Understanding rates and fee schedules

There are a few important things you need to know in order to set up a fee schedule in CORE and make sure that it works properly. In fact, first you need to make sure that you have a clear understanding of how rates work and how they are applied on a project.

If you don’t change anything, then the employee's hourly rate will prevail (default $1). This means that on hourly jobs, any time that an employee enters—regardless of the service item used—will be billed at the employee’s standard rates. 

What if you want to charge different rates for different services within a project? 

To set up activity rates for billing:

  1. Open the Projects screen.
  2. Select the project you want to set up for billing and go to its detail view.
  3. On the General > Assignment tab, click Add Rule.
  4. Check the rule 'Use Bill Rates from Activity Items screen'. Check Assign Rules to Projects for details.
  5. Click Add and save your changes. 

Now the item-based rates will prevail. These settings need to be in place before any time is entered. If time was entered before you add the rule, it will not apply to that time. Now that you have the right settings, simply delete and re-enter the time. The new time entries will reflect the rule.

What if you are doing a project for a friend and want to give him a special discount on the rates?

That’s where fee schedules come in. You can set up a fee schedule called 'Friends Rates' and set up those rates accordingly. Then, you can assign the fee schedule to the project, and the fee schedule rates will apply. Once again, the fee schedule needs to be assigned to the project before any time entries are entered.

The golden rule on rates and fee schedules is that whichever prevailing rates are in place when the time is entered, will stick. So, the best thing to do is make sure you establish these when you are initially setting up your project and before entering any time. This only matters for hourly contract types. If you are billing your client a fixed fee, then there is no need to be concerned about billing rates and fee schedules. The client is billed the same, regardless of who does what.

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