Part 4: Landscape Project Reconciliation
In the first three parts of this series, we talked about generating effective quotes, managing your inventory, and scheduling and managing delivery and landscaping services. This post is all about accountability and focuses attention on an aspect of landscaping projects that is often overlooked—reconciliation.
Reconciliation of a landscape job or project typically focuses on:
- Adjustment or verification of inventory, equipment and items consumed or used for the performance of the services;
- Adjustment or verification of direct labor time expended on the transaction;
- Adjustment and verification of any subcontractor charges for labor and materials related to the project; and
- If applicable (based on your billing practices) accounting for any incidental costs incurred as part of the project.
The over-arching goal of reconciliation for projects structured as “time and materials” engagements is to generate an accurate and complete final invoice to your customers. For these types of projects, timeliness of reconciliation will support quicker payments and improved account aging and collection metrics.
For fixed-price service engagements, reconciliation is necessary to accurately determine project margins, and (if applicable) to calculate profitability-based commissions for your landscape designers / sales team.
A critical aspect of reconciliation activities is tied to being able to update and modify an order before it is tracked as completed or “released” in the POS system. Depending on your service pricing methodology, these modifications may or may not affect the final charge to the customer, but they will certainly reflect on the tracked profitability of the project.
From our experience, reconciliation is not a “one size fits all” activity. Each garden center has their unique approach. Having a POS system and service provider who can develop customized tools, functionality and reporting to support your project reconciliation is especially helpful.
Click here for Part 5: Managing Billing and Payments