What goes into telecom invoice auditing?

As we discussed in our last post on telecom invoice processing, the first step in doing telecom invoices auditing – at least the way WE do it – is software.  Why?  Because the key to successful telecom invoice auditing is visibility.

When we do telecom invoice auditing, we first enter all the invoice data into Clearview, our web-based telecom expense management software tool.  The data goes in one of two ways.  If the vendor offers electronic invoice data, we can import the data that way, eliminating the manual data input.  However, if they only offer paper, that is how it is done – by hand.

Once the telecom invoice data is in the system, then the real fun starts.  Because the key reason to do telecom invoice auditing is to find problems.  Overcharges, setup fees, incorrectly applied taxes, items not billing to contract terms, zero or low use lines, 3rd party billing and more.  The list is pretty long, and most firms will divide them into two types of invoice audit – a “cursory” audit or a “deep dive”.   The difference really has to do with time.  Spotting things like 3rd party charges is somewhat superficial, but knowing whether all your cell phones are being billed at the contract price you agreed to pay two years ago?  That takes a lot longer.

Once the problems are all discovered, one of two things happens.  If it is a problem, it is corrected.  Zero use lines are cancelled, third party charges are shut off, costs are adjusted to reflect contract terms.  There is often a “follow up audit” scheduled, to confirm that all the cost saving changes were actually implemented by the vendor.  Then its time to ask for a refund.

And that critical piece of telecom invoice auditing often isn’t discussed.  Called “credit recovery”, it is a huge reason invoice auditing is so important.  Honestly, why else would you do it if you couldn’t get your money back?  The states have different statutes regulating how long you can go back to recover credit owed to you, and a good telecom expense management firm (hint – Valicom) has expertise in knowing the rules, and how best to lean on the vendor to get your money back.  Now, you don’t have to outsource this if you don’t want to.  Clearview gives you the data, so if you want to do it yourself, go for it.  But, as common sense dictates, sometimes you do get what you pay for.  Valicom has been doing telecom invoice auditing for over twenty years, and almost always, we return far more than our fee in discovered savings.

If you want to see some good tactics for telecom invoice auditing, download our white paper.

Seven Strong Tactics to Contain Telecom & Wireless Costs

Outlining seven best practices in managing telecom and wireless expenses. This paper is a good primer for setting up a good telecom expense management program, while also showcasing how modern web-based telecom expense management software tools support the use of these best practices.  Register and download now