Billing is one of the most essential subjects for businesses. With every institution faced with its unique billing issues, the advertising industry is by no means an exception. Big advertisers and agencies representing advertisers are faced with three main problems:
- The fact that companies stretch their payment policies, delaying payments for advertisers, which in turn delays the agencies.
- When agencies are not paid, they are unable to pay the publishers in time.
- The whole series translates into disputes.
The main complaint that publishers have is that agencies hold huge payments while the disputed item is only a tiny fraction of the entire invoice. They think that agencies are avoiding paying them.
The advertising industry is unique in that most publishers provide tear sheets for actual adverts to verify that their advertisements were actually run. Most large publishers often find this extremely difficult. Here are some of the best billing practices.
– To verify fulfilment, supply advertisers with an affidavit or a complimentary copy. Nowadays, digital images of adverts can be used to verify fulfilment rather than providing tear sheets.
– Invoices should be prepared promptly rather than waiting until the payments are due. It is also critical to communicate disputes in good time.
– All the payment terms and conditions should be binding to the involved parties. Any deviation should also be in writing.
– In case there are any disputes, they should be resolved quickly. Undisputed payments should be released within the agreed time frame
– In case the advertiser takes longer than usual to release funds, publishers should notify advertisers
– If there are new contracts being negotiated while in the process of running an advertising campaign, old payment rates should be used before the new price is set
Billing is a critical issue and hence all industries should have their unique practices. They should also find a way to incorporate these best billing practices into their invoice. There should be aggressive implementation measures in place if companies are to achieve a perfect flow in their payment sector.