Summary: Answers to frequently-asked
questions customizing estimates in Clients & Profits.
With Clients & Profits, you can customize estimates to
fulfill the requirements of your agency and your clients.
There are options to show more or less detail, include a
contingency or not, show estimated hours or not, and much
Q. What kind of information should be included
in the estimate disclaimer?
The disclaimer shows up on all estimates, so you will want to include information that applies to all estimates. You can set up a different estimate disclaimer for each type of job by choosing Setup > Job Types/Spec Sheets, then click the Estimate Options link. If a job type is not used, then the disclaimer from Preferences > Estimate Options will be copied to the job. The disclaimer can be customized per job as well by opening the Estimate Options window on a job.
You'll want to explain some of the detail about what is included in the estimate to the client. Tell the client how many revisions are included in the estimate, how long the estimate will be good for, and any additional costs that were not included such as shipping, long-distance, etc.
Q. What is a contingency?
A contingency helps protect your agency
against minor or unforseen cost overruns. When clients sign estimates
that include a contingency, they are agreeing to the contingency
amount. This lets you bill for cost overruns that fall within the contingency without
preparing a change order for the client. Don't
try to absorb these cost overruns if you can avoid it.
Q. When should a contingency
be a percentage of the job's total cost and when should
it be a flat amount?
A contingency should be a percentage of
the entire job to provide some leeway on all of a job's elements.
Enter a contingency of at least 5% to 10%. A sample of Clients & Profits
users polled showed that a typical contingency is 10% to
25%. A contingency should be a flat amount when you want to selectively cover
a portion of the job, like printing overruns.
Q. How do we show the
client as little detail as possible on the estimate?
In a job's Estimate Options window, there are several options for printing the estimate. Select options like "Show group totals only; hide tasks" or "Show grand total only". There's also an option, "Roll up estimate amounts by task", to combine several tasks into one task on your printed estimate. If you choose to "Show grand total only", you'll usually have fairly detailed job specifications to fully explain the scope of the work.
Q. We need to include
a detailed description for each task on the estimate. Where
can I add this?
Each task on an estimate can have a task note. This text field is shown on the estimate in italics under the task name. To add a task note, double-click on a task from the job ticket window or select the "task description" link in the Estimate window. Be sure the checkbox to "Show description on estimates, invoices" has been selected.
Q. We don't include delivery
and shipping charges on our estimates, but need to have
the tasks on the job ticket to bill later. How can we print
the estimate correctly?
In a job's Estimate Options window, select the "Show zero as" option and type in a word or phrase like TBD (To Be Decided) or No Charge. Or choose to roll up those tasks into other tasks that appear on the estimate. You could also select the option to "Hide tasks with no estimates".
Q. I need to show the
client the estimated hours in addition to the dollar amount.
How can I include the hours on the estimate?
In the Estimate Options window on the job ticket, select the option to "Show estimated hours". This option can also be selected in the Estimate Options window for each Job Type/Spec Sheet if you want to ensure it's always selected for new jobs with this Job Type.
Q. I have an estimate
that is to be sent to a different address than the client's
regular address. How do I change the address?
On a job ticket, choose Edit > Edit
Job > Estimate Options or click the Estimate Options link in the estimate window. Edit the address accordingly. If you want to replace the
address with the changed address from the Client file, select the "Copy
Q. We ask our clients
to sign Proposals not Estimates. Is there any way to change
the heading in Clients & Profits?
Yes, but if you are a C&P Pro X or Job Tracker X user, utilize the proposals feature in the program instead. For a C&P Classic X user, the title can be changed In the job's Estimate Options window, where you can change the heading to Proposal. If you want to permanently make the change, choose Preferences > Estimate Options to change the heading for every job. As well, if you use Job Types/Spec Sheets to open new jobs, an Estimate heading can be customized by Job Type, so change the title in the Estimate Options for each Job Type/Spec Sheet as well.
Q. How can we adjust
the margins so that the estimate lines up correctly on
Set up the estimate margins by choosing
Setup > Preferences > Estimate Options. The top, left
and bottom margin can be customized here.
Q. Where do we have the
client sign the estimate?
Clients & Profits prints approval lines
on estimates for up to three signatures with a date for each signature. The lines can include
a label like: Client, Account Executive, and Creative Director. Choose Preference > Estimate
Options to give all estimates the same approval line labels.
If you need to change approval lines for just one job's estimate,
then edit the Estimate Options for that job.
Q. We print estimates
on a laser printer. How can we print several copies of
the same estimate?
Up to five separate copies of an estimate
can be printed by entering distribution names in the job's
Estimate Options window. Then select the "print distribution
copies" checkbox when the estimate is printed. You'll need to select the print destination as "Printer" for this option to be available. A separate
estimate is printed with the distribution name (such as AE,
Client, Job Jacket, etc.) appearing at the bottom of the
page. Set up distribution names in the Billing Info window of the Client file, which automatically
copy into each job ticket's estimate options window when it's opened.
Q. Can estimates be sent as a PDF
directly from Clients & Profits?
Internally, yes. Externally, it's a two step process. Internally, set the printer destination as "E-mail", then select the recipient(s) when printing the estimate. The estimate will be attached to the e-mail automatically as a PDF attachment. When e-mailing it externally, choose "PDF" as the printer destination, then save the PDF to your desktop and then create a standard e-mail to your client using your e-mail program and attach the estimate PDF to the e-mail manually.
Q. Is there a report that shows all of the jobs we have that do not have an estimate attached to them?
There are a few reports you can print from Clients & Profits that will show you jobs that do not have estimates attached to them.
The first is the Estimates VS Billings report. Choose Production > Job Tickets, then click the Print Reports button. Choose Analysis from the Print Reports list on the left, then select the Estimates VS Billings checkbox.
You can also print the Billing Hot Sheet or Job Billing Worksheet from Snapsots > Work in Progress > Billing Worksheets.