Telecom Cost Management Featured Article
April 16, 2008
Companies Save Money on Wireless Expenses with Telecom Cost Management
By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor
At many companies, employees who need a cell phone to get work done while out of the office simply pick whatever phone and service they find most appealing, and then use the phone for both personal and business purposes. Since some of the use is business-related, the company establishes a reimbursement policy for work-related calls.
While this scenario is quite common, there are definite drawbacks for both the user and the company. The user has to keep track of which calls are for business and which are not, and submit expense reports detailing how many minutes were work-related. The business loses the opportunity to save money on bulk minute discounts, since each user has his or own plan.
There’s another drawback as well: the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers personal use of company-paid cell phones to be part of the employee’s taxable income. Keeping accurate records that show which specific calls were for business and which were not can quickly turn into an accounting nightmare.
Some companies have decided to take things a step further by purchasing a phone and service plan for each employee, and then paying the monthly phone bill. This means, though, that a large company might be paying dozens or hundreds of bills each month, also an accounting nightmare. Plus, employees don’t like having to tote around two phones.
The problems described so far can be solved by implementing a telecom cost management system. Such a system lets the company efficiently track wireless device usage by employees, and frees employees to do their jobs rather than spend hours filling out expense reports.
A telecom cost management solution also lets the company simplify accounting and save money by taking advantage of bulk rates, where minutes for all users are grouped into a central pool and paid for on a single bill. Since wireless minutes can cost many times more than wireline, it is well worth establishing a centralized system for tracking these expenses and getting the best rate possible.
Telecom cost management solution providers have developed quite sophisticated methods, in many cases with a large degree of automation, for tracking and controlling wireless expenses. Rate optimization and inventory are two important aspects of telecom cost management that vendors can assist with.
To learn more about how companies can save money by tracking wireless expenses, please visit the Telecom Cost Management channel on TMCnet.com, brought to you by Optelcon.
Mae Kowalke is senior editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Mae’s articles, please visit her columnist page. She also blogs for TMCnet here.
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