How do you know your co-op advertising claim got paid?!?

Where to look for your Reimbursements…

We’re all tuned in to looking for checks for reimbursements for our co-op advertising. There are a couple of issues here:

• First, reimbursements, as you may have noticed, don’t come in all at once from every vendor. One of our customers was all excited that a paint claim for over $1,400 got paid just a month after the claim was submitted. False alarm: the claim was actually 14 months old.
• Second, the checks frequently don’t match the amount claimed. We bill 100% of the value of the claim because the manufacturer/auditor is able to apply the arithmetic of their particular program to the claim for us; some programs are 50/50, some 75/25, some reimburse 100%. In fact, we haven’t seen any for a while, but there have been short term, seasonal programs that paid over 100%.
• Some reimbursements, millwork category comes immediately to mind, that pay a credit memo. A lot of credit memos look like invoices or have a number of items on them so the reimbursement is easy to miss. We’ve had a payable department pay a credit memo once, a long time ago, but it was a new person that had just started and a mistake that was easy to unmake.
• Some of those credits show up on your statements. They may be listed with a lot of returns, cancelled or backordered items and, again, they’re very easy to miss or not have accrued to the correct account internally
• Sometimes, you are reimbursed with product. Auto parts and lubricant guys do this a lot. You get a case of product instead of cash. (I personally like these because you have product to sell that usually moves pretty well.) The problem is that a lot of this gets through undocumented. You get a case of motor oil – but it just showed up out of nowhere. There may be documentation for this ‘reimbursement by product’ but I’ve never seen it.

All of this leads to my next, exciting episode: How we price our service.

Btw, if there’s anything you want to see or ask about, feel free to comment or call.

Randy

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