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What is with payment terms of 30, 45 or 60 days after receipt of invoice?
Thread poster: Eno Damo
Eno Damo  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:06
English to Albanian
+ ...
Mar 9, 2007

Hello dear colleagues,

What is in with payment terms of 30, 45 or 60 days after receipt of invoice? Does this happen only when you work online and companies are located at the other end of the world or is it because we don't usually work for the end client? Is this trent only in freelance translation/interpreting or is it common in other professions as well? And what is the reason behind this delay in payment?

Thank you,

Eno Damo


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Jaime Russell
Local time: 07:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
this is fairly normal Mar 9, 2007

Most of the agencies I work for run about 30-45 days to pay. I think it's just more of a question of their internal accounting department gathering together the invoices for a certain month, double checking them, and the authorizing payment the following month.
And then there are some agencies that wait until the client pays to go ahead and pay you. Which isn't really the way it should be because the two events are separate. So they just wait until the client pays up. But what happens if he doesn't? Does that mean that you don't get paid? It's too primitive to do it like that, but many still do.
Whatcha gonna do?
Working with agencies, regretfully, is usually a take it or leave it deal.


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Karin Rosenbom
Local time: 11:06
French to Danish
+ ...
29 days Mar 10, 2007

Hello,

The delay of payment is often 30 days. Until now I have not had any problems, but right now I'm a bit worried about a translation that I made for a French firm in November. I have not yet received my money. I have send a "rappel", but nothing happens. Is there anything else that I can do or say when I send a second "rappel"?

Best regards
Karin Rosenbom


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Miguel Jimenez  Identity Verified
Germany
German to Spanish
+ ...
Hello Eno Mar 10, 2007

Hello Eno
Greetings from Venezuela. That is right, what has written Jaime. The agencies do what they like with you (us the translators).
But it´s also very difficult to get the job direct from the client.
I get in the most of the time the payment in few days direct from the client.
Agencies pay minimum after 30 days and some Indian agencies never pay. See the Blue Board!!!!!!!!!

So be careful with which one do you work!!!

Best regards

Miguel


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:06
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Agree before you start Mar 10, 2007

There is nothing wrong with an agency having payment terms of 45, 60, or even 90 days so long as they keep their bargain. There is also nothing wrong with you asking before you start, "How soon do you pay after I send the invoice?" There is nothing wrong with turning down a job because you would prefer to be paid within 15 days and your potential client's policy is 60. Just be sure you and your client are both willing to work on the same terms in this regard.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Do what you want, or follow the market Mar 10, 2007

Eno Damo wrote:
What is in with payment terms of 30, 45 or 60 days after receipt of invoice?


If you want to be paid in advance, say so when you deal with the client. But if you find that very few clients will deal with you, follow the market and start accepting such payment terms.

One way to meet the client half way is to accept credit cards. Then you get your money immediately, but the client gets 45 days' interest free credit (which is what they're getting from other translators anyway).


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Julia Bogdan Rollo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:06
Romanian to English
+ ...
30 days net payments Mar 10, 2007

Hi Eno,

30 days net (meaning from the date they receive your invoice) is fairly common in most industries, not just for translations. This gives the client (the agency in this case) time to research and process your payment while awaiting their payment from their own client. This also allows them to be able to maintain a steadier cash flow to keep their own business going. The 45 day terms and 60 day terms, although not new, are becoming more used because some smaller companies do not necessarily have a steady enough cash flow to be able to handle 30 day net payment cycle or the project being worked on is large and has many components and will not be done within that 30 day period (rare, but it does happen - a good agency would notify their vendors that there will be a delay in payment).

In some cases clients/agencies will stretch making their payments out for as long as possible to try to strengthen their cash flow. This will eventually make them look like bad payers to their vendors and will weaken their ability to find and be able to use good vendors. These types of clients/agencies are the ones that you see constant negative comments about throughout the community.

In some cases it's not necessarily a cash flow issue with the agency as much as it's a dysfunction in their internal systems (the Project Manager gets the invoice from the translator but never passes it on to the accounting department, etc.)

As others have said before, check with each agency when taking on their project to find out what their payment terms are and what could slow a payment down.

Good luck,
Julia


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:06
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
EU directive : 30 days Mar 10, 2007

Following a EU directive, paiement delay shoud be no more than 30 days after receiving the invoice.
However in some countries (France, Spain, Portugal...) it's still common to get paiement after 45 or 60 days. One important thing is to know about it in advance, but with big agencies there is nothing much that we can do, except not working with such agencies !


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 11:06
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
You forgot to include Belgium! Mar 11, 2007

nordiste wrote:

Following a EU directive, paiement delay shoud be no more than 30 days after receiving the invoice.
However in some countries (France, Spain, Portugal...) it's still common to get paiement after 45 or 60 days. One important thing is to know about it in advance, but with big agencies there is nothing much that we can do, except not working with such agencies !


60 days is the norm here. There are some who pay sooner but you can count them on one hand. However 60 days is an improvement-when I started working, 90 days was the norm and that was disasterous. Especially for people starting out-all social charges, VAT (and of course all other bills too) would be due and money was always 3 months away. So it was instant debt that was very hard to get out of.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:06
English to German
+ ...
Creditworthiness Mar 11, 2007

Hi Eno and all,
I can see the point of terms up to 30 days, particularly with larger entities, where invoices may need to be approved by several departments. In fact, most of my clients (no agencies) pay faster than that: 15-25 days on average.

In my view, terms beyond 30 days have the single purpose of giving your customer free credit, as it allows them to hold back payment until they have received payment from their customers. However, if an agency doesn't have the financial resources to finance their business (IOW to pay an invoice before receiving the corresponding receivable), this casts severe doubt on their creditworthiness. Frankly, if anyone offered anything beyond 30 days, I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Gert Hirschfeld  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:06
English to German
+ ...
How generous are you? Mar 12, 2007

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with Ralf. It is matter of generosity if you allow your customers (agencies or other companies) to pay you 30 days later. It's up to you if you want to make that offer or not.

But you will also find that in different countries different payment terms have become a standard. I remember reading somewhere that for the US and UK 30 days seem to be what is to be expected, whereas in countries such as The Netherlands and Belgium 60-90 days have become the rule. Italy was also mentioned with 60-120 days. That is a long time! I don't know about Canada...

Just have a clear arrangement and start charging interest if invoices don't get paid on time, Eno.


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Zamira*****  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:06
Member (2006)
English to Uzbek
+ ...
How normal is "EOM+45 days"? Mar 13, 2007

Julia Bogdan Rollo wrote:

30 days net (meaning from the date they receive your invoice) is fairly common in most industries, not just for translations.



Especially if a small paid test done on February 28th and the invoice (sillily) sent on March 5th. Does it really takes ages (45 days from March 31st=May 15th) to process very small payments too?

Many thanks in advance for your responses


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 11:06
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Does it really takes ages? Mar 14, 2007

... to process very small payments too?
No, it does not, but every single free (i.e. interest free) loan, however small, is welcome.

In insurance it's called float - helped Warren Buffet get his gazzilions.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:06
English to French
+ ...
People accept them Mar 15, 2007

Since people accept them, as if it wasn't up to them to offer their own payment terms, agencies now enforce them.

We can't stress this enough: you have a right to decline such payment terms. In fact, you should set the payment term. Ask your client how long he is willing to wait for his client to pay him. Logical, ain't it?

This is much the same as the ridiculous rate problem. People are willing to naively accept them, so that's what they serve us. The more people will refuse such payment terms, the better payment terms will get.

All my clients pay within 30 days - and I WAS offered 45, 60, etc. This is up to us service providers - what are we going to do about it?


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