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Entrepreneur Tami Wankoff Grows Lakewood Ranch Business to National Level
CTA Deposit Recovery Serves a Multitude of Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 Companies
By: Contingency Telecom Auditing, LLC
In 2010, the experienced telecommunications invoice auditor and systems manager founded Contingency Telecom Auditing, LLC (CTA), which blossomed to include Deposit Recovery Services. On February 29, 2016, CTA was acquired for an undisclosed amount by Commercial Properties Southwest, Inc., a member of the Lely Real Estate Controlled Group. The Group consists of approximately 40 real estate based companies in Florida and Texas.
"We are very happy to add CTA to our portfolio of companies. Tami and the rest of the staff will bring a different thought process to our group," said Joel Bobrow, CFO of Lely Commercial. "Commercial Properties looks forward to a prosperous relationship with CTA and watching it develop into the premier unclaimed property recovery company for the Fortune 1000!"
Wankoff began CTA at her living room coffee table by performing thorough independent telecommunications invoice bill audits, reviewing companies' telecommunications invoices against the governing contracts, and comparing that info against companies of the same size/scope. The process fills the gap between current telecommunications typography and the functions of accounting, thereby providing a one-time, contingency-
"Each year, millions of dollars are lost due to unnoticed telecom billing errors," said Wankoff, president and director of CTA. "In fact, some studies have shown as much as 20 percent of all telecom charges are a mistake, with 95 percent in favor of the telecommunications carrier. CTA has created a review process to turn every stone, so no funds due back to our clients are left behind - and going forward they don't spend a single dime that isn't necessary."
Clients immediately recognized the value of Wankoff's telecommunications audit services. Wankoff hired her first employee in 2011, and revenue for CTA nearly doubled every year since its inception. One satisfied client, John McDonald, IT Manager of Texas-based Justin Boots, inquired if Wankoff could discern what was in a letter he received about funds the company had sitting in a Texas state database. This letter created an opportunity for Wankoff to grow CTA with the introduction of Deposit Recovery Services.
With a 95+ percent success rate, Deposit Recovery Services became the main thrust of Wankoff's business. The firm identifies and verifies deposits that companies have made in the past which were not returned. These transactions can range from equipment deposits, office utility deposits, and securities/tax returns to group insurance policies, initial lease deposits, and forgotten bank accounts from institutions that no longer exist.
The success of this business vein has led to the addition of six full-time experts who specialize in uncovering hidden deposits, plus the establishment of an internship program focused on research and client prequalification. Today's intern team includes students from Southeast High School, Manatee Technical College, Stetson University, Southeastern University, Hillsborough Community College and State University of New York at Geneseo. Since the acquisition, Wankoff has continued to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer.
CTA is licensed and certified to perform services across North America, all 50 states and the Canadian provinces. The company also provides its services pro-bono for local non-profits. "I love this community and personally feel it is important to give back," said Wankoff. "For our non-profit clients, we just want the satisfaction of knowing that they recover the funds that are due to them."
With a client list of mostly Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, the prequalification process begins with extensive research through government databases in the US and Canada that creates a minimum of 300 lines of data or a minimum dollar due back to a potential client. "Once a potential client signs an engagement letter, the fun begins," says Wankoff."
To begin the eight to nine-month process requires a signed letter of engagement, a designated point person and minimal internal documentation. "Since our clients are in many states, we let them know that the duration for receiving claims varies. In Hawaii and Florida, for example, checks can arrive in as little as two to three months. Texas and California claims have the longest turnaround time, with an average of up to nine months."
With CTA's prequalification process, no one wastes time. There is an upfront guarantee of funds that will be received back during the length of the engagement. In 95 percent of the cases, guarantees of funds are doubled or tripled by the end of the project. To date, CTA has obtained approximately $6 million for its clients.
CTA was established in 2010 by Tami Wankoff, a former AT&T/Lucent Systems Designer, who morphed her telecommunications skills into a two-vein business model. CTA identifies and verifies funds due back to organizations through telecommunications invoice auditing and deposit recovery services. CTA is a contingency fee based company, so clients do not need to budget for their services. The firm is only compensated when clients receive a check. For more information, visit contelaudit.com or call 855-60-Audit (855-602-8348)
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