We often hear from customers with questions about how to best track consultants on their projects using ArchiOffice. Here are two different methods to consider. Choose the best method for your situation. If anyone has any suggestions or found other ways to handle this, I’d love to hear back from you or add your own comments.
Tracking Consultants as Reimbursable Expenses:
If the contract with your client allows you to pass on your consultant invoices as a reimbursable expense, this is the method you should follow. Regardless of whether you are billing your client hourly or based on a negotiated fee for your own services, you will take your consultant invoices, include them in your own invoice (as a reimbursable expense).
A. Set Up Preferences
- Go to Preferences>Billing>Accounting and select Expenses from the Account Codes drop-down menu.
- Using the Add icon (+) enter your consultant. You can do this as a single item such as “Consultant”
- I you want your invoice to have a more detailed look create something like “Consultant: MEP”.
- If you’re really particular, you can also identify them by name “Acme Engineering”.
Note: You can have as many expense types as you like in ArchiOffice. In our example you will see that we have many different consultant types. If you are syncing ArchiOffice with your accounting software you have the ability to sync the expense information with similar items in your chart of accounts or you can take multiple expense types from ArchiOffice and sync them to a single account code. It’s up to you.
B. Applying to the Project
- When you receive a bill from your consultant, create an expense slip for the project and choose the account type as specified in the setup above. (This view is of the Expense>Detail view but you can also do this from the Expense Card view).
- This expense slip will appear on the invoice as a reimbursable expense including the markup, if applicable. Expense markups are set in the Projects>Billing>Options screen.
- If you wish to extend the consulting expense to your client without a markup, you must uncheck the “Apply Markup” checkbox.
Tracking Consultants as Non-Reimbursable Expenses:
If the contract states that consultant services are to be paid by the architect and not passed on to the client as a reimbursable expense, this is the method you should follow. The client may or may not know the specific fees for consultants as they will be negotiated between the consultant and the architect. This method will provide the ability to bill your client a stipulated sum by phase, without specifically identifying the consultant portion of each fee. It also allows you to track the consultant fees separately from your own in-house services.
A. Set Up Project Details
- Go to the Projects>Details>Phases screen.
- For each main phase that will have a consultant’s fees, create sub-phases. Make sure to also include a phase for your own in-house services, such as “Architectural Services”. This will allow you to track your budgeted hours and fees for these services separately from your consultants fees.
- Remember to make each sub-phase “active”. You might also want to create a job code specifically for consultants. Check the appropriate job code(s) that apply for each sub-phase.
- Go to the Projects>Billing>Budgets screen and create a budget for the consultant fees accordingly. If only the Main phase is in view, click the triangle to the left of the phase to expand the view to see the sub-phases. Or click the expand all icon above the phase column.
- When entering in budgets, you should not put any hours for your consultants. Only enter hours for your in-house services.
- As you receive expenses from your Consultant – make sure they’re in ArchiOffice as “non-reimbursable”. You’ll see them show up in the Projects>Billing>Summary screen and be able to invoice based on the percentages you want.