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Getting the most out of the RIBA Fee Calculator

This is a guide to help you get the most out of the new RIBA Fee Calculator - an online tool to help architects calculate and generate a resource-based fee calculation for their clients and projects. You might find it useful to bookmark this page, or keep it open when using the Fee Calculator, for reference.

You should also read our setup guide, which explains how to access and set up the tool.

The RIBA Fee Calculator helps you create resource based fee calculations for every project. Once you have set up your practice account, you can allocate access to staff members, enabling them to create calculations on a project by project basis.

The tool allows you to create an audit trail, duplicate previous calculations, export the fee breakdown to an Excel spreadsheet to share with your client, and once your calculation is confirmed, you can even export it directly to a digital RIBA contract.

Preparing your practice account

It is important you include all overheads and staff costs when setting up your account, to ensure your proposed fees make business sense for your practice.

Overheads

Before you set up your account, you may want to have your overheads to hand to streamline the process. To help you prepare in advance, the individual overheads listed on the Fee Calculator are:

  • Rent and service charge
  • Utilities
  • Architectural and design software and IT
  • Office IT and telecommunications
  • Marketing
  • Company car and fuel allowance
  • Additional travel costs
  • Accountancy and auditing
  • Banking
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Other insurance costs
  • Legal costs
  • Depreciation
  • Bad debts
  • Pension costs
  • Employer National Insurance contribution
  • Other annual costs

For reference, these are the same fields listed in the RIBA Business Benchmarking Survey. Please note, you can enter a total overhead cost as opposed to the individual breakdown if you would rather.

Staff

When adding salary information for staff members, you will need to know the following for all staff:

  • Annual salary (gross)

For billable staff only:

  • How many hours they work each week
  • How many weeks they work each year
  • The percentage of their time that is spent on billable work

Tips for using the RIBA Fee Calculator

  • Save the different versions of your fee calculations with notes about edits to help you keep an audit trail
  • You can duplicate a previous fee calculation to use as a starting point for a new one. This is particularly useful for similar projects where you might offer a similar service.
  • You can create your own bespoke categories to save projects under. This makes it easier to save similar projects together
  • You’re in control of staff access and permissions. When you set up your staff access rights to the tool, keep in mind:
    • Admin access: can see and edit all staff salary details and overhead costs as well as being able to generate fee calculations
    • Staff access: can generate fee calculations
    • None: will not have access to the tool

Further reading

You might find the following guidance pages useful:

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