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Payment deadlines
Thread poster: Deolindo

Deolindo  Identity Verified
Angola
Local time: 00:26
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jan 21, 2006

How long is reasonably acceptable for an agency to delay payment after a translation has been delivered? There is this agency taking more than 3 months to pay me...

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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 01:26
Italian to Danish
+ ...
Payment terms? Jan 21, 2006

What are the payment terms agreed upon in the P.O.?

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:26
Dutch to English
+ ...
PO or check their website Jan 21, 2006

Like Dinny says, check the PO if you have one or their website (again if they have one). I think it is time to contact them in some way and ask. Payment terms can range from 30 to 90 days depending on where the agency/company is located. I have not come across any terms that were longer but this does not mean that they do not exist.

Good luck!

Marijke


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MMUlr  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:26
English to German
+ ...
My personal deadline Jan 21, 2006

It is a question if you signed an agreement where a payment deadline is fixed. If not then I would say that 3 month is in-acceptable.

I am still writing "payable within the next 14 days" on my invoivces, but I know that nowadays nobody cares about that. It is just to "push" the clients a bit.

In Germany 30 days is standard if you have a direct client.

Agencys normally collect the invoices until a fixed date (the 25th of a month, for example) and pay at the beginning of the next month. So you may have to wait around 30 to 40 days.

Again: 3 month is in-acceptable and next time you should make a clear appointment for the payment.


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:26
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
Don't think three months is acceptable Jan 21, 2006

MMUlr wrote:
If not then I would say that 3 month is in-acceptable.


It is a matter of courtesy to offer agencies a longer payment period than you would offer to direct clients. In this way, the agency is not forced to pay before their own invoice has become due. (They might still end up financing the amount if their client turns out to be a bad or slow payer - but this is the agency's risk.)

Three months, however, is perfectly ridiculous IMO, especially if you don't know the agency yet and the amount is in the high three digits. But this may be a matter of personal taste.

It is definitely something to be agreed on beforehand. Don't wait for the agency to send you a PO specifying their terms; talk about it on the phone when you negotiate the contract. Mention the payment delay alongside your fees.

P.


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Pilar T. Bayle  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why??? Jan 21, 2006


It is a matter of courtesy to offer agencies a longer payment period than you would offer to direct clients. In this way, the agency is not forced to pay before their own invoice has become due.


For me, the agency is my final client. I don't care whether they stuff my translation in a drawer or whether they sell it to their client. I enter the agreement with the agency and I expect to be paid when the payment terms say.

According to your statement, if the agency does not get paid by its client, the translator won't see a penny for his/her work...

That way of thinking is rather dangerous, don't you think?

P.
www.pbayle.com/blogs

[Edited at 2006-01-21 20:00]


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Pilar T. Bayle  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Net30 Jan 21, 2006


How long is reasonably acceptable for an agency to delay payment after a translation has been delivered? There is this agency taking more than 3 months to pay me...


Net30 is probably the most standard payment delay in our industry. Three months is far too much. Why don't you get in touch with them and make them commit to a date for payment?

P.
www.pbayle.com/blogs


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xxxAdrian MM.
Local time: 00:26
French to English
+ ...
30 days in the UK and the EU Jan 21, 2006

30 days - after the date of issue of the invoice, not supply of the service or job - is the norm in the UK and many EU countries for small businesses inc. sole trades or proprietorships you may well be.

Bank of England base rate + 8% interest, as the lowest rate small businesses can commercially borrow at, is at present the interest automatically due thereafter.

So what country is your agency/client in?

... the UK Government introduced legislation to give businesses a statutory ...From 7 August 2002, the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 ...
www.payontime.co.uk/legislation/legislation_main.html

[Edited at 2006-01-22 16:30]


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Vidmantas Stilius  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
But why? Jan 22, 2006

quote:
Agencys normally collect the invoices until a fixed date (the 25th of a month, for example) and pay at the beginning of the next month. So you may have to wait around 30 to 40 days.
unquote

But the agencies do not collect TRANSLATIONS until a fixed date.
I have always wondered why they pay on a certain day once (or sometimes twice) a month? Is it because their accountants are very very busy the rest of the time? Making a transfer using IBAN is very easy and fast nowadays. Especially, when there are agencies (few of them, but yet there are some) who manage to pay small amounts, without being asked for it, the next day after the delivery.

When an agency has a long waiting period and pays by cheque,
it means you actually get your money 4 months or later (in this country, where it takes the bank 3 weeks+ to cash your cheque).

Vidmantas


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:26
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
No permanent accountant Jan 22, 2006

Vidmantas Stilius wrote:
I have always wondered why they pay on a certain day once (or sometimes twice) a month?


They probably don't have enough business to hire an accountant full time throughout the month, so they hire someone to come in around the 10th and 20th and do the bills.

P.


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Deolindo  Identity Verified
Angola
Local time: 00:26
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Deadlines should be specified in contracts Jan 28, 2006

Thank you all for the insights. I contacted the agency and realised that something was very wrong indeed...

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Nefertari Tong
China
Local time: 07:26
Chinese to English
payment Feb 7, 2006

I am a HR in a translation company. My payment is three months,is just because busy finance work, our accountant have to pay translator in a appointed day.we can pay exactly and on time.
Maybe some company do not comply the payment,they just see the short-term profit. we must watch out for them.


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Genevieve Tournebize
Local time: 17:26
English to French
+ ...
Translator's payment should not depend on the agreement between agencies and clients Feb 7, 2006

As Pilar said it... There is no connection between the agency's contract with the translator, and the agency's contract with the client. If the translator was part of the client agency's contract that would be different. If an agency writes a contract with the translator, and does not mention that the payment will occur when the client pays the agency, the two kinds of payments (agency and translator) should be independent. I totally agree that when the work is submitted it is out of the translator's hand ,and what the company, and the client do with it it none of the translator's concern. Now, if the agency feels that the translator needs to make changes because there are spelling mistakes or so... I understand that the work should be returned to the translator for correction. Finally, if the translator cannot correct his or her own mistake, the agency should discount the price per word missed. Generally, if there are questions the translator should have someone reviewing the file for him to make sure the second draft is ok, whether he or she pays an official reviewer or goes to a qualified person he or she know does not matter as long as the final work takes only one review session. After that cling! cling! the translator has to pay. I have written several information about this subject in the past in the forum. There are no justifications for work like the one we do not to be paid in a reasonable delay (no more than a month). BIG COMPANIES DEAL WITH A LOT OF MONEY, IT IS COMING AND GOING EVERY SINGLE DAY, if the small companies with less money can pay with short delay why not the big ones?

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