Should you let your employees see your lawn care invoices?

Do you service commercial lawn care customers and due to contractual requirements, you need to have your crew chief and the property manager both sign a copy of the invoice? This signature is to show proof you were there on location at the time you are scheduled to be there and performed the jobs listed in the invoice. Does allowing your employees to know what you are charging make you a little nervous? I can understand why. Here in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, a business owner asks what is the best way to handle this and what options he has.

He wrote “I have a commercial lawn care client, who is actually my first one, who wants me to turn in a bill at the time work is completed. He wants this to be signed by our employee, and their manager. Then he wants copies for both parties.

Is this common practice? Does anyone else handle their commercial lawn care billing this way?
Is it ok for the lawn care employee to know what I’m charging my client? Also is it customary for the client to pay out every 15 days?”

A second lawn care business owner said “this process is common in commercial lawn care work as the owner or property manager wants to ensure you were there. The way I handle it is I email the client, the night before and each crew has a copy of the lawn care invoices. If a signature is required then they get it.

As for payment I guess it all depends on what you contractually agree to. I personally do not have any lawn care clients that do not pay when the job is done. We have just over 200 clients, however over 95% of them are residential. I do not push commercial lawn care work as I know how slow paying they are and I am not a bank, I need to be paid upon completion of services.

I have never had an issue with a lawn care employees knowing what I charge on the lawn care side. With my landscaping and excavation and everything else we do, I handle all the invoices and payment before we even start, as some jobs are in the thousands.

I pay my employees very well and they are a pretty smart group. They understand the way I do things cost’s a fair amount of cash and with all this landscaping and lawn care equipment I have, they know it is a very large investment. I have never had an issue and honestly don’t have anything to hide.

However, if it were a concern to me, I would talk to the property manager and arrange a purchase order type system that did not include pricing. It would be handled the same way, just that the pricing would be emailed to them and the purchase order would show the jobs performed.

So utilize either method you find to be ideal for your situation.”

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