Telecommunications Billing Audits
Would your TEM provider welcome having their results audited by someone else?
Telecommunications bills represent one of the most complex types of invoices in the world. Billing engines are designed to deal with complex charging scenarios. However, due to the sheer number of products and services, errors are inevitable. Some of these errors include: discounts not applied correctly, rates not applied correctly, or simply the wrong products being billed.
Billing anomalies are not always the fault of the carriers either. It’s easy for organisations to make mistakes when ordering services, resulting in overbilling. Although not technically billing errors, ordering mistakes can cause significant cost blow-outs.
To accurately audit Telecommunications billing, a holistic approach needs to be taken which not only includes checking for errors on the carrier’s side, but also on the client’s transactional relationship with their carriers. Put simply, every line of carrier billing needs to be validated, and every customer order needs to be checked. No third party auditor can successfully put forward a claim against a carrier unless both sides are verified.
Quite often claims against carriers are either quickly dismissed or dragged out for extended periods awaiting thorough reviews. The latter usually ends up in some sort of fee settlement to both the carrier’s and client’s dissatisfaction.
Smartbill’s extensive approach to Validation also includes rate, order and infrastructure validation. The resulting report not only lists discrepancies across mobility, voice and data billing, but also identifies best-practice optimisation to ensure cost efficiencies. Any carrier errors are presented back to the carriers with sufficient detail articulating both the cause of the error and the exact credits or debits owed.
The question may however be posed, how accurate is the process? Answer – Smartbill uses a complex re-rating engine to perform its validation services. Essentially every CDR (Call Data Record) is re-rated using the customer specific negotiated rates. Our reports are accurate – no assumptions, guesstimates, or extrapolations. There are no opportunities for carriers to dispute our findings because of our through approach. We also encourage our customers to have our reports randomly audited by professional bodies such as KPMG, Deloitte, EY, PWC, etc.
If your current TEM provider is not Smartbill, chances are they are only sampling your data, not validating and analyzing every line of it. Sampling is nice, but it is simply not evidential enough to get you a credit from your carrier, nor to really understand where your organization can optimize its usage. What is needed is comprehensive, fact-based data to drive visibility, control and insight.
If you are unsure of the value of your current expense management, then try this litmus test: Is your TEM provider willing to submit their data to independent, third-party audit?