Media and digital agencies manage paid search campaigns for their clients. Also called pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, this responsibility can encompass many simultaneous campaigns, with significant dollars invested. The ability to track this activity – by vendor, campaign and/or by client (who may be running multiple campaigns) – is difficult and time consuming. Yet accurate reconciliations must be done on a monthly basis to ensure accurate reporting and invoicing to clients.
The agency had been using other credit card vendors and reports, but found all payment methods to be both time consuming and nearly impossible to reconcile. “We needed a better solution than processing data from paper invoices (with no details) or pulling data direct from each vendor platform, both of which were very time consuming and certainly not automated,” said Mim Davis. “We could no longer afford to stand at a fax machine to send credit card purchases for our media invoices, or manually analyze daily charges to extract client and campaign level details. We had to find a fully automated system that would be scalable.”
Sq1 shifted the payment mechanism for its client’s PPC campaigns from monthly ‘paper’ billings and other credit card accounts to CSI Paysystems, leveraging multiple products including virtual credits cards, ghost cards, and corporate purchasing cards.
Unlike typical ghost cards that store a single credit card number to be used for purchases, CSI’s ghost cards and other virtual card solutions add a critical layer of security and spending controls. Account numbers are easily set up with specific profiles for each client media program with the ability to designate vendor, specific budget amount, and set spending limits for each client or by campaign level.
User-defined security and spend levels allow the agency to track costs on a real-time basis from all of the related paid search vendors that flow into the card, bringing needed relief to Davis, Sq1’s CFO.
“Because each card profile is designated to a specific client or campaign (depending on the media plan), account reconciliations are a breeze.” Spending can be tracked at virtually any level: by client, campaign, vendor, hour and day, and company-wide details and totals.