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Credit card vs. actual spend for social media

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Vistacomm
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I hope this question makes sense and you are able to provide me guidance.  We currently put our Google, Bing, Facebook etc on our credit cards.  The amount charged to the credit card was being charged to our projects as job costs.  However our reporting tools that are shared with our clients show actual spend. As you are probably aware these social media companies prebill so what we recorded as expense didn’t match what our clients saw in our reporting tools.  So when we billed off of job cost it didn’t tie to spend in reporting.  If we bill off actual spend the costs on the projects wasn’t matching the revenue. How do other companies handle credit card charges veruses actual spend and client reporting.  Hoping that makes sense.

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ADwerker Jim
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The answer we found was simply explaining to the client what you've explained here. Depending on the spend levels, it will be off for daily and weekly totals, but as time goes on it will begin to even out. And if it continues to be a challenge, you can run custom reports to show when the billing cycle begins or ends. If the spend is high (we've got a client spending $50K a month on Facebook) the triggers to charge your CC may be hit multiple times a day, so you'll never get it down to the penny, but it will get closer.

The other thing we do if focus on costs per engagement, whether that's an online purchase, a form fill, click-thru to the web site or an off-line event (which you can track through Google and Facebook). Again, these won't match up directly with your CC billing cycle but it will move the discussion to a big picture concept, versus the CPM of how many people saw an ad.

A couple of other things: Ask you credit card to align your billing cycle to your client billing cycle. We did this with Amex and it helped with our cash flow. And I believe Google will let you pay-off outstanding balances on demand, so you can do that to line up with reporting cycles as well. And as an agency owner, make sure you're using credit cards that reward you for the spend, I've racked up tons of Amex points which help me to mentally cope with the occasional cash-flow woes. At least they're paying for my vacations!

Hope that helps!

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