Ongoing, Repetitive Telecom Audits Lead to Cost Reductions
Enjoy Sustainable Telecom Audit Savings
Cass telecom audit controls produce measurable results for our telecom expense management clients. Detailed summaries of audit savings are always visible via the ExpenseSmart portal. Additionally, clients meet with their assigned account manager to regularly review telecom cost reductions – from both audit savings and optimization recommendations.
The Two Types of Telecom Audit Companies
- Pure telecom auditors that come in and perform a historical audit of previous invoices to look for errors. Often called “box auditors,” these post-payment auditors leave with a box of your files and are paid a percentage of savings. While these firms perform a useful service, they don’t address systemic problems and reasons the errors happened in the first place. And because they don’t work with your company on an ongoing basis, they have a limited understanding of your unified communications, it’s likely they will miss some errors.
- Mobility Management / Telecom Expense Management companies that manage the entire lifecycle process. These firms will procure telecom services or will be looped into any provisioning performed by the client. They then are able to maintain an accurate telecom inventory – they know what’s in use and what isn't – so they can accurately account for all deployed assets. On an ongoing basis, invoices are sent directly to the service provider. Using telecom audit software, they audit invoices against a continuously maintained telecom inventory. They also provide service optimization recommendations to right-size wireless plans and other usage packages. Additionally, a full-service firm will make payments on behalf of the client, and will eliminate late fees. This provider gets involved to handle misapplied payments and negotiates credits directly with the carriers. Cass is this type of service provider.
Their Telecom Auditing Process vs. the Cass Data-Rich Auditing Method
One of the key differentiators of the Cass method is the detailed level of data inputs to the audit process. Cass audits every line item of every invoice, rather than sample data. More on that below:
Telecom Auditing Basics
Large enterprises should understand the basics of telecom auditing. When it comes to a telecom audit, you must distinguish between:
1. Event-driven vs. continuous – Is the telecom audit an after-the-fact “event” or part of a continuous, systematic process?
2. Data-rich or data-poor – How much invoice data is subject to the audit? Are you auditing data samples or some percentage of invoice information? Are you auditing every line-item charge of every invoice, every month?
3. Managed vs. unmanaged – What are the human factors of the audit? Is there an experienced staff reviewing system-generated reports? Who analyzes the data, reviews audit findings and manages disputes?
Continuous Process for Telecom Audit
As described above, the Cass TEM service offers the most rigorous examination of your telecom invoices. The Cass automated telecom audit process seeks to include every possible line-item charge. This goal is accomplished when the Cass team works with your carriers to convert your invoices to an industry-specific, electronic standard – EDI ANSI 811. When invoices are received via EDI ANSI 811, the most granular level of expense detail can be captured by the Cass TEM software application, facilitating robust, automated audits of each charge item on every invoice, every month. Such audits ensure the elimination of recurring invoice errors, which are commonplace in the telecom industry.
In contrast, an event-driven audit occurs when an organization brings in auditors to examine a sampling of paid invoices to detect errors. The problem with these audits is that they are non-systematic and non-recurring. Errors and over-charges can creep back into the process at any time.
Cass Telecom Audits are Data-Rich
Capturing feature-level detail is important because it’s where a large percentage of errors reside (such as unauthorized services). These often small, but repetitive overcharges can significantly increase costs when not addressed. The way to find these issues is through granular audits enabled by ANSI 811 invoice receipt.
If you are keying data from paper invoices or scanned images, you are processing at the summary level. Some TEM providers take short cuts. They take in electronic invoice files without the granular detail, or they accept ANSI 811 invoices but don’t extract all the data.
Cass Telecom Audits are Professionally Managed
One key to successful telecommunications cost management is the experience and services provided by the team that’s working for you. Cass has experienced telecom professionals that expertly review billing records, contracts, tariffs and inventories by location. Enabled by preset reports, this team also identifies services that are no longer in use but still being billed.
Pre-Payment Invoice Analysis
Prior to invoice payment, Cass validates telecom invoices on a high level in order to approve them for payment. Validation activities include:
- Confirm accounts belong to customer
- Match billing against inventory records
- Confirm that cost allocations are complete and accurate
- Confirm charges or variances are within pre-established tolerance levels.
- Bill Review
Some of the telecom audit activities analysts perform during this telecom invoice review include:
- Researching unnecessary features such as call forwarding, verify busy, caller ID, call waiting, speed dialing, repeat dialing, three-way calling, call return, wire maintenance, call tracing, etc.
- Reporting on 900/976 calls and blocking them going forward
- Researching usage spikes
- Researching charges for unauthorized Internet, web hosting services, unauthorized calling plans with no usage, voicemail from third party companies’ monthly directory assistance plans, etc.
- Verifying all lines are lines are PIC’d and LPIC’d to contracted providers
- Adding notes for any questionable issues or spikes in charges
Dispute Management is Part of Cass Telecom Audit Service
Cass manages carrier invoice disputes through a staff of dedicated professionals and sophisticated workflow tools. Our longtime working relationships with telecom carriers afford us both knowledge of the carriers’ procedures and access to these vendors’ various dispute channels. With this experience, we can resolve billing errors, credits, refunds and cost reduction opportunities credit and recovery issues in a very timely manner.
For more information about how clients have achieved results – including audit savings – using Cass for telecom expense management services, please view our TEM case studies.
Would you like to ensure that every line-item charge on every telecom invoice you receive gets audited every month? Would you like a team of professionals to manage these issues with carriers and recover overcharges on your behalf and track your savings? Contact us for more information about telecom auditing.
Or if you are considering a change in providers: