Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Agency asks me to submit invoice to end client
Thread poster: Olaf Reibedanz

Olaf Reibedanz  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 21:32
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Sep 30, 2009

Dear colleagues,

I just did a translation for a new client (a translation agency) and sent them my invoice. They replied to me that I should address the invoice not to them, but directly to their end customer. I find this request not only unusual but also very inconvenient because that end customer happens to be one of my regular direct clients. The problem is that I charged the agency significantly less than what I normally charge that end client (I have two different prices, one price for agencies and one price for direct clients). If I now send the invoice with my agency price to the end client, they might get the idea that I should always work for that lower price, so I would basically be undercutting myself.

What would you do in this case? I suppose I should insist that it was the agency who dealt with the end client in all stages of the project, so they should now also deal with them when it comes to invoicing. Are there any further arguments I could use?

Thanks a lot for your input!

Best,

Olaf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:32
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Very strange, indeed Sep 30, 2009

I am wondering how this works...
If you are invoicing the end client directly, how does the agency make money?
It does not make sense, unless they are also sending a separate invoice for the client for project management or editing/proofreading or something.
You need to make sure they are not expecting YOU to pay them separately for getting you the work, or some other weird scheme.
Can you ask the agency how this works?

One idea you could use is to write the invoice with your normal rate that you charge to this end client, and apply a discount, because it came through the agency.
I would call the discount something like
"Discount for project management (editing, quality assurance, etc.) performed by agency"
So, it would be clear to the end client that your normal rates are still the same, the difference is who is doing the PM work. When you work with them directly, you include that work in your job, when they choose to work with the agency, then the agency should do it.
This way you also shifting responsibility for quality control to the agency - after all, that is what they should be doing.

Katalin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 21:32
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Incredible.. Sep 30, 2009

I had to read your post twice, and still, I don't trust my eyes.

What is the agency's role, then?

I would consider billing the client at your regular rate, as established between you previously.

Should the agency not like this (you're cutting their grass), ask them what their role is in all this.

What a strange situation, Olaf!

Do update us.

Nancy


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:32
English to German
+ ...
Use your regular price Sep 30, 2009

Nancy Lynn Bogar wrote:
I would consider billing the client at your regular rate, as established between you previously.


That was my gut reaction, too.

Best, Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:32
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Your regular price Sep 30, 2009

Nancy Lynn Bogar wrote:
I would consider billing the client at your regular rate, as established between you previously.

Yes, I think I would go this way too.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxNMR
France
Local time: 03:32
French to Dutch
+ ...
Your regular price Sep 30, 2009

But btw, which company issued the PO? Can your direct client pay something for which no PO has been issued? Does the purchasing dept. know that you are working for this agency?
If everything has been cleared up, use your regular price.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:32
English to Dutch
+ ...
Call me paranoid, but... Sep 30, 2009

Olaf, Could this be a ploy of your client to find out how negotiable your rates are? None of my end clients go to agencies (as far as I know, of course) and I would certainly question both the agency and the end client before commencing the work.

If I were you I would insist the agency pay your invoice, after all, unless I misunderstand the situation, they issued the translation order so it is up to them to pay your invoice.

Having said all that: Happy International Translations Day to all!

Theo, Dutchman in France


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
May be Sep 30, 2009

They are together or there is a branch/dealer/representative agreement between them.
Or they are originally same companies.

Or they work for the end client as a service provider for finding translators.

There may be a lot of scenarios.

So my advice:

After negotiating these facts (lower/higher rate etc) with the agency invoice the end client as they wish.

And for the future fix your rates on the same ranges for everyone. (Or make discounts just for the ones with whom you work for a long time)

In any case wish you success

Happy Translations Day

Best Regards

M. Ali


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:32
French to German
+ ...
Arguments Sep 30, 2009

Olaf Reibedanz wrote:

What would you do in this case? I suppose I should insist that it was the agency who dealt with the end client in all stages of the project, so they should now also deal with them when it comes to invoicing. Are there any further arguments I could use?

Thanks a lot for your input!

Best,

Olaf


My argument: the natural/legal person issuing the purchase order is the (final) client from the viewpoint of the contractor (in this case: you). Keep it simple, or ask the agency for which legally acceptable reason you should invoice an unrelated third party.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Olaf Reibedanz  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 21:32
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Issue solved Sep 30, 2009

Hi everybody,

Thanks a lot for your input! I asked the agency for clarification and received the following reply:
- They got my contact info from the end client, with whom they maintain a long-term partnership
- I can send an invoice to the end client with my normal rate
- They are billing the end client separately for project management services

And they apologised for not having explained things better to me at the beginning. So everything has been resolved

Best regards,

Olaf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:32
Italian to English
+ ...
A happy ending! Sep 30, 2009

Olaf Reibedanz wrote:

Hi everybody,

Thanks a lot for your input! I asked the agency for clarification and received the following reply:
- They got my contact info from the end client, with whom they maintain a long-term partnership
- I can send an invoice to the end client with my normal rate
- They are billing the end client separately for project management services

And they apologised for not having explained things better to me at the beginning. So everything has been resolved

Best regards,

Olaf


How nice! Glad it all went well in the end.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:32
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
OK then, that was the only way it made sense to me Sep 30, 2009

Olaf Reibedanz wrote:

- They are billing the end client separately for project management services


I am glad it is all clear now.
Katalin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:32
Swedish to English
+ ...
I'm not sure I'd agree without... Sep 30, 2009

Olaf Reibedanz wrote:

- I can send an invoice to the end client with my normal rate


... receiving some kind of written confirmation of this arrangement from the end client.

Until you do, the contract you're party to exists between you and the agency.

With this arrangement, in case of non-payment, you would need to chase the end client. Well, the end client could then turn around and say that they have not entered a contract with you and therefore do not owe you anything. OK, so you then turn back to the agency, their potential answer: we've received no invoice from you and as such could not have defaulted.

Maybe I'm just a very suspicious person, but I would never agree to this type of arrangement without written confirmation from the end client.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:32
English to Flemish
+ ...
I agree Sep 30, 2009

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

Olaf Reibedanz wrote:

- I can send an invoice to the end client with my normal rate


... receiving some kind of written confirmation of this arrangement from the end client.

Until you do, the contract you're party to exists between you and the agency.

With this arrangement, in case of non-payment, you would need to chase the end client. Well, the end client could then turn around and say that they have not entered a contract with you and therefore do not owe you anything. OK, so you then turn back to the agency, their potential answer: we've received no invoice from you and as such could not have defaulted.

Maybe I'm just a very suspicious person, but I would never agree to this type of arrangement without written confirmation from the end client.



I must be very suspicious as well, for I find this more than strange; even with the so-called explanation!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:32
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Normal procedure for ADVERTISING agencies in Brazil Oct 1, 2009

Olaf Reibedanz wrote:
- They got my contact info from the end client, with whom they maintain a long-term partnership
- I can send an invoice to the end client with my normal rate
- They are billing the end client separately for project management services


My figures may be outdated, I worked in advertising until 1980, but the normal procedure upon hiring such an agency's services, e.g. if I requested them to develop a promotional leaflet was like this:

- They would set their fees for internal work, i.e. creation & artwork.
- They would submit bids from three qualified major services vendors, i.e, photolith, printing.
- They would use their usual dependable vendors for minor services, i.e. photography, typesetting.

All vendors would invoice the client company directly. The advertising agency would invoice the company for all its internal work plus a 15% fee on the total of all external vendors' invoices for managing the project.

Our arrangement was that the first print run was "theirs". After that they'd give me the photoliths to reprint anywhere I wanted, without the 15% fee.

AFAICR this 15% fee was determined by some law. If they got any "under the sheets" commission or discount from their vendors for any kind of preference, it was supposedly not my problem, as long as the whole thing were done within budget.

So, in any case, you should invoice the end-client at your normal rate. If that agency turns out to be a high-volume client, they might ask you for a "commission", which will be (up to) the difference between your regular rate and the one you offered them.

This is how it works. Don't get them wrong, most advertsing agencies are not that greedy. They use good deal of these unaccounted funds to provide some freebies or courtesies the end-client often doesn't have a budget for, such as newly designed business cards, some decorative product picture posters for the office reception, lunches with journalists to get some unrequested but desired media coverage... well, you get the picture.


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 »

Agency asks me to submit invoice to end client

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



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