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How a PO should be done? Payment in advance?
Thread poster: SandraV

SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:27
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 27, 2004

Please tell me what elements should a Purchase Order contain. I just translated a document for this company and already sent it to them. Now they are seding me two more jobs, but I want to make sure they will pay for all of them.
Thank you.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:27
English to German
+ ...
Check reference lists Apr 28, 2004

Hi Sandra,
The PO should set out the main terms of the job, including (but not limited to) the language pair, word count, pricing terms, price, and payment terms, as well as any special instructions.

What you should bear in mind is that a PO doesn't indicate whether the outsourcer is trustworthy - in fact, your query about payment in advance would point to the same concern.

Therefore, you will need to establish that your customer's identity is genuine (checking address data in online phone directories, for example, and using a 'Whois' search on their web domain, if they have one). Also, there's a selection of reference lists where other translators pass on their experience. The ProZ.com BlueBoard is a good place to start, as is Ted Wozniak's PP list.

HTH, Ralf


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Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 02:27
Member (2003)
English to Albanian
+ ...
What if they do not send one? Apr 28, 2004

Dear colleagues,

I am taking advantage of this topic here to make my questions that I had in mind since a while now. Would you ever accept a job if you didn't receive any PO? Even if it is a small job?

What about the advance payments? Do you always ask it?

Thanks a lot
Fabiana


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nettranslatorde
Member
Russian to German
+ ...
PO or not? Apr 28, 2004

Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni wrote:

Would you ever accept a job if you didn't receive any PO? Even if it is a small job?



Hi Fabiana.
Well, I do accept jobs without POs, but this depends on the client and on what you know about him/her. I have some clients who simply don't send out POs.

When I did the first job for them, I asked them to send a PO and they told me they don't do this.

Then I checked the ProZ.com BlueBoard and Payment practices lists (there are quite a few I'm a member of)and found they have a brilliant reputation among freelancers.

So I accepted the job from them, and they became some of my best clients

One of my regular clients is an advertising agency which consists of two persons. If they would send me POs for every little job they wouldn't be able to finish their work at times. However, I know them, I've been to their office

However, as I said, this depends on whether a client is trusworthy or not.

My two cents....
Best wishes,
Kerstin

[Edited at 2004-04-28 17:15]

[Edited at 2004-04-28 17:15]

[Edited at 2004-04-28 17:17]


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nettranslatorde
Member
Russian to German
+ ...
POs and payment - two things Apr 28, 2004

Hi Sandra,

I agree with Ralf - a PO is not a guarantee that a client will finally pay you. They can write anything on that paper as long as you don't know who they really are and if they do exist.

Check the payment practices lists and the BlueBoard, ask your colleagues about them, and if you receive any negative feedback - just keep away from them.

This way you will save yourself a lot of trouble.

Good luck,
Kerstin


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:27
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
POs Apr 28, 2004

When outsourcing I like to spell it all out in an email rather than creating a PO. In many jurisdictions such an email will hold up in court. And yes, it's just more paperwork. If it's a big job I have a contract we can sign with all the conditions spelled out.

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Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:27
French to English
Your own working agreement Apr 28, 2004

Hi Sandra and Fabbiana,

I have my own working agreement for, e.g., an individual one-time client or a company that doesn't often use translation services. It's very brief and it identifies both of us, states the terms of our agreement and is dated and signed by both of us before I begin the job. Next time someone tells you they don't have a PO, you can offer yours. Not only is it a record of your agreement, but the client will (hopefully) be pleased not to have to worry about it.

Stephanie


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SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:27
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! May 1, 2004

Ralf, Fabiana, Kerstin, Edward, Stephanie:
Thank you very much to everyone for your kind replies and ideas!
And just one more question: should the word count be made on the source translation or on the target translation. If it is on the target, how can the word count be stated in advance on a PO or agreement?


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:27
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
Source and target word counts May 1, 2004

Sandra wrote:
And just one more question: should the word count be made on the source translation or on the target translation.

Sometimes source count is used, sometimes target count.
An advantage of using a source count is that the exact cost is more exactly known in advance.
But target counts can also be useful, eg: because different languages often have more or less words for a similar text, and it can help compare the work needed (by using a count in one language).
Sometimes it is just a matter of which the translator or client likes to use.

The important thing is that it is clear to both parties, before the job, which method is to be used to charge, eg: when you state what you will charge for the job.


If it is on the target, how can the word count be stated in advance on a PO or agreement?

As you appreciate, when a target count is used to charge it can't be stated in the PO because it isn't known yet! What can be stated is what the price per word / 1000 words will be, and that target count will be used. The target word count charged on would be stated in the invoice.
There have been discussions in earlier threads about how word count can vary in different languages, and depending which way the translation is being made, including some members' estimates of the size that these variations can be, in their experience (although this can vary, eg: depending on the style of document).
If I remember rightly, from what Eng==Span members said a target word count (Eng to Span) might often be more than for source, although a target count (Span to Eng) might or might not be less.
A certain amount of variation is inevitable in this method, and as long as the translation is a fair one, as I am sure it will be, it should be nothing to worry about.
Best wishes
Giuli~
(Eng Rus Geo)

[Edited at 2004-05-01 21:40]


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SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:27
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you!! May 2, 2004

Dr. Giuli Kvrivishvili wrote:

Sandra wrote:
And just one more question: should the word count be made on the source translation or on the target translation.

Sometimes source count is used, sometimes target count.
An advantage of using a source count is that the exact cost is more exactly known in advance.
But target counts can also be useful, eg: because different languages often have more or less words for a similar text, and it can help compare the work needed (by using a count in one language).
Sometimes it is just a matter of which the translator or client likes to use.

The important thing is that it is clear to both parties, before the job, which method is to be used to charge, eg: when you state what you will charge for the job.


If it is on the target, how can the word count be stated in advance on a PO or agreement?

As you appreciate, when a target count is used to charge it can't be stated in the PO because it isn't known yet! What can be stated is what the price per word / 1000 words will be, and that target count will be used. The target word count charged on would be stated in the invoice.
There have been discussions in earlier threads about how word count can vary in different languages, and depending which way the translation is being made, including some members' estimates of the size that these variations can be, in their experience (although this can vary, eg: depending on the style of document).
If I remember rightly, from what Eng==Span members said a target word count (Eng to Span) might often be more than for source, although a target count (Span to Eng) might or might not be less.
A certain amount of variation is inevitable in this method, and as long as the translation is a fair one, as I am sure it will be, it should be nothing to worry about.
Best wishes
Giuli~
(Eng Rus Geo)

[Edited at 2004-05-01 21:40]


Giuli,
Thank you very much for your explanation.
Sandy:)


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