What would you say to your upper management when your actual billable hours on the client is much higher than their budget hours? But you actually did worked really hard on it.

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Budgets are wild guesses so don’t feel too bad. If you’re staff, its really hard to estimate time. Only time I blew a budget massively turned out to be because the team the year before (all left but one) ate their hours for nearly two fucking months. I charged what I worked fairly until the last remaining member of the prior team finally confessed. Charge what you work. No more, no less. Try to flag it for your managers if it seems really off (if you’re even tracking the WIP) but this is on whoever planned and budgeted the engagement to figure out why.

likeuplifting

Honestly? My guess is you should’ve communicated it much sooner that you were going to go over your billable hours-so I’d come in apologizing hard, and be ready to deal with the consequences.

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Wow, definitely not the right approach to take as a manager...if you worked hard and put in your honest effort, sometimes a project/audit just takes much more time than originally anticipated. As long as it's reasonable you don't have to have excuses for putting in work that your employ is asking you to do. You think your senior/associates are spending more time on something because they want to work extra/late? Obviously there's a reason for it, so let them tell you or try to see/understand why it happened.

One audit I was on the budget blew up due to messy acquisition. Ended up going back to the client and doubled our total fee. One manager ate me out for spending so much time...the other senior manager told me not to worry about it and tk record every second I spent on the job. That first manager is now fired, the second senior manager is now a director. I think they both got what they deserved

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The best way to go about it is to be prepared to talk about the following things;

1) If anything was out of scope that the partner could possibly bill the client

2) Inefficiencies on behalf of the client (think they gave you schedules that didn't tie, you put a bunch of work into it, had to go back and forth etc.)

3) Inefficiencies or learning time that you won't have next year that you can say why the budget will be better next year. Think new sections you have never worked on, training time that was put into it etc.

It is never fun when you go over budget on something, but if you come at it from the above three points (which is likely what your partner will do), then the conversation will go better.

likehelpful

This is good advice, and next time this happens consider bringing it up sooner rather than later.

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Was there significant more work/issues than last year? Thats what i assume if hours increased dramatically from last year. If not then it wouldnt make sense that hours increase so much, unless either someone ate a lot of hours last year or you simply take too long to do the work

Who cares budgets are fake and don’t exist

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