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Re: Contracting/Freelancing question: what is billable?
Subject:Re: Contracting/Freelancing question: what is billable? From:Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com Date:Fri, 8 Aug 2008 15:59:51 -0700 (PDT)
If you're having to study a new software package for their benefit, they pay for it. I'd say bill for the training time at 75% of normal.
Travel - you wouldn't be doing it if it weren't for their benefit, so you have to bill for it some way. You can bill the travel on time, mileage, or gas costs. If you bill by mileage, I think the IRS allows 58.5 a mile now. I'd say go by mileage, and use the mileage quoted in mapquest. They can verify the distance and the mileage rate, so that makes negotiations quicker and easier. They won't like you trying to bill on time - a boss with a really nasty suspicious mind might suspect you of deliberately driving more slowly than usual.
> From: Tracey Bean <traceybean -at- verizon -dot- net>
> Subject: Contracting/Freelancing question: what is billable?
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Date: Friday, August 8, 2008, 2:28 PM
> Hi all -- I'm sure this has come up before, but I've
> not been able to
> find anything recent in the archives.
> I'm doing some freelance work at the moment. I'm
> puzzled as to which
> activities are billable and which are not. The client has
> specified anything -- they're a small company. Most of
> the people on
> the project are contracting, on site, through agencies.
> I'm a 1099
> employee, working off site.
> When I've contracted as a W-2 employee at a client site
> through an
> agency, I did whatever the client had me do -- learn
> edit, write, attend meetings, wash the manager's car...
> okay, not that
> one. Anything I did for them was billable.
> The first thing the client wanted me to do was to help them
> select a
> help authoring tool. We agreed what I would do, I did it, I
> them, they paid me. So far, so good. Their on-site agency
> has since left the project. I was asked to take over the
> duties, create the help, the printed doc, the whole
> I am confident that these activities are billable:
> -- learning their application (in order to document it, not
> to get a
> job using it, obviously)
> -- creating the various requested deliverables:
> researching, writing,
> soliciting/incorporating feedback... all the
> "normal" production
> -- participating in teleconferences
> -- attending on-site meetings
> What I'm unsure about:
> 1. Time spent learning Flare
> 2. Time spent learning CSS well enough to work with Flare
> The client knows that I did not know how to use Flare. Even
> though I
> recommended it to them, I am not an expert in its use. (I
> could write
> a short store, at the very least, on the inherent illogic
> in this
> situation, truly, I could. However, it is what it is.)
> So is the time I spend learning to use the tool billable,
> given that
> they knew going in that I would have to learn it?
> 3. Time spent traveling to on-site meetings (over an hour
> each way;
> hasn't happened yet, but we've talked about the
> Is there a standard approach to travel time?
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