Practice Tip - Standard unit charging

It's a truth universally acknowledged that people lie to their time sheets.

And it's a fact that everyone who relies on time sheets for billing know that this is the case.

But it's also the case that a lot of people who charge fixed fees have no ideas about the cost of supplying their services.

All of which presents a conundrum. If time sheets are to be the basis for billing, what good is that if the data used is knowingly wrong?

Continued...

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Comments

Engagement letter

BSSRoberts | | Permalink

Interesting article Ricahrd with useful ideas. Just out of interest what does you engagement letter say about how you charge?

richard.murphy's picture

Thanks for the comments

richard.murphy | | Permalink

Two interesting comments

When I ran a much larger firm we had our own database built for us to accommodate ideas like this - nothing available in the 90s covered the option.

Now I am a sole practitioner life is easier on such things - and I use the time module in MYOB for such purposes - and can thoroughly recommend it to any sole practitioner. I suspect it has uses way beyond the one man band too.

With regard to my engagement letter - it says I bill on the basis of time expended. But - and I always make this clear to clients in discussion, the charges are based on what is in effect a menu system. I also encourage them to discuss concerns and will always make my time records available to any client who asks - which has satisfied almost any query I've ever had. This, by the way is true even when a fixed price is quoted - because I don't like anyone to think I'm unreasonably abusing such arrangements so time records are still mainatined whatever the agreed basis for billing because I do use the system for costing in that case - and it's invaluable.

Malcolm Veall's picture

Software

Malcolm Veall | | Permalink

Richard,

What software do you use to record the standard unit times - is it one of the usual suspects or is it one geared to link the standard unit times directly to billing?