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BEST PRACTICES: Accounting for your Company Phone Bills

Every business has a substantial number of invoices to cover. Your
corporate phone bill is just one of many you have to account for
every month.

The break up of AT&T in 1984 and the Telecommunications Act of
1996 gave both business and residential customers many more
choices in service providers. Costs have gone done significantly since
the 1990’s. Technological advances have also brought cost savings to
businesses everywhere.

Today, the consumer has more power and choice than ever to decide
on services and rate plans. This is a great benefit.

However, no matter who you use for your services one thing should
never be overlooked: your phone company is providing a utility.
Regardless of the brand, your carrier provides a service to your
business that you depend upon everyday. As such, they have the
power to shut off services if payments are missed or balances get too
high.

For some readers this may seem trivial but it doesn’t hurt to be
reminded of these obligations. While RAM is ready and willing to help
investigate billing issues, ultimately, we cannot assume responsibility
for covering or “floating” entire invoices. When in doubt please be
sure to pay your invoices in full and on time.

Here are some items to keep in mind if you encounter any difficulties
with your carrier bills.

1. Notify the Carrier.
If there seem to be erroneous charges or other errors on your invoice,
please notify the carrier billing department immediately.
Don’t let items sit. You will be able to negotiate credits more
effectively if the carrier knows you are disputing a billing item
quickly.

2. Consult your Consultant.
RAM is happy to review an invoice for you to interpret and resolve
billing issues. We can help you escalate resolutions more quickly with
the carrier if we are informed early in the process.

3. Pay on Time.
No matter what the circumstance, be sure to pay your invoice on
time. Otherwise, there’s very little we can do to help you avoid late
charges and other fees. Be sure to get a billing ticket entered with
the carrier. Only the carrier can authorize a credit and advise you to
“short pay” your account.

4. Cash Flow
From time to time, if your business has a cash flow challenge, feel
free to let us know so we can help you. Many times, carriers will
allow a business to change the due date to better accommodate their
cash flow needs. Of course, this is much more attainable if your
business has a good payment history with the carrier. So remember to
be diligent and communicate with your carrier.

5. Good Credit
Come renewal time, a client with a good payment history can
negotiate better terms and rates than the client who pays
inconsistently. Phone companies review payment histories and
consider terms in the same manner your business does with its
clients.

So, follow these guidelines and your business will be sure to save
time and money.

 

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