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How is the communication in between you and the client done?
Thread poster: Salithealbo
Sep 27, 2013

The client sends you the document to be translated, you translate it then you send it back using an email or is there a different way of doing this?
As I have no idea about it yet, I'm wondering how you invoice your clients, too. Is it by sending an email with the invoice attached to it or do you use a different strategy?


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:20
English to German
+ ...
It depends on the document. Sep 27, 2013

Its size as well as the degree of confidentiality. In such cases I have a password to the client's server, and I upload it directly.

BTW, I find attaching invoices to a delivered translation extremely tacky...


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Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:20
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Usually it goes like this Sep 27, 2013

1) Client sends document and deadline to see if you can do the translation.
2) You either accept or decline. (I'm assuming here you've already agreed rates by this time but if you haven't or you're not sure, it's worth specifying your rates again at this point if you accept).
3) If you accept, you start the project as soon as the client has confirmed you can go ahead and hand it in by e-mail before the deadline. (Make sure you don't start before the client has confirmed).
4) You can either send the invoice with the project itself or decide to do all your invoicing once a month (I do mine at the end of each month). Make sure you include all your payment details on every invoice!
5) You need to make a note as to when to expect payment to be ready to chase it up if you don't receive it on time


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Why? Sep 27, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:

BTW, I find attaching invoices to a delivered translation extremely tacky...


Isn't that what everyone does?


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
That's what I do... Sep 27, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:

1) Client sends document and deadline to see if you can do the translation.
2) You either accept or decline. (I'm assuming here you've already agreed rates by this time but if you haven't or you're not sure, it's worth specifying your rates again at this point if you accept).
3) If you accept, you start the project as soon as the client has confirmed you can go ahead and hand it in by e-mail before the deadline. (Make sure you don't start before the client has confirmed).
4) You can either send the invoice with the project itself or decide to do all your invoicing once a month (I do mine at the end of each month). Make sure you include all your payment details on every invoice!
5) You need to make a note as to when to expect payment to be ready to chase it up if you don't receive it on time


Except that I don't issue ALL my invoices at the end of the month: for some clients (mainly new customers or one-offs) invoices are sent together with the translation.

Always check whether clients are happy to receive your invoice by email or whether it has to be signed and sent by post; be aware that in some countries, invoices sent electronically are not recognised by law. If you send your invoice electronically, make sure it’s saved in a “read only” format, such as a PDF file.

Bonne chance!


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. Sep 27, 2013

I recently did a job for a new customer in Austria and they said they weren't allowed by law to accept electronic invoices. Is that correct? It was a total pain because it took about an hour of my time to go and buy a stamp.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:20
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
To expand on (2) Sep 27, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:
1) Client sends document and deadline to see if you can do the translation.
2) You either accept or decline. (I'm assuming here you've already agreed rates by this time but if you haven't or you're not sure, it's worth specifying your rates again at this point if you accept).
3) If you accept, you start the project as soon as the client has confirmed you can go ahead and hand it in by e-mail before the deadline. (Make sure you don't start before the client has confirmed).

There may be other things to get down in writing before you start work. Details of the job can come from either side and if they come from the client then they can be in the form of a formal PO(Purchase Order). But if the client doesn't spell it all out for your agreement, then you can send an email, with the details for confirmation by the client in a return email (that's important).

You always need to agree on the word-count if you're charging per source word, and the deadline. Then there may on occasions be details of formatting (do they want you to reconstruct PDF tables identically or will something simpler do just as well - they need to pay extra for you to spend time on more than minimal DTP tasks), and delivery format (often it's .doc in, .doc out, but not always).

For a new client, make absolutely sure you have their invoice address and (if necessary) their tax details (e.g. VAT N°). It's sad to hear from newbies who can't issue a legally-enforceable invoice because they don't have a full company address (required even though you'll be sending the invoice by email). There's also the other important point: you need to make clear your payment terms (when to pay, how to pay, invoice minimum...). Of course, you need to check new clients thoroughly, but that's another topic.

For proofreading jobs, there's always more involved in (2). You can't possibly agree contractually to a per-word rate, or a total for the job, until you've seen the text - everything depends on the quality and the client's requirements. Do they just want grammar, spellings and typos corrected, or do they want it to 'read better', 'be more marketing',...? If it's bilingual proofreading then they'll expect you to check for omissions and mistranslations, too, but find out if they need a separate report. If they provided the translator with a TM and/or glossary then you ought to be able to refer to them too.


In summary, make sure that you know what's expected of you, and that if the client defaults on payment, you've got every right to drag them through the courts. If it's a regular client with a regular job, everything can be minimised - don't flood good clients with unnecessary formality. For example, I have a client who often sends an email headed "Job XYZ - nnn words" that says no more than "Hi Sheila, can you do this?". I look at the attachment, maybe check the word-count, and write back "Hi xxx, that's fine. I'll let you have it by Thursday latest." We have an agreement! I know what's required and they know they'll receive an invoice at the end of the month with a list of Job Nos and word-counts and a total to pay.


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Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:20
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
on electronic invoicing (EU) Sep 27, 2013

There is an EU invoicing Directive that came into force on 1 January 2013 stating the following:
"Paper invoices and electronic invoices should be treated equally."
See: COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2010/45/EU of 13 July 2010
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2010:189:0001:0008:EN:PDF


Any client (in the EU) who still insists on paper invoices signed and sent by post is probably at best misguided or ill-informed.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:20
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Me too Sep 27, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:

I find attaching invoices to a delivered translation extremely tacky...


Me too. It says:

"I'm desperate for money and I need payment now or I'll get thrown out of my house"

"My translation is perfect. Don't even think about querying anything in it. Send the money immediately".

[Edited at 2013-09-27 09:32 GMT]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:20
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Yes exactly Sep 27, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:

There is an EU invoicing Directive that came into force on 1 January 2013 stating the following:
"Paper invoices and electronic invoices should be treated equally."
See: COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2010/45/EU of 13 July 2010
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2010:189:0001:0008:EN:PDF


Any client (in the EU) who still insists on paper invoices signed and sent by post is probably at best misguided or ill-informed.


Correct


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I know that... Sep 27, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:

There is an EU invoicing Directive that came into force on 1 January 2013 stating the following:
"Paper invoices and electronic invoices should be treated equally."
See: COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2010/45/EU of 13 July 2010
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2010:189:0001:0008:EN:PDF

Any client (in the EU) who still insists on paper invoices signed and sent by post is probably at best misguided or ill-informed.


... but I have been asked more than once (from clients outside the EU) and I thought I should mention that.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Anyway Sep 27, 2013

This Directive entered into force on the 1st January 2013 and I am not sure all 27 EU Member States have fully transposed the Directive into their national legislation. Austria might be one of those cases...

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Ooops! Sep 27, 2013

28 EU Member States! Forgot about Croatia (the last one to adhere last July)...

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:20
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Attaching invoices to delivered translations Sep 27, 2013

I have always done this ever since I started freelancing in 1965, and I have always thought it was standard practice unless otherwise specified by the client. Of course submitting an invoice is not a demand for immediate payment, and of course there may be corrections needed, and I don't expect to be paid till the client is satisfied, but I know that my invoice has gone out with the translation so I don't have to worry about remembering to send it out at the end of the month, or after three months, or whatever. I find it irritating when some agency for which I do maybe one small job about every two years insists that all invoices for a specified period must be gathered together and submitted by a specified date. What's "tacky" about attaching invoices to translations?

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Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
Invoices together with translations - it depends Sep 27, 2013

Dear Salithealbo,

Like Nicole said, it depends on the grade of confidentiality and the size of the document. If it is too big, it is necessary to do it by using a password and uploading it (ftp), but usually it works per e-mail.

Regarding the invoices, I do not really understand the position of Nicole and Tom, because I consider it very correct to send the invoice together with the translation. Like Jack says, this way you make sure that all your invoices were sent correctly and in time. I usually begin my e-mail with the text: “annexed I send you the translations together with the corresponding invoice” and I have never had any problems with that. For sure it depends on the type of invoice – for some clients I do smaller jobs (telephone interpretation, e-mail translations or similar services) and I open an invoice, add up all the services during the whole month and send a total invoice during the first 5 days of the following month to the client. But as a general rule, I send the invoice always together with the translation. Why do you think this is “tacky”, Nicole? Is it simply nicer and more professional to send all the invoices at the end of the month?

Best regards,

Agnes


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