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Denise O

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About Denise O

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  1. If you've taken vacation and your client did not get to use all of their hours in the month, do you let them bank the hours? I have a client who uses me for 10 hours monthly and he normally uses them all. I took a week vacation and he didn't use all of his hours. How do other VAs handle these situations - do you still charge the full amount or allow them to bank them because of vacation time.
  2. Thanks for your reply Tawnya. It helps to hear other perspectives. I decided to charge my full rate for being on hold and will do this going forward. I was certainly not as productive while on hold and felt tied to my desk. My time is valuable and why should I undervalue myself when I could be working for another client making my full rate doing something else.
  3. I have another question on billing! I have a client who gets me to make some calls for him and many times I have to remain on hold, sometimes for up to an hour, waiting for a reply. Looking for feedback from others as to whether you would charge for this time on hold. Thanks for your help!
  4. Thank you Tawnya! I was hoping to get your feedback. What about if you have some vacation during the month, do you still proceed the same way? I ran into a situation where my client had some time leftover and I decided to take a couple of days off at the last minute and at the end of the month and decided to allow him to carry over given that he was loosing a couple of days in the month because I would be away.
  5. I hear ya! So you tell your clients that if they don't use their hours they lose them?
  6. Hi all, I'm looking for some feedback on hours leftover at the end of the month. If you have an agreement for x number of hours per month and the client hasn't used all of the hours, do you tell your clients that if they don't use them they lose them or do you consider banking the hours and carrying them over? If you do allow them to carry them over, how long do you give them to use those banked hours? Thanks for your feedback.
  7. As per my post above, I would also appreciate hearing from others on what they use for document backup. Has anyone used SugarSync?
  8. Hi all, I posted the original question regarding what other VAs are using to backup their files. Thanks Tawnya and Danielle for your feedback. I would love to hear now a few years later if you still recommend the same products that you suggested or have you found something better.
  9. Great advice Tawnya! Well I got a response from my client and she excepted my proposal. Woohoo! Thanks again everyone for giving me ideas and the courage to be firm on my billing method and rates!
  10. All of your advice has been extremely helpful! It's so nice to have this forum when dealing with difficult situations in business. Lily, your advice was really helpful and got me thinking that I need to start moving forward and stay consistent and firm with my billing methods. Tawnya and others, I really appreciated hearing about your different billing methods. It was very helpful as I have struggled to find the right method for my business that feels right. Given that I work for lawyers, it's also about finding the right one that will appeal to lawyers. Janine, I really like your advice and I have been hearing a lot about the benefits of this type of service. However, the majority of my clients' work varies month to month so to do this type of billing method is difficult. I wish there was a way around this. Kathie, do you strictly do hourly and packaged or do some clients agree to blocks of time? With the client that I mentioned, I decided to stay firm on my blocks of 5 hour increments and indicated to her that I could not complete all of her current tasks (and recently added tasks) below 15 hours and anything over and above those hours would be billed at a higher rate. I haven't heard back from her yet so we'll see how she responds. Only being in the business for 2 years, I still struggle with the fear of losing a client if I don't give them what they want but this is getting better as my confidence grows. Thanks again for taking the time to provide me with your advice.
  11. Hi there, I typically provide my services in increments of 5, 10, 15 etc. hours per month and all clients seem to understand this. However, I have came across one client in particular who is always trying to reduce my hours. She feels that as I get faster that my hours should reduce. I have agreed to go from 20 to 15 as we were working through processes and things got smoother and I can understand that to a point. With that said, though, it doesn't seem fair to decrease as I get faster but a lot of clients don't seem to see it that way. I am somewhat flexible in the beginning of a business relationship as I know it takes time to get processes in place and usually more hours may be needed in the beginning as with this client. This client is now looking to reduce further and I know that I can't do her work in 10 hours but could possibly complete it in 12 to 13 rather than 15 but then this leaves no room for unexpected issues. Part of me wants to stay strong and only move in increments of 5 and the other part of me doesn't want to lose this client as I have worked hard to get her processes to a good place. She also insists on seeing all detail of work done. I would like to know how others approach these situations/clients and are you firm on increments or flexible. Thanks for your advice.
  12. Hi all, as VAs we advertise that clients don't have to pay for vacation or stat holidays. When you have an agreed amount of monthly hours for a client, how do you handle vacation/stat holidays? For one of my clients, I work 40 hours monthly and I break it down to 2 hours daily. If there is a stat holiday, I deduct 2 hours from my monthly 40 hours and do the same for vacation. If there are extra days in the month, then I tack on an extra 2 hours per day. For other clients that I only work 10 or 15 hours per month, given that it is a small amount of hours, I always work the full 10 or 15 hours and don't deduct anything for vacation or stats. I would really appreciate hearing from others on how you are dealing with this as I would like to create a standard procedure for all clients. Thanks for your help!
  13. Hi all, When it comes to reviewing your client's receipts, do you expect them to provide all receipts to you? If some receipts are missing, do you follow up with the client to ensure that every receipt is accounted or do you go ahead and submit the transaction providing it is clear what the transaction is? I have one client who is very good and we always work together to ensure that, if possible, every receipt is accounted for. If she is missing anything, I follow up and wait to enter the transaction until I have the receipt. This way her and I both know all receipts are accounted for and her books are in order. This is how I prefer to work. However, another client that I have is not very good and providing all receipts. It causes many delays with followups etc. and she is always looking at reducing her costs. I decided to proceed with many transactions without receipts if they are not available to help save her costs and have advised her of this. Just wondering if this is acceptable or, as a proficient bookkeeper, do you always insists on seeing every receipt, if possible, before submitting the transaction? My feeling is to always see receipts if possible and only work in the other manner for the more difficult clients who don't produce when needed and complain about costs. Thanks
  14. Thank you so much for the input. Very helpful! I totally agree that starting hourly for 3 months is a good idea. I did this recently for a client and it worked very well.
  15. Thanks for your response. How do you figure out how many hours they need?
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