Hot answers tagged

202

Here's a counter question. If he thinks of a solution on the drive home, can he bill you because he was working on the problem? Programming is THINKING not typing. If you try to nuance this you will get NOBODY to work for you. If his machine freezes or crashes, do you want him to stop billing when he reboots? Are you going to time his bathroom usage and ...


144

Is it ethical to bill for hours waiting? Broadly speaking - no. You can and should bill for the time spent verifying that the access is broken, the communication around trying to get the access, but if you are not doing work for the client, you can't bill for it. There are some exceptions around it, for example if you are physically waiting for someone to ...


124

Items 1, 2 and 4 are what you'd hope them to be - it's ethical, legal, and relatively common-place. That said, Item 3 is where you should be concerned. And to help illustrate it, I'm going to translate it to a different situation (with the same basic point) Scenario You go to an interview for a new job, and the interviewer asks, "So, what's your ...


114

Just ask what you should bill your time on instead. Archive those e-mails in case someone higher up ask you why you are charging your time the way you do. Depending on the answer, you have to decide. Can that work against you or is it a outright lie (on another project / Education etc.) or is it just a biased opinion kind of thing (general internal ...


92

In a nutshell... if your waiting prohibits you from performing billable work for other clients or prohibits you from pursuing other activities, whatever they may be, then you should bill for it. Otherwise, no.


90

Yes, your best bet is to charge only for the ten sessions you agreed to, even if you actually gave more. Why? It was your mistake. Never charge a customer for something that is your mistake. The customer might not have any extra money available, and might have stopped taking sessions if they thought they were going to be charged more. They would certainly ...


89

Your question was, I can't seriously be held responsible for this, right? Based on what you said here, I never signed anything saying that I'd owe them money if I quit - I have a copy of the signed employee agreement with nothing anywhere close to that in it. The AutoCAD license was installed on a work computer that never went home with me and I ...


79

My position would be that you did the work and therefore you should be paid for it in full. The fact that you forgot to invoice them doesn't change that. Given the circumstances, you probably don't want to be sending out an invoice saying "Payment due in 30 days", but I'd hope that if you talk to them, they'd be able to come up with a means of paying you in ...


71

If it costs time, it costs money. The client should provide all the information needed to get started, including documentation of their system if it exists. From experience, it doesn't usually. There are a number of variables here that both the client and the programmer need to take into account, although this list isn't exhaustive: Quality of the codebase (...


62

Oh, keep this, and your signed agreement in a very secure location. Depending on your location, you may be needing them for a civil suit. Your employer will probably end up wishing that it only cost them $7000. FWIW: I am inferring the U.S. because of the currency denomination. You might want to specify a location tag.


55

Create a billable unit (some places use 6 minutes, some 10, some 15) - make sure that these clients are aware that a phone conversation or small task will be charged at the billable rate. Keep a record of each task/conversation and add up the units and hand over a monthly invoice. Yes, this means that three two minute tasks for three different customers ...


51

I am a techy but my father was a salesman and he would say once you give away product or services for free you have established your price. Establish a support contract. Bill in increments and round up.


38

"Look, I hate to say this, but I'm running a business, and I can't afford to spend an unlimited number of hours doing free customer support. A certain amount of that was budgeted into the contract, but we've already gone past that. I'd be glad to continue answering these small questions for you, but it will have to be at my usual hourly rate, or we'll need ...


37

I can't seriously be held responsible for this, right? Right. It's a bluff to see if you would pay anyway. Should I respond that I'm not paying, or just ignore this? I would respond once and only once with something like: "Since my employment agreement said nothing about being required to reimburse any training expenses if I left, I will not do so. ...


33

All this has to be paid for by him, generally how much time should be expected to understand his system? Is it uncommon to bill him for say a day or two if all I'm doing is understanding his system? In order to fix the bugs, you need to understand the system. (Or at least you should understand the system.) In order to understand the system, you need to ...


32

You pay humans to do work, not machines. This is an important factor to take into consideration. Some people take a break and produce much more work when they return vs. trying to push through. Bathroom breaks as well are part of the situation as humans have to relieve themselves. This is usually a "reasonability" analysis. Various countries and ...


31

Am I overreacting? Yes, to some extent. You should let your boss decide how this project will be handled in terms of cost management. Could my boss's communication come back to haunt me (us) if we were audited? This one is bit harder to answer but, active participation in a project can be interpreted in many ways. You, as a software architect, may be ...


29

Have a discussion, apologise, invoice and move on You did the work, so you should get paid in full. However, invoicing so late may cause your client some issues with cash flow. You should send a polite email to your contact there, explaining that you were busy and forgot to invoice. If they are decent, they will ask you to invoice straight away. They may ...


27

It certainly is ethical. When you are billing for work, you are not billing for work performed, you are billing for hours spent. When you are working and waiting for access, those are hours you're not doing something else, like spending time with your family, pursuing hobbies, eating, traveling, etc., things which you want to do. Since you are prevented ...


26

What are billable hours? This is the first question you need to answer to know what the right answer is. Your question implies that you think billable hours are the time that was actively spent delivering a product or service to you. This is notably different from a definition where billable hours are the time that had to be spent in order to deliver the ...


16

Are there any generally accepted guidelines for whether logging time should be done on your own time or on the clock (whether legal or cultural)? Of course, details will depend on your jurisdiction, your work or employment contract and company rules - however, the general rule is: Logging time, writing report etc. are a required part of your job, so ...


16

You don't have to do a thing, but there are ways to handle it. In some countries like the US, it may be better to stay silent or ask a lawyer (which costs!), because the law can be very harsh and expensive if done wrong. If you're more sure of writing, then you can probably sort this out yourself. I'll sum up what I'd expect is a good approach, but you may ...


14

It seems to me that the actual question here is: is Joe worth the money I’m paying him or not? And that kind of question is better answered over time, say, in the last 3 months: on one hand, having Joe on the team made me “X amount of money”, and on the other, hand I payed him “Y amount of money”. For every context there is probably more to the equation, ...


14

The company cannot force you to do anything, if unhappy with their business practices you can always leave or get authorities involved. I have a guy in a similar situation, I charge a client 40 hours worth a week whether or not my guy actually does 40 hours on a maintenance job. In fact he maintains 2 companies, both of which have agreed to the price. He's ...


14

Should I just leave and let them deal with increasing A/R themselves? Clearly you aren't happy here and have no confidence in your boss, your colleagues, or the company. The word you are using ("undermine", "sabotage", "lies", "office politics", "only got 20 cents", etc) indicate that you don't want to be at your current job Of course this is something you ...


13

I'm a little late to this answer, but there is a side that I don't see addressed: maintenance. Even if you can reused the same ideas / algorithms (which take more time to conjure than it takes to bang out the code), I suggest billing the full time for creating them to both clients as that code will diverge and any thought process that went into creating it ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible