Controlling telecom costs has become increasingly challenging in the face of complex wireless technologies, customer support issues, and a lack of available resources. Industry resources reveal that 80 percent of telecom invoices suffer from misapplied taxes, unnecessary services or billing errors.
Other issues include the inability to track services and assets, as well as the inability to manage employee telecom costs due to lack of transparency. The best way to avoid all of this and gain insight into your corporate wireless landscape is to carry out a wireless expense audit.
It’s not the fault of your finance or accounting team if they’re unaware of the potential benefits of wireless expense audits. After all, none of them are experts in the technicalities of telecom charges. They may not even know that audits can be carried out for this area of the business. However, failure to enlist telecom audits could result in your organization bleeding money in terms of paying for devices or services it isn’t using.
With a wireless expense audit, you can gain a 360-degree overview of your total wireless spend, optimize costs, and identify savings opportunities moving forward. If you have yet to conduct one for your organization, now is the right time to do it. Below are the key areas to scrutinize during the process.
Has it been a while since you last checked your wireless contracts? Read through them again to see whether or not the terms suit your organization at this given point in time. Also, research competing vendors to see if lower pricing models are available. Taking this step may help you negotiate lower wireless rates with your existing provider. In addition, eliminate features that don’t meet your employees’ needs to shift savings towards costs that are more significant to users’ wireless usage.
The second key area to analyze is current usage. The audit will give you insight into your wireless expenses and infrastructure with a comprehensive breakdown of your costs by vendor, grouping usage by charge categories. When you evaluate ongoing costs, usage, and features, you’ll spot potential discrepancies as well as opportunities to reduce bills.
And while you’re at it, you’ll also discover patterns of potentially wasted spend for unnecessary features like GPS, insurance and auto-download. Zero use devices are also a menace and should be re-evaluated for business impact during the wireless expense audit. Additionally, keep in mind that multiple wireless and landline devices that require data plans and internet connectivity are great assets for organizations, but could lead to an intricate invoicing procedure.
Wireless expense audits are also incredibly useful in helping you identify what your wireless assets are, as most bills do not highlight this clearly. A thorough review of all billed assets can be useful for determining if there are any circuits, lines, features, or other charges for assets not being used (this happens far more often than companies would suspect). Staying abreast of current asset billing is critical to gaining a strong foothold on your company’s overall wireless expenses.
If you find that your company is using a larger data pool than it requires, you might be suffering from poorly managed or overlapping services, which should be eliminated to reduce wireless costs. Another smart measure to take is to track invoices on wireless costs to prevent wasted spend, unutilized features, missed discounts or low-quality processes that prolong or compound overspending.
Hiring Someone to Do the Audit
Wireless expense management auditors build relationships with network companies, meaning they have direct contacts to the exact individuals who can help address billing problems. However, depending on the level of service, they may not work with you on the core areas discussed above – they’ll just identify the errors and work to get them removed from the contract. If you are attempting to optimize enterprise mobility, then it’s up to you to work on reducing wireless costs.
The good news is that there are reliable auditors out there as well. The best ones will use several types of accounting consolidations to derive extra savings as well as check your wireless device policy to help eliminate features and plans that are not required. The opportunities that can be uncovered by an experienced wireless expense auditor will also free up a large amount within your IT spend.
Should the Audit be Ongoing?
If you have high wireless spend, such as tens of thousands of dollars each month, a rapidly evolving environment, several locations, or a pattern of changing, adding, or removing features regularly, then an ongoing telecom expense audit might be just what you need. Companies with just a couple of locations and not a lot of wireless devices may be able to get away with a single audit each year. But if your organization fits the qualifications described above, you could benefit from a quarterly audit. The savings a reliable auditor finds are usually substantial enough to pay for his or her own cost and significantly more.