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Thread poster: Jason Grimes
Announcing ProZ.com invoicing tool for translators (alpha release)

Jason Grimes
Local time: 04:00
SITE STAFF
Jan 16, 2009

ProZ.com is in the process of developing a new invoicing tool to help language professionals manage this important part of their business. An early version of this tool, with a limited set of core features, is now available for alpha testing by ProZ.com members.

The following features are currently available:

* Create, send, and track invoices online
* Send HTML invoices via email, or print them to send offline
* Re-use earlier client invoices as the basis for new ones, to simplify invoice creation.

(Additional features planned for the future include export to PDF, translatable and customizable invoice templates, and online payment options. If you are a ProZ.com member, you can click here to see a non-functional design "mockup" of planned invoicing features)

To get started, click here to try the new invoicing tool now. (Note that this is currently available only to ProZ.com members.)

Please post any questions or comments in this forum topic.

Best regards,

Jason


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Riens Middelhof  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:00
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Interesting, but... Jan 16, 2009

It could be an interesting, but in order to make it a real tool, not just a gadget, saving invoices should be guaranteed for at least 5 years (tax requirements, etc.). An extremely safe encryption technology might be needed in order to avoid data theft. And, as a side note, considering the purpose, also later versions of the tool should be available to paying members.

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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:00
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Looks lovely! Jan 16, 2009

We do have our own invoicing system which is fair enough and does not take long to use when we come about to issue invoices (about twice a month), but this looks very promising indeed.

My main concern, and maybe you can give me your view on this, is:

- What kind of access will Proz.com staff have to this information? Will details like customer and PM information, [usually confidential] job descriptions, volumes, rates, total income, etc. be available to Proz staff? To what degree will all that sensitive information be readable by Proz staff?


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Jason Grimes
Local time: 04:00
SITE STAFF
TOPIC STARTER
Will also give you access to export data for your own storage Jan 16, 2009


Riens Middelhof wrote:

It could be an interesting, but in order to make it a real tool, not just a gadget, saving invoices should be guaranteed for at least 5 years (tax requirements, etc.). An extremely safe encryption technology might be needed in order to avoid data theft. And, as a side note, considering the purpose, also later versions of the tool should be available to paying members.


Hi Riens,

These are great points--I will post separately about data privacy and security. In addition, an upcoming release will make it possible for you to export all of your invoice data into a spreadsheet-compatible format, so that you can archive data for yourself as well, if you choose.

Thanks,

Jason


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Jason Grimes
Local time: 04:00
SITE STAFF
TOPIC STARTER
Confidentiality of invoice data Jan 16, 2009


Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

My main concern, and maybe you can give me your view on this, is:

- What kind of access will Proz.com staff have to this information? Will details like customer and PM information, [usually confidential] job descriptions, volumes, rates, total income, etc. be available to Proz staff? To what degree will all that sensitive information be readable by Proz staff?


Hi Tomás,

An important issue indeed.

Like all information collected at ProZ.com, your invoice data will be protected according to the site's privacy policy.

Invoices created with this tool can be accessed online in the following cases.

* An invoice can be viewed and edited by the user who created it (and by others at that user's company, if the user has a corporate profile with multiple employee logins).

* When sending an invoice to a client, a special invoice URL containing a random secret key is provided. Anyone who has access to this special URL can view the invoice online (unless the invoice has been deleted).

* If the client has associated his client record with his ProZ.com profile, the client can view invoices sent to him in his own "accounts payable" tab (unless the invoices are deleted or marked as a "draft").

* ProZ.com staff have access to view your invoice data for purposes of providing support and for maintaining and improving the service. This access is governed by the privacy policy, and your information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Access to your invoice data will be logged for auditing purposes.

Best regards,

Jason


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:00
Italian to English
+ ...
Looks nice and simple to use Jan 16, 2009

I doubt very much I'll use it, as it only takes me an hour or two once a month to create and send my invoices using Excel and Acrobat, but it's a nice idea and it's clearly been thought through thoroughly (try saying that in a hurry)!

One comment which does spring to mind: if, like me, you issue a single monthly invoice per client and you do a lot of jobs in that month for a given client, it would be very time consuming to add each job line per line - with my current system I just copy and paste the whole lot from my jobs spreadsheet to my invoice spreadsheet, so it takes seconds. Having to do it manually (in my case anything up to 40 or 50 jobs a month for a single client) would be a serious deterrent to using the online system.

So as it stands, it looks more suitable for people who issue an invoice per job, rather than per month.


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Paola Dentifrigi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 10:00
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
nice Jan 16, 2009

But I agree with Marie-Hélène. It takes me 1 hour to copy & paste on Excel, as I keep track of every project on a separate sheet any time I get a job confirmation and/or deliver.
Cheers
Paola

[Edited at 2009-01-16 13:47 GMT]


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Mónica Algazi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 06:00
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
Great tool. Jan 16, 2009

I think this on-line invoicing tool is great.
Thanks, Jason!


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Jason Grimes
Local time: 04:00
SITE STAFF
TOPIC STARTER
Multi-job invoices--import from spreadsheet? Jan 16, 2009


Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:
One comment which does spring to mind: if, like me, you issue a single monthly invoice per client and you do a lot of jobs in that month for a given client, it would be very time consuming to add each job line per line - with my current system I just copy and paste the whole lot from my jobs spreadsheet to my invoice spreadsheet, so it takes seconds. Having to do it manually (in my case anything up to 40 or 50 jobs a month for a single client) would be a serious deterrent to using the online system.

So as it stands, it looks more suitable for people who issue an invoice per job, rather than per month.



Paola Dentifrigi wrote:
But I agree with Marie-Hélène. It takes me 1 hour to copy & paste on Excel, as I keep track of every project on a separate sheet any time I get a job confirmation and/or deliver.


Hi Marie-Hélène and Paola,

Thanks for your comments. Do you think it could be useful to have an option, on the invoice editing page, to import invoice line items from a spreadsheet? What are the columns you use in your jobs spreadsheet?

Thanks,

Jason


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Stuart Dowell  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:00
Member (2007)
Polish to English
+ ...
Great new service Jan 16, 2009

I was wondering recently that this kind of functionality would be an obvious next step for Proz.com, although I thought that SDL Trados would have been first to add it on to their existing Synergy package.

I use TO300, which after just a quick look at the new Proz.com offer, still looks like it has more functionality - the downside is that you have to pay for it of course!

I'll be looking forward to seeing new features in the future such as project tracking, customizable reports etc.

However, great job Proz team and a great way to keep building the proz community!!


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English2Korean  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:00
Member (2008)
English to Korean
+ ...
I will cast a doubt on the invoicing system. Jan 17, 2009

I just do not want others, including Proz.com, to see the flow of my numbers (finance) in any circumstance.

I will keep mine under my computer.

Good effort, and looks promising.

but I don't think I will use the system.


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Daniel García
English to Spanish
+ ...
Interesting! Jan 17, 2009

It looks as it might be useful.

I was wondering, though, where is the information physically stored? In the US? Which data protection legislation is applicable?

I was thinking, for instance, that in Europe, most (if not all) countries have quite strict data protection legislation (http://www.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/edps).

For instance, under Spanish law, I don't know if I would be in breach of any data protection regulation if I store data relating to my customer in a server which is located in the US (or somewhere else) and which does not apply the European data protection laws.

Daniel


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Peter van der Hoek
Venezuela
Local time: 03:30
Member (2008)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Cannot add any clients Jan 17, 2009

I don't appear to be authorized to add any clients, therefore I cannot send any invoices using the system. Is this service just for corporate clients?

With kind regards,

Peter


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Jason Grimes
Local time: 04:00
SITE STAFF
TOPIC STARTER
You should be able to add clients now Jan 17, 2009


Peter van der Hoek wrote:
I don't appear to be authorized to add any clients, therefore I cannot send any invoices using the system. Is this service just for corporate clients?


Hi Peter,

This problem should be fixed now, thanks for reporting it. Please let me know if you have any more trouble.

By the way, since it appears you were trying to add a client from the "clients" tab, you might be interested to know that it is also possible to create a new client at the same time you create an invoice. Just go to the "create invoice" page and select "new client" from the client list. I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Jason


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Jason Grimes
Local time: 04:00
SITE STAFF
TOPIC STARTER
Will follow up on European data protection laws Jan 17, 2009


dgmaga wrote:
I was wondering, though, where is the information physically stored? In the US? Which data protection legislation is applicable?

I was thinking, for instance, that in Europe, most (if not all) countries have quite strict data protection legislation (http://www.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/edps).

For instance, under Spanish law, I don't know if I would be in breach of any data protection regulation if I store data relating to my customer in a server which is located in the US (or somewhere else) and which does not apply the European data protection laws.


Hi dgmaga,

The servers on which the invoice data is stored are currently located in the US. I am not very familiar with European Data Protection laws, but the general principles appear to be in accord with ProZ.com's own privacy policy. I will look into this legislation in more detail and see what needs to be done to assure that ProZ.com complies with any necessary data protection laws. Thanks for the link.

Best regards,

Jason


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Announcing ProZ.com invoicing tool for translators (alpha release)






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