Telecom Invoice Data Loading and Bill Payment

Invoice Data Loading

Is one of your teams holding up the finance and accounts payable department? Invoice approval is a tricky task that every organization handles differently.

At various points through the month, invoices arrive from the Finance or Accounts Payable departments. Charges, invoices and expenses that need to be approved by a variety of department heads, managers and directors. It’s a complicated to-do with many tasks baked in. Invoice approval and payment encompasses auditing, allocating, submitting for approval and finally cutting the check for these invoices.

For most organizations the ‘waiting for approval’ process is the most time consuming and costly part. Here are then numbers to back this up.

Wasted Invoice Approval Resources

Money: The industry average cost of processing an invoice is $9.60

Time: On average invoices take 8 days to be processed

But this doesn’t have to be your organization’s story. Ease up invoice duties for the finance department, and let them get back to what they are best at, crunching numbers. Valicom offers efficient Invoice Approval functionality through Clearview. With Clearview, managers can review the invoices charges, variances, and PDFs from their phone or from their computer. With a click of button – those invoices are approved and sent back to Finance, where the check gets cut.

Invoice approval is just one aspect to our approach to eliminating time sinks for the Finance department.

Why are Telecom and Technology Invoices so complex?

Telecom invoice top the list of some of the most complex and convoluted invoices around. What’s sad is that part of this confusion is by design. The sad truth is that carriers are counting on your organization not reviewing invoices at all. And that’s where it gets expensive.

Why are telecom invoices so confusing?

Inconsistent Billing Rates: Carriers often charge a list price or “base rate” for their various services. Which seems simple enough, you’ll be charged this simple base rate for the services you select, right? Wrong. Base rate + discounts = your ‘net rate’. This is the rate that your sales rep is quoting you before you sign on the dotted line. Discounts can be difficult to follow from contract to invoice, unless you are spending day in and day out reviewing telecom invoices. Read on for more about discounts and how they play into monthly billing next…

Contract Rates vs Discounted Rates: Charges and discounted rates are difficult to discern. Why? Because discounts are fixed while monthly rates are not. So inevitably when the base rate changes, the net rate will also increase, despite an overall discounted rate. Monthly fluctuating rates, taxes and sheer volume add to this confusion…cue eyes glazing over.

Miscellaneous & Erroneous Charges: You may have heard the term ‘Slamming & Cramming’.  Slamming is the illegal practice of switching your telephone provider to another provider without your permission. Cramming, is the illegal practice of placing unauthorized, misleading or deceptive charges on your telephone bill. These bill line items include ringtones, 3rd party promotional texts, personal 800 numbers, and ‘900’ pay-per-use calls. These items are hidden deep in telecom invoices, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for you will probably miss them.

Language / Currency Barrier: Is your telecom team managing any aspect of your international telecom spend? If they are, they’re bound to encounter language and currency translation issues. If you thought an English invoice in USD was difficult to discern, just think what a Bulgarian invoice would look like. Take a quick look at this Bulgarian invoice…

Sheer Volume: Whether it’s the amount of lines in your environment, or the complexity of different services under the same account, the numbers game is never fun to play. Put simply, that 1,000 page invoice is intimidating. Paired with the level of data provided in each invoice, telecom invoices can be completely daunting, especially to an over-worked and under-paid telecom analyst.

Are you struggling to navigate telecom charges? Or is your IT and telecom teams playing the ‘ignorance is bliss’ card? Let our team of telecom experts help you break through the confusion of telecom billing.

 


Bill Payment

Bill Payment is another tedious task on your extensive list of monthly to do’s. If unintentionally dismissed, late fees can accumulate causing you to have unnecessary costs to pay. Many don’t know what the breaking point is, when they should consider outsourcing their bill pay. If you are seeing any of the following signs, it is a good indication that automatic bill pay will be beneficial to your company.

Signs it’s time for Bill Pay

Service Disruptions: Disconnections due to incorrect payment amount or late payments.

Frequent Phone Payment: You often pay over the phone to avoid suspension or late payment.

Misapplied Payments: Your payments are being applied to the wrong charges, causing service disruptions and late fees.

If these warning signs describe what is happening to you, you’re in luck! A telecom expense management team will take the annoying chore of cutting checks and paying bills off your hands. The bill pay process can be tedious but easy when you hand it over to a TEM provider.

The Valicom Bill Pay Process

Bill Reporting: Each week, we’ll provide you a feed of accounts to be paid. For automatic feed payment, we’ll link accounts via ACH. (A check can be sent if desired, but may delay payment.)

Daily Reconciliation: Valicom confirms and reconciles all deposits received, and checks that have been cashed each day.

Payment: Client’s weekly feed is uploaded into Valicom’ s Client Accounting program, and the total is matched to the Client deposit again when checks are cut.

Double Check: A ‘Positive Pay’ file is provided to Associated Bank daily to ensure that only checks that match the correct check number and amount can be cashed. 

Credit Card Payment: Under special circumstances Valicom may pay the Client’s accounts by credit card.

Automatic bill pay set up is simple and easy. Once it’s set up, you won’t have to worry about inaccurate or late payments every again. Problem, solved.