Using an External Expense as an Admin Fee

If you need to add or subtract a percentage amount from your Estimates/ Jobs, you can do so in a couple of ways. One way is to use an Internal Expense as an Admin Fee, the other is the use an External Expense in a similar fashion. The bonus of going the External Expense route, is that the percentage amount can be more specifically applied to the Internal Services at the Service/ Service Group level.

You can have this Admin Fee within the Estimate/ Job multiple times, to accommodate for the fact that it only calculates to the Service Group total, not the Estimate total. Alternately, you can build the Estimate/ Job out as having one Service Group only, so you would only need to use the External Expense as an Admin Fee line item once.

Please review this article for instructions on setting this up in your FP system.

Use Case Scenario

Use Case Scenario

Let's say, we need to put a 5% fee on our Job to cover our Disbursement Costs - copies, toner, local phone bills and the like. The client does not need to approve this fee at the Estimate level/ time of Estimating, but it does need to appear on the client facing Invoices. We need to begin by getting this Disbursement Cost added into the system as an External Expense.

Navigate to Admin > Service and Expense Management > External Expenses (% Mark Up).

Create the Expense/ Admin Fee

From the resulting list of current external expenses in your system, choose the Add Expense button.

You will land on the Create New External Expense page. Give this new expense a name, and code. Add any description you like. Be certain to select "Use As Admin Fee" and click Create Expense when ready.

As with any new Service or Expense you add to your system, it is a best practice to organize this Service/ Expense into one of your Service Groups. This will make it available for use when creating new work in your system.

From the Admin menu, choose Service and Expense Management >  Service Groups.

Click the appropriate Service Group - in this example I'm choosing the Billable Time Service Group.

Click the Service List tab, and the New Services button.

From the resulting menu, tick the box beside the Admin Fee we just created - Disbursement Costs. Then click Add Services & Expenses.

Our Admin Fee is now nicely organized within the Service Group.

Give the Admin Fee a Rate

Give the Admin Fee a Rate

Next, we will want to tell the system what this percentage fee should be, when this Disbursement Costs line is added to work.

Navigate to Admin > Rate and Staff Management > Services Rates and Markups.

Scroll down to find the External Expense line item you just made, and enter the amount [0.05 (for 5%), 0.07 (for 7%) etc] for the mark-up percentage. You will want to be sure to put amounts in for each of your Rate Cards.

Click Save at the bottom of the page when done.

Add the Admin Fee to Current Work

From the main navigation bar, find the Estimate for the work that this fee needs to be added. Find Estimate will take you to a page you can search for Estimates by a variety of parameters, and View Estimate will show you those Estimates you've looked at most recently.

Once you have your chosen Estimate, choose the Services tab. Click Edit Services.

The Estimate is now open for editing at the Service level. Click the "+" button in the Service Group row.

Select the Disbursement Costs Expense, and click Add.

The Expense is now on the Estimate and automatically calculating 5% of the value of the other items within the Billable Time Service Group. The AF in the name, is indicating that this Expense is being used as an Admin Fee.

Click Save when ready.

The Admin Fee will also be visible at the Job level, on the Financials tab.

And when the time comes to invoice our client, we can show them this line item, and charge them.

We welcome your questions or concerns:


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