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Depending on your job responsibilities, you’ll probably find one Clients & Profits report that is the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee. Here are 7 hardy reports for just about everyone:

Controller = YTD trial balance See twelve months of financials in less space than the front page of today’s newspaper. Review month-over-month balances for freelance expenses, studio income, A/R and A/P balances, and much more.

Account Executives = AE’s Job List This report is a great daily tool to monitor which jobs are approaching completion, contributing to your revenue, requiring attention due to change orders, and more.

Owner/Principal/CEO = Gross Margin by AE/Team Know your top producers before you finish your first cup! This report lists active jobs’ billings, costs, and labor by client, along with net revenue and gross margin totals for each account exec.

Traffic Manager = Production Planner See active jobs and their duration, change status and priority, postpone, reschedule, reassign, close , and print all from one really smart window.

Media Buyer = Media Traffic Now you'll now what the day will bring and be a few steps ahead of space closing and materials due dates.

System Manager = Database Status Report Monitor important system specs like file size, data size, record size of each data file, and a database growth graph.

Creatives = Weekly Task Planner Keep your scheduled work in front of you! If you have questions about the work (and answers aren’t in a task’s special instructions), then review the Creative Brief where goals are clarified.

By Kelly Lothringer

A job can start with a clear estimate and detailed creative brief, but along the way the client changes his mind, loses focus, or begins making huge demands. The project mutates into a monster—one that sucks your company’s resources, time, and profits dry.

Use Clients & Profits to bring those resource-draining clients into the sunlight. Identifying vampire clients can be easy with a few reports.

The Client Time by Staff report analyzes how much time staffers spend by client, and the Monthly Client Time Summary shows how much overtime is being logged.

The Unbillable Time Analysis shows how much unbillable time staffers use on each client. To see if clients need too much extra help, run the Freelance Time Analysis to see client hours for employees vs. free-lancers.

A client changing the path of a job can raise costs, and you might get stuck with the bill. Find out for sure: run the Write-offs and Markdown reports to see by client how many


costs were forgiven when jobs were billed.

Want to find out how deep the client is biting? Then look at the Gross Margin by Client. It shows just that, as well as the ratio of job billings to job costs. The Client vs. Client Gross Margin is a snapshot revealing profitable and unprofitable clients.

Now that you know who the vampire clients are, how can you stop them from draining your shop? Drop the wooden stakes (although using them may be tempting) and use reports in Clients & Profits instead.

Revisit the Creative Brief and remind the client of the original objectives. Use change orders to document all changes and have the client sign-off on them so he knows the cost of the demands.

The client may show his fangs, but if you stay focused and communicate you can keep your shop from being drained dry.

Kelly Lothringer, C&P's marketing/PR coordinator, was a senior Help desk rep for four years.

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