How many billable hours do you write off?

A new survey came out last month – the Trends & Challenges in Architecture and Engineering International Report 2014* and it had some most interesting (but perhaps not surprising) statistics.

Architecture and Engineering firms throughout Australia and New Zealand are missing out on invoicing up to 30 percent of billable hours. According to the survey, almost three quarters of businesses indicated they recovered only 61-80 % of billable hours.

Loss of billable hours is a common challenge for all time based billing professionals, regardless of whether you bill on the basis of time engaged or a fixed price contract. It’s a challenge that needs to be constantly managed.

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Write Off Reporting

As well as looking at how much was billed each month end we recommend you look at your write off percentages. Use one of the WIP reports from Performance Reports > Management Analysis:

  • WIP Write-offs and Write-ons by Invoice
  • WIP Write-offs and Write-ons by Project, or
  • Write-offs and Write-ons by Project and Invoice are all good places to start.

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Write Offs and Profitability Reports

Some management reports in Abtrac review data by invoice, others do it by individual invoice lines. In particular some Employee Profitability, Fees Earned, and Write Off reports go into this detail.

If you want to analyse write offs (ons) at the employee or invoice level then the method you use to write off time is important.

When choosing an existing invoice line to assign WIP you need to be aware that this write off time will affect these reports. And reports already circulated will then have different recovery numbers which will obviously confuse some people.

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