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Newbie: How do I invoice an agency?
Thread poster: stephenaedwards
stephenaedwards
Taiwan
Local time: 09:06
Japanese to English
+ ...
Oct 11, 2008

Hi all,

I am fairly new to the game and have just completed a couple of projects (Japanese to English) for an agency in Japan.

The number of characters and rate for each project were given to me by the agency before I began the job. How do I go about invoicing the agency?

What information has to be included in an invoice?
Does anyone have any sample invoices. Preferably Japanaes or Chinese to English but any language pairs will do if the content is essentially the same.

Cheers.


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:06
Russian to English
+ ...
Invoicing made simple Oct 12, 2008

There are several ways of producing invoices, but I use one of the ready-made invoice templates in MS Word. The easiest way to start one is to click on Help and type "invoice" in the search box, then click on the link provided.

Pick the template you like, open it, and modify it to allow you to show the information your client will need to pay you. That might include your name or your company's name; an invoice number you assign; the PO number; and instructions for a bank transfer, PayPal payment, etc. You will also want to state parameters your fee is based on. In your case, you might want a column for the type of work you did, one for rate per character, one for total number of characters, and one to show the subtotal for each document you translated. Then at the bottom you will add everything up.

Create an "invoices" folder and save it.

I always list the file name and the number of words, lines, characters (or whatever the agreed payment terms were). If I translate more than one file, I list each file on a separate line in the invoice.

You probably will want to convert your Word document into a PDF document. Word won't do that, but the OpenOffice.org Writer will -- and it's freeware.

Each outsourcer does things their own way, and if you don't do what they expect to do, your payment will probably be delayed. Oh, and by the way, they won't tell you what they expect from you unless you ask them. And even then, they may not tell you everything.

It's not as complicated as it sounds. Like a lot of things, it gets easier with practice.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Legally-required and customer-required information Oct 12, 2008

If such a service exists in your country, I would call the tax authorities to ask them what information is required by law in your country. That information must be there. And I would also ask your customer about what data do they need for their tax authorities and their workflows.

The appearance of the invoice is really just preferential and you could use many different formats. Just choose one you like most or that better matches the aesthetics you have/would use in your website.


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stephenaedwards
Taiwan
Local time: 09:06
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the information. One more question. Oct 12, 2008

Thanks for that information. It really helped a lot.

I was just wondering what a 'PO number' is? I have searched but can't find anything about it in reference to translation invoices.

Do you use PO numbers? If so, what are they?

Cheers.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:06
English to German
+ ...
Just wondering. Oct 12, 2008

I agree with both of my colleagues - an invoice written by a translator doesn't look different than any other invoice that you have received in your life, whether you ordered a CD or paid for car part.

However, I am puzzled by the fact that you are stating 4 years of experience on your profile page, yet you don't know how a regular invoice looks like. You didn't work at no charge for the past 4 years, I presume?

Thanks in advance for clearing this up.



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Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 04:06
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
PO = Purchase Order Oct 12, 2008

PO # is the number of the Purchase Order the client is supposed to send you as a confirmation of the translation job assigned to you. Usually it contains the formal details (#, date issued, type of task, delivery date, etc) + sometimes additional information (to be translated in Trados; deliver to this addess...).

Varying slightly from country to country, the invoice should contain the following information:
- Your details
- Client's details
- Job ref (Job #, or PO # - not all clients send PO's and not all of them call them PO's)
- Payment details (bank details, PayPal/Moneybookers account, "Please pay by a cheque", etc)
- Your signature

As James had said already, it'd be a good idea to specify it with each client whether this particular invoice form suits them or not. For this putpose, prepare a template (without particular data of the job(s) done and send it to your Project Manager (or ask the PM for the email of the acocunting dept) for approval.

HTH

Cheers,
Oleg


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stephenaedwards
Taiwan
Local time: 09:06
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's cleard it up nicely. Oct 12, 2008

Thanks for the replies. I'll get onto the agency.

I have just started out as a freelance translator but have done translation and interpretation work for some time in Japan (medical), Singapore (tourism) and recently Taiwan (academic). These were all full time positions so did not require invoices. I've started putting one together and I'll get onto the agency.

Cheers.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:06
Member (2004)
Italian to English
UK requirements Oct 12, 2008

These are the UK requirements:

A sole trader must have the following information on invoices:
· Any business name being used if the surname of the sole trader is not being used.
· If you are using a business name you must also supply an address where any legal documents can be delivered to you.
If you are registered for VAT, whether the business is a limited company or a sole trader, you must also put the following information on your invoices:
· VAT registration number
· date of the supply to the customer
· customer’s name and address
· your business’s name and address
· type of supply
· amount owed without VAT added

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?r.s=sl&type=RESOURCES&itemId=1073791759


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Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 20:06
English to Spanish
A typical invoice Oct 13, 2008



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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:06
Italian to English
+ ...
Registering - essential info for a newbie Oct 15, 2008

Hi,

Don't forget to inform the Inland Revenue and register as self-employed. You'll get fined if you don't.
They run free courses to help the newly self employed. I went on one and found it very helpful.
Keep all work-related invoices/bills from mobile to electricity; you'll need them all.

And good luck.

Suzi


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stephenaedwards
Taiwan
Local time: 09:06
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 15, 2008

Thanks to everyone for all the advice. It's really helped me out in getting started.

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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Do check out the link Oct 15, 2008

...provided by Russell Jones earlier.

You'll find it useful.



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