June 26, 2013

3 Client Billing Mistakes That Will Kill Your MSP

By Chris Brunau

Most IT solution providers and managed service providers (MSPs) pride themselves on being fast at responding to their clients’ needs and fast at solving problems.

Why then when most MSPs are great at getting the work done for their clients, are they not so good at billing quickly? Failing to bill in a timely fashion inevitably leads to the following 3 problems.

Lack of Billing Accuracy

The biggest challenge with completing a job for a client and then quickly moving onto the next issue is that unlike computers, human technicians forget things.

We might forget what the exact nature of the problem we were helping a client with. We might forget how we managed to resolve their problem. Importantly, we might forget exactly how long it took us to solve the problem for the client.

This human tendency to forget details means that when we actually come to bill the client – we tend to guess at specifics we’ve forgotten, and that means inaccurate billing.

It’s worth noting that if you forget the specifics of an issue, then your client almost certainly will too! Lack of clarity over an invoice can lead to your client querying a bill, delaying its payment.

Perception of Poor Professionalism

It may well be true that you’re the fastest responding IT company in the world – solving problems for your clients at the speed of light and generally being an IT super-hero!

But failing to bill your clients in a timely fashion sends a very clear message – that you might be good IT Technicians, but you’re not a great business.

If you don’t bill your clients in a timely fashion, then don’t expect them to pay you in a timely fashion. Tardy billing screams lack of professionalism – and that’s not a label you want your business to be tagged with.

Cash-flow Challenges

Ultimately, if you’re not billing clients in an accurate, timely fashion – then you’re slowing down the process of bringing in money. This will lead to cash-flow problems within your business, inevitably leading to awkward and embarrassing situations with your suppliers, employees and in reality, your own family, all of whom rely on your business to provide them with income.

Don’t underestimate the impact of cash-flow on your business – it’s the number one cause of companies going to the wall.


Ensuring you capture the time you spend with clients and the details of the work you do with clients means that you can quickly and consistently send clear bills to your clients, maximizing the chances that your clients will pay you quickly and maintain an effective cash-flow for your business.

Failing to capture time and details of work you’ve undertaken can lead to inaccurate billing, the perception of poor professionalism within your business, and ultimately, killer cash-flow issues.

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