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Best Practice - Show External Expense Options on an Estimate

When estimating work to your clients, there may be a need to offer options for a service such as printing. What's the best way to handle this in your fp. system?  

Please review this article for the two best methods to display options to your clients during the estimation process.

Option 1 - Present Options Via Estimate Revisions

In this option, you can make use of the Revisions function within Estimates and create different versions to present to the client. Begin by adding the Estimate to your system. Include a row for the item you want to show options for - in this case, Printing.

For this example, let's say the client is looking for pricing options to print either 500 or 1000 copies of the brochure. From your printer, you have received quotes for both options. And you now need to present both options to your client.

Let's make the first version of the estimate for 500 copies. On the Estimate, for the Printing line, let's enter those values.

Click Save when done.

Use the Print option to generate a PDF of this version of the Estimate to send to your client.

Now we want to create a version to show the other printing option. On this same Estimate,  choose the Create Revision button in the top right.

A message will pop up letting you know you are creating a revised version of the Estimate currently on screen. Click Revise.

You will see you are now on Client Revision r1 for the estimate. If you create more revisions, this number will go up accordingly - r2, r3 etc.

For the Printing row, change the values to show the other printing option.

Click Save to save this revised version, and again use the Print button to generate a PDF you can share to your client.

Both versions of the estimate, are saved under the Revisions tab. Once your client picks the printing option they want, make that version the Active version (see below), and move it to an Approved status.

If the client selects a version that's marked as "Historical" and you want to make this the "Active" version, begin by clicking on the Historical Estimate.

Then click the Make Active button in the top right.

You can then mark it as Approved, turn it into a Job and begin tracking time and invoicing.

Option 2  - Present Options Via Showing/ Not Showing Line Items on the Estimate Printout

In this option, we'll put all the options on the same Estimate, and create different PDFs through the "Print" tick boxes. Begin by adding the Estimate to your system. Include a row for the item you want to show options for - in this case, Printing.

For this example, let's say the client is looking for pricing options to print either 500 or 1000 copies of the hand out. From your printer, you have received quotes for both options. And you now need to present both options to your client.

On the Estimate, we have one row for Printing, but want another to use this option. In your fp. system, an External Expense can only be added once per Estimate. This means we'll need to add more version back in the Admin area before we can proceed.

Adding to the External Expense Options

From the Admin menu, choose Service and Expense Management > External Expenses (% Mark Up).

Click the Add Expense button

Required fields are marked in blue. In this example, I'm going to name this expense the same as my other one for the same thing - Printing. You could choose to name things differently as you see fit. Click Create Expense when ready.

Alternately, if you want more versions of this same expense, click Create & Add Another Expense.

For this new version of the same expense to be available to add to the Estimate, it will also need to be organized within a Service Group. From the Admin menu choose Service and Expense Management > Service Groups.

Choose the group you're after - in this case I'm choosing the Expenses group.

Choose the Service List tab and the +New Services button.

Pick the newly made Printing expense, and click Add Services & Expenses.

We now have 2 selectable examples of Printing in this group.

Back on our Estimate, I can now add the second version of the Printing expense.

And make one row for the 500 copies, and the other for the 1000 copies. Click Save when ready.

When you're ready to share each version with your client, come back to the Estimate. Deselect one of the printing options "Print" tick boxes, and then generate the PDF.

This printed version only includes the 500 copy option and related overall Total.

Choose the other printing option and related tick box and create another PDF.

This printed version only includes the 1000 copy option and related overall Total.

Once your client picks the preferred version, just go back into the Estimate and delete the irrelevant line. You can then mark it as Approved, turn it into a Job and begin tracking time and invoicing.

We hope that one of these options will enable you to share estimated pricing options with your clients, And we welcome your questions or concerns: support@functionpoint.com

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