Writing the Engagement Welcome Letter (Verbose) document
BILLING PRACTICES (WELCOME LETTER)
Company Name is a full service Insert description here firm. This letter is designed to help you understand how we offer our services and to communicate our standard billing practices and procedures.
What We Offer
We sell our time
The time we spend providing services that you need. Specifically, we provide: Insert services here. When our services result in description of result here, you are not purchasing the end result, work product or other tangible asset, you are paying for our time and expertise to produce this for you in its many forms.
How We Determine Our Rates. Your bill will be based upon the time spent by a Company Name staff member performing services for you at his or her hourly billing rate. Effective Effective Date, our hourly rates for services will be no higher than Hourly Rate.
It is Company Name's policy to have as much as possible of your work performed by the most capable person at the lowest billing rate. Please note that there may be some times when more experienced staff may be required to assist or review work performed by lower-billing employees or perform tasks normally reserved for lower-billing employees due to time constraints or client needs.
What Our Rates Include
Our billing rates are set based upon the knowledge and the degree of skill required for providing our range of services. Compensating, attracting and retaining highly skilled employees requires a commitment of resources, technology, education and infrastructure. Our rates reflect that, as opposed to individuals and freelancers, we are a full-time, full-service firm who make ourselves (and all our employees) highly available to our clients.
Billing for Email and Phone Calls
We encourage our clients to communicate with us any time they feel the need. We also understand that clients may be hesitant to do so if it will result in a bill from us for every communication. The service that we provide is our time, and that does include email and phone calls. The general rule for email and phone calls is fairly straightforward to understand.
If an email or phone call is short, typically five minutes or less, and doesn't require additional work or research to be performed, no bill will be sent. Please note that we may keep track of the time and bill for it later. Occasional email and phone calls will never have a significant effect on your billing. Numerous emails and phone calls will always be reflected in our billing.
We do not charge for time spent drafting quotes or discussing new projects, except in the case where we are performing feasibility studies or evaluations in order to provide you with consulting, integration advice, or a plan for future development.
Additional Fees or Expenses
All licenses, software, bank fees, gateway fees, hosting fees or other third-party fees are considered extra fees and are never included in our estimates or bids, except as line items. While we may purchase these for you on your behalf, and bill you later - these costs are always considered to be in addition to any services we bill for. All clients located in State state may be subject to Insert tax rate here% tax on all software, licenses, stock photography, templates or other materials.
How You Can Help Reduce Your Fees
We never bill you for time you do not use. It helps us achieve a high degree of trust with our clients to work this way. You know that you will only be billed for the exact time it takes to achieve your development and design goals, and to provide the services you need.
There are several things that greatly increase or decrease billings for clients:
The specification(s), description, or scope of work that you provide to us. The complexity and organization of your project, materials, troubleshooting needed or situation to be studied. The amount of time you need to for training or learning various software programs and technologies you are not already familiar with.
The specification is the list of requirements you bring to us and is used to provide an initial estimate of cost. If you come to us with a vague and generalized description of what you want, your billing may be higher if we must constantly make changes as the project progresses. It is okay to be unsure of exactly what you want at the beginning of a project, so long as the time we spend helping you learn what you want is billed for. If you want to reduce this type of billing, we encourage you to spend as much time as needed to thoroughly detail the projects you want us to work on before coming to us.
We will always help you refine your needs and propose solutions or alternative ideas to reach your goals.
Complexity, Organization and Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting is a complex service. We cannot always control the complexity of your individual situation. When we are engaged to help you with a troubleshooting or complex project, it is important that we have organized information.
This means you should deliver your access information to your domain, web hosting, email or other services to us in an organized fashion. Often clients do not have this information available when they come to us, and then we must bill for the time we spend getting a project organized and achieving even the most basic access to the client's files. We are happy to organize your information for you. However, bear in mind that this will impact billing as we are providing a service to you.
We also are not responsible for "how" your third-party systems need to be set up. This includes how you fulfill or ship your product, as well as any APIs or technologies they may require. If you hand us a 128-page integration guide for UPS World Ship, Merchant Account/Gateway, or a CRM program, this will always result in a higher bill as we work through previously unknown requirements. Generally, anything you have not decided upon or not provided to us when we make our initial estimate(s) are considered to be extra costs and additional hours may be required.
We will try to advise you of this at every opportunity.
The Learning Curve
We are not your employees. We cannot run your day-to-day business, storefront, or IT department; provide customer service; or be responsible for monitoring, upgrading, patching or otherwise fulfilling any part of your business responsibilities without a Service Level Agreement (SLA). If you use us to provide such services, you will receive bills that are higher than you were originally quoted.
Many clients come to us not fully understanding how much time they or their designated employee must invest into learning the various systems and technologies used to build their web sites, ecommerce storefront, or content management systems. We will always provide up to Insert amount of time here hours of in-person (our office), phone or email training with any site or storefront we build, and we provide links to any manuals or other documentation to help clients learn their systems. We cannot be responsible for how much of this training results in successful knowledge transfer. If you want us to build you a web site or a storefront but have no interest in knowing how it works, then any tasks you request of us to maintain these sites will always result in additional fees.
A few sample scenarios that result in additional billing are:
We train your staff member on your web site or application; you later designate another staff member to receive the same training. (Or your employee leaves and we must train a replacement). We train your staff member on a specific function or duty and are later requested to train them again.
We must fix, alter or edit your staff member's work product. We give the best good faith estimate that we can manage, based upon what we know of your project, project goals, specification and the sum of all communication you have had with us. This is still only an estimate, and it is not a fixed bid to take care of everything you may want or that may be required to complete your project or tasks.
Unforeseen consequences, requirements, or other factors may affect the total number of hours required to complete your project or tasks.
Unless otherwise requested or agreed upon in writing, we will bill you for hours within 30 days of completion. In the case of ongoing projects, we will always bill you on a monthly basis regardless of whether a project is completed or not. This is called progress billing. Payment is due upon receipt and a Insert amount here service charge will be added to accounts that are more than 30 days past due.
If we have not heard from a client in 30 days or a client has materials, input, feedback or other things that delay us from finishing a project, we reserve the right to bill for all outstanding hours whether the project is finished or not. We generally require a retainer only in the case of troubleshooting or other special circumstances. If a client wants us to be available at all times, then a retainer is always required. A client's billing history with Company Name may also influence whether a retainer is required or not.
Company Name believes that our services are priced fairly and provide a good value, considering we are a full-service firm with full-time employees. We hope this guide helps you understand our billing practices and we look forward to working with you now and in the future. If you have any questions about any of this, please contact us at Phone Number or Email Address and we would be happy to discuss it with you.