BQE Knowledgebase

How do I add and track consultants in ArchiOffice?

There are two methods for adding consultants to a project and then tracking them in ArchiOffice/EngineerOffice. Please read through both methods and then choose the appropriate option.
Reimbursable Expenses:

In this case, the contract provides for consultant services to be passed on directly to the client. In addition, they are aware of being charged separately for consulting fees. This method will provide the ability to bill your client for consultant fees as reimbursable expenses. To do so:

1. Go to Preferences > Billing > Billing Codes. Select Expense from the Billing Codes drop-down and using the + icon, enter your consultants. These can be listed as one category called ‘Consultant’ or broken down by consultant type ‘Structural’, ‘MEP’, ‘Civil’, etc. Else, you can identify them by name, say A+E Consultants.

pref billing codes.png 

2. Applying to the project: When you receive a bill from your consultant, create an expense slip for the project and choose the account type as specified in the setup above.

time exp detail.png

3. This expense slip will appear on the invoice as a reimbursable expense including the markup, if applicable. If you want to extend the consulting expense to your client without a markup, you must uncheck the ‘Apply Markup’ option.

In ArchiOffice/EngineerOffice V8, users had to enter ‘Consultant Fees’ as a separate phase and then apply a reimbursable expense to that phase when paid in order to track the project profitability correctly. ArchiOffice 2010 and later versions allow you to create sub phases and sub codes. Hence, it is recommended to create a sub-phase for each phase that has a consultant and set the budget for that consultant based on the fees you expect to pay them for that phase.

Example: If you have a phase called ‘Schematic Design’, create two sub-phases for it, such as ‘Architectural Services’ and ‘Structural Engineering Consultant’. As employees record time card entries, they will select the Architectural Services and you can compare the budget to actual invoice. When you get invoices from the structural consultant, you can apply them to the sub-phase called ‘Structural Engineering Consultant’. You can make it reimbursable or non-reimbursable depending on the contract. If it's marked non-reimbursable, then you will see it in the Project > Billing > Summary screen and compare your contract amount with the actual invoices received. 

Non-Reimbursable Expenses:

In this case, the contract states that consultant services are to be paid by the firm and not passed on to the client (non-reimbursable expense). The client may or may not know the specific fees for the consultants as they will be negotiated between the consultant and your firm. This method will provide the ability to bill your client a stipulated sum by phase, without specifically identifying the consultant portion of each fee. It also allows you to track the consultant fees separate from your fees. To do so:

1. Go to Projects > Details > Phases/Codes.

2. Add a ‘Sub’ to each ‘Main’ phase for your consultants (using Action drop-down), making sure to include an ‘Architectural’ sub-phase to track your services separately.

project details phases codes.png 

3. Remember to make each sub phase ‘Active’. You can also create a job code specifically for consultants, especially if the contract has services that might be basic and others that are hourly (even though they can't be passed on to the client). Checking the appropriate job codes that apply to this phase will allow you to track consultant services separately, if necessary.

4. Go to Projects > Billing > Budget and create a budget for the consultant fees accordingly. (Click on the phase to expand the sub phase list.)

projects billing budget con.png

5. Applying to the project: When you receive a bill from your consultant, create an expense slip for the project. However, it is important that you check the Non Reimbursable option. This ensures the expense slip will not be charged to the client as a reimbursable expense, but rather applied against the stipulated fee for the phase.

expense detail.png 

This slip will not appear separately on the invoice but will be billed as part of the stipulated fee for the phase. Therefore, your clients will not know they are being charged for consultant services separate from your fee.

6. When entered as a non-reimbursable expense, you will be able to track the consultant fees separate from your fee. You can see the billing summary in the Projects > Billing > Summary screen (click on the phase name to expand the sub phase list).

projects billing summary con.png 

As you can see above, the ‘Structural Engineering’ non-reimbursable expense slip is tracked separately from your ‘Architectural’ time/fee.
7. You can then bill from the Projects > Billing > Options tab by expanding the phase, entering the fee amount you want to invoice, and then collapsing the phase. This will show your client the fees due for the entire phase, with all the sub phase fees rolled up into the parent phase. If you want to show the phase and sub phases on the invoice, keep the sub phases expanded before generating the invoice.

project billing options con.png

An alternative to this approach is creating job codes called ‘Consultants’ and breaking the sub codes to match each consultant contract. This is covered in another KB article.

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Last Updated
8th of October, 2014

ArchiOffice, EngineerOffice

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