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Let's Talk About Billing! You know it's slightly more interesting than tracking..

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Community,


I would say a lot of people in the AdWords Community work for Agencies?  How do you manage your billing?  Here are my issues:


- Do you bill in arrears i.e. spend on Google on behalf of clients and then bill the client?

- Do you bill a set amount each month?  This does not really allow for budget increases and the whole Daily Budget AdWords model.

- Do you double-bill for the first month, so that you are in effect "1 month ahead"?  That way, if a client does not pay, you have a month to resolve the issue or cancel the account without 'taking a hit'.

- How do you check payments?  Manually or do people use particular e-billing solutions that especially suit the AdWords model?

- What's the feedback from your clients?  What works best for them?


I'd be really interested to hear the Community's thoughts and experiences of billing for AdWords as a third party agency.




JudeSmiley Tongue


1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Let's Talk About Billing! You know it's slightly more interesting than tracking..

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Jude, I don't work for an agency, I am an agency Smiley Happy


There was another post recently on this topic and I'll repeat much of what I said there if I may.  First and most importantly, I would say you (personally or professionally) should never be in a position where you are paying for ads for someone else with your own cash.  To this end, I work only in two ways:  I either bill my clients up front for a period (and ensure they pay the next period before the first expires) or act only as a manager to their own account, where all billing is directly their responsibility.


I prefer to use the latter method as I think it's fairer and more transparent, and reduces any risk to me as a manager but I do have a couple that still use the former model.  As for this not allowing budget increases I don't see this as a problem; as a manager, if the spend should be increased I'll notify the client before doing so, and ensure they pay any additional sums before their existing payment is exhausted.  For example, if a client pays £500 a month, and have paid me 3 months in advance, then in the first month we agree to increase the budget to £800 a month, I can work out how long the campaign can run for given that new budget and ensure that their invoice for the extra is paid before it runs out.  I always set end dates for campaigns based upon payments made.  You pay me for three months from 1st March, I'll set the campaign to expire on the 30th May.  When you pay for June, July and August, I'll set the expiry to 31st August.


I would again strongly encourage that you act only as a manager for an account opened in the name of the client.  It makes the whole link-up between Analytics, Adwords, Places, etc. a lot simpler and gives the client absolute freedom to walk away from you with their account intact.  Sounds like shooting myself in the foot?  Maybe, but I sleep better at night.





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Re: Let's Talk About Billing! You know it's slightly more interesting than tracking..

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Cobnut,


Thanks for replying - glad to hear that you are an agency!  "Be" the campaign..


I hear what you're saying re. minimizing the risk by having clients' accounts run off their own credit cards or get pre-payment up front.


Larger agencies will want to recognise the revenue though i.e. it's beneficial for them to bear the costs in order to be able to increase their overall revenue and cashflow.


I was wondering if anyone else has other ways of managing billing & payment, which minimise risk but keep all spend associated with the Agency?



JudeSmiley Happy