Setting the right billable rates can deliver buoyant cash flow, happy clients, and forecasted profitability. But it’s something that most businesses—especially customer-facing ones—regularly struggle with.
For any customer-facing business, billable rates constantly shift due to evolving staff skills, competition, changing business costs, and inflation. With this shift comes the need for a flexible billable rates management system. Rate cards are a great way to streamline your billing process. They allow you to customize or tailor multiple billing rates for a single customer.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using project rate cards and quickly walk you through the steps of creating one within Mission Control.
What Are Rate Cards?
Rate cards are an accounting tool used to establish project billing rates by either resource type (e.g., labor) or role (e.g., project manager).
The Benefits of Using Rate Cards
Making use of rate cards for your projects has a number of advantages, including:
- Setting your business up for financial success: Setting, using, and regularly updating rate cards leaves little to no room for clients to negotiate for lower costs. It also allows your business to be transparent. By enabling your business to charge exactly what you forecasted, you’ll increase your revenue and bottom line.
- Better project cost forecasting: Standardized service rates allow you to calculate and forecast project budgets accurately. Accurate cost estimates clarify clients’ billing expectations even before a project starts and helps minimize cost overruns once the project kicks off.
- Better communication with clients: Standardized rates set clear expectations for clients. This results in clear communication between you and your clients and, ultimately, happier customers!
- Flexible project billing: Rates cards allow you to set up various service pricing options. You can also quickly make bulk changes to a rate card for each project whenever necessary. This cuts down significantly on administrative work.
- Simple billing calculations: When utilizing rate cards, your team simply needs to log hours, and the rate card system will track the rest.
- Detailed rate history: Rate cards allow you to track resources such as time and materials or fixed-price contracts. This will enable you to measure your actuals against your planned values.
- Robust reporting options: Rate cards store all your billing data allowing you to create powerful reports. You can use these reports for future forecasting and project planning.
A Quick Exploration of the Rate Card Feature Within Mission Control
Want to start creating your own rate cards? The Rate Card feature in Mission Control allows your business to apply specific rates for all or some projects associated with a particular customer.
Project managers can set their billing and cost rates as the rate card when creating a project. Each rate card, when created, will link to a specific customer account and apply the rates set.
When building a rate card on Mission Control, the following roles are available by default:
- Project Manager
However, you can add/remove roles by modifying the values in the ‘Function’ Picklist Value Set.
By using the roles function, rather than the person’s name, you don’t need to maintain rate card entries for each role working on the project. For example, if John Smith and Valerie King both have the role of ‘Project Manager,’ you’ll only need to create a rate card entry for Project Manager, which will be applied to both individuals if they’re working on the project.
How to create a rate card on Mission Control
To create a rate card in your Mission Control dashboard, click on the ‘New’ button on the Rate Card Object Tab or from the Related List on the Account Page. You’ll be redirected to the ‘Manage Rate Card’ page, which enables you to create the Rate Card and related Rate Card Entry records.
Once on the Manage Your Rate Card page, enter a name for your card. Then populate the account field with the customer’s name that you’ll bill with this rate card.
Add rate card entry records for each function as required within the Rate Card Entries section. If you’re using your rate card to pay a team member, you can associate a skill with the rate card entry. For example, you may charge different rates if your developers perform various project activities, such as Front End and Mobile dev. In such a case, you create two rate card entries for the Developer Function, one with the front-end skill and the other with mobile development skills.
How to clone a rate card
If you have created a rate card for a similar client or role, you can simply clone it and use it for a different project. Click the ‘Clone’ button on the Rate Card record to clone an existing rate card and related entries.
Once you’ve cloned your rate card, you can edit the name, change the account it will relate to, and save all related rate card entry records. You can also delete any unwanted rate card entries and add additional entries if necessary.
The cloning feature simplifies and quickens the billing and invoicing process, as teams don’t have to create new rate cards and quotes from scratch. Now teams can spend more time on billable project tasks than non-billable administrative work.
How to create rate adjustments for a rate card
If you want different rates applied for different periods, simply use the ‘Manage Rates’ feature to set this up. You can make the adjustments you wish to in any of your individual rate card entry records.
Manage All Your Billing Rates on Mission Control
As we mentioned in the beginning, projects come in all sizes and complexities. The cost of running projects will also differ from one project to another. What’s vital is to standardize your service rates and have everyone on your team update and follow those rates to maintain your financial health.
Mission Control’s Rate Cards make it easy and efficient to create and update rates on the go. With a streamlined billing process, you can now efficiently track rates of resources and increase your business’s success.
Request a demo to see how Mission Control can help your organization manage its billing process better.