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View Full Version : Repair invoicing - on the job or from office


DanaMac
04-20-2002, 10:50 AM
For repairs are you or your techs billing on the job, or letting the office manager/secretary/you do the billing later? I do both but am actually doing more billing from the office now. I would like my money right away but that is when my customers B.S. with me and take up too much of my time. If I tell them I will bill them later it lets me get to my next appt on time. But on the other hand now I have close to a weeks worth of billing to do since office manager is out of town this week. But at least it's cold and raining/snowing so I have cancelled todays jobs!!! As much as I'd like to get it done the evening that I do the repair, I am working from 7 am to 7 or 8 pm right now. Make a few calls and pass out watching hockey or baseball on the couch by 9.

John Allin
04-20-2002, 09:17 PM
We invoice from the office.

SprinklerGuy
04-21-2002, 09:12 AM
Dana,
My techs bill from the job 90% of the time. If we are doing work for a maintenance guy or property mgmt. company or something than we bill from the office. There are two reasons I do this:

1- If we bill from the site we get paid alot faster. That is good.
If we bill from the office it takes longer, obviously. Cash flow is king around my office

2- If we bill from the job site, there are fewer suprises to deal with. A lot of times when we bill from the office we have to jump through hoops with the client to explain what was done. That could be 2 weeks later when they finally get around to calling us. If at the job site and doing the billing, the techs can walk the site and explain. Saves loads of time.

Your situation is different than mine. I would think though that billing on the site will save you time in the long run. On blow outs and turn ons couldn't you have a bill already done up for the client with all the info except the extra charges that you may not know about? On repairs you could almost do the same thing.

dougaustreim
04-21-2002, 09:22 AM
For blowouts and turnons, as well as other standard calls, such as lawn treatments, aerations etc, where the price is preset, we do everything we can to encourage pre-payment.

We set our prices such that the cost of the pre pay discount is covered in the overall pricing. We bascially finance our business from Jan through April with prepayments. Eliminates the need to go to the bank during the almost no income months. We can pay cash for equipment upgrades during the winter and get things ready to go in a more timely fashion becuase we have the cash flow during the slow months.

When we get really busy, we don't have to take time for invoicing and collecting, becuase that was all done last winter. Just stick a tag on the door that are preprinted, so they know we were there and on to the next property.

An added advantage to pre pay is that you have a better lock on the customer for the entire season. I've noticed that when people have sold their houses, they usually cancel services as soon as the deal is made regardless of when the possession date will be, but if they have prepaid they usually let the service run out

Doug Austreim
Austreim Landsacaping Inc

DanaMac
04-21-2002, 12:41 PM
Prepayment is not an option due to I won't know what is wrong and in need of repair until I get there. Possibly for fall blowouts though, and I've tried that one year and only a handful of people tried it. So I dropped it. If they ask I'll let 'em though.

the problem is that when I give them the bill they want to start talking and B.S.ing with me. I can't be rude to them and for some older customers they like the company and attention. This kills my day because I schedule things pretty tight.

I'd like my $$$ right away also but right now getting the work done so I can be home before 7 pm is my priority. I've never had a customer stiff me for a repair. I do some of the invoicing on site though. Especially with the cute customers!!

HBFOXJr
04-21-2002, 02:34 PM
Irrigation service - COD for all new clients, billed from the office if they prove OK after that.

Blow outs - At time of service if home, leave a check with controller or credit card # in our office. Exception granted to those with Hunter controllers with a remote that we can just go do. The rest are done by appt so if your there why not pay.

Fertilization - pre pay or bill left at door

Spr techs record everything on a 3 part work order that the client signs if home. Seldom do we have questions about what was done or time problems. They are filed alphabetically and kept for 3 years and save us a lot of head aches with the "you guys just_______ last month/year"

SprinklerGuy
04-21-2002, 11:59 PM
Dana, listen to HB....in fact I will attach a document....my new invoice/workorder. I basically plajorized HB Foxes, with his permission of course!

I think it may be time to hire some help? It will be hard at first but if you don't do it, eventually you will burn out. You can't do everything man. Either that or take less jobs and charge more. That is an option too.

Talk soon!

DanaMac
04-23-2002, 08:32 AM
Oh I know about getting some help. By buddy that worked last year just started Wednesday, but I don;t have a second truck yet. He used my wife's truck while she was away. And now she is back so I won't stress so much this week. 13 hours yesterday. Love this crap/Hate this crap! Will write more later. Busy, busy, busy!!

BSME
06-14-2005, 11:07 PM
My first slow day in a while so I was in the archives.... I have found myself leaving invoices more often so I am now owed thousands of dollars. If it's a good customer or not a very big bill I usual send a bill later so I can get to the next call.

How many of you take credit cards? Is it worth it? I was thinking if I did to raise service call prices by like $7 but give an automatic $7 discount if paying by cash or check... this way people feel like they are getting a deal... and if they want to pay by credit card at least it is helping pay for accepting the cards...

also... HB and sprinklerguy#1... I like the work order you guys came up with.... if I tweak it slightly and show you what I did you think I can use it?

coastallandscapesolutions
06-14-2005, 11:09 PM
If it is a first time visit then it gets billed on site. If it is a former or active customer we bill from the office.

SprinklerGuy
06-15-2005, 08:43 AM
use it all you want...like I said, I stole it from HB anyway. :)

JimLewis
06-16-2005, 02:16 AM
We do a lot of irrigation repair. Payment is always due as soon as the job is done, and I make that pretty clear so the customer expects me to show up wanting a check when it's done.

75% of the time, I show up in person when the tech. is done and I get a list of materials and hours from the tech. and then I create the invoice on the spot for the customer then I try to get a check on the spot as well. Sometimes, if they are busy or for some reason can't pay me right then, I'll leave it with them and politely ask them to remand payment within a few days.

15% of the time, my tech. or my foreman will fill out the invoice and collect a check from the customer. This is for smaller repair jobs where they were there for just an hour or two and parts are minimal. I'll still instruct them as to how to fill out the invoice over the phone. But then they fill it out and I tell them to be sure to get a check. It's easier for the employee, I think, because all they have to say is, "Oh. And my boss said to be sure I got a check before I left. Here's the invoice...."

The remaining 10% of the time, I'll bill them from the office. But that's not my preference. I only do that if there's no way for me to go to their house when the job's done or if they are away from home when the job's done.

DanaMac
06-16-2005, 08:47 AM
Here is our new one if you want ideas or wish to use all or some of it.

This is a PDF file so it will take a few moments.

bicmudpuppy
06-16-2005, 09:39 AM
For repairs are you or your techs billing on the job, or letting the office manager/secretary/you do the billing later? I do both but am actually doing more billing from the office now. I would like my money right away but that is when my customers B.S. with me and take up too much of my time. If I tell them I will bill them later it lets me get to my next appt on time. But on the other hand now I have close to a weeks worth of billing to do since office manager is out of town this week. But at least it's cold and raining/snowing so I have cancelled todays jobs!!! As much as I'd like to get it done the evening that I do the repair, I am working from 7 am to 7 or 8 pm right now. Make a few calls and pass out watching hockey or baseball on the couch by 9.
The BSing seems to be part of it w/ some customers. The best answer I can give you is NOT to fill out the ticket until the walkaround is done. I knock on the door and say "I think I got everything for you, we (or I) have been here x time, would you like to see it all work? It looks like we spent around x dollars on parts and I will work up the ticket when we are through." If they know the BSing is on their nickel, it goes MUCH faster :)
Most of the time, I can tell them how much the invoice is going to be when I knock on the door IF we are finished. i.e. "Ok, glad we could help, I'll write it up. It's going to be X dollars. I have to write up the invoice so you will have a receipt." This is a PC way of saying "get your check book, I'm done". There will always be exceptions, but make your policy to get PAID. Number one policy here is Bryan gets PAID. All other considerations take place after that happens.

1aa
09-11-2005, 10:34 AM
Thank you...Thank you!!! We have been trying to come up with something for our guys to fill out on site and this gives us great ideas. Before now, we just invoiced on site and the majority of the time would receive payment then. But, we have added a few repair guys and needed to be more "standardized". This is a great help. I truly appreciate all of the help and information that everyone gives in this forum. Thank you!!!