Dealing with invoices and paperwork can be hard for many architects. Many might feel embarrassed asking for money from clients and have to wait a few weeks to finally hear back from them. This gap severely affects their workflow and adds to their anxiety.
Everyone faces a client who just doesn’t pay on time. But architects should remember that invoicing is an integral aspect of communicating with the client. It gives them a clear idea of how much and when they should pay and what services they should pay for. Moreover, you are asking for the hard-earned money that has come as a result of exercising your skills and experience.
Things Architects Should Keep in Mind for Successful Invoice Management
Not many architects know how to manage invoices successfully. It hinders their growth and diverts their focus from work since there is always a cloud of uncertainty looming over them. Below is a few tips architects leverage to make their invoices successful and profitable:
Use Technology to Speed up the Transactions
It is surprising that many architects spend plenty of time invoicing. Not only does it waste their time, but it also reduces their working hours. Crunching all the numbers on a calculator and preparing invoices and quotes can be a lot of work for these architects.
Often, they have to resort to other methods such as writing by hand or updating the spreadsheets online manually. This takes plenty of their time which could have been invested elsewhere.
However, with an effective system such as cloud-based technology, architects can significantly improve their invoicing and make it more effective. A cloud system can help anyone automate their invoicing process. There is plenty of software out there that can help you get started.
Ways to Invoice for Architects
Invoicing is a way to send an itemized list to the clients which details their purchase and the overall cost they need to pay for the service. Although there are plenty of ways architects can invoice, the ones below are much better and more profitable.
1. Fixed Fee
2. By Milestones
3. Hourly by Role
4. Hourly by Activity
It refers to the amount that an architect will get after the completion of the project. Usually, it is used in small projects and milestones. The architects send an invoice as soon as they wrap up the project along with details of the services they offer.
For a more demanding project, the architects can also request an amount at the start of the project and get the rest once they are done. But once the architects become well-known and start to get more clients, they can also start charging up front.
Another effective way to ensure a compact management system is by dividing the project into different chunks, also known as milestones. With the help of phases and milestones, an architect can easily set up the payment schedule for their clients.
This works effectively for both parties since it pays immediately for the work done. For instance, you can demand 25% of the money after the completion of the first phase of the project and so on. With this system, the architects won’t have to clock in any hours since they have already agreed on a price with their, divided into milestones.
Although charging hourly seems optimum for many people, the architects can often find this method difficult. On many occasions, the architects don’t can predict the time required for a specific project, and therefore, they can’t give their clients accurate estimates. Sometimes, it pushes back the client since they didn’t anticipate the amount.
Hourly by Role
Often some firms divide their hourly work into roles. For instance, if interns work some hours on a project, they will charge a lower hourly rate. However, for any senior employee, the same working hours would cost the clients more.
Hourly by Activity
The most popular hourly method is still by activity since it accounts for all the time spent working on the project. It tracks the activity and duration of the work spent on a project. It would include the working hours for every task. For example, 20 hours of drawing and crafting.
Make a Template for Invoicing
Another way architects can improve invoicing is with the help of a template for making invoices. This template will ensure that it saves your time and helps the architects wrap up the invoices as soon as possible. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind while making an invoice.
One of the mistakes that architects make is that they draft their templates in all caps. Not only does this appear hard to read, but it also looks unprofessional and sloppy. Ideally, your template should include:
· Name and address of you and the client (if applicable)
· Mention an invoice number to keep all the invoices on track
· Description of the deliverables that were provided on the invoices
· Itemized list of the products and services plus expenses
· The terms and conditions section mentions the pay agreement
· Payment method and other details
Often, the clients provide the architects with the template, which they just have to fill out and send it back to them.
How to Deal with Late Payments?
One of the scariest situations for any architect is no response on the invoice they sent to the client. Sometimes, the clients are busy with other things and forget to get back to the architects. Therefore, it is important to remind them with the help of an email. It will help give them a gentle reminder and enable you to get money on time.
If nothing works out, you can:
1. Transfer the bill to a collection agency
2. Sue, the client for non paying you
3. Move on and write it off
Leverage Technology to Upgrade Invoicing
New technological advancements make it easy for architects to create invoices and streamline their operations. Some digital solutions, such as Vergo, are one of the best virtual debit cards to help in invoicing your business.
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