As an office manager, you've probably had your share of dealing with complex billing matters related to IT services. If you already have an IT staff on your payroll, you may use other IT services on occasion to deal with technical emergencies or upgrades. Otherwise known as the break fix IT service model, these technicians are a reactionary source because they respond when you call them to handle an already elevated, and sometimes very stressful, IT problem or you discover an upgrade is necessary.
This type of IT support service option also doesn't provide any way to maintain a monthly budget because break fix technicians don't work for cheap and charge a substantial fee per hour--and don't always provide a guaranteed project fee because of it. Most likely, you have multiple hourly technicians at different companies based on their specialization of services, which is only adding to this frustrationbecause you have multiple invoices with surprise charges. You're losing time to focus on the business itself, your employees are not as productive due to down times and accounting is not happy either.
The billing process behind this one off project type of support can become complex, especially when you're not completely sure of what you're paying for after a service takes place. With so many fees and added charges for various reasons, does your bill tell you everything you need to know?
It's already confusing reading multiple invoices with constant fluctuating amounts and having to take the time trying to decipher what each charge means. This may lead to you giving up and just paying your bill, despite wondering if you've missed something.
So what things might you miss on each of your break fix technicians' bills that could place you in financial jeopardy? What solutions can you find that help bring simplified billing for your IT support services?
Here's how a managed services IT support plan simplifies your billing so your invoices are clear, understandable and you always know what you're paying.
No Surprise Fees Added to Your Monthly Billing
It seems no matter what kind of one time or break fix service you have, it's going to include fees that are sometimes warranted, and often times not. IT services can occasionally bring fees going beyond a basic hourly rate. Some outside IT technicians may stick in extra fees related to labor, overtime, or technology they've supplied to your office.
These fees may get hidden on a separate page that you and your accounting team might not immediately notice. What makes this more annoying is when the invoice has numerous abbreviations as descriptions for the fees. These might become so hard to decipher that it's impossible to weed out fees you could call and contest (once you have the technician actually define what the abbreviations mean!).
A benefit of having managed IT services is that you know what your bill will be each month, and you receive one bill for all of your bundled services. No surprise fees means you have the ability to maintain a budget, and you aren't putting out fires because you have proactive IT support, not reactive.
Then you have another problem: waiting for the invoice to arrive so you can pay your bill.
Eliminate Late Invoices and Sneaky Late Fees
Those who provide IT services make their billing simpler if they send invoices to you on time. They have to do this to keep themselves profitable, though it helps you as well on keeping better track of your company bills.
Your accounting team has enough pressures trying to keep your expenses organized. When bills for IT services arrive late, it requires spending extra time assigning the charges to the correct month, and you may find a rush check is required to avoid late fees. If the invoice arrives to you late, often you will find that it has an invoice date that means you are already past due. And even worse, the IT service provider can claim it was delayed in the mail or that you may have overlooked it and still access a late fee. Doing this denotes the IT company you've worked with isn't as professional as you'd expect.
Lengthy Invoices No Longer Required
Your accounting team doesn't want lengthy bills that go on for more than half-a-dozen pages because there are often accounting codes for each department or for the actual type of service. Even for a straight forward accounting system, the time it takes to break down the total on a lengthy invoice is a nuisance (and remember those service abbreviations or codes we mentioned).
Asking for electronic invoices can save on paper, though an IT management company should at least consolidate their bills into an easy-to-read format. The one solution to this is a popular billing method that a managed services IT support plan provides--flat rate billing.
Flat Rate Billing for Bundled IT Services
When you decide to use outsourced IT services, one thing you'll notice is many of these companies use flat-rate billing per month. Using flat-rate billing helps bring more transparency to clients so that all the second-guessing for what you're paying for on each invoice and surprise fees are eliminated. It also helps deliver more value because all of your IT support services are bundled into your plan and you have a proactive team monitoring your network and IT needs. You have a guaranteed monthly bill that is simplified and easy to understand plus proactive as well as on demand IT support. Peace of mind and budget control rolled into one.
Quality IT managed services already gives you continual monitoring so you get preventative measures put in place to avert technical disasters. Flat rates create a symbiotic system where the IT management team guarantees the services each month providing faster, proactive services and help desk support while helping your company save money and time.
At TVG Consulting, we're an experienced IT managed services provider available to incorporate all of your IT support needs by bundling the services you need and providing one simple and easy to understand flat rate monthly bill. We are able to scale with your business, so that when you grow, we grow (we'll even adjust if you decide to down size for efficiency) with you so we are always a fit.
For more information on how to use managed IT services to leverage IT support staff, download our free resource Leveraging Your IT Staff.