SIENA — I know that we don’t always get it right. And writing this might mean that I am more likely to get it wrong. But there are a few things that seem to me to be straight-forward in professional services.
If we are charging for time — which we are — then we should be able to tell people regularly how much time we are charging for. (Before they get the bill!)
As a client you should be able to get a regular update on what people are doing for you.
I am surprised how hard this often is to do. And how few professional service companies are set up to so it.
I think you should also know exactly what was done for you. So that your bills should explain who worked on what and for how long. Within reason, obviously. But, again, unlike buying a washing machine, you should be able to see what went into your bill. Presumably all the people who worked on it are there and their efforts happened in a single place.
This may be one of those posts that I come to regret. (There are a few.) But we are making an effort to be more transparent. It helps our clients to be better buyers of professional services and it allows us to be clearer about what we do too.