Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?

Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?

Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?

Some customers I support with routine questions that require maybe a few hours per week, and some occasional calculations or diagrams supporting the answers/opintions.  Currently we get a PO from them for maybe 40 hours, then I invoice every two weeks against the PO until its depleted, then get another one and so on.

 Getting a new PO every few weeks is a headache for me, their accounting dept., the customer, etc.  Then theres the invoicing that I have to follow up on, etc. It's inneficient on both ends.

I'm wondering if there is a better way for this type of situation? Maybe I could accept Credit cards, or have a fixed monthly cost like the prepaid attorney plans,...  

Has anyone found a good system for this type of customer.  

RE: Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?


Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

RE: Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?

Actually, this sounds like a good deal to me. Most of us usually have to wait for our $$.

RE: Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?

We are on retainer with several clients, for anywhere to $300-$1500/mon.  Some months we win, and some they win.  Special projects get a specific proposal and cost.
If you decide to accept cc, make sure your fees are high enuf to cover the charge that Visa/MC/Amex will hit you up with.
We have also signed up with paypal for one customer-again, we pay a fee on each payment.

RE: Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?

Expect about 2-3% from CCs, add another couple of percent for PayPal with CCs.

Dan - Owner

RE: Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?

If your customer will do Paypal, that's probably your best option.  Paypal is viewed as a rinky-dink, unprofessional payment method by some.  Some companies don't like it because it is easy to abuse.

You need a merchant account to accept CC's.  This can get pricey (I looked into this myself, once).  Be careful.  Lots of internet predators looking for a cut of this kind of business.  Best thing probably is to talk to your banker in person.

If cash flow is a problem, you might be able to set up a line of credit with your bank.

RE: Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?

For engineering work, payment is typically you invoice, and then they send a company cheque.

This has worked for me for many many years.

I use a spreadsheet to keep track of invoices, receipts, etc. If this is too much of a burden, then maybe you need to get someone to help with this.

The other solution of just invoicing a fixed sum monthly, and then reconciling at the end of the year may work, if both sides agree to it. Haven't tried this method, but I would think the amount of work is probably comparable.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

RE: Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?

Invoicing is easy with the proper software.  QuickBooks allow you to easily credit time against the PO and generate invoices you can e-mail to your client.

I prefer a check, to lower my costs, but I have accepted PayPal from individuals.  Almost as good as a check.

Don Phillips

RE: Alternative Billing: Accept Credit Cards? Pre-paid plans?

Our firm is a consulting engineering firm in Ontario.  As a favour to a client, I setup the ability to pay by credit card.  They wanted the air miles.  Since I only do 1 transaction per month, the best method is through a Telephone system.  I use Moneris, www.moneris.com.  There are other providers such as Global Payments.  The big advantage I have seen from accepting credit cards is the money is in your bank account the next day.  However it does cost money.  The merchant discount fee can be from 1.75% to 3% of the payment amount.  I suggest shopping around.  My biggest issue was paying $15.00 per month even if I do not use the service.  Maybe it will allow you to offer services to customers who like paying by Visa.


Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close