Professional Profile

When Optimization Specialist Steve Oscarson was a CFO, he spent hours poring over his company’s phone bills looking for errors. He met regularly with vendors trying to iron out the best deal.

It took plenty of time and effort, and opened his eyes to the billing problems and mistakes that pop up on 80 percent of telecom bills.

“Sometimes you feel like David vs. Goliath when you go up against the big phone companies,” explains the Salt Lake-based consultant. “I enjoy going through bills, identifying problems and finding ways to save people money.”

Being part of Schooley Mitchell’s extensive North American network gives Oscarson in-depth knowledge about plans and pricing, and allows him to keep his finger on the pulse of the industry.

“We can see what works in different industries and cities and bring it to our clients … it gives them something new to consider,” says Oscarson. “Our knowledge of the marketplace and what other businesses are paying for their services is second to none.”

During the course of his audits, he has uncovered major savings. Recently, he identified a $80,000 error on a client’s bill. For others, he has shaved 30 to 40 percent off their monthly spend.

Sometimes it is about more than savings. Oscarson recalls one client who set aside the money from its reduced telecom bills and used it to throw a Christmas party for staff, something that was not previously in the budget.

“It made me feel great that I helped make a better Christmas for that company’s employees,” he said.

Though combing through bills to find savings is his favorite part of the job, he also enjoys the social side, especially meeting new people and getting to know his clients and their companies.

Communication is important and he makes sure to check in with his clients every step of the way.

With many professionals facing growing workloads, Oscarson knows that keeping an eye on telecom and merchant services expenses is sometimes overlooked for more pressing items, such as human resources or capital expenditures.

“It’s essential to take a little bit of time to think about the phone bill, even if you think it’s not the most important bill you have,” he explains.

Oscarson also knows community involvement is important. He is a member of the Rotary Club and supports Kids on the Move, Ronald McDonald House, Ascend Alliance and Enterprise Mentors. He enjoys hiking in the mountains, reading and playing the piano.

Oscarson still recalls his days as a CFO, where he spent the majority of his time trying to figure out new ways to reduce costs. The service he offers today would have been welcomed with open arms, he says.

“I was thrilled when anyone could come to me with an idea of how to save money, especially if they could take care of it on their own without taking up much of my time.

“I love that I can provide this service, do all the heavy lifting and reduce costs at the end of the day.”


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