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Author Topic: Need to Show Cost, Markup and Total on Expenses  (Read 7304 times)
Jared
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Posts: 2


« on: November 11, 2011, 05:25:23 pm »

Hi I'm an electrical contractor and I use TimeMaster for all of my time and expense tracking and for all of my invoicing as well. I have not had an issue with this until today when a client asked me to show the receipt cost, markup percentage and total cost of my expenses. I know when recording an expense I can insert the cost and the amount but the cost does not show in the invoice.

I would like the option on whether to show the cost or hide it in the invoice and it would be nice to be able to add a markup and show that as well. Perhaps I'm missing something, if so I'd appreciate the help resolving my delmna without having to hand write it on my invoice or have to use Word when this comes up again.

Other than this I love the app and I talked a friend into getting an Iphone just for this particular app!
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Adam
Administrator
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Posts: 982



« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 06:36:27 pm »

Hi Jared,

No, an invoice will never show Cost.  I have never heard of a client asking you to tell them what your cost is for something.  That is unethical and not a good business practice.  They should either like your services and prices compared to other contractors or not.  I have a long time client who supplies materials for the big builders and they have never asked for the markup percentage or costs.  He gives them a great competitive price and they are happy.  If I were you, I would tell them that it is none of their business, but that is my opinion.  We do have Cost and the ability to show the Gross Margin in the Expense itself, but that is a tool for your use, not for the client.  You may want to ask other contractors about this situation, but it does not sound like a good idea to me to give them that information.  They could potentially be looking to find out if they should be doing the work themselves, or something strange like that, where your services to them will no longer be necessary.

That being said, I would also say that if you are just getting "reimbursed" for something (without making profit).  Like say you were getting someone a coffee and it cost you $2.00, your receipt was $2.00 and you charge them $2.00 then it is no big deal, but of course that would be a $2.00 cost, zero markup.
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Jared
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Posts: 2


« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 10:52:32 pm »

I see your point but in this age of internet sales and big box stores that rival the prices of trade specific wholesale houses, both of which make it far to easy for "Joe-Homeowner" or "Joe-Contractor" to check the prices on tradesman such as electricians, plumbers and HVAC techs, I find it easier to be straight up with my clients by showing them my cost and the 20% markup I charge on all the material that I provide. I already do this by including the receipts in the invoices for them to compare but I was asked to include it in the actual invoice portion as well. This particular client is a municipality and with scandals being so rampant and highly publicized, it is forcing the pendulum to swing further and further towards overly documenting everything which for me is no problem as I have nothing to hide and I try to provide my clients with the documentation they require.

So again I can see that for you it may work to simply show your clients the total cost but that doesn't work for me and with the power and flexibility that TimeMaster already has I can't see why it would be a problem to allow the option to show the cost, markup and total on the invoices thus giving your clients more control over their invoices to suit each individual user.

Now as far as ethics and "good business practice", I don't see how either of those are relevant to my specific question and I think it's important that you keep in mind that what may work for you may not work for everyone else. I long ago came to the conclusion that I will be a small shop electrical contractor with a core group of long term clients and for me, being straight up with them is what maintains our trust level and therefore our ongoing business relationship with eachother. I'm not striving to be Berg, I'm comfortable in my niche of the market and I'd appreciate if you considered guys like me when adding future updates, because as a client of yours that would help me satisfy the request of mine.

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Adam
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Posts: 982



« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2011, 12:21:13 am »

I see your point but in this age of internet sales and big box stores that rival the prices of trade specific wholesale houses, both of which make it far to easy for "Joe-Homeowner" or "Joe-Contractor" to check the prices on tradesman such as electricians, plumbers and HVAC techs, I find it easier to be straight up with my clients by showing them my cost and the 20% markup I charge on all the material that I provide. I already do this by including the receipts in the invoices for them to compare but I was asked to include it in the actual invoice portion as well. This particular client is a municipality and with scandals being so rampant and highly publicized, it is forcing the pendulum to swing further and further towards overly documenting everything which for me is no problem as I have nothing to hide and I try to provide my clients with the documentation they require.

So again I can see that for you it may work to simply show your clients the total cost but that doesn't work for me and with the power and flexibility that TimeMaster already has I can't see why it would be a problem to allow the option to show the cost, markup and total on the invoices thus giving your clients more control over their invoices to suit each individual user.

Ok, I will add it to our "wish list".  I can make no promises to if it will or will not get done.  We have a lot more in-store for TM.

For right now what you can do it do a "Report".  For the "Type" change it to Expenses.  In the Filter section, choose your Client.  Then run the Report from the Start and End Dates.  If you have turned on the "CSV" option in the reports (e.g. "HTML and CSV"), it will also include a file that can be imported into a spreadsheet program such as Excel or Numbers.  You could send that to your client and if they can easily add a Gross Margin calculation between the Cost and Amount fields.

Quote
Now as far as ethics and "good business practice", I don't see how either of those are relevant to my specific question and I think it's important that you keep in mind that what may work for you may not work for everyone else. I long ago came to the conclusion that I will be a small shop electrical contractor with a core group of long term clients and for me, being straight up with them is what maintains our trust level and therefore our ongoing business relationship with eachother. I'm not striving to be Berg, I'm comfortable in my niche of the market and I'd appreciate if you considered guys like me when adding future updates, because as a client of yours that would help me satisfy the request of mine.

I'm just concerned for you!  This does not sound like the kind of thing that is common practice at all.  Do the supermarkets tell you what they paid for their products?  Do the places where you buy your parts tell you what their cost is and their markup?  That was my only point, and I do not want to see you get screwed over by someone asking you to tell them your cost.  That is very strange!  I wish you well in your business and know how hard it can be to be a small company! (that's us too).  I'm sorry if I came across the wrong way.   Shocked   Thank you for taking the time to make suggestions!
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