Resources

The Royalty Payout Process

One of our most common support requests is a reminder of how the royalties payout process works, especially for those customers who only pay royalties once or twice a year.

In our continuing effort to provide you with the best possible support, we created a new video showing you step by step instructions on the royalty payout process with Royalty Tracker®.  We have also outlined the steps in writing below.

1. Upload your sales files.  The first step is to upload all your sales data by clicking on drop-down menu Tools -> File Transfer -> Sales -> Regular Sales.  You will see the screen below:

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On the left is your computer’s files; on the right is Royalty Tracker.  Find and select the files you want, and click the Transfer button at top center (blue arrow).

2. Process sales and calculate royalties.  This will happen automatically every night, between 12 and 3 AM Eastern Standard Time.  You will often want to manually run royalty processing to get immediate results after importing sales.  Do this by clicking on drop-down menu Tools -> Task Manager. You will see the screen below:

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Find “Automated Sales Import” in the list on the bottom (“Queued Tasks”).  If Automated Sales Import does not appear in the list, click on the Refresh button at bottom-right; if it still does not appear, contact MetaComet Support.  Click on Automated Sales Import.

Click on drop-down menu Tasks -> Set Next Task to Run.  This will move Automated Sales Import to the top of the list.  It should begin running within 1-2 minutes.  Once it begins, it will typically complete in just a few seconds; however, if you have a very large volume of sales, it may take up to 15 minutes to complete.  You can click the Refresh button to check on the task’s status.  Once it begins, it will appear at the bottom of the “Task History” list; once it finishes, its “Completed” time will be filled out, and the “Status” should say “SUCCESS.”  If the status is anything else, please contact MetaComet Support.

Next, find “Process Royalties” in the list on the bottom (“Queued Tasks”).  If Process Royalties does not appear in the list, click on the Refresh button at bottom-right; if it still does not appear, contact MetaComet Support. Run Process Royalties in the same manner as you ran Automated Sales Import.  Process Royalties will typically take around twice as long as Automated Sales Import.

3. “Reconcile” your sales.  By this we simply mean ensuring that all the sales you imported were properly processed.

To guide you through this process, you will use the Sales Reconciliation Report.  Go to Reports -> Workflow Reports -> Sales Reconciliation report.  You will see the screen:

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This report shows you what the system did with every  sale line-item that was imported. Typically, you should run the report with the “Date Range” set to the current period, and all other options unchanged – this will give you a full report on all the sales for this royalty period.  However, there are some other options that may be useful:

  • Run it on a specific sales files to ensure that all lines in that sales file were picked up and handled correctly.
  • Run it on a date range matching the currently-open period to check all sales at once.
  • Run it on a specific ISBN to check a known error
  • Change the Status option to “Not Used” and “Not Imported” only – if this comes back empty, then there are no errors in your sales files.

4. Correct issues detected by the report.  You will need to address every line of the Sales Reconciliation Report which does not have the status of “Royalties Processed.”  The statuses you may see in the report are:

a.      Royalties calculatedThis indicates a successful process without any errors.

b.     Future SaleThis indicates that the date of the sale does not fall in the currently-open period.  You will either need to correct the date in the sales file, or simply ignore this if you are intentionally importing sales for a future period.

c.      No term or Royalty Processing has not runThis indicates one of two problems.  First ensure that you have run Process Royalties by looking at the Task Manager (see step 2).  If it has not yet run, run it, and generate the Sales Reconciliation Report again.  If that is not the issue, then this status means that the contract is missing a term that matches the revenue type in the sales file.  Either add the relevant term to the contract, or change the revenue type in the sales file if it is incorrect.

d.     Does not exceed Mfg CostIf your title has the “Sales Price Must Exceed Mfg Cost” option set, then the system will intentionally reject any sales where the sale price (per unit) is less than the manufacturing cost.  The manufacturing cost is listed on the “Editions” tab in the Contracts screen.  Typically, this error means that a sale was intentionally left unused, and is not really an error.  If that is the case, you can simply ignore it; other options include turning off the “Sales Price Must Exceed Mfg Cost” setting on the title, or altering the manufacturing cost for the edition.

e.      Pending ApprovalYou will only see this status if you are using the Approvals Module of Royalty Tracker.  This indicates that the sales have not yet been reviewed and approved by your approver.  Please ask your approver to review and approve the sales.

f.       Must enter an ISBNThis indicates that the ISBN column was blank in the sales file.  Edit the sales file and add an ISBN.

g.      No Matching ISBNThis indicates that the ISBN in the sales file was not found in Royalty Tracker.  Either add the ISBN to the correct title in Royalty Tracker, or change the ISBN in the sales file.

h.     Must enter a date – This indicates that the date column was blank, or incorrectly formatted, in the sales file.  Edit the sales file and add a date.

i.       Invalid discount – This indicates that the discount in the sales file was invalid.  Discounts must either be blank, or entered as a number between 0 and 1.  Edit the sales file and fix the discount.

j.       Duplicate order and sequence number – This indicates that the order number / sequence number in the sales file matched another one already imported.  For each order number, there may only be one sale with any given sequence number.  Edit the sales file and either change the order number or the sequence number.

k.      No contract – This indicates that the title and ISBN are in Royalty Tracker, but there are no authors on the title.  Add an author to the title in question.

l.       Must provide order number – This indicates that the Order Number column in the sales file was left blank.  Edit the sales file and add an order number.

m.    Invalid sequence number – This indicates that the Sequence Number column in the sales file was either blank or invalid.  Edit the Sales File and enter a sequence number that is any number between 1 and 65,000.

n.     Revenue type must be numeric – This indicates that your sales file had a non-numeric value in the Revenue Type column.  Edit the sales file and enter a correct revenue type.  You can find the revenue types codes by clicking on the drop-down menu Tools -> Modify Codes -> Revenue Types.

o.     Invalid Revenue Type – This indicates that the revenue type in your sales file was not found in Royalty Tracker.  You can find the revenue types codes by clicking on the drop-down menu Tools -> Modify Codes -> Revenue Types.

p.     No units and no amount – This indicates that both the Units Sold and Actual Amount columns were blank in your sales file.  Each sale must have at least one of these filled out.  Edit the sales file and enter a unit count, an actual amount, or both.

5. If you needed to edit your sales file(s) from step 4, then you will need to first back it out and re-import it.  (If not, jump to the next step)  To back out sales files, click on drop-down menu Tools -> Back out Imported Revenues.  You will see the following screen:

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Select  the sales file(s) you need to back out by marking the check boxes to the left of the File Name, and click Remove at the bottom.  You will be prompted to confirm the removal.  Removing sales files may take up to 15 minutes per file, depending on the Row Count.  As each file is removed, it will appear in the Removal Status list at the bottom.  If the Status column is anything but “SUCCESS” please contact MetaComet Support. After backing out sales files, you will need to re-import them.  Return to step 1 and repeat all steps. If you did not need to edit any sales files, but you still needed to correct errors in Royalty Tracker, you will still need to re-run Process Royalties.  Return to step 2, but only run Process Royalties (you do not need to run Automated Sales Import) and repeat all steps. If there were no errors on the report, you may continue to step 6.

6. Once the report comes back with no failures, run the Month End Report by clicking on drop-down menu Reports -> Work Flow Reports -> Month End Report.  Review it and make sure everything looks as expected (e.g. sales on titles expected to have sales, royalties generated).

a. If desired, go to the Statement Viewer and check a few statements.

7. If it is the end of a royalty period and you are satisfied that everything is complete and all transactions have been included, you can “close” your statements.  Click on drop-down menu Tools -> Imprint Manager.  For each imprint listed, go to the Details tab and change the Close Date.  If the Close Date is greater than the last day of a royalty period, plus the Payment Window, the statement will be closed.  For instance, if your Payment Window is 30 days, and you wish to close the statements that end on 6/30/2014, you will need to set the Close Date to 8/1/2014 or later.

8. Run Process Royalties and Update Statement Warehouse according to the instructions in Step 2.  This will close your statements and generate new open statements for the subsequent period.  You can now use the Statement Viewer to save, print or email your statements, or sync them with Author Portal.

If you have any questions please reach out to MetaComet Support at (413) 536-5989 x3 or support@metacomet.com





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MetaComet Systems, Inc., Computer Software Publishers & Developers, South Hadley, MA