There are three primary reasons why your earnings as shown in your sales report might be different from the amount you were paid for the same month:
1. If the difference is less than a dollar, it's probably rounding. The sales report sums many orders and then applies your earnings to the total. Your actual royalty balance is calculated with your royalty percentage applied to each sale individually. The difference can cause the sales report to total your earnings on line items with a penny difference here or there. Over many line items in a sales report that can add up to many pennies difference.
2. If it looks like you were paid too little, first check your Payment History page to make sure there weren't any other transactions on your account. Other transaction might have removed some earnings before you were paid at the end of the month. Items like placing an order on site and paying with earnings, ordering a print proof copy, or taking a manual PayPal payout would all reduce your end-of-month payment.
3. If there are no other transactions that reduced your earnings, then you are likely facing a situation where an order containing your titles had its date shifted.
A few of the ways that we resolve customer service tickets can create a circumstance where the date of an order gets changed to the date the customer service issue is resolved. When this happens to an order near the end of a month, the customer service resolution can cause that order to change from being dated in one month to the next.
For example, you have sales of $100 and earnings of $70 in January. We pay you $70 for January. A customer service issue on one of those January orders for $10, makes the order's date shift into February. Now if you run a sales report, January sales show as $90 with earnings of $63, and February sales show as $10 higher. At the end of February you had sales of $200 (including the time-shifted $10 order), so your sales report shows $200 in sales and $140 in earnings for February. When we calculate your February payment however, we automatically check your history and see that you were “overpaid” $7 in earnings in January, so rather than pay you $140 for February, we only pay you $133.
Publishers commonly look only at February and believe they have been short-paid the $7 difference.
So if one of your monthly payments does not equal what the sales report shows you, please add up your payments for the last few months and compare those to your sales report earnings total for those same months. You will probably find that the short payment in the last month is matched by an overpayment in a previous month.
If things still don't look correct, feel free to email us using the Accounting Email Help link on your Publish page.