The Interactive Advertising Bureau last month released a white paper called “Revenue Cycle Best Practices” that focuses on internal controls and processes that can help boost efficiency in the online ad revenue cycle. The recommendations focus on interdepartmental communication between credit and collections, sales and operations and processes and controls that ensure the necessary steps are taken and approvals are obtained prior to taking action. Below are some select highlights from the Delivery and Optimization Stage. The full white paper is available here.

• Before beginning the campaign, make certain that the IO matches the current information in the order entry system.

Since many changes can often occur between the time that the IO is signed and the campaign start date, IAB recommends checking to ensure that the following items on the IO match the current information in the booking/order entry system before commencing the flight:

1. Create Unit
2. Start and End Date
3. Ad Server
4. Sponsorship/SOV vs. Impression Performance
5. Rich Media Fees
6. Targeting

• Collections team should hold regular meetings with Ad Sales Management and Sales Teams

• Credit approval should be obtained again, if optimization leads to changes in CPM or payment terms

• Collections team should keep both Sales and Accounts Payable contacts well-informed of past due invoices.

• Require written documentation when a change is requested/made (e.g., revisions, reallocations, optimization, cancellations)

-E-mail revisions are only recommended on a case-by-case basis and should be limited to changes that do not affect the dollar value or other material aspects of the IO.

-Publishers should run a cost-time/benefit analysis when deciding which changes require a change order and which do not. However, implementing this policy based on partner experience may be practical when only a few agency customers have recurring revision communications issues. Overall, developing better controls on revision approvals is essential.