You have to pay for me to play with my AMEX

It does not matter whether you have a long-term contract or a detail that lasts for a day or a week, one thing that will pile up on any service provider is the expenses that you bill back to clients.  At any given time you may have a pile of outstanding invoices and the sum total of all the expenses could easily reach tens of thousands of dollars.  No matter how you cut it, this is your money that you have used to facilitate approved expenses from your contract.  Travel, car rentals,  lodging, meals on any detail get very high at a fast rate.  The question here is, do you charge the client for administrative costs.

At the end of the month American express could care less who I used the card for, they want their money back.  It’s a business and I get it and I choose to play.  In the beginning BPI used 3 separate cards and played shuffle between the cards to keep our available credit level on each card at it’s max.  As soon as we used the card, we’d pay off the bill to keep the balance due under $100 dollars.  Enter American Express and the credit card chess game was over.  When I cancelled 2 of the other 3, the card companies gave me offers that were hard to turn down, but I knew in the long run they had to go.  Regardless of that I changed my administrative charges on billing.

When you use you own card, your own cash etc you are basically fronting your own money to facilitate the detail.  It is basically a loan of sorts so why not do what the banks and credit card companies do-charge for you using your money?  This is a respectable and acceptable billing procedure.  It’s actually more acceptable than that disclaimer most of you put on your invoice where you add a percentage to the amount due on your invoice after net 30 days.  I have never had a client question the administrative charge added to reimbursable expenses, yet we have gone back an forth with late fees on invoices.  That’s an individual provider choice.  You have to run your business how you see fit and in the end I cannot second guess that decision.

No limit credit cards take discipline should not be used as a free pass for a client where you get overzealous and try to save the day for them.  I have many clients that insist that they cover all expenses.  They make all of the logistical arrangements through a third party agency as well as put all expenses on the master bill.  In that case that dark card never leaves my wallet.

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