Why Telecom Invoice Auditing Matters
Telecom invoice auditing has always been the cornerstone of a strong TEM program. It is the first thing that comes to mind to control telecom and mobile costs, though it is far from universally implemented. Many firms simply receive invoices, verify they are within a tolerable range of variance, and pay them. This is an expensive oversight – analyst research confirms that up to 15% of telecom invoices have errors. Not having a dedicated person or team to review invoices monthly for problems can create a big leak in the telecom budget. A leak you can plug.
Telecom Invoice Auditing – Cursory or Deep Dive?
Telecom invoice auditing comes in two flavors, pending how much time is spent and detail covered. Cursory audits are designed to be faster, but only catch the low hanging fruit. A cursory audit should identify problems like unnecessary taxes, third party charges, low/no usage lines, unauthorized app charges, and overage fees for texting, minutes and data.
A more thorough, or “deep dive” audit is more time consuming, but gets into often overlooked areas that can generate a high level of savings. A skilled auditor can compare current invoice charges to CSRs (customer service records) to confirm you only pay for what you have, and review existing vendor contracts to verify that all applicable discounts are properly applied. They can also request up-to-date human resources data, so any employee changes are promptly reflected in the billing. This includes not only cancellation of services when staff leaves, but a confirmation that new staff are added at the correct pricing.
Benefits to IT and Telecom Managers
- Eliminate waste in the telecom budget so funds can be allocated for other use
- Gain visibility into problem areas and confirm services are implemented at the right price
- Verify you only pay for what you have and what you use for current and new staff
Benefits to Finance Managers
- Eliminate the guesswork about whether invoices are accurate
- Ensure the firm receives all elligible discounts and contracted rates on telecom services
- Have a process to request and confirm credit for past over-payments.
Advantages of Outsourcing Telecom Invoice Auditing
Not all firms have skilled auditors on staff, and if invoices are reviewed by someone whose primary duties are clerical, IT or finance, they may not have the expertise to do it well. Identifying issues is only half the battle, as requesting credit from the vendors can be a long and arduous process. Different vendors, and different states, may have varying regulations that control how far back credits can be requested, and without sophisticated tracking tools to verify credits were applied, the money is often never recovered. Hiring a pro can deliver higher savings AND peace of mind.
Advantages of TEM Software for Telecom Invoice Auditing
If you do have an in-house telecom team, TEM software will address primary auditing challenge of data management. By using software specifically designed for TEM processes, tracking common auditing tasks is much easier. A TEM software is designed to help document and track unauthorized charges, open issues, credit requests, and MACDs (move, add, change, deletes). It also offers robust reporting that can showcase trends over time, cost by department, charges by user or other detail managers may need to help better run their environment.