Request for Certification of Payments Made
Thread poster: Vadney (X)

Vadney (X)
German to English
+ ...
Jan 11, 2007

Happy New Year, dear Colleagues!

A French agency with which I worked on several long-term projects a couple of years ago and have entertained an on/off relationship for about 2 years since then has recently asked me to "certify" payments made in 2003.

Despite this very unusual request, I am unable to comply because ini 2004 we had a catastrophic system failure and our tape back-up, while making a lot of noise, was otherwise doing nothing; hence we lost a considerable amount of a data, not all of which was backed up.

I do work for several larger French agencies as well as a number of German and Italian agencies and have never been asked to "certify" payments made to me (never in about 25 years, in fact).

The agency says that their auditors say this is "compulsory". But if it is compulsory for one agency, why not for all?

Has anyone ever been asked to "certify" payments made or told that this is "compulsory"?

Does anyone know of such a requirement in France?

BTW, I work out of the USA.

Thanks very much!



Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:49
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
What does "certify" mean in this case? Jan 11, 2007

Hi Harold,

A happy new year to you, too.

What do they actually mean by that "certification"? Simply delivering physical evidence that payments arrived at your end?

Not that I've ever heard of such a requirement...



Vadney (X)
German to English
+ ...
What does "certify" mean? Jan 11, 2007

Hi, Steffen and Happy New Year to you!

The client sent this response when I asked why a "certification":

We don't know either why our auditors asked us this kind of certification but they asked us to get them as it is compulsory for their files. We are not doing this to annoy the translators but because our auditors need these papers.

When I suggested your name in early December, the problem was that the Accounting Department is waiting for a document they asked you but never received it. This document is compulsory. Please send us the document (attached the model to follow) on headed paper, dated and signed as soon as possible in order for us to add you to the list of translators.

Here is the exact wording of the "Attestation" that the company is asking for:


I the undersigned, Mr/Mrs/Ms* VADNEY , hereby certify that ART INTERNATIONAL (siret n°392830337) has paid me the following fees:

Year 2003: [amount redacted] €
Year 2004: €
Year 2005: €

The amounts have been accounted for as income.

Signed in


I have never been asked for such a document before and you can imagine it may be difficult to verify the agency's figures (not that I think they are attempting anything dishonest but it is quite inconvenient and I don't like certifying something for which I don't have complete back-up documentation).

I responded with the following request/information:

"I am informed that the only way we can actually "certify" a payment is if we have an actual record of the payment or if we can verify by other means that the payment was made.

If your auditors or bookkeeping department can provide the date, amount and manner in which the concerned payments were made we can then either check our bank deposits and verify receipt and once verification is made we can then "certify" that we received a payment. Once we receive that, it may take
some time and considerable additional work on our part, but we may be able to assist you in this unusual request. But no guarantees."

Hope that helps to understand what they want "certified".

Kind regards,



RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:49
German to English
Standard audit procedure Jan 11, 2007


It's standard procedure for auditors to ask creditors and debtors to confirm past payments received from or made to the company being audited, either as part of a full-blown audit (rare), or (more common) as part of their audit sampling procedures.

There's nothing "compulsory" about this for suppliers or clients in other countries, I'm sure, but it's good business practice to comply with such requests to enable the auditors to reconcile various account movements.

At the very least, you should be able to check bank statements showing the transactions involved and then sign the certificate the auditors are asking for.

(PS: "certification" just sounds like a crap translation....)


Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:49
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Thanks, Robin Jan 11, 2007

RobinB wrote:
(PS: "certification" just sounds like a crap translation....)

... which is probably why I had initially been unable to determine what this was about.


Tony Tang
Local time: 23:49
English to Chinese
+ ...
RobinB has proposed a good way Jan 12, 2007

Hi Harold,

I agree with RobinB. Since your computer crashed before, go to check the capital movements at the bank. They may have the records you need.


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Request for Certification of Payments Made

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