to frequently-asked questions about how Clients & Profits
X manages change orders. After receiving an approved estimate,
what do you do when changes happen? Send a revised estimate
which just reminds a client how much they are already spending?
A better way would be to send a change order. With a change
order, the client will only see the amount of the change.
Q. What exactly are change orders?
Change orders communicate changes made to a job's estimate after it has
been approved. They prevent potentially costly misunderstandings between
the agency and the client, such as when a job has gone over budget, contingencies came to fruition, or the scope of the job has been changed by the client. They're the
best way to document circumstances that change the original estimate.
Q. When should I use change orders?
Any time a change is requested by either the client or the agency, a
change order is added. A change order should be prepared, even if the
changes will not change the job's cost, to prevent any misunderstandings
with the client. It includes signature lines to document the client's
approval of the change.
Q. Do I have to use change orders?
No, but without them your shop is at risk to have unbilled costs if the client
disputes the changes later.
Q. How do change orders affect the job's
estimate or its billing?
Once the job's estimate is approved, it doesn't change. Adding change
orders increases the job's budget so that users can add more job costs
without getting over-budget alerts. Change orders can be included on
job invoices for those that bill job costs before they are incurred.
Q. Do change orders affect job traffic or
No. Change orders only affect the optional budget alerts, which are set
up for each user.
Q. What's better? Adding change orders or
simply revising then reprinting the estimate?
Change orders do a better job of isolating the change under consideration
and showing the cost of that change to the client. Revising the estimate
may confuse the client when the details of the change get buried in the
entire job's estimate. Revised estimates have another drawback - they
remind clients of how expensive the job has become. Use a revised estimate
only if it's important that the client again review the entire job and
its costs. The estimate revision feature
in C&P X is normally used during the estimate approval period where there is a back and forth between the agency and the client, and the changes to the estimate, prior to its approval, need to be recorded.
Q. Do I need to include an amount on a change
No, since a change order can be added with just a description. You can use
it to confirm changes with a client that won't affect the job's cost.
Q. Can I use a change order as an internal
Yes, but change orders are usually produced for the client's benefit, to
prevent relationship-straining disputes about revisions, modifications,
and other changes after the estimate has been approved. They do include a space for a client's authorization,
which documents their approval of the change (otherwise, what's the point?).
If you do use the change order for internal use, edit the custom change
order "type" field to something like "Internal Use" or "Agency Documentation". Change orders can be routed to account executives, the production
staff, or to particular creatives for approval
. When printing to hard copy, change orders don't have distribution names like estimates. Also, consider using the Job Diary or Client Diary (new entries can be e-mailed to any staff member), or the Client Status Notes/Comments/Next Steps field in the job's traffic window to record memos that don't rise to the need of a change order.
Q. How can I print a list of the unapproved change orders?
There is a Change Order report that can be printed for
only approved, only unapproved, or both types of orders.
You'll also see each change order's details, so reviewing
them is an easy process. Choose Snapshots > Job Costs,
select the Change Orders option, then enter the report
parameters, and click print.
Q. How does a change order get approved?
When the client signs the printed change order, anyone with the necessary access privileges
to approve change orders, such as the AE, can click the 'Approved' checkbox on the change order itself, or approve the change order through the Approval Manager
if it was sent to them directly for approval.
Q. I used the "roll up" tasks function
on the estimate. Can I do the same thing on a change order?
At this time, no. The "roll up" printing option on estimates does not impact change orders, nor is there an independent option on change orders to "roll up" tasks.
Q. What happens if a change order isn't
approved by the client?
Nothing, since approving change orders isn't required. Clients & Profits X treats approved and unapproved change orders identically. However, if a change order is not approved, it can be freely edited by those with the access to add and edit change orders. So, as an internal control, it's good practice to approve change orders simply to prevent them from being accidentally edited after being approved by the client.
Q. Is there any way to restrict access
to change orders to certain staff members?
Yes. There's an access privilege for each user to allow someone to
add, edit, or delete change orders. Anyone with access to job tickets
can see and print change orders, but only users with this setting can
create, edit, or delete them.