Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
What do you consider a reasonable payment term?
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:33
English to French
+ ...
Nov 25, 2007

I have noticed how an increasing number of outsourcers, especially agencies, have payment practices that are a wee bit exaggerated. For example, many agencies offer to use wire transfer to pay translators - with wire transfer fees borne by the translator (in some cases, the fee makes up 50% of the total amount, which is then a 50% net loss for the translator). Also, many agencies now pay 30 days after the 30th day of the month they received the invoice (which means that we often find ourselves working on stuff we will only get payment for three months later - and if payment is made by cheque in a foreign currency, then you can slap on another month of waiting time).

While such terms can be acceptable for companies with juicy cashflows, they are, in my opinion, not at all viable for freelancers who need that money to pay rent.

What, in your opinion, constitutes a reasonable payment term? I am not asking here for what the current "standard" is or what you are used to or willing to accept, but rather what you believe to be fair.

Looking forward to some juicy posts!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:33
French to English
up to 60 days Nov 25, 2007

Is fine for me, although earlier is nicer of course. I don't think this is at all unusual for France.

The trick is to have regular work, so that some payments are coming in each month, in this case the payment terms are not such a big deal.

My 2cts

Edit : I didn't read your question all the way through ... so to answer your question - what seems "fair" to me is 30 days net. Like a salary, you get paid once a month.

[Edited at 2007-11-25 22:33]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:33
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
But freelancers hardly ever have a steady flow of work Nov 25, 2007

This would be fine if we always worked 40 hours a week, but by definition, freelancing is far from providing a steady flow of work. Moreover, agencies know this because they also have a variable flow of work. The other factor here is that it's not necessarily because you agreed upon 30 days that you will get the payment in 30 days - and if there was an accounting gaffe on the client's end and they only do cheque runs each 30 days - you will wait another month for payment - while you have to pay your expenses now or else.

I know that 60 days is not unusual for France - but is it fair?

[Edited at 2007-11-25 22:39]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:33
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
What's fair? Nov 25, 2007

I'd say fair is only payment immediately upon receiving the translation and checking if it meets the required standard. So that would be payment on the same day. It does happen - with small companies, never with large ones.
Everything longer than that is giving a free credit - unless you add it to your rate. If you include the credit rate and additional costs (like wire transfer fees) in your rate - then it is fair.

Magda


Direct link Reply with quote
 
The Misha
Local time: 16:33
Russian to English
+ ...
Why do they prepay for merchandise by credit card Nov 26, 2007

... and not for translation services? I'll tell you why: because we let them. I grudgingly agree with Net 30, anything longer than thus - I don't even bother bidding. Instead, I send them an email saying that I refuse to bid on a job with such payment terms. Maybe, if more of us behaved this way we wouldn't have this problem to worry about.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 23:33
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
Agencies and payments Nov 26, 2007

My observation is that the bigger the agency/company, the longer the payment terms (sometimes they even forget about you).

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:33
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Ideal payment terms Nov 26, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
I have noticed how an increasing number of outsourcers, especially agencies, have payment practices that are a wee bit exaggerated.


And the problem is that even though their payment terms are usually stated on the PO, you only get the PO after all other negotiations (and acceptance of the job) have been completed, so you can't just back out of the job once you get the PO and see "EOM + 60" or something similarly silly.

For example, many agencies offer to use wire transfer to pay translators - with wire transfer fees borne by the translator...


These are the days of PayPal, yes. I have several clients that use only PayPal or wire, and if wire, then I have to bear the client's wire charges, in addition to my own. One day when I have many, many clients or when I'm famous, I'll start telling clients that *they* can bear the wire costs, or else use Moneybookers.com.

What, in your opinion, constitutes a reasonable payment term?


Direct clients: 10 days after invoice.
Agency clients: EOM + 30 days.

On a slightly different topic: Owing to recent changes to laws in my country, I can't charge interest on overdue accounts unless they are massively big accounts, or unless I'm willing to conduct all sorts of investigations about my clients to determine if they are credit-worthy.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:33
Flemish to English
+ ...
Old habits Nov 26, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
I know that 60 days is not unusual for France - but is it fair?

[Edited at 2007-11-25 22:39]


Unless agreed otherwise +30 days is illegal in the European Union, but old payment habits (e.g.: Italy + 90 days, France and Belgium : +60 days) never die despite legislation which seems to be worthless.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:33
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I won't accept longer than 30 days end of month Nov 26, 2007

The Misha wrote:

... and not for translation services? I'll tell you why: because we let them. I grudgingly agree with Net 30, anything longer than thus - I don't even bother bidding. Instead, I send them an email saying that I refuse to bid on a job with such payment terms. Maybe, if more of us behaved this way we wouldn't have this problem to worry about.


I agree with The Misha.
I won't bid for or accept work from clients who want me to extend them free credit for more than 30 days, and I say so, politely.
With a reasonably regular work flow, this means getting a "monthly salary" (variable, of course). True, if you do a job for a client on the 1st of the month, it means giving them nearly 2 months' credit, but if you do one on the 30th or 31st day, it means only 1 month. Swings and roundabouts ...
Keep fighting, Prozians. Hang on in there.
Regards,
Jenny.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:33
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What do you do when PO is different? Nov 26, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:
I won't ... accept work from clients who want me to extend them free credit for more than 30 days, and I say so, politely.


What is your response if the client agrees in the e-mails to pay before end of month, but when the PO arrives, the terms stated in it are EOM + 45 days? Do you query it, and refuse the job if the client is unwilling to change the PO (or say things like, "the PO is generated automatically by a program we use, we can't change what it says")?


[Edited at 2007-11-26 08:31]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxNMR
France
Local time: 22:33
French to Dutch
+ ...
In this case Nov 26, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

Jenny Forbes wrote:
I won't ... accept work from clients who want me to extend them free credit for more than 30 days, and I say so, politely.


What is your response if the client agrees in the e-mails to pay before end of month, but when the PO arrives, the terms stated in it are EOM + 45 days? Do you query it, and refuse the job if the client is unwilling to change the PO (or say things like, "the PO is generated automatically by a program we use, we can't change what it says")?


[Edited at 2007-11-26 08:31]

In this case, the purchase conditions of the client overrule the sales conditions of the translator (in some countries this is legally defined). It is up to the translator to accept this or not, but he should do this immediately after receiving the PO. (at the same time, have a look at the currency!).

Besides, a promise of payment at a certain date doesn't mean that payment will be effective at this date. In France "30 days" is common, but this often means "30 days end of month" or even "60 days end of month".

[Bijgewerkt op 2007-11-26 08:58]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:33
Partial member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
My experience Nov 26, 2007

Hi
What works best for me is 30 days from date of invoice. Of course earlier payments are welcome. I have a client (agency) in the Netherlands which pays after a few days if you give them a 2% discount.
My clients usually pay in the following range:
from: 30 days from date of invoice (most of them)
to: 45 days from end of invoice month (2 of them)

In August I made a mistake and accepted a small job from an Italian company. The project was interesting, the rate was fine, so I accepted it. Well, I delivered the job mid-August and I am still waiting for payment. Hopefully it will come at the end of November, but it might take even longer. This is simply ridiculous. I think Italy is the worst scenario, from this point of view.

Laura

[Edited at 2007-11-26 09:23]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:33
English to Dutch
+ ...
Fair, desirable, real Nov 26, 2007

To answer the original question:

I think it would be fair to get paid within, say, two weeks after delivery. After the translation is checked, perhaps proofread, delivered to the end user, and accepted. All of this should be possible in two weeks.

Desirable would be to get paid immediately after issuing the invoice. And negotiate a discount/return if the work does not meet standards.

30 days is ok with me, but I don't like terms like 30 days from the 1st day of the month following receipt of your invoice, or however it is stated. In this day and age, an accounting department should be able to process invoices on a daily basis, not just once a month.

Reality is, that I say '30 days' on my invoice, but I don't really take action if payment is not received within 30 days if the agency/company has a 60-day policy. I do after 60 days. I won't work for agencies with a 90-day policy.

With direct clients, I make sure they agree to my terms and conditions.

My 2c (In EUR )

[Edited at 2007-11-26 09:35]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:33
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Up to one month Nov 26, 2007

As mentioned in some of the previous posts, although faster payments/shorter terms (such as one or two weeks after receipt of invoice by client) are more than welcome, I'd generally accept a payment term of up to one month. Simple reason: Why should I extend credit to clients for a longer period, given that I have to pay my dues on a monthly basis?

Steffen


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 04:33
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Payment before Delivery Nov 26, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
What, in your opinion, constitutes a reasonable payment term? I am not asking here for what the current "standard" is or what you are used to or willing to accept, but rather what you believe to be fair.


Like purchasing a merchandise, the buyer pays before the merchandise is shipped to him/her.

So far, I successfully apply the same principle to my local and national clients (both individuals and organizations) and my international personal clients alike. 50% of the total cost is paid up front, and the rest 50% is paid before the translation is delivered.

Unfortunately, I cannot put it into effect for international translation agencies:-? (most of my international clients are agencies). Nevertheless, they always agree with my standard payment term - payment should be made within one month after invoicing.

In my personal opinion, the fair term of payment is payment before delivery. This is based on the basic assumption that a client should have had enough information to determine the quality and reliability of the translator before a job is assigned to him/her.

Best Regards

Hipyan

P.S.:
Wire Transfer Fees. There is no problem with wire transfer fees for international personal clients.

Any time I negotiate the payment term, the agency always accepts my term that they should bear any wire transfer fees. Unfortunately, if I forgot discussing it prior to confirmation of job acceptance, the agency demands me to share the fees by 50%.:(

[Edited at 2007-11-26 11:17]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What do you consider a reasonable payment term?

Advanced search


Translation news





Across v6.3
Translation Toolkit and Sales Potential under One Roof

Apart from features that enable you to translate more efficiently, the new Across Translator Edition v6.3 comprises your crossMarket membership. The new online network for Across users assists you in exploring new sales potential and generating revenue.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs