To give or not to give a copy of an invoice
Thread poster: Estelle Demontrond-Box

Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 16:55
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Jan 19, 2005

Dear all,

An agency is asking me to provide them with the copy of one of my invoices ("to see number of pages translated"). Is this common practice? I am rather reluctant to give my client's details, especially since I have already given them her e-mail address. What is your opinion? Thank you for your help.


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Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 08:55
German to Polish
+ ...
who is who Jan 19, 2005

Dear Estelle,

please specify whom did you issue the invoice for. A client you got hold of via that agency? Or a fully non-related client?

If it's their client, how come you bill them?

Sorry, I don't understand why on earth would the agency want to see your invoice.

Am I missing something?
Regards,
Agnieszka


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Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 16:55
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sorry for the confusion Jan 19, 2005

tygru wrote:

Dear Estelle,

please specify whom did you issue the invoice for. A client you got hold of via that agency? Or a fully non-related client?

If it's their client, how come you bill them?

Sorry, I don't understand why on earth would the agency want to see your invoice.

Am I missing something?
Regards,
Agnieszka


Sorry: I am a freelance translator and an agency has contacted me to give me some work and wanted a reference, which I gave. It is not a client of theirs, but my own client.


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:55
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
None of their business Jan 19, 2005

They wanted a reference, they got a reference. How many pages you translate for another customer is absolutely NONE of their business.
I'd ask why they want to know in the first place - maybe you don't really want to work for these folks!
I also think that passing along someone else's invoices infringes on their privacy. Here in Italy the privacy laws are quite strict!
FWIW
Catherine

[Edited at 2005-01-19 18:44]


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Surtees
Spanish to English
+ ...
Why on earth would they want to see the invoice? Jan 19, 2005

It all seems highly irregular to me. If you've given them a reference, then all they have to do is contact that person/company. I certainly don't think they have the right to ask for what are essentially confidential documents between you and your client (i.e. the invoice) .

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Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 08:55
German to Polish
+ ...
Aren't they just a bit too nosey? Jan 19, 2005

I fully agree with Catherine and Surtees.

Never disclose any details of your financial, or other agreements with one client to another.

Forgive my French, but... Are they mad??

PS.: Here in Poland, you might get sued for doing what they want you to do...

[Edited at 2005-01-19 19:45]


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Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
To give or not to give a copy of an invoice Jan 19, 2005

Hi Estelle,

No WAY!
I agree with all the other opinions. That's confidential information between you and your client (and eventually the tax man!!).
I can't believe someone has the cheek to ask for that...

Kind regards,
Grace


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 08:55
French to English
Confidentiality Jan 20, 2005

Hi Estelle.

First of all, I second Grace's "NO WAY"!

Just tell them that for the purposes of confidentiality, you do not disclose the financial details of your business relationships, including any future relationship you may have with them. That usually works for me when agencies get too nosy.

If they don't understand, you wouldn't really want to work for them anyway and would probably be saving yourself future trouble and strife.

Good luck!

Sara


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Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Impossible Jan 20, 2005

I don't think a proper agency would ask you for a copy of one of your invoices......be careful with them.
Nevertheless (at least in the UK) if you wanted to play their game you could just type up an invoice and send it to them, I wouldn't do it anyway.
Good luck.


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Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 16:55
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jan 20, 2005

Thank you all so much. I was quite surprised myself.
I shall keep my records to myself! Thanks again for the advice.


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Jordane Boury  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:55
English to French
+ ...
Replying to the new agency Jan 20, 2005

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:

I shall keep my records to myself!


I bet you do!

However, if you want to keep in touch with this new agency, you can reply that it would not be legal to provide them with third parts' invoices and that they can obtain the information (officially...) needed by contacting directly your partner agency, since you have already provided their e-mail.

In the mean time, you may also want to inform your partner agency that they may be contacted soon by so and so, regarding your references. To me, it is preferable to notify them in advance of such possible "enquiries".

Hope all this turns out into new, fruitful, business for you eventually...

Good luck and good work!

Jordane


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:55
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Sure, why not? Jan 21, 2005

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:
An agency is asking me to provide them with the copy of one of my invoices ("to see number of pages translated"). ... What is your opinion?


They want *one* of your invoices to see the *number of pages* translated. Presumably the number of pages (or indication of number of words) is written on your invoices, yes?

So, give them a copy... with all of the following details blanked out:

1. Any details which may identify the client (entire address).
2. Any details which may identify the documents (entire names, and if an uncommon file extension, that too).
3. Any details which may identify the language combination (unless you translate only one language combination).
4. Any details which may identify the size of the job in relation to the date of the job (unless you translate a very common language combination).

To blank out details, make a printout or photocopy of the invoice, use Tipp-Ex to blank out, then make a photocopy of the blanked out document (and if they want it electronically, scan that photocopy as PDF or an image file).


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