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British translation agencies' average payment delay
Thread poster: marantz

marantz  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 03:32
Member
German to French
+ ...
Jun 8, 2009

Bonjour,

How long does it usually take most translation agencies in Great Britain to pay invoices when no specific delay has been mentioned? What I mean is, after how long can it be considered TOO long? Merci for your hints on the subject.


 

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:32
French to English
+ ...
delay Jun 8, 2009

A more useful phrase is "payment term". ("delay" in EN = "retard" in FR).

My UK clients generally pay at 30 days or at 30 days end of month. In general I agree payment terms with the client before I start work, and "too long" is any length of time that is longer than the agreed period.

[Edited at 2009-06-08 16:41 GMT]


 

Rebecca Tuckley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
British translation agencies' average payment delay Jun 8, 2009

I agree. 'Too long' is any date after the one that's been agreed between the freelancer and the agency. Hope this helps.

 

marantz  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 03:32
Member
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Merci Jun 8, 2009

for your answers - et dans ma hâte je confonds delay et deadline!! I made the mistake of not mentioning any payment terms. Here in Switzerland the average is 30 days.

 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:33
French to German
+ ...
Well... Jun 8, 2009

marantz wrote:
I made the mistake of not mentioning any payment terms. Here in Switzerland the average is 30 days.


Take this payment term as being your "normal" one for all of your customers no matter where they are located and build on this to send reminders if there are more than 10 days of... delay!

Bon courage et bonne continuation !

Laurent K.


 

marantz  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 03:33
Member
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Excellent idea Jun 8, 2009

Merci de vos encouragements à toutes et à tous. One last question: what is customary around the EU, 30 days date of invoice or 30 days date of its receipt by the client? Rien à voir: les chats sauvages sont probablement une espèce protégée dans les forêts d'Ecosse??

 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:33
French to German
+ ...
European directive... and feline OT Jun 8, 2009

marantz wrote:

Merci de vos encouragements à toutes et à tous. One last question: what is customary around the EU, 30 days date of invoice or 30 days date of its receipt by the client? Rien à voir: les chats sauvages sont probablement une espèce protégée dans les forêts d'Ecosse??


The most recent European directive (don't ask me for the reference right now) states that, until agreed otherwise before the provision of the service, the normal payment terms are 30 days from DOI (date of invoicing) and 30 days EOM (end of month, i.e. 45 days from the date of invoicing) the latest payment terms.

It therefore makes sense to send the invoice on the same day as the translation (per e-mail, of courseicon_wink.gif).

OT As per Scottish wildcats, see http://tinyurl.com/nqwmyk - and enjoy! As a member of the association, I especially like the opening sentence: Far back in the history of Scotland clans formed together under the image of the wildcat and fought wars for the independence of the land. Today less than 400 Scottish wildcats remain in the wild and the extinction of Britain's last large mammal predator could come within the next decade. /OT

Laurent K.

[Edited at 2009-06-08 17:35 GMT]


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:33
Flemish to English
+ ...
Old traditions Jun 8, 2009

What is customary around the EU: essayez de faire une traduction pour l'Italie, la France ou la Belgique. Normally, it should be 30 days, but old culturally engrained payment traditions never die.

 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:33
French to German
+ ...
I agree, but... Jun 8, 2009

Williamson wrote:

What is customary around the EU: essayez de faire une traduction pour l'Italie, la France ou la Belgique. Normally, it should be 30 days, but old culturally engrained payment traditions never die.


as independent professionals and service providers, it is up to us to set the conditions, not to the customer!

It may sound as misplaced pride but this is that and European directives apply to all (this is why I stopped working for Italian clients: low rates, together with 60 days payment terms that became 90 days most of the time).

Laurent K.


 

marantz  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 03:33
Member
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Average payment terms Jun 8, 2009

Belgium: as per my own experience, 60 days end of month; last time I sent an invoice by email, stating 30 days net, 2.5% discount 10 days, British client acknowledged receipt six days later, pointing out that his payment terms were 45 days date of receipt; Scottish wildcats: just returned from the site, which I have relayed over to cats friends in my surroundings,icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gifa good idea to become a member.

 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:33
French to German
+ ...
Lame excuses Jun 8, 2009

Some Belgian outsourcer saying they would pay within 30 days claimed that my invoices never reached them.

It happened twice, in 2007 and 2008 - this was a lame excuse to pay only within 60 days. Keep your eyes peeled and don't let 'em fool you!

Laurent K.

PS: thanks for your comments on the SWA and for relaying its URL!



[Edited at 2009-06-08 19:18 GMT]


 

Lindsay Mann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:33
Member (2006)
German to English
30 days net under British law Jun 8, 2009

Under British law the default is 30 days net (from date of invoice) if no other terms have been agreed (just as under EU law as the previous poster said). You can find more details at:

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?r.l1=1073858790&r.l3=1074002362&r.lc=en&type=RESOURCES&itemId=1073792169&r.l2=1074453392&r.s=sc

You may find some UK agencies prefer to pay 30 days from the end of the month in which they received your invoice (depending on when they have their payment runs).

Hope that helps.


 

marantz  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 03:33
Member
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Merci Jun 9, 2009

Of course it helps - a lot. Before having read your explanations, I was convinced Great Britain applied other rules than in the EU - we in Switzerland are a bit backwards. Nothing to do with the UK, a general comment: Just wondering how some of those you mentioned and I myself ran into manage 5s on the Blue Board.

 

JazykBrno
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:33
Czech to English
+ ...
Expect faster payment Jun 9, 2009

To be honest - I'm nervous about agencies that offer long payment terms... there's no reason for it.

I usually put 15 days on an invoice and start calling if nothing happens - whatever their policy - payment terms should be agreed but in my opinion the seller should have the weight of the say in this, especially if the agency is new.

think about other forms of business, when you start trading anything with an oversees company, they will often want advance payment for the first 6 months of trading before moving to payment terms. - also agencies negotiate upfront fees on large projects to cover any problems - why shouldn't they pass these straight on to the translator when the work is done.


 

marantz  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 03:33
Member
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You are right, Jun 9, 2009

It is up to the translator to define the conditions, not to the client, and one shouldn't leave too broad a margin. As far as large projects are concerned, ordered by first /second intermediaries, I have SFrs 7'800 outstanding on such a venture ordered by a French client who is probably only the third branch of the tree.

 
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British translation agencies' average payment delay

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