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billing…time May 1, 2008

Posted by andrea in working life.

Yes, yes, yes…time-tracking systems are an anathema to workers. I ripped one apart writing my M.Sc. I was not very popular at work, which was the target of my rippin’.

However, (always a big however with me) the situations I’ve heard described – where someone said “bill 8, so you get paid a full day” is just crazy. Crazy for everyone…client won’t ever pay the 8, contractor won’t see the 8, but agency will absorb the overflow. Weird. There’s a whole sort of black market of billable hours…promised in lieu time (which rarely get realized). In order to meet fixed-cost projects.

Fee for service: I tell my clients outright that if they want a fixed-price cost that’s cool, but I’m also honest enough with them to say that my hourly rate will cost them less at the end of the day. It’s the same with my husband, a carpenter (oh, yeah, thanks to Mike Holmes and Designer Guys everyone thinks a kitchen can be completely drywalled and plastered and painted in a day…plaster and paint don’t dry according to TV schedules, sadly). He tells his clients, up front, that an hourly will cost them less in the long run, but they almost never buy it.

And on the other end: the payment end? Clients who futz about, and don’t pay until the 91st (or later) day? Um, I’m not going to work with you again. Especially when I have to spend 2 hours a week juggling finances because you didn’t pay AGAIN, and have to chase you for it. I may have loved the people I worked with, but I can’t take on that risk again.



1. johnjreeve - May 6, 2008

It’s amazing how true your comments are. We’ve had similar dealings with clients. It can be really frustrating. If you have some time 😉 check out the web-based time tracking service, Intervals, we built to handle our client issues. While there are still some issues, we’ve managed to alleviate many of them with thorough tracking and reporting.

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