Telecom audits have never been easy. Service providers usually start with denying claims for billing errors, and to complicate things, they do not have a responsibility to provide accurate bills. Vendor account representatives rarely see the bill or contract in the format that you view it. Telecom bills are highly complex. There are too many plans, rates, calls, services, assets and taxes that can lead to billing errors that cost enterprises money. An error for one month may result in a small credit, but identifying an incorrect code; inventory error; misapplied contract; formula for calculating the tax; or other errors, can snowball into significant savings for enterprises.
The transition to new technology opens the door for new billing errors. In some cases, old services that are no longer being used continue to be billed. New services may also be billed improperly; as more telecom systems combine legacy/TDM and VoIP technology, more time and resources are necessary to conduct audits.
Telecom services are often acquired from multiple providers – this may bring interoperability issues. After disconnecting a long-haul circuit with one provider, it is easy to forget that another provider must be contacted to disconnect the tail end or local loop. The right tools are critical to manage telecom service order activity because an accurate inventory provides a good starting point to reconcile with billing. An automated system is also critical to effectively manage the volume of invoices and Moves, Adds, Changes and Disconnects (MACD) activity that organizations must handle.
Today, the cloud is the hottest thing to happen to the telecommunications industry since IP-based communications began replacing plain old telephone service. As the cloud changes the way telecom companies deliver services, enterprises need to ensure that requests are submitted to disconnect old services that are no longer needed. In addition, enterprises need to ensure that the legacy services are removed from bills.
Identifying old services that were discontinued will produce refunds when organizations have documentation for their service disconnects. If there was no disconnect request, there may be future savings from making the request today to avoid future charges. The telecom industry is going through major changes with exciting new technology. It is important to use this knowledge to find new billing errors that will lead to more savings.Tags: telecom expense management (TEM)