Adjust billing on a layout project?

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Steve McFarland's picture
Joined: 23 Jul 2010 - 8:53am
Adjust billing on a layout project?

Hey, Typophiles! Turning to you for advice: I bill by the project, and have just finished laying out a report that I billed at 2.25 days. Only problem is that (for once!) I overestimated how long it would take – I really worked about 1.5 "days" on the project, including admin.

My question: do I follow-up once the project closes and adjust my fee downward, making clear the reason? Or do I take the money and run, since we all agreed on the scope and the rate in advance?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am

I can think of two reasons to bill less than the client agreed to pay: if it helps you sleep better (which is a very personal thing, not worth asking for advice on); and if it's likely to impress the client so much they'll give you repeat business.

I once made $750/hr (for only two hours though) but didn't feel guilty because the client was a particularly lowly corporation... In contrast, I only charged $400 to make Arasan (which took me ~3 man-weeks) because it was for an Armenian charity. Like I said: it's a very personal thing.


James Michaels's picture
Joined: 6 Mar 2010 - 12:54am

If you both agreed to the price in advance, there's no need to charge less if it goes faster than expected. Just as you wouldn't charge them more if it took longer than expected.

If you're hoping to get more work from them in the future, charging them slightly less than they expected might be good public relations, as hrant said, but that's your call.

Neil Caldwell's picture
Joined: 8 Jan 2010 - 12:11am

If you agreed to a price then stick to your agreement.

It cuts both ways, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. But once you start changing your agreements your authority will begin to wobble (if that's the correct word). For instance the next time they will question your accounts.