Cetrus Blog

A Business Etiquette Dilemma: How can I Bill Clients for Software?

Posted by Cat McGuire on Feb 6, 2020 4:57:56 PM
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One of Cetrus’ key values is allowing customers to generate revenue through software use. This is done through our Plug-in Expense-2-Project (E2P).

How does it work?

With E2P, users can associate project names/numbers with individual file sessions on applications. When an application is opened, E2P will pop up a screen with cached project details. The user simply enters or selects the correct project information, and the association is complete. Tracking will continue until the window is closed. E2P runs on top of the Activity Monitor Plug-in to ensure that only active time is tracked. You, or your dedicated administrator, sets an hourly rate per application, exports the E2P data into your CRM software, and you’re all set to increase profitability!

E2P allows you to treat software as a billable asset. Pretty simple right? With software becoming more expensive and subscription-based, E2P has never been more relevant.

What's the dilemma?

The number one question I get asked during sales presentations about E2P is, “This all sounds great, but do companies ever get negative feedback from clients for the additional charge?

We hear you, and understand the concern. It's crucial to make sure your clients are happy and feel like they are being billed appropriately. However, to date, we’ve never heard of a customer challenging the additional software charge. The feedback from our customers is that their clients are more concerned with the cost of a Senior Engineer than a nominal project fee. If you are still hesitant, we believe these strategies can help create a smooth process:

  • Start with a lower per hour rate to test the waters, then increase the rate based on the application’s cost.
  • For new projects, make sure to include a line for software tools so the client is not caught off guard.
  • Estimate the feasibility of adding the charge to ongoing projects on a case-by-case basis by evaluating its current budget and profit margin.
  • Create a higher per-hour rate for applications you must buy specifically for a project. (If the software can’t be used on any other project, consider charging the client the full extent of the application purchase/subscription.)

We hope these strategies work to help you implement E2P and increase your revenue.

Do you have any other ideas? Comment below!


Topics: Discussion, Finance