These Simple Invoice Audits Will Ensure You Don’t Miss TEM’s Low Hanging Fruit

 Sometimes glaringly obvious things can be overlooked, even if they add up to big savings. Paying credit card bills on time.  Not letting your kids text their friends on your family’s Caribbean vacation.  Forgetting to ask the car salesmen: “Is that really your best offer??”

The same is true for telecom and technology expense management.  A TEM audit or project can be a complicated effort, but that doesn’t mean finding significant expense reductions has to be difficult.   There is often “low hanging fruit”. Here are three simple expense audit “hacks” that will help you find them.

Hack #1: Look for Changes in Monthly Telecom Invoice Totals.  This is the telecom equivalent of checking a family’s credit card bills so see what mystery charges the teenagers in the house generated while shopping online.

If your telecom invoice total changes month-to-month by more than five to ten percentage points, there ought to be a really good business reason.  Perhaps you opened a new call center or branch office, or your sales team was traveling internationally.  If there is not an obvious explanation, you need to dig deeper.  There are probably opportunities to reduce expenses.

Hack #2: Look for Charges for Services Not In Inventory.  “Did you really sign up for that extended warranty on your new flatscreen TV??” Similarly, you may have inadvertently ordered a new telecom service “by default” and by not opting out of receiving it.  In addition, and unbelievable as it may sound, telecom companies have mistakenly charged businesses for services they have not ordered or that have not yet been activated.  The best way to identify this problem is to maintain a database of the telecom services your business uses – your telecom network inventory.  But failing that, you can always do a side-by-side, page-by-page comparison of your monthly telecom invoice and look for new items or charges that mysteriously appear.

Hack #3: Look for Charges for Disconnected Services.  “But I canceled my gym membership six months ago!”  This is one of the most common and potentially biggest pieces of low-hanging fruit in telecom expense management.  But it can be easy to miss because it requires you, the customer, to keep track of your disconnect orders. If you don’t, the impact of the potential savings can get lost in the shuffle, especially if you use receive multiple telecom invoices each month.

Taking it to the Next Level  Spending a few hours  “spot checking” telecom invoices each month using these audit techniques is a great first step and something all businesses should do.  However, given the number of different telecom invoices, even a small business may receive, these monthly hours can add up pretty quickly – as anyone who has tried to reconcile their household purchases from Costco, Target, or Walmart.  Make this a habit, and create a checklist and time on the calendar to do it regularly.  And if you find it’s becoming overwhelming, there are now affordable software tools like our own gpxcloud platform that make it easy to manage telecom inventory and invoices.  And gpxcloud not only can automate the three audit routines listed in this blog – it can perform dozens more, including ones configured to your specific requirements.

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To learn more about gpxcloud, the software platform that makes telecom expense audits easy, contact me at bnorberg@cloudagesolutions.com.