Accounting professionals responsible for negotiating and setting fees don’t have a “sales” department who turns the order over to “production” who then turns it over to “shipping.” In selling professional services, the same person quoting the project is often the one responsible for the actual delivery, billing and collection of the work, and as a result, can cause angst and internal conflict in maintaining a successful client relationship. Once a fee arrangement has been agreed upon, your “inventory held for sale” is “time.” If time is not effectively utilized, or properly captured, inventory becomes obsolete, or gets marked down, and can never be sold. This course will focus on the development of certain skills and tools, along with practical tips and tricks to assist accounting organizations and their professionals implement best practices in fee negotiation and time and billing.
Course ID: BPFN
Maximizing Net Revenue: Best Practices in Fee Negotiation, Time and Billing
- Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Apply a set of tools, tips and tricks relative to fee negotiation, time and billing, with the objective of maximizing both net revenue and client satisfaction;
- Recognize certain pitfalls and traps to avoid when negotiating fees, recording time and preparing billing;
- Identify the key dynamics and decision-making parameters in both existing and new client fee proposals, and adjusting one’s approach in order to increase the percentage of wins.
- A. Clients do not like surprises. In negotiating fees, recording time and sending out bills, what not to do is as important as what to do. We will discuss do’s and don’ts with regard to fees, time and billing, with an eye towards optimizing results from both a net revenue and client satisfaction perspective.
- B. Requests for proposal come in many forms. Understanding the ground rules, personality of the decision-makers, number of firms, length of quote, reasons for change, etc. all affect one’s approach as to how best to respond to the opportunity and win.
- C. It can be quite frustrating to submit a fair, competitive fee quote, only to learn that it falls short of client expectations. Course participants will be presented with a variety of tools and suggestions, based on actual client examples, to enhance a fee quote and narrow this gap to an acceptable “win-win” arrangement.
- D. Effective time management requires the discipline of daily recording and capturing of time, as well as the accurate tracking and description of any out-of-scope work. Effective billing practices recognize that work-in-process, if not proactively managed, can significantly lengthen the period between when work is performed, when it is billed, and when it is ultimately collected. This course will focus on ways to apply best practices in both time and billing, towards the objectives of maximizing net revenue and acceleration of cash flow.