Forensic Telecom Expense Audit
You may be shocked to learn that nearly 80% of telecommunication bills contain errors.
Legacy Solutions can work with your billing data and vendors to confirm that you are paying current market rates for the services you need and use.
Many enterprises have grown through acquisition. Given the countless challenges of assimilating companies’ processes and procedures, evaluating telecommunications billing and inventorying services in use can easily fall through the cracks.
Legacy Solutions has found that enterprises are frequently paying higher than market rates established by out-of-date vendor agreements, lack of inventory, and are often paying for lines and services that they are not even in use!
In our experience, savings can be in the tens of thousands – and with our largest clients in the millions of dollars.
Our telecom audits not only pay for themselves, but generate substantial ROI for our clients.
These savings are essentially found money that you can reallocate for higher priorities.
Telecom Expense Audit Process
Telecom invoice auditing is the combination of a forensic detailed review of invoices and analysis of the various telecom services and their related expenses.
Our telecom auditing, consulting and Telecom Expense Management (TEM) services deliver highest savings.
Telecom Service Inventory
An accurate inventory can be used to identify billing errors. In some cases, the charges are wrong: there are incorrect feature charges, duplicate charges, or recurring one-time installation fees.
In other cases, there are inactive lines, circuits, and services. If supported with disconnect records, claims can be submitted for refunds or credits. If there are no records, a request should be made to disconnect the inactive lines, circuits, and services to provide future savings and cost avoidance.
Cost avoidance also comes into play when there are charges for items that are obsolete. For example, optimization of an enterprise’s communications infrastructure and network expenses provide savings opportunities from usage studies. Unused or underutilized lines and services can be disconnected.
In addition, identification of services that do not have a contract or services that have uncompetitive contracts can help drive savings.
Establishing a telecom service inventory is the first step necessary for telecom auditing. We will work with you and your staff to:
- Compile a location list. This location list needs to include the actual service address of each location, including the main billing telephone number (MBTN), also known as an account number. The business also will need to codify any fax, modem, credit card, security alarm, and fire alarm lines.
- Collect contractual agreements for each communication service that has a telecommunication agreement in place with your company.
- Obtain the State and Federal Tariffs filed by each phone service provider that pertains to each local, long distance, and network circuit service that connects your business to the local exchange carrier (LEC) in its geographic area.
- Perform a tariff tax and surcharge investigation, which needs to be completed to identify any billing errors, unclaimed tax exemptions, or misapplied taxes.
- Reconcile the telecom contracts and state and federal tariffs to identify any areas that can help lower the communications budget
Telecom Expense & Billing Audit
After the inventory is complete, we will evaluate the following:
- Telecom Optimization
- Between 7% and 12% of telecom service charges are in error, costing large enterprises more than $8 billion annually. A telecom services audit is not about disconnecting services, it’s making sure that your lines are in use and optimized for its intended purpose. Many telecom services may not be in use, billed properly, or installed or disconnected correctly.
- Our auditing experience and process identify recoverable billing errors, errors which represent money, verifying current services installed, auditing vendor billings, and ensuring that services are being utilized to their full potential.
- Tariff, Tax, and Surcharge Investigation
- Telecom and telephone taxes and regulatory fees have risen to greater than 20% in most telecom invoices. That’s why we review and pay attention to all taxes, including: local, city, county, state, and federal taxes. Surcharges are increased by your usages, making them a necessary item to be reviewed.
- Invoice Analysis, Inspection, and Inventory
- We will discover all your telecom bills and capture the service type, service address, service provider, and usages to begin analyzing and studying each service type. Each invoice will be reviewed and compared with the telecom inventory and MSAs from the service providers to ensure appropriate enterprise discounts.
- Contract Inventory and Review
- We evaluate usage charges for voice, data, and wireless for unit cost to enterprise discount to ensure discounts continue, review expiring contracts and renewal language, and identify any outdated language that will be important when migrating to the Cloud, UCaaS, and SD-WAN.
Wireless inventories require additional information, which is not on invoices, for optimization and other Wireless Expense Management (WEM) functions. Inventory for mobile should also include:
- Employee name or identification number
- Employee status (active or no longer working for firm)
- Job role/function, department, general ledger code, and cost center
- Employee location, region, and country
- Mobile phone number
- Mobile Service Provider
- Plan activation and contract expiration date
- Device model number
- Eligibility date for new hardware that is subsidized or free
- Services: voice, texting, data, international use
- Bill payment detail (direct by company, reimbursement, stipend)
How to evaluate a TEM solution provider
When evaluating TEM solutions providers, it is critical to clearly define what is included in the inventory. The review must also identify who is responsible for collecting inventory information, how it will be captured, who will verify its accuracy, how data will be entered into the database and who will manage the ongoing cost management functions.
TEM providers that don’t take the time to create an accurate inventory will have a lower cost structure. These firms also will deliver lower cost savings for clients because items on invoices will not be checked for accuracy.
This is important because enterprises that have limited inventory records may find the scope of work to do the initial inventory build requires a special budget for additional resources. Extra costs can often be justified based on savings that an accurate inventory will produce.
Finally, it is important to remember that TEM software, combined with experts who understand telecom inventory, are critical to doing this work properly.
Audit engines can only do so much. Legacy Solutions performs a comprehensive forensic audit, picking up what automated systems overlook, including:
- Comprehensive audit down to USOC level
- Contract compliance
- Tax issues
- One-time charges
- Unnecessary features
- Incorrect discounts
- Third-party charges
- Zero use