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Media orders and invoices can be imported individually or imported automatically at user-defined intervals (e.g., once a day, every hour, every five minutes, etc.). If the media buyers place fewer than 10 orders a day, they can be easily imported one-by-one (or turn on automatic importing after opening the Media Link and import all buys in the media_buys folder at one time). If your agency is heavily involved in media buying and places many orders each day, the automatic importing is much more practical. In this case, a spare Mac or PC needs to be set up on the network just for the Media Link. When enabled, the C&P Media Link will automatically look for any new (or revised) media buys then import them into Clients & Profits X.

It’s important to verify that imported media buys were imported accurately. A routine needs to be established between the media and accounting departments to double-check the day’s media orders. When a station order is made by a media buyer, they should print a duplicate copy for the accounting department. When the media order is imported by the C&P Media Link, the accounting department should compare the printed media order to the imported order in Purchase/Insertion/Broadcast Orders. If the order number, number of media buy lines, total rating, total spots, and net and gross amounts match then the order was imported correctly.

Importing media orders and invoices is a one-way process. Since the media buying system takes priority over Clients & Profits X for media ordering, all changes and revisions to a media order must be made in the media buying system, then re-exported to the media_buys folder for importing into C&P. As well, changing an imported order in Clients & Profits X will not update the media buying system. Orders are printed out of your media buying system. They are imported into C&P for accounting purposes.

The order number is assigned by the media buying system, not the C&P Media Link or C&P Preferences. It has to be unique, or else the order will be handled as a revision. When a revised media order is imported, it completely replaces the original broadcast or insertion order. The same order can be revised and reimported any number of times. Once an order is billed in C&P it can’t be reimported (the Media Link will prevent it), then any changes to the order in your media buying system have to made manually to the order itself in C&P so that they agree.

How the C&P Media Link handles vendor invoices

If you use your media buying system to reconcile media orders with vendor invoices, those invoices can be automatically imported into your C&P database using the Media Link. If you don’t use the reconciliation function, then enter your media vendor A/P manually into C&P as you normally do, referencing the appropriate order and line numbers.

The Media Links imports vendor media invoices into the Accounts Payable data file, where they appear as unposted invoices. Imported invoices contain the media order number and other details necessary for reconciliation in Clients & Profits X, so there’s nothing more to enter. Vendor invoices are imported as job costs (or as media accruals; see below), picking up the job and task from the broadcast or insertion order.

In C&P Pro, imported vendor invoices will be imported as a media accruals if that option is enabled in C&P Preferences.

How to import media data using Media Link

1 Click the Import button, then find and open the “media_buys” folder.

Your media buying system will save export files for each order or invoice in the media_buys “drop” folder on your file server. Once you click the import button you will need to find and open the media_buys folder. Once found, you’ll see a list of newly-exported media text files that are ready for importing. Once the text file is imported, it will be moved into the the “imported_buys” folder.

Only one media order or invoice can be imported at a time. To import many buys at once, you’ll need to use the “automatic import” feature (see the next page).

The Media Link will error check the export file when importing looking for a valid client number, vendor number, job number, job task, and if the order is already in C&P (and billed). For vendor invoices, the vendor number, invoice number, and order number are validated. The Media Link will log an error message if any of these errors are found and stop the import. These error checks are also done when automatic importing.

2 Select the media text file you wish to import.

Any text file in the “media_buys” folder can be selected. It does not matter in what order you choose to import the files. The Media Link then checks the text file’s extension (either .TBY, .PBY, or .VAP) which determines whether the text file is a broadcast order (i.e., .TBY), a print insertion order (i.e., .PBY), or a vendor invoice (i.e., .VAP). This extension determines how the text file will be handled.

Media text files can only be imported from the media_buys folder. If you try selecting a media text file from another location, you’ll get an error.

As the media buy is processed, the C&P Media Link shows you how many buy lines are being imported. When the media buy is completely imported, a log entry is created, the text file is moved into the “imported_buys” folder, and an OK message appears telling you that the order was imported successfully. (If enabled, a log entry is saved automatically.)

This step can be repeated now for any remaining media buys. Once all of the media buys are imported, it’s a good idea to check them in Clients & Profits X.

3 Check the imported media order in Clients & Profits X.

Imported media buys are saved as broadcast or insertion orders in the Purchase Orders data file (vendor invoices are saved as unposted A/P payables). They appear just as if you’d entered them yourself from the printed media order. Once imported, they can be billed like any other media order.

You can easily check the imported buys by comparing them to the orders printed from the media buying systems. To see the imported order in Clients & Profits X:

1 Open Clients & Profits X

2 Choose Accounting > Purchase/Insertion/Broadcast Orders.

If the imported media order was the last-added order, it will appear automatically. If not, click the Previous button until it displays.

Every line of the printed order should appear on the imported order. Be sure to check that the client, vendor, job, and task, as well as the total number of spots and the total cost are identical. If not, delete the imported order, re-export the media order from the buying system, then import it again using the Media Link. Or, just export it again and import it (since it will be treated as a revision and replaced in C&P).

Later, the media vendor’s invoice will be reconciled with the media order in your media buying system then imported into Accounts Payable in C&P. You can also manually add your media A/P invoices into C&P against the imported orders if you do not utilize the reconciliation function of your media buying system.

To start the automatic import

1 Click the (Start - Green Arrows) button, or choose Media Link > Start Automatic Import.

You will be prompted if you want to import orders now. Click yes or no. If you click no, then it will import at the next designated time unattended. If you click yes, it will import files in the media_buys folder now, as well as import at the next designed time.

The current status field will change to “waiting for the next scheduled import.” This means the Media Link is ready for the next automatic import. The import interval indicates how often the Media Link will check for new media buys; it can be changed in Preferences to happen more frequently or less often.
Once the automatic import has started, it will run unattended until it is stopped. After completing an import it changes the next designated import time automatically, per the time interval in Media Link Preferences, and will import again at that time.

The automatic importing stops if a problem file is encountered (e.g. a client does not exist, etc.). To continue importing, fix this file, then restart automatic importing. The Media Link will not skip past the problem file and go to the next file. Any problem files must be fixed before it goes to the next file. You can temporarily remove the file from the media_buys folder to continue importing, then later fix it so that it will successfully import.

To prevent the Media Link from interfering with the nightly backup, it will automatically quit at 10 PM.

To stop the automatic import

1 Click the (Stop - Red Arrows) button, or choose Media Link > Stop Automatic Import.

Any new media buys exported by the buying system will sit in the media_buys folder until the automatic import is started again.

The automatic importing can be started and stopped any number of times without affecting the database.

Choosing Media Link > Stop Automatic Import is temporary—it doesn’t disable the “always import” option in Preferences. The next time the Media Link application is started, it will automatically import media files at the specified interval.


Introducing Media Link
Key Features
How the Media Link works
Starting the Media Link
Importing Media Data
Media Link Log

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