Digital media operations is a long and tedious cycle. From planning to billing reconciliation, there are numerous steps and phases that require communication, data, and a sense of urgency. Without full visibility and accurate information along the way, closing out a campaign can be extremely time-consuming and downright painful.
The biggest pain point in the AP/AR reconciliation process typically lies with the vendor, not the client. Vendors want to use their ad serving numbers, even though many agencies prefer to use an agnostic third-party server such as DCM or Sizmek to make sure the numbers shown aren’t biased. If the vendor uses their first-party data for billing, they either need to manually compile this information by downloading a spreadsheet, or use raw data via the ad server. And typically the third-party ad servers that agencies prefer to use show different numbers than what the vendor’s server reflects, leaving the agency to reconcile the differences in the vendor’s invoice against their own data.
The process is further complicated by the fact that there is no central place to store orders that are updated after campaign launch and post-optimization. Say, for example, problems crop up during a campaign – like impressions served incorrectly—and the agency needs to work with the publisher to come to terms. The strategists generally field this, but there’s a lack of ability to update billing. This process to update then becomes not only inefficient and time consuming, but creates the possibility for many errors and discrepancies.
With so many systems, optimizations, and parties involved in digital media operations today, billing can become a log jam. Teams don’t have a solid way of communicating back-and-forth over what issues are anticipated, reasons for corrections on orders, and more. This means agency billing teams run way behind, which can strain relationships with vendors or advertisers.
Real Concerns from Real Digital Media Professionals
As an AP/AR team member, you’re operating with incomplete information. In order to be sure you’re properly billing or paying at a month’s close, you’re left to reach out to strategists and analysts with questions. Most likely, you don’t have any visibility into what the strategists are doing, and there is no shortage of discrepancies when it comes time to issue payment or invoices. The amount of corrections that are then needed hits the following month, which complicates the process.
Some other pain points include:
- Inability to easily reconcile campaign data against contracted data
- Can’t scale operations without having to add staff
- Inability to view revenues, gross margins, and costs in real-time
- Inefficient campaign discrepancy and adjustment process
- Time-consuming processes that are manual and antiquated
- Lack of auditable trail
The Solution: Centro Platform
Centro Platform reduces manual processes upfront and minimizes data entry errors that impact AP/AR teams. By welcoming vendors into the software, Centro Platform gives you the ability to track contracted data against delivery or performance data. Accurate reports are confidently issued to the client, and proper invoices seamlessly sent to vendors. Centro Platform equips financial systems with the cleanest data and the most context for a smoother billing facilitation process.
This is better data for easier billing facilitation. This is Centro Platform.
- Giving your AP and AR teams context and confidence through a streamlined process that allows for adjustments and prioritizes communication
- Centro Platform provides several exports for your financial system, allowing for simple upload to any accounting system
- Every team, task, and transaction is in one centralized place for review.
- Communication, research and planning, negotiation and campaign reporting is available in one platform, keeping the process accurate and efficient at every stage