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CM is constantly invoicing me for the incorrect amount

(12 Posts)
Rollergirl1 Wed 28-Sep-11 12:07:17

CM is a lovely lady and I would say that we have a very good relationship. But without a doubt each month she invoices me incorrectly, usually for an amount higher than it should be. I have to go through each item and calculate everything myself to ensure that she hasn't over-charged me.

This month she has invoiced me at a higher daily rate than what it should be. We have only just signed contracts and I had a sinking feeling for a moment that she had put her prices up without telling me and I had signed without realising. However I have just checked and she has definitely made a mistake.

I think this is really un-professional. She has to re-issue the invoice to me each time. Has anyone else had a CM do this? Would any other CM's admit to making mistakes like this so regularly? Also should she be issuing a new invoice with a new no or can she use the existing no?

minderjinx Wed 28-Sep-11 12:40:13

No I definitely wouldn't say I make mistakes regularly, but it has been known on the odd occasion. I have forgotten to add extras on more than once when care didn't follow the usual pattern for some reason, and having lost out financially because I didn't want to own up to making a mistake, I am now more careful.

Is your contract or pattern of care especially complicated? If there are always adjustments to make, perhaps it is more understandable that your CM doesn't always get it right first time. Perhaps you could discuss simplifying things? Or ask to go through the figures informally each month before she raises the invoice, so that the invoice is always agreed in advance.

It strikes me as a bit harsh to call her unprofessional - maybe she is not good with figures, but if she is otherwise lovely I think you are lucky to have her. Finally, are you sure you are always correct? Just because she changes her invoices doesn't necessarily mean she agrees with you = perhaps she just doesn't like to argue!

Rollergirl1 Wed 28-Sep-11 13:55:42

I wouldn't say the contract is particularly complicated. 2 children 3 days a week, one child before and after school at an hourly rate. The other child on a daily rate as more than a certain no of hours. The only deviation this month is that there's half-term which means the school child will be with her all day, thus moving from the hourly rate to the daily rate. The only adjustments that are ever made are if there are holidays (taken by her or us) and school holidays, which means that I require full day childcare for my school age child.

Maybe I am being harsh saying it is un-professional, but this has occurred every time she has billed me since I have been using her. This is her business. You'd think she'd ensure that the invoice was correct before she sent it. And yes I am definitely correct. In the past she has done things like charged me a retainer for weeks that we are on holiday, but has then forgotten to remove the daily rate/hourly rate for the days/hours that the children would have been doing had we not been on holiday from the invoice, so effectively charging me twice. Or she has billed me for times when she was on holiday. As mentioned this time she has billed the incorrect daily rate for my child that, I might add, is on a daily rate with her all of the time (and doesn't ever deviate) and also the same incorrect daily rate for my school-child who she is charging the daily rate for just during half-term.

I would love to simplify things. But these are the CM's rates, not mine.

thebody Wed 28-Sep-11 16:25:59

difficult one but suppose you just have to keep on checking her figures. I am obsessed with my invoices and used to get dh to check everything, now am more relaxed but still always urge parents to check because it can get complicated and the bloody paperwork for cming is phenominal, not sure parents realise this.

however i am a bit suspicious that her maths always leads her to overcharge you!!!

HSMM Wed 28-Sep-11 18:26:14

Maybe she's fantastic a Childcare, but rubbish with numbers?

If I make a mistake on my invoicing, it always seems to be with the same family! Don't know why?

Just check your invoices carefully each time.

MaryPoppinsMagic Thu 29-Sep-11 08:50:54

Is she a new childminder?

I have just started out and my goodness I am over whelmed by the amount of paper work and working out that is involved, I have made a few mistakes on invoices.

It sounds to me like you childminder is using some kind of programme to generate invoices, if so could it be she is relying on it being correct and not realising the programme has it wrong?

Your being mean calling her unprofessional, surely looking after your children the correct way is more important than an invoice?

MaryPoppinsMagic Thu 29-Sep-11 08:50:54

Is she a new childminder?

I have just started out and my goodness I am over whelmed by the amount of paper work and working out that is involved, I have made a few mistakes on invoices.

It sounds to me like you childminder is using some kind of programme to generate invoices, if so could it be she is relying on it being correct and not realising the programme has it wrong?

Your being mean calling her unprofessional, surely looking after your children the correct way is more important than an invoice?

AchtungBaby Thu 29-Sep-11 09:16:38

Hmm, our CM doesn't give us invoices - we just calculate the amount that we owe her every month, then we pay her that amount.

I wish that she would give us an invoice, then we'd know that everyone was happy that the amount was right before we paid her.

anewyear Thu 29-Sep-11 12:40:39

I have one family whos invoice I always seem to under charge for, although I write down times and stuff in my diary it never seems to be what Mum has in hers!!

thebody Thu 29-Sep-11 14:07:00

sounds like she may be trying it on anewyear, is it possible to have a jot book by the door and when she picks and drops jokingly say 'just checking the time and writing it down as we always seem to get it wrong' ask her to check her watch and let her see you writing times down..

although pick up and drop offs can be a mad time but may be worth it just to settle things in your own mind.

onepieceofcremeegg Thu 29-Sep-11 14:12:46

When we had a childminder she didn't invoice me, but our system worked well. I used to pay her (online banking) and if the amount was different to usual I would send her a quick text/or note. I would just put something like "I have paid £x amount today, I have deducted £15 x 2 to account for your holiday."

Perhaps you could either pay her or send her a note just before she usually invoices you? Make the note really clear, break it down week by week if necessary. Then it is up to her when she does your receipt to ask you about any apparent discrepancies.

maggi Thu 29-Sep-11 21:25:07

Perhaps she genuinely cant do maths? Its not yet compulsory for childminders to have GCSE Maths and English so it's a possibility.

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