How to Choose an Expense Reduction Consultant

Pictured: an expense reduction consultant shaking hands with a new client who just hired them.

Originally published by Marc Freedman on March 29, 2016

Updated October 21, 2019

Hiring an expense consultant can help improve your company’s bottom line. This is important when it comes to maintaining a competitive edge, expanding, and achieving long term goals. Most companies who work with expense consultants find new savings that can cut between 10% and 40% of their expenses.

Here is what you should know about hiring an expense reduction consultant.

Who should hire an expense reduction consultant?

Anyone who is looking to save on their operational expenses, thinks they are over-paying for products, services rendered, or wants to take advantage of tax deductions, should hire an expense consultant. Expense consultants can help you navigate the most effective path to identifying new savings opportunities.

Small contractual oversights in any category can cause big financial losses, but that is not the only thing to consider. You might be paying too much for a service that has recently been changed, you might be paying for services you don’t need, you might get better pricing from your current provider, or, as a last resort, there might be better pricing elsewhere.

Not too long ago, financial losses could only be redeemed by large companies who could afford the performance management tools to detect them.  Now, these tools are available to everyone. Whether your company is large or small, an expense consultant can guide you towards best practices using these tools.

When to consider hiring an expense reduction consultant

It is never a bad time to consider hiring an expense consultant; however, there are certain instances that might spark saving interests over others. This can range from financial hardship to strategizing expansion and everything in between:

  • When you are building your company.
  • When you want to ensure you are spending money as efficiently as possible.
  • When you are reviewing your budget.
  • When over-spending affects your bottom line.
  • When you are making a change to internal operations.
  • When you want to stay competitive.

Finding the right consultant for you

How do you know if a particular consultant is a good match for your business?

1. Ask how they charge for their services

Most reputable expense reduction consultants work on contingency. They only get paid when they save you money. Once the savings they find have been calculated, they will take a percentage of the savings. The fee that is charged depends on their credentials and expertise in navigating your contracts.

2. See if their expertise aligns with your business

Some expense consultants specialize in particular kinds of contracts. Others cover a broad range. When choosing your consultant, check to see if they have knowledge of your particular industry. If not, determine if the areas that they cover relate to yours.

Expense to Profit has a wide range of expertise ranging from telecom, hospitality, manufacturing, shipping and equipment leasing to employee benefits, real estate fees and energy costs, and a lot more.

3. Review their track record of success

The right expense reduction consultant for you will have excellent references. You can and should find out. Reviews are usually listed on your consultant’s website. Look at them. This will give you a better idea of what you can expect from your working relationship and how much you can save.

4. Review case studies

Remember that your consultant only makes money if they find you savings. That means the more money they find, the more you both will make. This should motivate your consultant to find as much savings as possible. These savings usually range from a couple thousand dollars to millions of dollars, depending on the size of the company.

You can compare savings by looking at client case studies. Here are some of ours:

5. Ask about vendor partnerships

Some expense reduction consultants partner with certain vendors. That can be an advantage in some instances, but can also be a conflict of interest if they put their vendors priorities above your own. Ask if they have any vendor partnerships and what the terms of those partnerships are.

6. How much of your time will they need?

How much of the work will your consultant do and how much will you have to do? Consultants have a wide range of work practices. You should ask your vendor to walk through their process and get a sense of how much effort will be involved.

7. Cost and expense analysis

Ultimately, the savings you will achieve depends on how quickly and how well the consultant gets to know your business and its needs and how well they know the pricing, policies and practices of the relevant vendors and industries.

Expense to Profit is an expense reduction consulting firm that works for you.

  • We work on contingency and split all of the savings with you.
  • We do not use preferred partner vendors. We usually will keep you with your vendor if you’re happy with their service.
  • Our process requires very little effort on your part.
  • We have an efficient process.
  • We have deep technical knowledge of pricing and contract practices across a wide range of vendors and services, including:
    • Energy and utilities
    • Mobile phone services
    • Food service
    • Equipment leasing
    • Federal tax credits
    • Real estate leases
    • Shipping
    • Medical supplies
    • Manufacturing supplies
    • Bank and financial fees
    • HR and Payroll management
    • And many more expense categories

The Expense to Profit Process: Three steps to savings.

Step 1: Review, Audit and Assess

Give us fifteen minutes with your finance person and each of your department heads. We will speak to them and then review your vendor invoices and contracts to understand the services you require and the terms your vendors have set with you. We make a comprehensive and organized list of all the vendors and services you’re using and what you’re currently paying.

Then, we start examining the contracts and invoices. Here is what we look for:

  1. Are you paying the best possible rates? We have a large database of rate information, so we know what the best available rates are. We know what others are paying for similar services.
  2. Are there any potential errors? We often find billing errors or overcharges, especially in complex technical contracts. Workman’s compensation insurance, for example can be very technical and mistakes are easily overlooked. We have a track record for combing through the details and finding potential expensive problems.
  3. Are you buying the right package: Right-sizing contracts. We can also help identify things like your actual usage. Sometimes we can save very significant sums by adjusting the frequency of a service, or the size of monthly delivery to your actual needs.

Step 2: Design, Implement, and Negotiate (Cost Reduction Program)

We organize and consolidate our findings. We prioritize any overcharges, usage modifications, billing errors, and/or technical improvements that directly relate to your company’s spending. We then make suggestions and contact appropriate vendors to make sure they are charging you the right amount.

We will negotiate the best possible terms for each contract. Rarely do we need to actually change your vendor to achieve significant cost savings. We can often save anywhere from 10% to 40% on each contract.

You review the terms of every new contract and make the final decisions. You are not obliged to make any changes at all.

We never compromise the quality or convenience of your services.

Read some real-life stories of how we’ve saved clients serious money:

Again, we can usually find significant savings without changing vendors. We can, however, also set you up with new vendors when it’s appropriate. Having negotiated thousands of contracts, we know what things should cost and what your competitors are paying. Once this is all in place, we help train your team on new financial protocols.

Step 3: Measure, Monitor, and Save

You will start seeing savings right away, but we check in every few weeks to measure and make sure it continues. If something comes up that doesn’t look right, we fix it and monitor the problem. As your needs change, we help you restrategize and renegotiate, which leads to more savings over time.

Choose wisely when hiring an expense consultant

Hiring an expense reduction consultant can save you hundreds and often thousands of dollars each month. Make sure you’re working with someone who will make the effort to understand your business deeply, knows the ins and outs of your industry and services, and wants to be your partner for a long time.

We’d be very happy to talk to you about our services. We are proud of the results we achieve for our clients and enjoy building relationships that last for years.

We’d love to hear from you.

Phone: (240) 406-9075