In order to have quality affiliate program management, your affiliate program manager or team must be detail oriented, have a fastidious work ethic, and the ability to multitask with ease. These qualities will save you time and money in the end. Let one of them go and your entire affiliate program can go down the tubes in a flash.
Affiliate Program Managers Must be Detailed Oriented
It is the small details which sink an affiliate program. Details like not checking to make sure each and every affiliate has filled out and turned in a signed W9 can cost you thousands of dollars in taxes owed. Without this form, a business will be held responsible for the money they paid the affiliate. Essentially, the business will have to pay the taxes on behalf of the affiliate.
Management Teams Must Have a Fastidious Work Ethic
The affiliate program manager or team needs to track each affiliate to see who is making money and why. They need to determine which promotions are working and receiving a decent return on investment (ROI.) Additionally, they need to determine how different aspects of the program are going and what can be done to improve the areas not performing well.
Affiliate Teams Must be able to Multitask
The team must be able to do all the above while new affiliates come and go. They must be able to track all the coming and goings along with the tax information on each new affiliate. All of this work can be daunting for one person alone although it can be done.
Outsourcing Affiliate Management
Since it does take a lot of work to manage an affiliate program, many people decide it is best to outsource this aspect of their company. Many companies specialize in this and are more than willing to help with a fee, of course. However, there is one aspect you may wish to keep in-house for your own personal welfare.
You will want to keep the tax records in-house. This is too important to outsource to someone with no stake in paying the taxes. Ultimately, you will be held responsible for the taxes paid and the only way to ensure that you have the right documents is to do it yourself.
Software to Track W9s and 1099s
The W9 and the 1099 are at the heart of all affiliate programs. Businesses are required by law to have a signed W9 on every contractor they pay. At the end of the year, the business is required to send a 1099 to all the contractors they paid more than $600 to over the course of the year.
Since this can be a lot of paperwork to look after, software has been designed to help the situation. With the right software, you can upload your mass pay file into the software and have it check for W9s. If the payee does not have a W9 on file, then the software will notify the payee and payment will be held until the paperwork is turned in.
At the end of the year, you can press one button and the software will print out all the 1099s you need. Additionally, it will give you everything you need to take to your accountant.