Telecom audits aren’t usually the job that everyone in the office is clamoring for. They are often tedious, time-consuming and confusing. While you can use telecom expense management software to make the job easier, this may not be the method your company prefers.
Manual audits can be very taxing, but they serve a purpose. Whether you own your business or have been tasked with performing a manual audit for the company you work for, it is important to do the job carefully.
Telecom audits can help you cut operational costs and streamline service.
If you have been charged with the duty of a manual telecom audit for your company, we can help. In the following post, you will find a helpful guideline for performing a telecom audit.
Gather Pertinent Information
The first step should always be to gather all telecom and IT bills, information on supplemental packages, PRI lines and any other pertinent information. Your company may have more than one telecom vendor so be sure to gather monthly bills from all of them.
Consider all of your company’s IT services as well. You will need to gather information regarding mobile lines, hard lines, long-distance providers, voicemail service and IT services.
Once you have all the pertinent information in front of you, take some time to familiarize yourself with it. You may spot a discrepancy right off the bat just by going over billing statements for these services.
Every telecom service provider your company does business with has its own contract. You should carefully review all of these contracts.
If your company has a central repository for these kinds of contracts, be sure to utilize this resource. If it doesn’t, you will have to go on the hunt to round up each individual telecom contract.
Once you have all applicable contracts, you should first look to make sure that all of them are current. If a contract has lapsed but your company is still being charged for services rendered, then you have spotted another glaring discrepancy.
You will want to keep an eye out for the services or equipment that are outlined in the contracts and compare them with monthly invoices.
The contracts should include all the services your business actually uses as well as any telecom or IT equipment. You may find that the wholesale telecom provider in question is not providing a service that was outlined in the contract.
Collect Tariff Cards
Each phone call your company makes is subject to a tariff from your telecom provider. Each tariff is recorded on what is referred to as “tariff cards.” Each card contains important information on how much was charged for each call or connection.
Obtain copies of these cards to make sure that your company is being billed correctly. You can easily find billing errors just by reviewing tariff cards. Tariff cards are a matter of public record so you can get copies of them directly from your telecom providers.
After you have reconciled this data and pointed out any overcharges, billing errors or contractual obligations that are not being met, you should look for areas in which you can cut costs. Review your monthly bills carefully.
Take notice of the telecom or IT services that your company uses the most.
Compare them with the contractual services that your company scarcely uses. If your company is already pretty efficient and lean, you may not see any services that it doesn’t frequently use. But if you do happen to come across one that is unnecessary or doesn’t get used much, make a note of it in your final report.
Consider all the telecom features and apps that you are being charged for. This is where you will typically find superfluous services.
Once all the documents have been pored over, reconciliations have been made and unnecessary services have been identified, you are ready to give your report. Your report should be thorough and give the decision-makers a clear idea of what the company is paying for, what services are under contract and if breaks, errors, and abnormalities have occurred.
Your final report can also include an RFP (request for proposal) in which services that your company could use to its benefit are identified. Remember that the purpose of a telecom audit is not only to identify discrepancies and save money, but also to improve performance and efficiency.
We hope you have found this guide helpful. Happy auditing!
Guest Post: About the Author
Lamar Carter brings over 33 years of executive telecommunications wholesale management experience to his role as All Access Telecom (AAT) CEO. He directs the overall strategic vision of the company by leveraging his vast telecom industry and sales expertise to grow AAT into the premier telecommunication service provider it is today. Prior to founding the company in November 2009, he was the Director of Sales at Stratus Telecom, where he was responsible for sales, service and account management duties for all CLERK’s, EX’s and VOIP providers in North America.