By Scott Davis
Updated May 2019.
Communication services rank as one of the top five expenses for most enterprises, and this will only continue to grow with current trends. Mobility and data usage has exploded, and the number of mobile users has surpassed that of desk-bound computer users. The convergence of mobile broadband networks, cloud computing, smart devices, pervasive connectivity, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is already dramatically impacting whole industries. The communications revolution has made strategic management of these technologies an essential task for the modern enterprise.
Finance executives are challenged to balance rising costs while recognizing the organization’s critical need for a reliable, efficient communications network. Given the impact of communications on the overall budget, transparency and accountability are a must.
The answer lies in TEM (Telecom Expense Management), which is purpose-built to increase data visibility, improve processes, and ultimately aid the finance team in making optimization decisions.
We discussed in a previous blog post how Finance has “become more than ever, deeply intertwined with the CIO/VP IT role as they address how the organization manages technology demands – balancing the exploding costs, complexity and risks.” To accomplish this, the finance team must have greater access and control of the IT spend.
TEM solutions give Finance the ability to:
There is often a natural push and pull between IT and Finance departments. But these two can work better together for the greater good. TEM arms Finance executives with a holistic view of the entire communications spend. When integrated with ERP, ITFM, budgeting and other systems, it delivers un-paralleled transparency for improving control, decision-making, and accountability.
We’ve seen the organizational impact when decision-making regarding IT spend becomes more fact-based and data-driven. When Finance has access to the right data points and decisions are made for the right reasons, it creates greater cohesion with IT. Being able to justify increases or decreases in IT spend can create a unified mindset where Finance and IT work together to align, define and create a common set of clear processes.
Less risk and more compliance – that’s music to the ears of any finance executive. TEM increases the accuracy of expense tracking and reporting. The average Fortune 500 Company processes more than 15,000 telecom-related bills in a year, while a mid-market company typically processes 3,000 per year. One consistent error, fraud or unauthorized charge in those bills could cost a company millions of dollars. TEM helps eliminate potential fraud and unauthorized charges.
Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act requires that CEOs and CFOs of public companies certify the adequacy of their internal controls for recognition of revenue and expenses. TEM supports compliance by automating SOX reporting and the storing of telecom expense data. CFOs can provide assurances to the board and shareholders that there are rigorous controls in place for one of the enterprise’s top line-item expenses. TEM is also an effective way to ensure employees adhere to corporate policy and regulatory compliance.
As communications technology expands as a key driver of every area of business, Finance and IT can no longer afford not to closely work together. Whether it’s voice, mobile, video or beyond, you have the ability to view, manage, and optimize your entire communications business. TEM can provide Finance executives with a more holistic view of their entire communications spend – driving control, fact-based decision making, employee accountability, overall transparency, and much more.
Want to learn more? Download this brochure: Simplified Communications Management for Finance