• (Edited )

Maybe you can post your detailed steps here and we can see if we can help you.

Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

• Black Spectacles made a very common mistake here when calculating the hourly profit billing rate (steps 4 and 5 should be replaced with only one step):

hourly billing rate is \$68.44

to calculate 20% target profit: \$68.44 / .8 = \$85.55 (round up to \$86).

to calculate 20% mark up: \$68.44 x 1.2 = \$82.128 (round up to \$83).

• Valerie I’m at actually under the impression now that dividing by the inverse percent only applies when finding net multiplier. Meaning that black spectacles was correct here. You disagree?

• How to calculate the %%% of profit margin.
1. Express percentage (in our case, 20%), in its decimal form, 0.2.
2. Subtract 0.2 from 1 to get 0.8.
3. Divide the original number (in our case, hourly billing rate of \$68.44 by 0.8:  \$68.44 / .8 = \$85.55
4. There you go, this new number is how much you should charge for a 20profit margin.
• What are you referencing for this information? The only places I found using inverse percent correlated to the Net multiplier in AHPP on pages 414 and 441

• Relationship between break even rate and net multiplier:

Breakeven rate / Net multiplier  = Inverse percent

For example, break even rate is 2.3 and net multiplier is 3 and they ask what's the profit margin:

2.5 / 3 = 0.8333

to find out profit margin, substract 0.8333 from 1: 1 - 0.83 = 0.17

0.17 x 100% - 17% profit margin

• Here's another example from ARCHIPREP software w/incorrect answer based on AHPP book.

Q. An architecture firm hires subs for drafting purposes. They pay the drafting company \$50/hour for the drafting work. Fifteen minutes every hour, an architect billed at \$100/hour has to instruct the drafter on how to proceed. How much should the firm charge the client for the drafting work in order to make a 10% profit?

\$55

\$90

\$75

\$82.50

Solution:

Every hour the firm spends \$50 on the drafting work and \$25 on the architect. The direct total is \$75, and 10% of that is \$7.50. The firm should charge the client \$82.50/hour to make a 10% profit. The correct answer is D.

Reference: Wiley and Sons. (2013). The architect's handbook of professional practice.

**************************************************

They do not seem to understand the difference between the profit and mark up.

• Hi All,

Here is why:

You need the resultant total profit to equal whatever profit percentage you are targeting, not a profit percentage of what you are charging. Taken from my Pluralsight course. If you multiply by the percentage and add the presumed profit total, your "profit" by definition is a lesser value. The mathematical check is to take the subtotal rate and divide it by the billable rate. In this case it is \$87.50 / \$109.38 = 79.9% or a 20.1% profit margin. If the firm wants 25% profit, that value should be taken ABOVE the subtotal value (pay rate + payroll burden).

Hope this helps!

Kevin Griendling, AIA

xQ.intersectartsstudio.com

www.pluralsight.com

• So Kevin you are agreeing with Valerie? Meaning that the answer I types into the original questions (\$86) was correct?

• Julia,

Yes. Absolutely.

Kevin Griendling, AIA

xQ.intersectartsstudio.com

www.pluralsight.com

• (Edited )

Black Spectacles and ARCHIPrep are both correct.

For Black Spectacles

If you add all the totals and divide by total hours.

715000+380000=1095000 + (1095000*.20)=1314000/16000 = 82.125

You can also do this by removing all the thousands. 715+380+=1095+(1095+.2)=1314/16=82.125

Also, mark-ups are profits. If the firm wanted to break even then in both cases the ARCHIPrep and the Black Spectacles questions wouldn't have the percentage increase (10% or 20%) just enough-in and enough-out. In order for the firm to make a "profit", they factor their break-even rate and then multiply it by that decided profit percentage. In these cases 20% and 10%.

These questions really have nothing to do with the net multiplier because the net multiplier has to do with breaking even to cover expenses involved with running a firm and creating billable rates, not profit margins.

• AHPP, pg. 415:

"Overhead Rate and Break-Even Rate (as a Percentage of Direct Labor)
The overhead rate and the break-even rate are inextricably related:
• The overhead rate comprises two components: indirect labor and general and administrative
(G&A) expenses. Even though many G&A expenses are common to most firms, what these expenses specifically include will be a reflection of a firm’s uniqueness in its operations and the types of discretionary benefi ts it offers its employees. Refer to the sample accrual profit-loss statement and the most common G&A expenses.
• The break-even rate is equal to the overhead rate plus an assigned unit cost of 1.0 for hourly salaries. A firm with an overhead rate of 1.30 would have a corresponding break-even rate of 2.30 (1.30 + 1.0).
Once a firm’s overhead rate has been established, the break-even rate for every employee can also be calculated, based on their respective hourly salary rate.

Example: For an employee who is paid a salary equal to \$20 per hour (\$41,600/2,080 hours) in a firm with an overhead rate of 1.30, the break-even rate for such an employee would be: \$20.00 × 2.30 = \$46.00 per hour. That means for the firm to break even on this particular employee’s hourly salary and their respective portion of the firm’s overhead cost, the hourly billing rate for their direct labor can be no less than \$46.00 per hour. To include profit at a targeted percentage of 20 percent, divide the break-even rate by 80 percent (the complement of 20%).

This will establish an hourly billing rate of \$57.50 (\$46.00 ÷ 80% = \$57.50;
to check: \$57.50 × 20% = \$11.50 + \$46.00 = \$57.50)."

• (Edited )

This is actually the first time I have seen a profit percentage done this way and I really don't think this is the correct way to calculate profit margins. Dividing by the complement is not the same as multiplying by the percentage and adding it back. I have tried to calculate this a few times and it never gives the same number.

Here is an example of the maths:

20% profit of \$10

(10(.2))+10= (10/1)(20/100)+10= 2+10=12

80% Complement of \$10

10/.8=10/80/100=(10/1)(100/80)=1000/80=12.5

• Very interesting and informative discussion.

Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)