Rivermine Software last week released updated telecom expense management software that features improved reporting and auditing capabilities.The company teamed with MicroStrategy to develop Clarity, one module in Rivermine 4.0 that uses business-intelligence technology to provide more detailed and customized analytical reports.Ikon Office Solutions, which started using Rivermine software in 2002 to manage invoices for about 200 voice, data and wireless service providers, is one customer taking advantage of the module."There was a reporting package with [the original] Rivermine tool, which we used extensively," says Larry Van Etten, senior manager at Ikon's telecommunications service center in Buffalo. "The problem was it was very generic," so Van Etten and a senior analyst spent a lot of time drawing up more customized reports, he says."All you have to do is tell it what report you want, the date to run it and where to deliver it," Van Etten says. "It literally saves me one day per month."One useful report that Van Etten points to is a trend-analysis tool that shows how much Ikon has spent for the quarter and projects a year-long total.Van Etten says he now has more time to do detailed analysis "drilling down into bills looking at per-circuit charges.""We found a frame relay circuit in Alaska that jumped out at me," he says. It turns out Ikon was paying for that circuit on two separate invoices for more than seven years.Rivermine has also added "invoice audit algorithms and rules designed to drive cost savings to the enterprise," says John Shea, Rivermine's vice president of marketing. The rules allow customers to set up specific notification flags. In the case of Ikon, all invoices that are 20% more or less than the previous bill are flagged.The company says it has increased the speed at which bills can be loaded into the system. "It's five times faster," Shea says.Ikon's Van Etten says the new version helps his company load bills in 6 hours that used to take 8 hours.Rivermine, which offers a managed service in addition to software, is one of about a dozen companies offering telecom expense management. Many of its competitors, such as Control Point Solutions, ProfitLine and Vercuity, strictly offer services.Rivermine 4.0's price varies depending on whether it is purchased as software or a managed service. The basic Clarity module with 10 users starts at $20,000.