Telecom Expense Management Software Task List: Telecom Invoice Processing & Payment

In our ongoing discussion of telecom expense management tasks that can be streamlined with a good TEM software, we’ve talked about inventorymanagement, cost allocation and telecom contracts.  Next we hit one of the biggies…..

Invoice Processing & Payment

Speaking of document management, one of the biggest pain points of telecom has got to be invoices.  Little missiles of irritation that arrive in the mail to ruin your day.  Sometimes by the boxful.  And you knowyou should really look at all of those – line by line, every single month – to make sure they are accurate.  But really, who has the time?

So you’re left with two challenges.   Can I minimize this mountain of paper?  And is there a faster way to review these to see if we have problems?   You’ll be happy to know the answer to both is YES.

Invoice data can get in the software two ways – electronically via import, or manually.   And this is where you might want to outsource some invoice processing work to a partner like Valicom.   Invoices can be shipped directly to us, and we will scan and enter all the information into the system.  The invoices will be available for viewing as a PDF at any time, and all the payment data will be attributed to the proper inventory items and cost centers.    Then comes the fun part of audit and approval.

Which brings us to our second trick – automating the invoice review process.  The software has a built-in variance tool.  Most invoices should be the same, month in and month out, so when they aren’t, you know something has changed.  Perhaps you were anticipating that, but perhaps not.  Either way, if it is flagged for you, then you know to look.   The system can also check for certain types of charges that are often tacked on by mistake, like installation fees and taxes.   This can save you a lot of time, as you can choose to only look at items that need attention.

And once the invoice review is done, and they are tagged for approval, the software can generate a feed to your Accounting system with all the details.   Then they can cut the checks there, or your vendor partner can cut the checks, pay the bills, and just send the feed to Accounting so they know it’s done!

Stay tuned for the next task list – Change Management.