By Steve Lefkovits
The complexity of contracts and property sales mean that as an industry, we are always contriving new ways for the revenue-share payments from telecom to go unpaid, or underpaid. Megan Jackson, Senior Accountant at RealtyCom Partners has turned into a bit of a telecom revenue share detective. Here are a few high-dollar examples from recent experience:
- An upfront payment check for $25,000 goes uncashed because it was made payable to the wrong entity in the signature block;
- A 500-unit property is underpaid for seven years by a provider because the provider’s records incorrectly show the property as only 180 units. The revenue-share payments for 320 units were unpaid for the entire time the ownership group was in control;
- An upfront payment for more than $45,000 on a new development project goes unpaid during the internal transition from development to property management;
- A property owner submits a W-9 form whose taxpayer identification number is incorrectly formatted. $30,000+ goes unpaid for more than a year.
In any given quarter, 30-40% of the revenue share payments reviewed by RealtyCom are flagged for review. Catherine Ratté, Vice President of Accounting at RealtyCom calls Megan “eagle-eyed” for her ability to sort through the points of failure in the payment relationship between multifamily property owners and the telecom providers that serve their residents.
“Our audits consist of figuring out when an owner entity took over a property, determining if they’ve received payment at all, if the payments were correct and if our underwriting matches what they’ve received,” says Catherine.
So far in 2020, RealtyCom’s recoveries of past due revenue have averaged over $12,000 per recoverable property. In addition to the over 2,500 payments we manage for our clients each quarter, we make a routine habit of helping audit payments we are not involved in managing in hopes to rectify these often-prolonged issues for our clients. Please call one of us or email info@realtycompartners if you’d like to discuss how you’re auditing and reviewing your expected telecom revenue, and if one of our revshare detectives can help.