Talking Points

Trust and transparency in client-agency relationships

From the perspective of any marketing contract compliance auditor, the results of the ID Comms 2016 Transparency Survey are music to their ears.  For Financial Progression, the results mirror exactly the ethos on which the business was established: namely that the more brands understand the financial realities and business models of agencies, the more readily Read More

Is it clear where an agency is making money on your account?

When an agency submits a statement of work for a production job or a media plan to a brand team, you would expect that the amount on the piece of paper you approve represents the whole story. Well, not necessarily. What we have found is that the fees from the brand may only be one Read More

Why we don’t work on a contingent fee basis

Given the fact that we have managed to find money that our clients are owed in 95% of the audit assignments undertaken on their behalf, you may be puzzled to know why we don’t work on a contingent fee basis, and even more so when it isn’t uncommon for us to find that our clients Read More

There’s more to this contract compliance audit lark than just money…

When done in the right way, contract compliance audits of marketing services agencies deliver far more value to both client and agency than simply identifying accounting errors. That was the message delivered by Philipp Schuster of adidas Group at the ProcureCon Marketing Conference held in London in June.

You can play with my train set…but not the engines

Cast your mind back to your toughest ever panel-based job interview? Now make it even tougher and it will pretty similar to the grilling I received a few months ago from the European FD of a global agency network and his UK counterpart. This was before we had even started the audits of their agencies!

4 sensible questions to ask when working with small or young agencies

During the past year we have had the opportunity to audit some small, independent and relatively young agencies in a number of different countries across Europe and in the USA. This has been a learning experience for both us and our clients. Here’s why: standard brand/agency contracts are often based upon a standard contract available to Read More

You say potato, I say potahto

As the line goes in “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” sung by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in their 1937 movie “Shall We Dance”: “You say “either” and I say “either” You say “neither” I say “neither” “Either” “either”, “neither” “neither” Let’s call the whole thing off You say “potato,” I say “potahto” You Read More

Adrian Jenkins FCA, Director, Financial Progression Limited.

‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. Trouble is, I don’t know which half.’

Adrian Jenkins knows where it goes. John Wanamaker, pioneer of modern advertising and marketing techniques, famously hated budgetary black holes. Here at Financial Progression we’re not huge fans of unproductive marketing spend either. Adrian Jenkins and his expert team of finance professionals work with global brands like yours to ensure exemplary budgetary behaviour and contractual compliance Read More

What does ‘independent’ really mean when it comes to contract compliance auditors?

As I read through the agency’s feedback on our draft audit report, I was somewhat surprised. Apparently, “We [the agency] provided all necessary documentation during the audit. There was only one exception, the [words deleted].” The reason why they hadn’t complied with this one (as it happens rather important) clause, was they had a group Read More

Agency FD left battered and sore? The reality may surprise you…

When you commission a financial audit of one of your agencies, is it inevitably going to destroy the trust in the relationship? Let’s just suppose for a minute that you were the Finance Director of an agency that we had just carried out a contract compliance audit on. Not only had we taken up a Read More

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