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Payment for work
Thread poster: ingerelis
ingerelis
Local time: 07:50
French to Norwegian
+ ...
Oct 26, 2005

Hello,

I am just getting started as a freelance translator and I have a question regarding the payment of my work.

When you have clients ( not agencies) how do you manage the payment. Do you send the translation directly and then hope to get paid or do you make them sign some sort of contract before you do the work?

Maybe I am a bit paranoid, but I would like to be sure to get paid;)

Thank you in advance for you answers.

Elise


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:50
English to German
+ ...
Check the forums Oct 26, 2005

Hi ingerelis,
There are numerous related topics both in this forum as well as in Business Issues and Getting established. You could search for terms like "invoice/invoicing", "getting paid", etc., or you could just browse the topic list - chances are you'll find other interesting issues.

Thinking about making sure you're getting paid is not paranoid at all - Giuliana Buscaglione and I gave a presentation on the business risks involved (and some hints on how to manage them) at last year's ProZ.com Conference in Oxford. Our bullet points are found here.

Best regards,
Ralf


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ingerelis
Local time: 07:50
French to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Oct 26, 2005

Thank you for this tip, I will definitely check out the other forums. By the way, I printed your article and will have a look at it now.

Thanks again,

Ingerelis


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Deliver and hope for payment Oct 26, 2005

ingerelis wrote:
Do you send the translation directly and then hope to get paid or do you make them sign some sort of contract before you do the work?


I deliver and then hope for payment. Or to put it differently: if I'm reasonably sure I'll get paid, I deliver and hope for payment, but if it's a very large job or if I suspect that payment may be long in coming, I may request partial or full payment in advance.


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 08:50
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Hope Oct 26, 2005

Just to cheer you up, you are not paranoid, but clients generally pay. The issue is not whether, but when. Prepare an invoice with your conditions, (30 days). Some will be late because of their accounting procedures or they forget. Public and semipublic institutions, which require multiple signatures, take from 60 to 120 days, but they pay. You only really should worry if they stop talking to you. Check translator boards before taking on a new client to avoid an unpleasant surprize.

Good luck

Stephen Rifkind


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ingerelis
Local time: 07:50
French to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
special software program for invoices Oct 26, 2005

thank you Stephen

It helps to hear that I am not that paranoid;)
So then, I will prepare the invoice and hope for the best. By the way, do you use a special software program for invoices? And do you make contracts with your clients?

Regards inger elis


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 08:50
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
invoice software Oct 26, 2005

I just made a form with word, because I am not that sophisticated with computers, nor need to be.

The other options, in order of complexity, are Excel and Moneysomething that Microsoft makes, as well as translator specific financial forms. Given that building a freelance business takes time, start with Word/Excel. You can always get more "professional" as your volume and income justifies.

I hope that helps.

Stephen Rifkind


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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 07:50
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Translation Office 3000 Oct 27, 2005

ingerelis wrote:
By the way, do you use a special software program for invoices?
Until recently, I have been using Translation Office 3000, which is a planning and invoicing tool designed especially for translators. I switched to Projetex some time ago, because I have to subcontract more and more work and because I needed the possibilty for a second person to access the database from another computer, and Projetex offers that possibility. You will find more information here: www.translation3000.com. If you work alone, TO 3000 is a very good tool, IMHO. Saves you a lot of time and work.

FWIW


Joeri


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Ruth Martinez  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Purchase Order and Invoice Oct 27, 2005

Hello, Elise:

Before you start a translation send your client a Purchase Order with your Terms and Conditions. This should include basic information, such as the name and length of files, deadline, fee, payment method and deadline for payment (very important!). Once they've signed and returned it, you're ready to start working with a certain degree of peace of mind.

As in regards to invoicing, I have a word template that I use for every project - and modify accordingly. I then convert it to pdf, send it to my client and hope. So far I've always been paid for my work - and most often in time. Maybe I'm on the lucky side...

Good luck,

Ruth


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ingerelis
Local time: 07:50
French to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
good idea Oct 28, 2005

Thank you Ruth for the information. I will probably do like you, make a sort of contract with the client and send an invoice in word. Afterwards, I can always buy a software, but for the time being I'm just getting started, so we'll see.

Thanks again,

Inger Elis


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