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Author Topic: Invoice Sanity Check  (Read 1610 times)

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Offline adbs1

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Invoice Sanity Check
« on: June 28, 2016, 01:39:21 PM »
Hi all,

Can I get some opinions on an invoice please (see attached)? I got some work done which entailed moving our house gas supply tanks 5m along a wall and around the corner. Simply put it was disconnecting the existing 20mm copper pipe and extending it 4m along and 1m around the corner, then reconnecting.

- It looked to me a 2 - 3 hour job for one person, but has 6 man hours against it, does this seem right?
- The parts seem to be 200 - 300% 'retail' prices for these items, assuming these are bought at trade prices then these seem very high? The trade I'm in up to 200% on trade price would be about right.

Don't like b****ing about invoices but this one seems to be squeezing the job a little.

Cheers,
A

Linkback: https://www.plumbers.nz/gas-station/11/invoice-sanity-check/2011/

Offline robbo

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Re: Invoice Sanity Check
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2016, 05:32:06 PM »
hi, yes the costs can soon escalate, looks like gasfitter and apprentice did the work, looks like retail costs of materials/gas cert could have been a lot higher. On the face of it I think it is ok but maybe you should have got a quote first. Cheers
    p.s. are you in Christchurch?

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Invoice Sanity Check
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2016, 10:28:56 PM »
Hi - I looked at invoice - our charge out rates for a gasfitter are $80.50 incl GST per hour and an apprentice $50.00 incl GST.  Gas certs $140.00.  Gear doesn't look over the top.  I agree 6 man hours seems a bit - some tradesmen charge the apprentice out  with them to recover costs - I don't personally agree with that - and it is always worth discussing with the gasfitter to see if there was some reason why it took six hours - he may be willing to reduce the apprentice hours - although at $35 it seems  a very reasonable rate.

I subscribe to quoting too - in fact we prefer it then it saves problems after the job.  We quote for everything except routine maintenance because what a customer's idea of what it might cost and what it really costs are often quite different.  I don't think there will be anywhere like 200% mark up on materials - try 35%.

Again a discussion is always worth it.
Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you?  Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed the passage with you?  (Walt Whitman 1819-1891)  American Poet

Offline adbs1

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Re: Invoice Sanity Check
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2016, 01:24:07 PM »
Quotes indeed, we normally insist on a quote. This was a small job so didn't bother, even so I said to the wife don't be surprised if it hits $400 - $500.

I've asked them for clarification, they've said the hours cover time getting materials and time on the road. We're 7 minutes drive from their base, all items were standard out of the van gas fitting supplies (no material trips were required) so they're spinning a standard line a little.

The apprentice charges are an interesting one. Ultimately the customer pays for the training of apprentices but that cost needs to be spread across all invoices otherwise the few customers lumped with it will quite rightly get the hump. I probably wouldn't have questioned 3 hours for the gas fitter and perhaps a token hour for the apprentice.

Gear markup is high, I've checked the same prices at the plumbing supplies:

6m Length of 20mm copper pipe, retail is $49 inc.gst, invoiced $110 inc gst
20mm copper tee, retail $3.85 inc.gst, invoiced $18.40 inc gst
20mm copper 90deg bend, $3.10 inc gst, invoiced $11.50 inc gst

Having said that I appreciate the business overheads need to be covered somewhere on the invoice, it seems they've squeezed a little more in on this one than is due, but as you've both said, not massively. They turn up and do a good job..

Anyway, many thanks for the feedback, I'll go pay the bill

Offline integrated

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Re: Invoice Sanity Check
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2016, 12:06:16 AM »
Not sure what plumbing surprise shop you are visiting...


my trade rates for 20mm copper below:

UOM: LN
Cost: 51.03
Retail: 170.08

BTW copper tube comes in 5m lengths - additionally there are several different grades and on top of that several countries of origin

maybe your plumbing surprise shop is on selling all the copper surplus out of wellington...

Offline adbs1

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Re: Invoice Sanity Check
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2016, 12:47:22 AM »
Yeah fair call, doesn't sound like I'm comparing apples. I'll pull my head in..

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Invoice Sanity Check
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2016, 11:34:48 PM »
I was going to say if you can buy copper at that retail price I wonder what they are selling it for trade - might have to make a trip to Auckland...  I agree what you say about apprentices - again my personal opinion is that if the apprentice isn't actively doing anything then they can't be charged.  If the tradesman is there three hours and the apprentice is actually only "working" one of those hours then I would charge 3+1 = the lost two hours is the cost to the business of training apprentices. 

Offline craftsman

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Re: Invoice Sanity Check
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2016, 09:28:09 AM »
hence is one reason why few apprentice opportunities are going, costs back on employer again

Offline craftsman

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Re: Invoice Sanity Check
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2016, 09:31:47 AM »
my computer geek is charging 120plus /hr  , no training fees or loss for trainee
makes gas/plumbing fees v cost effective if only on job for short time

Offline adbs1

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Re: Invoice Sanity Check
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2016, 02:42:19 PM »
Craftsman, nobody here is suggesting the employer should pick up the bill for apprentice training. Apprentice training is a business overhead which should be spread across all clients like every other overhead. Charging fictional hours is highly questionable.

Interesting you bring up IT geeks, I did 7 years in a trade then spent $20k qualifying to get into IT. Staying competitive in this game never ends and the cost of training is most certainly built into that $120 / hr.

Offline craftsman

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Re: Invoice Sanity Check
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2016, 02:55:27 PM »
hi adbs1  , yes I have 35yrs in the industry, always upskilling or learning , some voluntary some forced or mandatory, but don't think I could charge anything like the nerds seem able to, point I making is reward/risk valuation, do the nerds face instant fines or prosecution should they slip up?
Ask badger bout risk /reward for our industry


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