July 2, 2022

How CFOs can save time tracking mobile phone costs

Mobile phones are rarely a company’s highest cost. So why let them take up so much of your finance department’s time? In a recent survey, Gartner highlights that having the right digital systems in place allows you to automate more processes – and gives the company more control.

How CFOs can save time tracking mobile phone costs

Smartphones are rarely a significant expense for most businesses.


However, without an overview of the various costs that can arise over the phones’ lives, keeping them working can still prove expensive. Moreover, it is difficult to get such an overview without implementing a modern, digital solution. 


The CFO must get involved here. Gone are the days when the head of the finance function could think “IT will take care of it”, every time they see the words “digital” or “internet”. In “Top Priorities for Finance Leaders in 2022," a survey carried out by the analysis agency Gartner, 64 per cent of the CFOs surveyed said that they had been heavily involved in making the company more digital. 


One of the main tasks they identified was to improve the finance department’s ability to support (and increase the returns from) digital initiatives elsewhere in the organisation – especially initiatives aimed at streamlining processes. Techstep’s SmartDevice solution is a platform that delivers “Critical Strategy Shifts for Digital Success” and, as Gartner’s report points out: 

  • It is a digital tool that can work across the organisation (rather than as a silo-based solution),
  • It creates a unified policy for data processing and privacy, 
  • It works just as well for a thousand smartphones as for tens of thousands, so can help your business scale quickly if necessary,
  • It is a cloud-based solution that standardises and streamlines existing processes.


So let’s take a look at a few issues that organisations can effortlessly solve using Techstep’s SmartDevice:

 

Small things add up…

Should all employees get the most advanced smartphone model, even if they have managed perfectly well with a more basic model in the past?


No one should ever doubt that a smartphone can significantly enhance employees’ productivity. But very few need the latest flagship phone to do their job. One good option is to establish a basic model as the company’s standard phone and then allow employees who want an “all singing all dancing” device to pay the cost difference themselves.


Does the company have efficient solutions for repairing and replacing broken smartphones?


Even if the CFO does not notice if an employee is without their smartphone for a few days, it can still create costs further down the line. And if the employee solves the problem by buying a phone from their nearest electrical retailer, this can make things messy for the finance department: Was the phone bought privately? If there is an invoice for the payment, is it then easy to link it with a person, department, and/or project? And can the phone then be registered in the company’s security and administration solution?


Does someone in the finance department have to trawl through employees’ phone invoices or mobile plans to ensure that the company doesn’t pay for anything the employees should cover themselves?


All organisations incur ongoing costs for mobile phones, and this is of course fine as long as these costs are kept in check. The employer should not, for example, cover the costs when employees use their mobile phones to vote in talent competitions, pay for parking outside working hours or call telemarketing services. Without an efficient system, it can quickly cost more to filter and detect such costs than the company saves by not paying them – however, this approach will not satisfy the company’s tax-reporting obligations.

 

Holistic organisation-wide approach

It is not always easy to identify or calculate all costs associated with providing employees with mobile phones. For example, how much does it cost if an employee cannot use their phone – or if they have to go to a store to buy a replacement themselves? And if they do, who pays for it? Techstep’s SmartDevice helps keep such costs to a minimum by sending employees a new phone by return post if their old one stops working or needs a repair. 


As Gartner points out, an increasing number of modern organisations are now looking to replace inefficient manual operations and work tasks with automated processes. This means that any manual intervention in the automated process will create costs in one or more areas of the organisation. This is what Gartner is referring to when they talk about improving the finance department’s ability to support the organisation’s digital initiatives.


While Techstep’s SmartDevice will only be one step on the way to digitalising your organisation and finance department, it is nonetheless an easy, profitable and efficient step to take!

Erik Haugen Author

Erik Haugen

Chief Transformation Officer i Techstep

All articles by Erik