First off, what is telecom invoice processing? Generally it is a service where a TEM vendor takes receipt of a firm’s telecom invoices and makes the data available for other purposes. When TEM software is involved, it is called “data loading”, as the invoice detail is transferred to the software database to be utilized in a variety of ways.
Invoice detail is most often associated with cost allocation and a telecom auditing. User, usage and cost information is made more visible, so errors and overcharges can more easily be seen and corrected. Data can be entered and allocated to a degree of detail dictated by the individual client, as some may want more granular information available for reporting. Electronic invoice copies are also stored in their original layout, as a PDF or other desired format, for archiving and research needs. This creates a rich history of data for use over time, giving visibility to important trends and the distribution of costs throughout the firm.
Having a TEM firm manage invoices also puts a process in place to notice when invoices are delayed or simply don’t arrive. This step eliminates a failure point that can cause late fees and penalties. Invoice data is received and loaded within 48 hours, making it available for either in-house or contracted TEM auditors to take the next steps.
Benefits for IT + Telecom Managers
- Remove the invoice process from your responsibilities and allocate that time to more critical tasks.
- Gain better insight into service costs and trends by using software to analyze data.
- Gain the option to see multiple services in fewer, more consolidated bill formats.
Benefits for Finance Managers
- Avoid late fees and penalties by assuring invoices are received and processed in a timely fashion.
- Request consolidated or custom invoices to gain visibility into desired areas and costs.
- Eliminate the costs associated with staff time to open, process and file telecom invoices.
Telecom Invoice Consolidation – Many Services, Fewer Bills
A key benefit of telecom invoice processing is bill consolidation. Firms may have services contracted from a large number of carriers, attached to a long list of locations, or spread out over a wide geographic area. Once the invoice data is received, it can be condensed as much as possible and delivered back in a much more comprehensible format. Collapsing the data down as small as it will go minimizes the time needed to review and manage bills, and grants greater visibility into the telecom cost situation as a whole.
Going Green – No More Paper!
Another advantage of having a TEM firm assist with invoice processing is to eliminate paper wherever possible. Many telecom carriers now offer invoicing in electronic formats that can be imported into a software program. Those formats range from web portal downloads to Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) processes. Moving away from hard copies not only replaces paper with pixels, it also speeds up receipt and avoids mailing mishaps that can delay or lose documents. Electronic invoices also typically offer more detail, leading to better cost allocation and easier auditing. And it can further reduce costs, as the human element of getting, opening, sorting and filing the mail is removed, saving labor and allowing staff to spend their time on more lucrative, high level tasks.