How to Select a Telecom Auditing Firm

I received a newsletter today from CCMI that contained some good advice for companies looking to select a telecom auditor or telecom auditing firm. Why you might want to select a TEM provider with auditing capabilities over a telecom auditor or telecom auditing firm will be discussed another day. In addition to providing some good advice on selecting a telecom auditor it was also being sent to promote CCMI's Total Telecom Auditing Conference coming up at the end of October.

In the newsletter they recommended companies seeking a telecom auditor to use a RFI/RFP process. They said once you've selected a list of vendors you should evaluate them based on the following criteria:

  • Price/Value (Credit)
  • Price/Value (Savings)
  • Risks & Hassles
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Usefulness of Reports
  • Internal Work Required
  • Executive Reporting
  • Reference Check
  • Business Location
  • Implementation Support
  • Flexibility
  • Ongoing Support
  • Timeliness
  • Lead Consultant
  • Size of Vendor
  • Other Vendor Services
  • Disadvantaged Vendor
  • Miscellaneous

A few items I might add would be:

Software Delivery - How are the audit results viewed and stored? spreadsheets, proprietery database, web based software

Use of Automation - Are the invoices audited by hand and manually keyed in? If the process is automated what is the error rate?

Overseas Outsourcing - Are the invoices being input and/or audited by personnel in India, China or another overseas location. 

They also included a list of items they considered important when companies select a telecom auditing vendor. They suggested you ask your prospective auditing firms to provide specific examples of savings uncovered in the cost savings areas below, and for each example, ask the vendor to explain the problem, the unnecessary cost incurred, how this issue was uncovered and the solution.

Here's the list:

1.         Unnecessary Facilities

2.         Unnecessary Services

3.         Provisioning (traffic, SMDR)

4.         Routing (e.g. PBX tables errors/omissions)

5.         Fraud & Abuse

6.         Sub-Optimal Rates (within a vendor)

7.         Sub-Optimal Vendors (among vendors)

8.         Competitive Offerings

9.         Unclaimed Exemptions

10.       Internal (employee) Misuse

11.       Incorrect Classifications

12.       Database Clean Up

13.       Recursive Dialing

14.       Maintenance Contracts

15.       Access Configurations

16.       Back-Up Plans (out-of-date plans)

17.       Special CLEC Features

18.       Equipment/Access Optimization

19.       Consolidate Vendors

20.       Routing (PBX table) Changes

21.       Pay Phone Requirements

22.       Call Restrictions

23.       Advertising (Internet & yellow pages)

24.       Tariff Arbitrage

25.       Number Portability

26.       Service Granularity

27.       Contract Issues (minimum usage/evergreen)

28.       Private Lines

29.       Internet Access (frame vs. DSL)

30.       Wireless Plans

31.       Wireless Features (business needed)


It think that's a fairly comprehensive list and most telecom and wireless auditors would be able to provide a lot of those items rather easy.

Is there anything that you think should be added to the process of selecting a telecom auditor or telecom auditing firm?