Are you marketing compliant ?

  • Is your business is profitable, are you growing and listed on the Stock Exchabge (or it is coming soon) ?
  • Do you want to protect your brand and employees, establish a responsible relationship with your suppliers?
  • Do you wish to have visibility on your marketing expenses, be transparent and remain calm during a crisis or tax audit?
  • Are you willing  to create a trustful relationship with your Purchasing and Finance teams?

If so, make sure your Marketing budget processes are compliant:


1/ Prevent inappropriate influencing.

Clarify with recipients upfront that they are entitled to receive the level of courtesy that is being offered.

Seminars, cocktail receptions, golf courses, free tickets: these have value to the recipient, and are benefitsIn many countries across EMEA, public sector organisations increasingly adopt internal guidelines to prevent inappropriate influencing.

Commercial organisations increasingly have codes of conduct that impose limitations on their procurement practices and require us, as vendors to commit to similar standards.

2/ Ensure you will get what you ordered 

A purchase order must absolutely be clear and detailed.

At home, would you sign a purchase order that simply says “Delivery of a white kitchen”? Obviously not. The same goes for your business. Do not send your supplier a purchase order for “Conducting our user conference” but indicate what exactly is expected (search for location, equipment rental, etc.), for how many pax, as well as the place and date.

If you enter a dispute with a provider without a clear PO, your chances of winning are rather small.

3/ Secure your relationship with your providers

An order form secures both the issuer and the supplier. Never ask your provider to start working without an approved purchase order.

A purchase order must always be sent before the supplier raises a finger. Without an approved order form, how can you be sure your PO  will ultimately be approved. What if you face a budget cut or have a new manager not approving the PO in the workflow ?

You may damage your relationship with your vendor, and lose credibility internally.

4 / Protect yourself from favoritism suspicions

Ensure transparency of your commitments and protect yourself from any suspicion of favoritism.

Beyond certain amounts, the double validation of purchases ensures the transparency of the amounts committed and the suppliers involved. It protects the issuer from any suspicion of favoritism.

Even if it is your sister who offers the best service at the best rate. Have your boss confirming it by approving the PO as well.

5 / Don’t get fired.

Do not let anyone question your honesty or your credibility.

I’ve seen marketers approving invoices even if the service was not rendered, especially in teams wortking with quarterly budget.  Unless your purchase order states that pre-payment is agreed, do not approve an invoice for payment before service or goods are fully delivered, or  :

In the best case, you’ll be asked to recover the money from the supplier, which will make you very unconfortable,
In the worst case, you may be charged with  approving a fake invoice .. and bye bye your job.

6 / Watch out tax liability

Don’t put your sales people at risk with their local tax with your Sales incentives.

Want to give a Phantom Devialet loudspeaker to the 10 salespeople reaching their targets with your campaing ?

Beyond a certain amount, gifts are considered as benefits and the tax declaration is the employee responsability. In Europe, taxes can be very high. Ensure you validate your sales incentive with your financial departmenta and don’t put your sales alignemment at risk.

In conclusion, marketing budget compliance protect  marketers engaging  the company’s funds, improve relationships with your suppliers and give you credit with procurement and finance teams. It also protects your company from record fines for not respecting compliance rules.

Béautiful Numbers help marketing departments implement their budgeting processes and offers Compliance Marketing workshops to raise marketers’ awareness.

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