This is how I think about invoicing:

Your boss needs to know exactly what went into your work so he/she can see if your model and your math are ok.

Your client is not your boss.

You don’t owe the client any breakdowns at all and especially should not be required to “show your work” and explain your price-making formula in detail.

You can of course still choose to show them the formula, but beware: this behavior then invites “backseat pricing.” Do you know how annoying”backseat driving” can be, when a passenger in your car tells you, the driver, what should you have done differently, despite clearly not having all of the information at their disposal? 

Yeah, that – but with pricing.
I understand the instinct to be transparent, but you are not talking to your peer – it will result in less clarity, and more questions than you both want to deal with.

And of course, the client is in charge of the “car” (project), but they invited you to be the “driver” until the problem is resolved. They don’t have all the facts, and should not be calling the shots on scope, or pricing.


 They are here to tell you what is wrong, and what results they expect.

You are here to tell them what needs to be done to make that a reality, its duration, and its cost.

They can find this acceptable, or not. Both are fine. Negotiating is also fine, but don’t invite trouble by showing them the formula.

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