Home – New Forums Starting your journey Activity Log to attach with invoices?

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  • #982107
    Blonde Ambition
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    Hello All!

    I would really appreciate some advice on my new consulting business.

    I’m wondering what other solo flagbearers think of completing some kind of task/activity blog to attach to invoices.

    Purpose being:

    – Records all tasks undertaken on behalf of client, date and how much time they took for my own future reference
    – provides increased level of detail to client of work undertaken
    – records ACTUAL hours, and not hours charged

    Do other people do something similar? If yes, are you able to share your tips and thoughts? Do you have an example/template you could share with me at all?

    If not, why is this?

    Any help or advice would be fabulous and greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Elisha

    #1134977
    Past-Member
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    Hi Elisha – not sure if you mean it’s just for your own records and reference (and not going to the client?) If it’s just for you, then a lot of accounting packages have methods of recording time and expenses.

    Is that what you mean?

    #1134978
    Brent@Ontrax
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    Hi Elisha and welcome to the FS Forum.

    As an IT Guys we tend to fill out On-Site Service Reports and ask the client to sign then. The report shows:
    1. Duration on-site.
    2. What we did. and
    3. Any additional parts/materials used.

    A copy of the report is given to the client and we keep the original. My reports are only duplicates, but I do know of a couple of other companies which have them as triplicate so that a copy can also be sent with the Invoice.

    I tend to still do this as a hardcopy report, rather than with a tablet device. I’m happy to send you a copy of my service report as a template if you’d like it, just email me.

    Hope this helps.
    Brent.

    #1134979
    Blonde Ambition
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    Thank you for responding Brent and KarenC.

    My new business is a marketing and communications consultancy, so that probably provides more context.

    Re your question KarenC, I was wanting a document that could be used for myself to refer and also to provide to the client with each invoice as an additional page.

    It would demonstrate exactly what work had been done and the time spent. From past experience the time I will spend and what hours I will charge for will most likely be vastly different. I was thinking that by providing a task log of some description it would show the client the value they were getting and the real time spent. This document would not include any figures whatsoever.

    Also I’m thinking it is probably not ideal to include a massive amount of detail on an invoice, so that would be the purpose of the log I am referring…

    So – what do you think? Should I start doing this?

    Is anyone else doing something like this?

    Thanks again :)

    #1134980
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi Elisha,

    I do include this sort of document when I am time billing. I use MYOB, which allows you to track activities undertaken for each client. It even has a handy ‘start’ and ‘stop’ button to record total time spent… Whilst I do include figures, you could use it without actually having any financial value to the activity. I’m sure other accounting programs allow for a similar thing. This would certainly give the client a true view of how much time you’ve spent on a particular job for them.

    #1134981
    Divert To Mobile
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    Hi Elisha,

    I think its a great idea for your own records and if your client is outsourcing work to you. But for dealing with end clients I think scope out the the job, get signoff and invoice as per quote.

    Steve

    #1134982
    ShanDesign
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    Hello,

    I think it can vary by client. If you have clients set up on accounts, it may be necessary to keep and provide a log on work for the end of the month/billing period.

    For other projects, I find it really useful to keep a log just for my own reference and to keep myself in check. It is really easy to get caught up in a design project and spend a lot more time than it is actually worth and more than I quoted for. By doing this, it can also help when you are quoting in the future.

    #1134983
    The Copy Chick
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    I use a simple program which tracks my hours worked vs hours billed (Task Coach), which allows me to make notes on each portion of time I use.

    This is helpful for me to track how accurate my time estimates are when quoting projects, as I tend to charge on a project-by-project basis, rather than by the hour.

    If the client would like a breakdown of the project, I can give them a copy of the data and select what data they can see. I can “hide” actual time worked and revenue, for instance, and show dates and notes (although the date column also includes time worked from-to).

    I don’t record time I spend on admin (emailing, phone calls, data back-up, etc.), but I have another program (Rescue Time) that runs in the background and records these details which I can use to see how much time I spend on ancillary tasks for a client. (The free version has a reasonable level of detail, but the paid version has many more features.. and at around $70p/year, is fantastic value IMHO).

    Rather justify my value showing reports like this, however, I prefer to outline the value in the initial proposal.

    #1134984
    Anonymous
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    Hi Elisha,

    I use an invoicing program called Harvest (http://www.getharvest.com) and it has the functionality that you’re looking for.

    You can sign up for a month’s trial for free if you’re interested.

    Jayne

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