Creating and Managing Change Orders

Derek Torres
Derek Torres
  • Updated

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Once a budget on a Project has been locked it can no longer be edited. Locking the budget indicates that the budget has been approved and no changes should be made without further approval.

The Change Orders feature on Budgets allows you to send external proposed changes to your customers or make internal ones. This article will walk you through using Change Orders on Project Budgets.


What is a Change Order?

In ServiceTrade, a Change Order is a proposed change to an agreed-upon budget for a project you have quoted for a customer. To create a change order on a budget, the budget must first be set to Locked, which indicates that the budget is agreed upon and signed off on by your customer. Any budgetary changes to the project moving forward will be issued via a Change Order.

In ServiceTrade, there are two different types of Change Orders.

External Change Orders

External change orders represent a change that will increase or decrease the project’s original scope and in turn, increase or decrease both the cost and revenue. Because of this revenue implication, external change orders must be sent to and approved by your customer.

This type of change is indicated when "Send to Customer for Approval" is checked and will only take effect once the customer approves it.

Internal Change Orders

Internal change orders are used to document some type of change that does not increase or decrease the revenue associated with the project, and only the cost (ex: someone estimated something incorrectly, the cost of material went up, there was a delay due to weather, etc.)

This type of change is indicated when the checkbox "Send to Customer for Approval" is unchecked and will take effect immediately.


Video Walkthrough

Creating Change Orders

Before you can create change orders, you first need to create a budget on a job and lock the budget.

  1. On a locked budget, click the Create Change Order button.
    • The budget table will now be outlined in red, indicating you are now creating change orders for this budget.
  2. Click the two red arrows button to the left of a budget item to create a change order for that item.
    • Any changes you make to any of the editable fields for the Budget Item will be registered as part of the Change Order.
  3. You must select whether this change order will be external or internal.
    • Check the Send to Customer for Approval checkbox if you want to create an External Change OrderThis will be sent to the customer.
    • Uncheck the Send to Customer for Approval checkbox if you want to create an Internal Change Order. This will not be sent to the customer.
  4. (Optional) You may add a comment to this change order for this budget item in the text box that appears below.
  5. To add a new Budget Item click the + Add Budget Item button at the bottom of the budget. Enter the item details, then follow steps 3 and 4 to select the change order type and add comments.
  6. Once you have made all of your desired changes to your budget, click the blue Save button.
  7. This will open the Change Order Summary menu where you will review and send the External Change Orders to the customer.
    • You can review the External and Internal changes on the left-hand side of the dialogue. 
    • You can write a rich-text message to be included in your change order email and select an existing contact or create a new contact, to send the Change Order to.
    • You can also provide any attachments you want to include via the "Add Attachment" button in the bottom left.
  8. Once you are ready,  click the blue "Send" button in the bottom right to send this Change Order to your customer for approval.

Add a New Service via Change Order

You can now add a New Service to a Budget via a Change Order. Click here for more information on Change Orders.

  1. On a Budget Page, click the Create Change Orders button.
  2. Click the + Add Service button.
  3. Follow the normal steps for creating a service.
    • Note: This can only be a one-time service; you cannot add a recurring service via a Change Order.
    • You can also not use Service Templates.
  4. You can now click + Budget Items under the new service to add budget items.
  5. Follow the normal steps to add items and send the Change Order.



What Does the Customer See?

Once an external change order is sent, your customer will receive the following notification email, asking for their approval of your Change Order. Clicking View and Respond will open a detailed view of the Change Order where the customer can respond to the request.

The Change Order View & Respond page as seen below allows the customer to Approve or Request Changes with the simple click of a button.Change_Order___Diggy_s_HVAC_Solutions.png


Managing Change Orders

The Change Order History Tab will show you a historical record of all Change Orders submitted for a selected budget. It will display the Change Order Number, Date Submitted, Type, Items Affected, Net Change, Status, and you can perform Actions to the change order.


Viewing a Change Order

Follow the instructions below to view existing Change Orders on a budget.

  1. On a Budget Page, click the Change Order History Tab.
  2. Click the Arrow next to the Actions column to expand and view details about the change order.
  3. To view the customer copy, click the Wheel Icon under the Actions column.
  4. Click View to open the customer view of a Change Order.

Manually Approving Change Orders

Customers can approve Change Orders themselves when you send them a change order.

However, there maybe times you have to manually approve a change order. For example, a customer may call in and approve a change order.

This section will walk you through manually approving Change Orders.

  1. On a Budget Page, click the Change Order History Tab.
  2. Click the Wheel Icon under the Actions column.
  3. Click Approve.
  4. You will be asked to confirm that you are approving this Change Order on behalf of the customer. Once confirmed click Confirm Change Order.
    The status will change to Approved. It will also show the Date and User/Customer who approved it.

Resending Change Orders

This section will walk you through resending change orders.

  1. On a Budget Page, click the Change Order History Tab.
  2. Click the Wheel Icon under the Actions column.
  3. Click Resend.
  4. This opens a resend menu where you can write a new custom message and send the Change Order to the customer. Click Send.

Canceling a Change Order

This section walks you through canceling a change order. Once a change order is approved, it can not be cancelled.

  1. On a Budget Page, click the Change Order History Tab.
  2. Click the Wheel Icon under the Actions column.
  3. Click Cancel Change Order.
  4. On the confirmation menu, click the Cancel Change Order button.
    The status will change to Canceled. It will also show the Date and User/Customer who canceled it.

How Can I Cancel an Approved Change Order?

You cannot cancel an approved change order. However can make an internal change order that undoes what you did on the approved change order.

How are Change Orders Numbered?

External Change Orders on any Job's Budget will start at "#0001" and increase sequentially. The Type will be listed as External.  If an external change order has been sent to the customer, but not approved. the Status will be Awaiting Customer Approval. Once the customer has approved the change order the Status will change to approved, and the budget will be locked again.

All Internal Change Orders on any Job's Budget will start at "#INT-0001" and increase sequentially. The Type will be listed as Internal. Internal Change Orders Status will automatically be set to Approved.


What if my Customer Requested Changes?

If a customer request changes the Status of the change order will change to "Rejected."

If they wrote a response, it will be displayed when you expand to view the change order details. See below example:

Change Order Terms & Conditions Settings

The default Change Order Terms and Conditions selected on your Account Settings > Terms & Conditions page will be included on Change Orders when your customers review them. If Terms and Conditions are selected, your customers must acknowledge that they accept these Terms and Conditions when they approve your Change Order. Read more about Setting Default Terms & Conditions here.


How the Customer Sees Change Order Terms & Conditions



Can I have multiple Change Orders out at one time?

No, not at this time.



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