Google billing activity report for a YouTube ad

Hello CXL faithful,

I need to quickly provide a breakdown of a YouTube ad. The billing activity report is a bit confusing for me as it seems to use a running balance method for their billing. If I add up the running balance over the timeframe that the ad ran and then subtract the credits, will this give me an accurate breakdown?

Last edited by @wlaschmidt 2023-09-05T02:43:41Z

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Hello Wayne!

The YouTube billing activity report can be a bit confusing if you’re not used to the format. It does use a running balance, which is a continuous sum of all charges and credits up to a specific date.

To determine the cost of the ad over a particular timeframe, you don’t actually want to sum up all the running balance amounts, because each point in the running balance already incorporates all previous activity. Here’s a step-by-step guide to break down the costs:

  1. Find the Start and End Balances:
  • Locate the running balance at the start of the ad campaign timeframe.
  • Then, find the running balance at the end of the ad campaign timeframe.
  1. Calculate the Difference:
  • Subtract the starting balance from the ending balance. This will give you the total change in the balance during the timeframe of the ad campaign, considering both charges and credits.
  1. Identify Credits:
  • Sum up all credits (or refunds) that occurred during the ad campaign timeframe.
  1. Calculate Net Spend:
  • Take the total change in balance from step 2 and subtract the credits from step 3.

The result from step 4 will give you the net amount spent on the ad campaign during the specified timeframe.

Remember, the key is to look at the difference between the starting and ending running balance for your specified timeframe, and then adjust for any credits during that period. Adding up all the running balances will lead to an inflated number because each running balance includes all previous transactions.