Telecom auditor or TEM? What’s the difference?

Sep 15, 2020Articles

Telecom auditor or TEM? What’s the difference?

Gavin Muck, Senior Account Executive at VOX Network Solutions, explains why conducting a telecom audit is important, with or without a TEM in place.

Telecom services amount to roughly 11% of total company expenditures. CIO’s and CFO’s are constantly looking for ways to reduce these costs and find savings within their telecom bill. But with complex bills, loads of equipment, and confusing contracts, managing your telecom services is not an easy task.

This is why most CIO’s and CFO’s will look to hire a Telecom Expense Manager (TEM). A TEM will manage your telecom bills and look for items such as spikes and toll fraud. They usually have a prebuilt telecom billing software. TEM’s are generally paid a percentage of your total telecom bill, meaning they become a part of your telecom expenses.  

However, there is a better way to maximize your telecom savings. Gavin Muck explains why CIO’s and CFO’s should first consider hiring a telecom auditor before hiring a TEM.


What’s the difference between hiring a TEM and hiring a telecom auditor?

 A TEM does exactly what the title suggests, manages telecom expenses. Gavin explains that “there is a lot of convenience around using a TEM. They may come in and say, hey, we can take a look at your existing spend and make some recommendations for you.”

The TEM will make recommendations based on your telecom bill and carrier, and is then compensated a percentage of the bill. The TEM can also get paid from carriers or providers by recommending you to switch to their services.

Gavin explains, “While this can be beneficial to you, it isn’t auditing. Auditing is setting a baseline. The base line is set, ideally, before the TEM’s contract is, but it can still be set even if you have a TEM in place.


What does the auditor do?

Gavin describes the role of the auditor as “someone who will come in and look at everything you own, that your being billed for, and create an inventory of everything you have.”  

 “With a lot of customers, we find circuits or technology that is being delivered by the carrier that doesn’t even exist anymore, that no one integrates to. At the end of the day, the auditor is there to find the stuff that your not using anymore, features and functions that are not relevant in your business, but your still paying for.”

Gavin goes on to explain “An auditor can also look at other providers for you, also known as baselining. Meaning an auditor can baseline your existing services against what the market value is.”

Additionally, Gavin explains how an auditor will “immediately see if you are paying too much for what you have, or if you’re being overbilled for your contract. A lot of carriers will charge you tariff rates, the maximum amount of utility billing that they can bill you.

“They are taking advantage of the language in your contract and profiting off you as much as they possibly can. Which means, if there’s a hole in your contract, then you need to renegotiate your contract, and we can show you how to do that.”

“Or, if your carrier is misbilling you, we will point that out. We can see how far back that has been happening, and we can go back and get you credits. We’ve gone back as far as 10 years, half a million dollars’ worth of credits on misbilling from carriers, because they weren’t following the contract terms.”  


What are some key benefits of hiring an auditor that you don’t get from a TEM?

 Gavin points out that “A TEM will see some things at eye level, but they are not going to go forensic. They’re not going to build you a finite inventory of everything you have, they’re not going to audit every feature and function of your circuit, and they’re not going to do total audit reviews or site surveys.”

“An auditor will sometimes package in the feet on the street to go in and do a site surveys, or test out the lines… Depending on how bad your infrastructure is and how lost you are with what circuit goes where. Sometimes you need an auditor to physically be on site or work with your people to define what lines are being used for what.”

Gavin also explains “A TEM is just looking for spikes in your billing, then they’re going to turn that around and consolidate it, and have you pay for it.”

“You want to find an auditor that is willing to do the remediation for you, who knows how to negotiate with the carrier to get the credits back on your bill.”

“A TEM says here’s a bunch of savings. An auditor says here’s a bunch of savings, when you get credits back on your bill based off the audit I did and you agree with me, and you get the credits on the bill and see the savings, that’s when the auditor gets paid. So, I’m in it with you to get you as much saving as you actually can get, instead of being a TEM that gets paid on the maximum amount that you’re being billed.”



 From what Gavin explained, hiring an auditor before, or with your TEM, is essential to maximizing savings on your telecom bill.

The auditor will go above and beyond to get you savings, negotiate with carriers on your behalf, and do the forensic work to get back as many credits as possible.


For more information Join Gavin and VOX Network Solutions for a free webinar and learn more.


VOX Network Solutions offers extensive knowledge of telecom services and provides clients valuable cost reduction and optimization opportunities for their entire voice and data infrastructure.  

VOX has Over 20 years of establishing associations with a majority of the telecom carriers and provides knowledge that is a vital component to a successful telecom auditing project. VOX offers and goes beyond TEM services to drive down costs and provide greater clarity for client’s unique situations.  

Share This