Three ways to conduct an effective telecom audit




In order for your business to implement an effective and successful system for your telecom expense management (TEM), you need one key element: regular and consistent auditing.

Is the very thought of conducting a proper audit causing your heart to race and palms to grow clammy?

Rather than avoiding the process because you hate breaking out in a sweat, you simply need a little preparation and guidance on how to conduct an effective audit.

In an ideal world, you should be performing an in-house audit quarterly as a means for self-policing your business and enacting crisis management best practices. After all, doesn’t it make sense to catch an unexpected gaping hole in one of your accounts early…while you can still take action?

If you find that the task of reconciling your data to be massively complex, you should be asking yourself why that is. Because at the end of the day, it may see like conducting an effective telecom audit is a gigantic undertaking, but rest assured, with the proper preparation, you can get everything done quickly and efficiently.

Here’s how.

Collect your inventory

That’s right, gather all of it. You want to ensure that you’ve taken the necessary time to collect a full catalog of all your current holdings by rounding up the various inventories for each area of your business and taking a deep dive into your records.

Once you’ve collected everything, reach out to your suppliers to request a copy of your book of business.

Remember:

To include any credit notes or past-due invoices, as you can never be too thorough when it comes to adequately prepare for your audit. Between your supplier records and your own documentation, you should have a strong sense of where you stand and your current holdings.

Whether you schedule a meeting or simply reach out to your finance director, have them supply you with a report detailing the last 12 months of spend from your company’s ledger. This will not only provide you with a solid baseline of your outgoings, but it’ll also shed light on your spending patterns during the year.

Having all this information in front of you will help you gain a robust understanding of your bills and allow you to identify discrepancies that may crop up month to month. If you’re like most companies out there, your services are probably spread across several different providers.

So, for each company in your portfolio, make sure you have the proper invoices for your IT services, mobile phones, hardline phones, and any other telecom or business VoIP providers you use.

Have a firm grasp on your telecommunications invoice

Where you opt to perform the audit in-house or hire a consulting agency, reading through your invoices and having a good understanding of your outgoing expenses will help you feel like you have a firm grasp on the situation.

Plus, understanding your invoice allows you to see areas where you may be paying for unnecessary services or even things you may be able to cut out of the picture completely.

Opportunities for cost-savings

It should come as no surprise that the first audit you conduct will require the heaviest lifting. For example, you may have to do a bit of research regarding features included with each phone line to ensure you’re optimizing your spend and return on investment (RoI) when it comes to your monthly plans.

As you analyze the items on your invoice, highlight or keep a record of areas you believe you can cut costs on.

The goal is to identify the features that are outdated or no longer being used, the services and applications that can be transitioned to cheaper business VOIP solutions, and to verify that you’re not exceeding your monthly minutes.

Likewise:

If you’re incredibly below your allotted minutes, it may mean restructuring internal workflow or negotiating a lower plan.

Once you put the right systems in place for your telecom audit, your records will be organized, errors will be easier to identify, and opportunities for cost-savings will come banging at your door.

Without the proper approach, you could be setting your audit up for failure. What’s worse than having your telecommunications carrier charging you for services you haven’t used in months or that you don’t even need?

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