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#13735 09/10/02 05:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
Likes: 1
Here's a "do you" question:

Do you itemized your invoices? Do you give materials lists down to the wirenut, or just a grand total called "materials"?

Do you give times in and out, dates, and price per hour for the labor, or just a grand total called "labor"?

Do you add a markup on materials or an overhead-and-profit percentage on the whole works, or is it hidden in the labor price?

How much information do you give your customers, and how much do you hold back?

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 31
On mine I give a description of work performed then generally a total of materials with the markup hidden and total for the labor. I say generally because sometimes in the industrial service I list materials such as; motors or starters. Usually all big ticket items are listed with the markup included. The customer doesn't know markup. If there are other costs such as tool expense that is hidden in materials.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
I give a fairly itemized bill, but not down to the wirenuts. Generally wirenuts and small amounts or wire or small devices are included in a per item charge - example - Add one receptacle in hallway $50 - this includes say 25 minutes labor and $3.50 in materials. But if we use other parts, they are billed as a line item with a mark up built in.

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,289
Just send them an invoice for the total amount.
If they want to have you break it out, then do it!

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,323
Likes: 7
Invoice consists of a description of the work performed, details are provided on a "as-needed" basis, dependent on the customer.
Big ticket type of materials are broken-out separately, with mark-up "hidden" on the printed invoice. Labor is detailed as "x men for xhours (or "8:00 to 2:00") with a labor total. Permit fees are itemized, with a copy of the permit attached to the Invoice.
OH is in the Labor rate, and the materials mark-up.
We use "QuickBooks".
For T&M billing, we run an "Excel" spreadsheet for labor & materials, and attach & reference it on a Invoice rather then listing all the info again.


Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 218
Like electure and hotline I usually give a generic one unless the customer questions it. Also quit giving a detailed list because I had a couple of jobs the unscrupulous people used my bid to buy the materials with and then used some "hack" who couldn't figure the material list to install.

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 122
If it happens to be T&M (which I avoid like the plague) EVERYTHING IS LISTED!!
If it is a job I quoted to someone other than another contractor I give them a bill which is just a copy of the quote and it is what they already agreed to. I haven't had any complaints that way. If it is a larger job then the percentages for payment are also listed there too.

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 36
TE Offline
Yes and No to all

Depends on customer, most at least want to know the # of hours on T&M.

Material mark up- always built into either material price or unit price.

I avoid listing individual material like the plague. If you list a receptacle for 2.50
most will say holycow I just saw those at the Big Orange for 29 cents. Sorry,I don't shop there.

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
Likes: 1
Being a perfectionist and a stickler for detail, I itemize materials down to the wirenuts (and screws) and labor in 15 minute increments. I guess I like to see where my money is going and feel like I should treat my customers as such. Also, the way I do billing and bookkeeping, it would actually be MORE work to give an invoice without the details, that's how I arrive to the amount!

Here's a sample invoice (The actual printed versions look better than that... [Linked Image] Dern aliasing...):

[Linked Image from]

However, lately it has come to light that I may be shooting myself in the foot here...

More comments?

Electure, what would such an invoice look like? Kinda a dumb Q, but I mean, how do I make "nothing" look professional?

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 09-11-2002).]

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 84
Hi sparky66wv

Since my jobs are almost all time & material I itemize down to boxes and devices but but add a miscellaneous line for incidental items like wire nuts, clamps, etc. I list a total of my hours and show the $ amount for that also.
I mark-up material slightly but don't disclose the mark-up.
Some people don't want an invoice. I give them a rough estimate then they pay upon completion.

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