantel Soumis
Chantel Soumis brings over a decade of knowledge in workflow enhancement through the use of technology. Chantel studied marketing communications and business administration at Franklin University and proceeded to work in a fast, ambitious environment, assuring client delight in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Passionate about project productivity and streamlining workflows through the use of technology, Chantel strives to inform organizations of Valicom’s advanced telecom expense management software and services by mastering communications and messaging while delivering helpful information and supporting resources.