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Electronic invoices: FAQs

I’d like to get started with electronic invoicing. What do I have to do?

You need to find out two things from your traffic system vendor: Is there is an option to generate EI in the standard 4A’s flat file format? How are the invoice files to be transported? For example: Is there a service or should you send the files directly yourself?

Which traffic systems are compatible with Mediaocean?

Radio—Columbine and JDS2000 (Encoda); BuyMedia; CBSI and DATACOUNT (WICKS); WideOrbit
Local television—BMS, BIAS, Columbine, JDS2000 (Encoda); VCI, CBS in house, Univision; OSI; WideOrbit
Network radio—Counterpoint; Cable network; Gabriel; Paradiam; BIAS
National television—NBC; BMS

Does my traffic system have to be compatible with Mediaocean in order to do EI?

Mediaocean accepts electronic invoice files that comply with the Electronic Standard Station Invoice Format. This format is the current industry standard. You can download a copy of the technical specification for electronic invoice formats. Your traffic system has to generate the EI file in this format.

How do I know if I have the correct version of my traffic software for EI?

Ask your traffic system vendor directly.

Which agencies can accept EI? Is there somewhere I can look up a list of participating agencies?

You can see a list of participating agencies here.

Once I send an invoice electronically, how long will it take for the agency to receive it?

It will arrive at the agency within 24 hours.

I checked with my traffic vendor and they say they are not compatible with Mediaocean. Mediaocean says that they are. How do I find out who is right?

There may be different versions of your traffic system software; you need to find out which version you have and if it is capable of EI. If it is not, you will need to get a version that can create EI. Mediaocean does not keep track of which versions of software produce EI. Mediaocean uses the AAAA’s flat file. This is the generally accepted version.

Does Mediaocean charge for EI?

No, the service of delivering your electronic invoices to the media buyers is free.

What start up and ongoing charges will my station incur for EI?

This is best discussed with your traffic system vendor.

How do I know what e-mail address to use to send the EI file?

Your traffic system vendor will be able to teach you how to send the EI file.

How do I direct the EI to one agency versus another?

Your traffic system vendor should be able to help in this area. Usually the EI will go to the agency name and address that the contract is for, unless you have a “bill to” override capability.

Will I know if there a problem and the agency does not receive the EI? How?

Mediaocean offers an audit report the day following the invoice file upload. You may get the report directly if you upload directly to Mediaocean or you may get a copy from your traffic vendor if the traffic vendor does the upload for you. In either case you should keep a record of the invoices you sent so you can compare that to the report you’ll get. Other agency systems may also offer audit reports. Third party store and forward systems may also offer audit reports. These usually cost extra.

Who will train me to use EI?

Your traffic system vendor will train you how to produce the EI file. That is the first step. The second step is to determine a method to send it. If you have internet access, Mediaocean offers an internet file transfer capability. There are other ways to send files offered by third-party processors for a fee. They will train you on their systems. Contact ediadmin@mediaocean.com for more information.

If there is a problem with EI who do I call?

Always start with your traffic system vendor. If there is a problem, Mediaocean will always contact the traffic system vendor first so the vendor can determine if the problem is system related or user related. The vendor can make that distinction and either fix the file or contact you to do the same.
There are a team of people at Mediaocean who work with the traffic system vendors and with stations who want to send their invoice files directly to the Mediaocean website. You can send a note to ediadmin@mediaocean.com to reach them and they will advise you accordingly.