Is it time for a Telecommunications Audit?
Is a full Telecommunications audit of your businesses’ phone services something you even thought of doing? Well, if you have never had an audit done its time. The benefits and telecommunications cost reduction can make the experience invaluable to your bottom line.
Many companies over spending on carrier telecom services. Most phone bills contain errors and these mistakes generally only benefit the provider. Many bills include services they are no longer using, they were just never canceled or billing errors for contracted services.
Audits consist of reviewing the full telecom bill and conducting a line by line comparison with your contacts. A telecom audit should include a review of invoicing and contracts for your landlines, Internet and wide area networks, and cellular plans.
Where to start
First, start by getting all your communications bills together. Bill auditing will require invoices for phone lines, internet and wireless. Keep in mind if you are a mid to large company you may be getting bills from several carriers or have multiple locations to review.
Next Step, if you are a small company you may be able to complete the audit on you own. You can go to the telephone bills you have gathered and start by calling each number. This works if you only have a few numbers and your phone system has the lines appear on each phone… line 1 line 2 and so on.
Don’t forget to check fax machines. When calling the numbers on your list let the phone ring 10 or more times. Some lines are set not to answer on just a few rings. Alarm lines are a little more difficult. If your alarm line is dedicated, not shared with another device and not labeled the easiest way to find the phone number is to call your alarm company for the number.
Now for a larger company with more then 10 lines or if you are still finding charges for lines that you can’t account for you may want to call your phone system vendor for a professional audit. A telecom expense management team will conduct the review and act on your behalf in negotiating credits with the carriers. To give them the power to negotiate you will have to provide the carrier with a Letter of Authorization (LOA). This LOA allows the team to discuss your telecom costs and demand removal of unused services and help youdrive cost savings.
What does this cost?
Your phone system vendor will still need to have a copy of all your bills in order to conduct the audit. Keep in mind that some companies will charge a fee for conducting an audit. Some telephone vendor may audit for free if the effort is smaller or they may then supply the services, allowing them to generate revenue. If the review will be more complex, it generally comes with a fee.
At the end even if there is a charge it will be well worth it. Simple math, if they find just 5 phone lines not being used at $25.00 to $35.00 a month that is a potential saving of $125.00 to $175.00 per month or $1,500.00 to $2,100.00 per year the fee is often paid back quickly. Some vendors work off of a percentage of savings model where they may receive and ongoing fee that represents a portion of the savings.
No matter which model the vendor uses, the savings generally offsets the costs and helps your business reduce costs and get more profitable.
When was the last time you had an Audit? Let us know about your experiences in the comments section!