Not sure how to bill
Thread poster: Annie Sapucaia

Annie Sapucaia  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:11
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Mar 7, 2014

Hello all,
I've recently started working with a new agency and things are going great so far. I'm confused about how to bill for a particular project, though.

You accept jobs through an online portal, and this job contained two files, under ONE case number.

I have a minimum amount per job. By themselves, each file would require that I charge my minimum payment per file, as the word count is very low.

Counted together, though, the number of words is high enough that it surpasses my minimum fee.

So if I charge the minimum fee for each file, then I get an amount X.

If I charge the files as being one file, then it comes out to a certain amount of words X per word rate = an amount Y.


Amount X is much greater than amount Y. Which is the fairer way to invoice? What would you do? I'm truly confused. Hope this makes sense.


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 09:11
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Minimum per Job Mar 7, 2014

Annie Sapucaia wrote:

I have a minimum amount per job.


Well, you state yourself. You have a minimum amount per job, not per file. In this case, the job happens to come in two files. No big deal. The total word count in two files happens to be above your minimum amount. So, you should go with amount Y.

You simply can not charge the minimum fee for each file. This is not fair. Your minimum applies to the job, and the job happens to be two files instead of one. The job does not have to be a single file. It may be multiple files. Nothing wrong with that.


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
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It also depends on when you received the files. Mar 7, 2014

Atil is right, but his answer assumes that you received both files at the same time. If the client has banded two small jobs together to create a bigger one and get round your minimum charge, that's a different kettle of fish.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:11
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Rate for job/invoice Mar 7, 2014

It sounds as though this was just one job on their interface. I doubt they're expecting to pay separately for each file.

But it depends on you and what you've agreed to. I don't personally have a minimum per file, though there is an overhead to each. But I do have a minimum per job, although very low, and a minimum per invoice of one hour.

AFAIC, it depends on the overheads. Creating, sending, chasing, accounting for an invoice takes time. But for regular clients accepting and delivering files is a small overhead. I'm happy to invoice them monthly, so I'll process small jobs for them.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:11
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto, I think Mar 7, 2014

Sheila Wilson wrote:

It sounds as though this was just one job on their interface. I doubt they're expecting to pay separately for each file.


One accepted rationale behind minimums is, you have to cover your administration time. (For that matter, the billing may be harder than the translation). If I were sent five files with nine words each, I'd bill one minimum because I would think they don't expect one bill per file. (Really, now. Ask me for 5 bills and I WILL charge 5 minimums, you think I don't have other things to do? BUT it may happen that different end clients require different invoices. If they explain that things are like this, then that's one minimum per client).

It's probably the same thinking behind not issuing two purchase orders.

It's not how much you make; that's too arbitrary. To be professional about it, it's how much you and others value (your/their) time. If it's just one job, okay; you do it and slog on to the next without regrets. Nothing personal.

Oh, well. 2 cents. But overall, a better impression.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:11
French to English
+ ...
Subject area Mar 8, 2014

I think the other aspect that's not been mentioned here is whether the files are related, or at least on related topics. If they form part of the same project, i.e. are on similar subjects, not requiring vast amounts of separate research for each one, then yes, they should be viewed as a package and charged together. If they are completely unrelated and you end up doing a lot of research for each one, then in my book they qualify as separate jobs, each with a minimum fee. My minimum charge is intended to cover not only the administration effort of filing, processing and invoicing, but also the disproportionate amount of research associated with jobs of a few hundred (or fewer) words. I had one last week that was only 150 or so words, but required a lot of research and a discussion about the (old-fashioned) grammar used in one sentence. All in all, it took about ten times longer than it would have taken to do 150 words in the longer job I had put aside to squeeze it in! Even with the minimum charge you have to ask yourself whether these small jobs are worth it sometimes!

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Annie Sapucaia  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:11
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 10, 2014

Thank you all for your thoughts. That's exactly what I wanted to know - if related files would be considered one job or separate jobs. I've invoiced them for one.

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