Page 1


“Ineffective control and management of supplier contracts cost businesses $153 billion per year in missed savings opportunities.” – Aberdeen Group


A TRI Utility Cost Reductions (TRI), expense management audit helps you run your business with the assurance that you’re getting what you pay for from your service providers, internal management, operational processes, and employee productivity, ZKLOHPD[LPL]LQJKLVWRULFDOˉQDQFLDOFRVWUHFRYery of overpaid billing, current and future cost reductions and bottom-line savings.

YOUR ASSURANCE AUDIT When changes happen in your business, contact your TRI Advisor for a no out-of-pocket, TRI Assurance Audit™, and learn about which expense management solutions are right for you. Perhaps your business has grown, or you’ve added new employees or even downsized for efficiency. Your advisor will talk with you about your audit choices, the priority refund program and cost reduction strategies available to you, plus the value and benefits you can enjoy with an independent, expense management partner like TRI for your organization. With a TRI Assurance Audit™, you can manage your telecommunications, utility, printing, paper and freight expenses with absolute confidence and certainty you’re getting the most from our highly experienced auditors and company resources. The time has come to reclaim your money and lower your expenses through historical refund and cost reduction strategies, so we’re providing this guide to help ensure that your audit fits your needs, and that you get the most value from TRI Utility Cost Reductions. Businesses grow; services change and your expense management needs to keep pace. I encourage you to read this information and together, we will assess how the changes in your business, audit choices and expense management, can work best for you. We appreciate the confidence you have in TRI Utility Cost Reductions as your potential audit partner. Your audit is backed by significant resources and industry experience, and comes with outstanding support, our no out-of-pocket cost guarantee, and



“In a single year, public utility companies have overbilled their customers $19 billion dollars!” - U.S. House of Representatives, Ways and Means Committee

priority refund and cost saving programs. This includes our investigative division [Audit Research Consulting - ARC], the TRI Assurance Audit™ Program, our unique process requiring only one month’s billing statement, and so much more. We look forward to adding you as a preferred client and success story. THE RIGHT APPROACH FOR YOU Our audits leverage the use of our in-house audit division ARC as mentioned above utilizing proprietary software and professionals with financial skillsets enhanced by investigative experience to further your audit savings. We audit all provider invoices including electronic data interchange (EDI) and customer service records (CSRs) for all telecommunications, utilities and other offered services. Invoices are audited against specific criteria (for example, Universal Service Order Codes [USOCs], summary invoices and contract terms and tariffs). Not only does TRI review the bills to identify discrepancies, we also work with the providers on your behalf to resolve errors and refund overpayments without tying up your time. At the beginning of an audit, clients sign a letter of authorization (LOA) that will allow the auditors to act on your behalf when interacting with the network service providers (NSP). This enables TRI to obtain records, resolve discrepancies, and manage corrections, among other benefits. Is it Significant Think telecom costs are insignificant? Think again! Telecommunications and network services alone are in the top five of the majority of companies’ operating expenses. Forrester Research

confirms these findings, stating, “Communication services average $150-$350 per employee, per month, or 40% of overall expenses.” A growing method to reduce these costs on telecom (voice, data, internet and wireless) and utility (electricity, natural gas, water and sewer) services is a TRI Utility Cost Reductions’ bill audit, commonly known as an expense management audit, or as we like to call it, “Assurance Audit”.

KEY BENEFITS What are the Key Benefits ? A significant percentage of savings, in conjunction with the length of time over which the savings and refunds are realized. t Relatively large expenditure to which the savings apply t Accelerating use of services and resulting expenditure t Available capital t Reduced expenses (Immediate & Long-term) t Decrease in overhead spending t Increased employee productivity t Active business intelligence t Bottom line savings Percent Saved Corporations not auditing their telecommunications invoices are forfeiting an extra 12% to 16% or more of their network services spending to the network service providers (NSPs) according to IDC. Historical audits recover overpayment, identify stranded assets and increase budget efficiency. EXPENSE MANAGEMENT AUDIT GUIDE | 02

TRI averages between 9% to 58% in refunds and future cost reductions! This is not uncommon, and is typically determined by many factors unique to each company’s required business services, spending, multiple locations, contract complexity, and number of employees, to name a few. Expenditure Amount The average company, according to Aberdeen Group, is spending 3.6% of revenue on telecommunications. While your company may be spending less, it is still significant amount, as each dollar spent is one dollar fewer for profits. Length of Time Service providers mistakenly over bill customers between 7% to 12% monthly according to Gartner Group. A relatively minor billing error can be magnified significantly when repeated over months and years. That refund, along with the future recurring savings, adds up to a significant total amount which can be better applied to business operations, marketing budgets, etc.


If your answer is positive to at least five of these twelve predictors, it is decidedly likely that a TRI Assurance Audit™ would prove to be valuable and profitable. You would save money from an expense management audit if your number of: » Communication lines exceeds 5 » Total monthly expenditures for all services and providers company wide, exceeds $2,000 » Telecom and/or Utility accounts and invoices exceed 3 » Wireless phones and devices exceed 10 or $1,250 monthly billing » Your last telecom and/or utility audit was more than two years ago » You recently had a financial audit Or, if your business has any of the following characteristics: » Employs workers who communicate or collaborate nationally and internationally, such as call centers, sales,help desk or virtual staff. Or, provide marketing, IT, accounting, etc. to other company facilities. » Has experienced fast growth over the past three years » Has experienced rapid downsizing over the past three years » Has made significant changes to telecommunication or utility services in the past three years » Has made significant changes to locations in the past three years

Telecom Expenses are Increasing Although the per-minute prices for communications services are declining, the number of communications channels (wireless, Internet access, Web conferencing) is rapidly increasing. Not only are the channels increasing, but the use of the channels is also mounting, driven by the growing use of PDAs, texting, VoIP, video conferencing, abundant cell phone usage, and other devices and services using connectivity. Would your Company Benefit It is exceedingly likely that your company would benefit. 87% of TRI audits result in successful recovery and cost savings. It is not hard to envision why, given that once such services are in place, their contracts are not reevaluated even as business processes evolve, departments are eliminated, or technology updates consume more bandwidth (PDAs (tablets, etc), email on mobile phones, growth of web conferencing for fixed and mobile clients, instant messaging and texting).

Is one of the following:

FACT Ninety percent of all billing errors favor the service provider and not the customer. According to the Gartner Group, telecommunication invoices, on average, have a 7 to 12 percent margin of error monthly.


» » » » » »

Business or professional services firm Non-profit Multiple-site retailer Manager of commercial property Healthcare provider Manufacturing facility

exhaustive effort. And once purchased, there are additional costs and delays for the training time, hardware required to use the software, and the lack of updated coding per provider. Purchasing communications services begins with lengthy legal contracts, and once provisioned, those services generate massive monthly invoices.

Important Note: Financial auditors “DO NOT” specialize in telecom and utility bill coding language, bundling, or tariff management, to name a few. Thus, TRI consistently finds additional billing discrepancies from our follow-up assurance audits resulting in further recovery. CAN YOU DO THE AUDIT? Unlikely, in such a specialized field your effort will miss valuable refunds and may cost more than the savings found! Gartner Group finds that “Businesses are challenged with the auditing of their telecommunication and utility invoices (paper and electronic) and reconciling network inventories. The challenge is due to the lack of resources and/or staff’s understanding of these services terms and conditions and of billing formats. The result has been overpayments, stranded assets and the inability to effectively manage the expenditures.” An internally conducted audit is made more difficult by the lack of priority software to support such an extensive and

An audit is complicated by its detail and complexity - for example, the countless class-of-service data services and how they are rated and billed. Gartner states, “At the same time, the number of enterprise network services bills, line items and elements within the line item have increased, thereby, creating more auditing items. All of this does not equate to a lesser savings potential, but rather extra diligence required in the invoice auditing process.” Company Time and Resources TRI performs audits off-site without the use of your staff. As a result, there is only a minimal time involvement required from the client. Typically an hour is needed for document collation. Thus, allowing your staff to focus on core responsibilities. The Cost of Delay There are statues of limitations as to how far back billing errors can be refunded from the service provider. This varies by state, usually is in the 3 to 6 year range, but higher in certain states. Also, special programs known as “High Success, Priority Refunds” allow for additional investigative research in terms of months and sometimes years beyond the statute of limitations, allowing for additional significant refunds for current customers and past customers (no longer utilizing services, but once utilized the specific service in a certain time period). Every day delayed is a day that escapes recovering the money and savings due to your company.

WILL YOU QUALIFY? Answer the following to see if you will likely qualify: t t t t t t

Is your organization either a company, municipality or non-profit? Does your organization have more than 20 employees on the payroll? Do you have a financial or Accounts Payable department? Have you ever had any kind of audit (tax, business/financial, utilities, telecom, carrier bills)? Did your last month’s utilities bill (electric, natural gas, water, sewer) exceed $5,000 or $2,000 per service? Did your last month’s telecom bill (voice, data, internet, wireless) exceed $2,000 or $1,250 for wireless alone?

If you answered “YES” to four or more of the above, odds are very high that we can recover hidden overcharges and procure a refund, monthly savings, or both with cost reduction strategies!


TRI IS UNIQUE! AN EXPERIENCED AND CONTINGENCY-BASED EXPENSE MANAGEMENT AUDITING FIRM REQUIRING ONE MONTHLY BILLING STATEMENT! TRI Utility Cost Reductions specializes in telecom and utility bill auditing as well as printing, paper and freight. For nearly three decades, our auditors have performed thousands of audits to reduce our clients’ spending significantly. We provide in-depth invoice auditing of billing to identify opportunities for cost control, uncover errors, and secure client savings and refunds. If we cannot find savings, there is no cost to you, guaranteed. Once we have an agreement and copies of your billing statements (or access to login and password), our team of expert Invoice Auditors will quickly get to work for you. Our fee is simply a percentage of the savings we find for you. The net result is that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Our experienced Invoice Auditors will search for billing errors and analyze rate structures in order to ensure that your utility

frequently asked



How does TRI Utility Cost Reductions analyze my utility bill costs, and how does the process work? Our auditors use a combination of proprietary software and years of expertise and experience to verify the accuracy of your accounts and targeting thousands of possible errors. Our process, software and auditors are proven and results-driven.


What are the fees? There are no upfront fees or out-of-pocket costs, so you achieve 100% efficiency. We share in a percentage of the refunds and savings that we uncover and recover for your company, while you focus on your business. If we do not affect refunds, credits, or savings, there will be NO FEE for our services, guaranteed!


What industries or businesses has TRI audited? These include but are not limited to the following: healthcare, manufacturing, auto, non-profit, municipalities, financial, aviation, health


and telecom expenses are fair and correct. Such utility rate auditing is exhaustive, and when errors or inefficiencies are discovered, we will work with the utility to correct the errors. In some cases, refunds and credits going back as far as 96 months or more are possible. Going forward, substantial monthly savings are a frequent result of our audits.

A COMMON REBUTTAL BUT OUR “ACCOUNTS PAYABLE (A/P)” DEPARTMENT OR “INTERNAL AUDITORS” ALREADY REVIEW ALL OF OUR INVOICES. This is a normal A/P or internal audit function. However, neither your A/P employees or internal auditors are qualified to perform a full analysis of telecom and utility billing, nor are they familiar with the tariffs, taxes, rates, and USOC codes that are used with these services and are regularly updated in our priority software. Also, they are likely stretched thin and do not have the time and resources to spend on in-depth research. Why not turn this function over to the experts at TRI, while turning your A/P department into a profit center.

clubs, call centers, hospitality, insurance, retail chain stores, print/paper and commercial real estate. We even “partner” with non-profits, associations and affinity groups, or even your place of worship to increase available capital for projects, a charity, or cause.


How does TRI demonstrate bill savings; what proof do you use? Whenever any savings are usage-based, the client will receive, in addition to the invoice from us, a spreadsheet that details their usage, what the bill would have been before the changes, and what the bill is now. The difference is the savings.


Do you have experience with my providers? Yes and No. We cannot say we have worked with every provider or carrier, but we certainly understand rate and tariff structures, and work with utilities in the U.S. and internationally in a professional manner, on a regular basis.


Which telecom and utility bills do you audit? We audit TELECOM (Voice, Data, Internet and Wireless). UTILITY (Electric, Natural Gas, Water and Sewer). We do not audit trash. Auditing trash bills has proven to be cost prohibitive for the client. This is because trash overcharges and errors are almost non-existent and cannot be verified unless weighing is done by a party other than the service provider. Given the rare occurrence of error and the effort to collect either the data or, for the client,

to compile the bills, we discourage them from spending their time doing trash audits.

7 8 9

When can I start seeing savings or a refund? Usually the bill following any changes will reflect the savings. This can take 60-90 days at times, and varies by provider. Do you look to recover funds and savings on past as well as on future billings? Yes, we recover on past as well as future billing.

How quickly can the utility bill auditing process be done? Depending on the complexity, 6 to 8 weeks is normal, with an additional 30-90 days for refunds and/or credits. Future cost reduction can be realized much sooner!


Do you just recommend how to get my refunds? Yes, and more. We not only recommend how to get refunds, but we also pro-

vide recommendations on how to reduce your bill while achieving better rates and service options. In addition, we work through all appropriate providers or utilities to implement all changes and obtain all refunds, savings and credits available. Additionally, we provide a “90 day� assurance follow up to confirm all findings, terms and process improvements have been put into place and deployed as agreed for the client.

11 12

Where are you located? We are located at 44 Wall Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY, 10005, and are familiar with local taxes, telecommunication providers and utilities in all states. How do you analyze my utility bill costs and how does the process work? Our auditors use a combination of proprietary software and years of expertise and experience to verify the accuracy of your accounts, targeting thousands of possible errors.

AUDIT SAVINGS IMPLEMENTATION TRI will act as your full service advocate in the collection of all identified refunds, credits and monthly cost reductions. t All overcharges and rating errors will be targeted for removal from your monthly billing. t All recommendations not requiring equipment or hardware components that are approved in writing by your company will be made in a manner transparent to your staff and employees. t Forward savings recommendations will be implemented ONLY with the expressed written consent of your company. Additionally, there’s no change in your service. We are able to effect cost reductions through your existing tariffs. t TRI will provide a report on all of its findings and recommendations upon completion of the audit. t 90 days after completion of the audit, a follow-up audit will be conducted to assure that any recommendations that were authorized were implemented properly and that all services and charges are being properly applied. t Clients receive all refund checks directly.


TESTIMONIALS BEST KEPT SECRET “When access to capital is so hard to come by these days, it’s great to know that your service is here to help business owners manage the bottom line with their telecom utility expenses.” Cynthia DiBartolo CEO Tigress Financial Partners, LLC

WE ARE EXTREMELY PLEASED “We are extremely please with the work performed by Utility Cost Reductions. With only one month’s telecom bill, they recovered significant refunds and reduced our costs going forward.” Dean Sheffie Director of Purchasing ENT and Allergy Associates

EVERY HOSPITAL GOT A REFUND “Just wanted to say thank you for your work on the recent refund project. you were able to get a refund for every hospital that participates. It was greatly appreciated.” Ron Michalak Director Business Resource Solutions Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC)

TRI | Utility Cost Reductions Inc 44 Wall Street, 12th Floor New York, NY 10005 1-888-62-REFUND (888-627-3386)

CASE STUDIES 1. STATE UNIVERSITY IN CALIFORNIA » $130,000 in refunds from AT&T » Reduced telecom costs by 18% » Reduced Wireless costs by 26%


$52,000 in utility refunds $3,400 future billing credit Reduced telecom costs by 75% $3,500 to $900 monthly wireless savings

3. HOSPITAL IN UPSTATE NEW YORK » Refunds totaling $480,000 » Reduced wireless by 33% » Reduced bundled service costs by 12%.

Expense Management Audit Guide: A Toolkit for Savings!  

Telecommunications & Utility Contingency-Based Auditing Overview, Pain Points, Helpful Guidance and Predictors of Benefits and much, much...