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Payments - When is the "due" date?
Thread poster: Annett Hieber

Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:15
English to German
Jun 1, 2012

After many years of working as a translator I now have to wonder what exactly is the definition of the "due" date for payments?

I have always thought this is the date at which the payment of my invoice is due, thus I should have received the payment then. Some clients seem to share this opinion, some not. Some of them believe it is the date when they should send out (wire transfer or otherwise) the payment - which means between 4 to 10 days more for me. Doesn't this mean payment terms are extended?

I would really be interested in your opinion and how you handle it.

Thank you and a nice weekend to all.

Annett


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:15
Portuguese to English
+ ...
The date they make the payment Jun 1, 2012

Your clients have no control over how long the various banks will take to process the payments. They could send out twenty payments on the same day and these will be received by the various translators within 0 to 5 days (10 days seems a big excessive). In my opinion we really cannot expect them to factor that in to all their admin. and payments system.

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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:15
English to German
+ ...
Money should be on your account on due date Jun 1, 2012

"Berücksichtigen Sie zudem, dass Sie das Zahlungsziel einer Rechnung nur einhalten, wenn Sie den Rechnungsbetrag so überweisen, dass er innerhalb der vorgegebenen Frist auf dem Girokonto des Gläubigers gutgeschrieben wird."


http://www.helpster.de/rechnung-bezahlen-das-zahlungsziel-erreichen-sie-so_99822


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Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 16:15
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
I agree with Lisa Simpson, Jun 1, 2012

it should be the date, when a payment it sent. Transfers within Europe are really fast (2-3 days), for clients outside Europe you could consider use of PayPal. If you, for some reasons, need to get your payment by a specific date, you can specify shorter maturity period, where transfer time will be taken into account.

Annett Hieber wrote:

After many years of working as a translator I now have to wonder what exactly is the definition of the "due" date for payments?

I have always thought this is the date at which the payment of my invoice is due, thus I should have received the payment then. Some clients seem to share this opinion, some not. Some of them believe it is the date when they should send out (wire transfer or otherwise) the payment - which means between 4 to 10 days more for me. Doesn't this mean payment terms are extended?

I would really be interested in your opinion and how you handle it.

Thank you and a nice weekend to all.

Annett


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:15
French to German
+ ...
With Gudrun Jun 1, 2012

I think that payments should be credited to my account on the due date, so they should be sent a couple of days before that date.

I am resigned to the fact though that I can count myself lucky when clients actually make the payment on the due date. Others apparently only start to think about making the payment on the due date, so another week will pass before they actually swing into action...


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cmbridges  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Meaning of due date Jun 1, 2012

Hello,

The "due date" is the date when the company should make the payment.
For example on my invoice it says:

Payment due date:
- Due on Receipt
- Net 15
- Net 30
- Net 45
- Net 60
- Custom

Each company has a payment policy and it can pays within 15, 30, 60 days, etc.

I hope I was clear.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:15
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Due date is money received date Jun 1, 2012

Annett Hieber wrote:
I have always thought this is the date at which the payment of my invoice is due, thus I should have received the payment then. Some clients seem to share this opinion, some not. Some of them believe it is the date when they should send out (wire transfer or otherwise) the payment - which means between 4 to 10 days more for me.


I agree with Lisa that one has to be lenient with clients who interpret "due date" to mean "date on which we wake up and scramble to make payment", but I also agree with Gudrun about the real definition of "due date". The due date is the date on which payment should have been received.

After all, if you send a translation by post, the "deadline" is not the latest date that you can post the translation but the latest date on which the client hopes to receive the translation.

If you have to pay your taxes or a fine on 1 June, then you can't say "well, I mailed the cheque on 1 June" and expect them to regard your taxes or your fine as having been paid on the due date. Any leniency that such services or authorities may provide are simply that - leniencies for late payers.


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:15
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Agree on meaning of 'due date' Jun 1, 2012

I agree that, strictly speaking, 'due date' means the date by which you receive the funds but in practice. However, considering we're rarely talking about people in the same country as you just sending you a cheque in the post, but rather clients scattered across the globe paying by cheque/bank transfer/Paypal etc this has to be approached with some common sense.

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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:15
English to German
+ ...
The date of payment Jun 1, 2012

is fixed by the language service provider, not by the buyer of the language services.

cmbridges, what do you mean by: "Each company has a payment policy and it can pay within 15, 30, 60 days"?


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 23:15
Chinese to English
In these days of email... Jun 1, 2012

It's easy to forget that this argument used to be completely symmetrical. Imagine your client has you proofreading hard copy, and they tell you the due date. What would you imagine them to mean by that? The day you put the document in the mail? I don't think so.

Due date is the date the money is in my hands. For my planning purposes, it's completely irrelevant to me how the client gets the money to me, or whether they've sent it or not sent it: I need to know when it's going to be in my possession. I'm never going to take action against a client who's started an electronic transfer by the payment date if it hasn't cleared; everyone should acknowledge that that's what it means.


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Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:15
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Business policies Jun 1, 2012

In my opinion, as I already mentioned, the "due date" is the date when I should receive the money. As Samuel stated, if my taxes are due on 1st of June, the tax authorities expect to have the money received by then, otherwise you have to pay a fine.

And, on the other hand, don't the clients expect us to receive their translations on their "due date"?

Of course, you have to take different countries into consideration, particularly outside Europe. For those clients I allow 2-3 days more, although it is not my business how they get their payment to me.....

But it is really a thing of mutual respect, for me to deliver on time and for the client to pay me on time as well.

I believe it is often an issue of the business policy of the individual client.

Annett


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Vikki Pendleton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:15
Member
German to English
+ ...
who's in control? Jun 1, 2012

Gudrun Wolfrath wrote:

The date of payment is fixed by the language service provider, not by the buyer of the language services.

cmbridges, what do you mean by: "Each company has a payment policy and it can pay within 15, 30, 60 days"?


I have definitely seen other conversations on here where different agencies will pay at the end of the month 30 days after the work is completed. I think it would be difficult for us as freelancers to insist on an earlier due date if that is their payment policy.

I haven't experience of this myself but I understood it was widespread.


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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:15
English to German
+ ...
Vikki, Jun 1, 2012

if all translators insisted on their (own) terms and conditions of payment agencies would have to change their - sometimes very strange - payment policies in the end.

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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:15
Member (2004)
English to Italian
depends... Jun 1, 2012

due to you or due to be paid by the client?

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Due means payable Jun 1, 2012

"Due" simply means "payable". Technically speaking, until the due date, the client has no obligation to pay. Now, from the due date, i.e. the date in which the money is owed, honest people pay as soon as possible, ideally on the same day.

I don't think that the due date is the payment date. Maybe a practice we should start to extend is to rename "due date" to "payment date", so that there is no confusion.


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