Answers ( 6 )

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    It’s a Time and Materials activity because you are dealing with unknowns.

    Also depends what you are auditing, if you are just auditing documentation states and assessing traceability of documents, that’s a lot less activity than performing an infrastructure audit on an undocumented in place environment.

    Same is true of code repositories, dynamic media libraries, database dictionaries, schemas, staging table references, etc, etc.

    Performing a discovery on the in-place undocumented state to actually execute an audit is a lot more effort than just checking a bunch of documents reference each other without actually looking at what’s been deployed and assessing if it matches the state of documentation, which is universally never done.

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    It depends on your experience of course, and the definition of an audit, but I’d start with a framework that includes a scope meeting with the system owner, tech meeting, then billable hours, exit meeting, etc. Each should be itemized.

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    You keep track of your hours. Time spent preparing for the job, time doing the job, time writing up the job, time traveling to and from the job. Time on the phone, time doing research, any time you are working on the audit or anything related to it that is moving towards producing the audit work product.

    You come up with professional-sounding descriptions like

    “consultation with principals” instead of

    “Bullshit argument with clueless middle manager about what TCP/IP is — 1 hr 45 minutes.”

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    Who’s your competition & what do they charge?

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      No competition

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        while I doubt that this is true, … if it were I’d let the market dictate the cost. Either there is no value in the service, which could be why there is no competition, or you are undercharging. Increase the charge (but keep anything under contract unchanged) until people start to turn away. Then you have a cap, & work from there. Either value fewer clients at more money (spending more time with an individual client), or lower the cost to gain more clients.

        The important note is to never wage a war with competition by being the lower costing option. Because those customers never value your service & all competition needs to capture that customer is cost less than you.

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    First rule of billing: charge them till you like them. The money should balance the aggravation.

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      Sure, there’s a bare minimum, but when you think all day and research maybe an hour a day. Sure you should buy your materials, is that it? 1 or 2 hours a day?

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        Exactly. charges what makes you happy… what motivates you. there is no minimum. no maximum. use that for any job.

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    You can’t only consider the hours of work you have put in to do the job. There is another factor, which is the importance of the task and whether your client can easily find someone other than you to do the job.

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