For competitive marketing agencies, positioning for growth in the marketing and advertising sector, when real-time visibility into budget vs. actual at the project, campaign, and department levels is lacking, it’s incredibly difficult – if not impossible – to make timely decisions to minimize or prevent cost overruns. New measures have to be taken to control expenses and optimize on profits.
This fact can greatly stunt agency growth. More and more, marketing and advertising agencies want to have the resources and the latitude to make timely decisions with real-time visibility, view the entire agency across clients, campaigns and projects with revenue in real-time and automate project accounting by scaling beyond QuickBooks functionality – allowing the agency to fulfill its growth vision. Most agencies today struggle with revenue recognition, control expenses, duplicate data entry, error-prone invoicing and application integration as they grow.
What’s trending to address this issue? Cloud-based accounting software. Cloud accounting solutions can automate finance and accounting operations and reduce the number of hours a marketing agency spends trapped in spreadsheets. More agencies are turning to cloud-based accounting solutions to automate project accounting, achieve more intelligent project billing, streamline multi-entity activities, optimize the cloud for 24/7 agency productivity and client service – all the while providing a richer, more transparent level of professional service to clients.
What does this look at today’s marketing agencies?
Automating project accounting: Eliminating delays and redundant data entry by automatically setting up projects from CRM systems. This allows for quicker time entry and approvals. Automatically map vendor invoices to individual campaigns and projects. Streamline the purchasing process with insertion orders and accelerate AP processing cycles. Improve billing and invoicing accuracy and timeliness.
Creating smarter project billing: For digital marketing and advertising agencies, it’s a constant manual struggle to quickly generate accurate, granular invoices for each client, based on the types of projects, who worked the projects, and when the work was completed. In addition, agencies need to manage the revenue recognition schedule, which is separate from the billing schedule. Instead of delayed and inaccurate invoices – and dissatisfied customers – cloud-based accounting software for automated project billing can provide a fast, easy and efficient approach. From anywhere at any time, billable employees and project managers can enter and approve hours worked, to control expenses, remove redundant data, and eliminate manual custom invoices. The Sage Intacct solution, for example, simplifies project billing workflow across finance and operations.
Streamlining multi-entity consolidation: As a marketing agency expands into more regions, service offerings, or partnerships, it requires the consolidation of multiple entities instantly with the flexibility to matrix the data across entities. With Sage Intacct, for example, an agency can automatically create multi-entity consolidations with a single click, saving hours of time and frustration. At any time, a digital marketing firm can analyze campaign data across entities and make timely decisions – closing the books faster in the process.
Riding the cloud: Cloud-based accounting solutions easily connect an increasingly mobile digital marketing workforce with clients, partners, vendors allowing for a consistent, flexible flow of tasks, deliverables and client interactions – ideal for growing a vibrant agency that never takes a day off.
Client transparency: Clients of digital marketing and advertising agencies can be extremely vocal stakeholders in the most meticulous and scrutinizing of ways – campaigns, projects, events are all subject to dissection and debate as marketing efforts push full steam ahead.