Cash-flow : are our payment periods too long?
Thread poster: xxxwilliamson
Local time: 06:36
Dutch to English
+ ...
Aug 27, 2002

I was just wondering whether the activity of translation (taking into account the industry standard of max.2500 words per day, your language combination(s), your rates and global competition) is generating enough cash flow to achieve your goals and ensure a steady growth and expansion of your activity or does it only suffice to earn a living? If not, would you consider to into an alternative direction?


Certain utility companies and one of the major courier companies have stringent payment terms: payment after 10 to 15 days.

If you do not pay, you get first friendly reminder to pay your bill. If you do not pay after that reminder, they sent a less friendly reminder and add additional costs of sending another reminder. The third time you get a letter that the matter will be given into the hands of their lawyer or in case of the courier company into the hands of D&B. However, in the translation industry terms of 30 days are common (North-American, UK and German agencies), in other countries 45 days apply, still other (Belgium, France) pay end of month + 60 days and the champions of late payments, the Italians apply a term of end of month +90 days. Do you think that as a supplier of an agency it is up to them or to you to determine payment delays?

Are translators not too lenient? Should one not do like the utility companies or that one (giant) courier company No payment received after a month and you get letters of a lawyer or D&B? You loose money in the debt collection process, but by applying this policy of short-term payment stringently, you create enough cash flow.

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:36
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Contractors with institutional clients Aug 27, 2002

such as governments make a price adjustment for expected late collection. When I went into the institutional market, I was advised by the government concerned to do this (expected clearing time was to be 6 months). Still, within the same government, certain agencies would not let 30 days go by without paying all their invoices.

Large corporations with these problems invoice interests. When I once had to request VAT postponement on a large invoice, I was told by tax authorities that the interests were legally invoiceable. That could be one solution.

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Cash-flow : are our payment periods too long?

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