Best Practices When Reviewing Your Statement Output
Once your Period is complete, there are a number of checks you can make to guarantee your statements are as accurate and clear as should be. In this article, we provide valuable tips to review your Period ahead of distributing your statements.
Are there no unreported sales or costs?
It may be that some sales or costs included in your Period are not reported successfully to a statement. This may be due to an incomplete setup resulting in Curve not having all the necessary variables to be able to assign a sale or cost. Curve will flag these unreported sales & costs in the Unreported Sales CSV and Fixed Report for Unreported Sales, as well as in the Unreported Costs CSV respectively . Click here for more information on how to resolve your Unreported sales or costs.
Are the Sources & Sub Sources clear and consistent?
It may occur that the Source data provided to you is not in a standardised format. Source data across different sales files may be provided to you in an inconsistent format (think YouTube vs Youtube vs YOUTUBE, for example). This will result in your revenue from one source to be scattered across different Sources in your Analytics on Curve.
Are the Sale & Transaction Dates accurate?
Sale & Transaction Dates are mandatory to complete, though it may be that the dates in your sales files were provided in an odd format and therefore not read by Curve as expected. By running a Report, you can quickly review all the Sale & Transaction Dates used in your Period. You can add a Sales File ID field to your Report to unveil which sales files should be reviewed, and use the Export button on your report page to export this list in an Excel format.
To guarantee Curve reads your Sale & Transaction Dates as expected, you may need to adjust the Data Type of the column in your template. An excel date can be read by the Date Type Date, but when dates are stored in a different format by the source, you may need to set the Data Type to other options such as YYYYMMDD, or MM-DD-YYYY.
Is the Start Date and End Date of your Period correct?
Only Transactions that fall between the Start and End Date of your Period will be displayed on the Statement. Any transactions before the Start Date will be considered as the Opening Balance, any transactions after the End Date will only be considered in the next Period.
The Start Date should be one day after the End Date of your previous Period for this Accounting Period Type. The End Date should be the date you wish to use as the cut-off day for Advances and Payments. Any Advances and Payments that are set with a date after the End Date of your Period will not yet be recouped. More information can be found here.
Do all of your sales lines have a correct Channel & Configuration combination?
By this we mean, do you have any Physical Streams or Digital CDs, for example? You can run a report to review the used combination of Channels & Configurations in your Period. An odd combination may suggest one of the Mappings in your Templates should be reviewed. Adding a Sales File ID to your Report may help unveil which sales file should be reviewed.
Are all the monetary values plausible?
Do you have any streams with a Per Unit Rate of more than $0.10? Or any downloads with a Per Unit Rate less than that? That may suggest some sales are mapped to the wrong configuration.
Please note, the Per Unit Rate will only return a value if this field is populated by your Templates. Alternatively you can export the Sources, Net Amount and Units to independently calculate the average Per Unit Rate per Source.
This is particularly important for clients who report and deduct mechanical royalties, as you will not wish to report Statutory Rates around the ¢10 mark for each streaming unit worth around the ¢0.5 mark.
Were all Aliases mapped to the correct Track or Release in your catalogue?
When the ISRC or Cat No/Barcode was not recognised by Curve, you would have been asked to map this as an alias to the correct Track or Release in your catalogue via the Mapping Manager. You can efficiently review all the aliases that have historically been mapped to your catalogue by running a Report. By comparing the Original Title and Original Artist (those provided to you in the initial sales file) with the Title and Artist of the mapped Track/Release, you can review whether the alias had been mapped correctly.
Do all Payees, Contracts and Catalogue have a Valid status?
To successfully report royalties on Curve, it is important all Payees, Contracts and Catalogue are accurately created. We have validation rules that will instantly provide feedback when you save a Payee, Contract, Track or Release. For example, we may flag that your Track doesn't have a Contract assigned, or that your Contract doesn't have an Accounting Period Type specified.
When one of the Payees, Contracts or Catalogue items has an incomplete status; it will not stop your royalty processes from completing. It solely flags that some issues or inaccuracies may occur and gives you an opportunity to review and resolve topics that are flagged. (More info)
Are there Contracts that have earned substantially more or less than in the previous Period?
By taking the statement breakdown from two separate Periods, you can compare whether certain Contracts have earned an unexpected amount which may suggest mistakes were made when setting up or adjusting certain Catalogue or Contracts.
Do all sales lines have a mapped Release?
In a sales file with complete data, you will not just know which Track was streamed, but also as part of which Release it was streamed. This is useful information, as it allows you to review whether a Track was streamed as part of the single, album or a compilation. Subsequently, this enables you to review the total revenue per Release, including the track streams and downloads.
Whilst many DSPs and distributors report release level data on track transactions, this may not always be the case. You can run a Report to review whether any Track sales do not have Release information. If certain Tracks have sales for which no Release information is provided (ergo the Cat No column is blank for one of your rows), you can add a Default Release to the Track to complete this information.
Did all Contracts have a correct Accounting Period Type?
For example, when creating a Period for the Accounting Period Type Monthly, Curve will only include and create a statement for your Monthly Contracts. Any Contracts with a Half-Yearly, Quarterly or blank accounting period type would be excluded from your Period. Do all of your Contracts have a correct Accounting Period Type? If not, they would have automatically been left out of your Period.
You can quickly review the accounting period types by exporting all of your Contracts in an Excel template and reviewing the Accounting Period Type column.
Are your statement's Custom Text up to date?
Via your Settings, you have the possibility to customise your statements by adding a logo, a help email and a custom text. Is this information up to date?
Please make sure your custom texts include relevant information such as the minimum payout, how or when the artist can expect to get paid, and if the artist has to take any further action such as raising an invoice. Additionally, make sure a help email is provided so your artists know who to reach out to in case they have any further questions.
Click here for more information on how to customise your statement design.
Is your Period locked & are your sales files archived?
Once you are happy with your Period and are not intending to make any further changes before sending your statements; it is best practice to Lock your Period. This will make sure nobody accidentally makes any further changes to this Period or reprocesses any statements in this Period. More info
Additionally we also advise to Archive your reported sales files and costs. This hides the respective sales files and costs from your Sales and Costs page, enabling you to work from a blank canvas for your next Period. More info
Have you taken an export of your data?
We recommend to take an export of your Payees, Contracts, or Catalogue at the end of each royalty Period. This way, if changes are made to your data in the future, and you want to reference a royalty statement with how your metadata was set up at the time, these exports may be helpful. Furthermore, if any changes were made in error, these exports could be used as a reference to reinstate certain Payees, Contracts or Catalogue items to a previous form.