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Next month purchase order issuance
Thread poster: Frank van Overveld

Frank van Overveld
France
Local time: 04:12
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Jul 31

Hello all,

For the past couple of years I've been working for a certain agency without any problems. Their payment conditions have always been 60 days EOM, which was kind of late but legal. However, recently they have implemented a change in PO issuance policy which bothers me and I would like your opinion/advice.

The change consists of issuing PO's only after the end of the month of the rendered service. This means that if I hand in a translation ordered on July 1 the
... See more
Hello all,

For the past couple of years I've been working for a certain agency without any problems. Their payment conditions have always been 60 days EOM, which was kind of late but legal. However, recently they have implemented a change in PO issuance policy which bothers me and I would like your opinion/advice.

The change consists of issuing PO's only after the end of the month of the rendered service. This means that if I hand in a translation ordered on July 1 the same day on July 1, I will receive the PO on August 1, 2 or 3. I will then issue my invoice, which will be paid 60 days EOM. This means 60 days from the end of August, which is at the end of October. Taking into account bank transfer delays, I receive the money on my bank account during the first days of November.

In total, this consitutes a maximum delay of up to four months from the date of the service being rendered to reception of payment for said service, which the agency has accomplished by issuing PO's the following month.

I personally think this constitues an unreasonable and unfair payment delay, and I wonder if it is legal. Artificially delaying payment by making it impossible for the translator to invoice a service by refusing to issue a PO seems kind of borderline to me.

I have communicated my concerns to their bookkeeping department and have filed a complaint with management (which I cannot contact directly because e-mail addresses are not disclosed), but I would like to hear your opinion and/or advice. Has anyone else experienced this? Do you just deal with it? Would you take action?
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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
We must not accept those terms Jul 31

Frank van Overveld wrote:

Taking into account bank transfer delays, I receive the money on my bank account during the first days of November.


A sepa transfer is received the next day, but for a job done in July a payment in October is not acceptable


I personally think this constitues an unreasonable and unfair payment delay, and I wonder if it is legal. Artificially delaying payment by making it impossible for the translator to invoice a service by refusing to issue a PO seems kind of borderline to me.

I have communicated my concerns to their bookkeeping department and have filed a complaint with management (which I cannot contact directly because e-mail addresses are not disclosed), but I would like to hear your opinion and/or advice. Has anyone else experienced this? Do you just deal with it? Would you take action?


Yes this is strongly unfair, you are not their bank, you did the right thing by contacting the bookkeeping dept,

If I were you, in case they do not take into account your complain and change route, I will refuse other jobs from them, we must not accept, we must decide our terms and our rates.

That said I hope they will continue to pay you at 60 days (which is already a long term).

Good luck!


Thomas T. Frost
IanDhu
Oleksandr Ivanov
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Unacceptable Jul 31

That's not legal in the EU, where the limit is 60 days. It's also not reasonable.

The company may have cash flow problems. Try to find creditworthiness information about it.


Angie Garbarino
IanDhu
 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:12
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Unacceptable Jul 31

I can live with post factum purchase orders and deferred payments but this practice is clearly in bad faith.

I wouldn't continue working for this agency under these conditions.

Cheers,
Gerard


Philip Lees
IanDhu
Morano El-Kholy
 

Joshua Parker
Mexico
Local time: 19:12
Member (2016)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Certainly unreasonable. Jul 31

Legal? Not sure. I expect not, though, at least in the EU.

Unreasonable? Most certainly. You're effectively extending them almost four months' credit.

As their name suggests, POs should be issued when they purchase the order - i.e. when they ask you to do the job.

Like Thomas, my gut feeling is that this company may have cash flow issues and this is just a way for them to buy more time. I'd be extremely wary if you choose to continue working for them.
... See more
Legal? Not sure. I expect not, though, at least in the EU.

Unreasonable? Most certainly. You're effectively extending them almost four months' credit.

As their name suggests, POs should be issued when they purchase the order - i.e. when they ask you to do the job.

Like Thomas, my gut feeling is that this company may have cash flow issues and this is just a way for them to buy more time. I'd be extremely wary if you choose to continue working for them.

Also, do you even need a PO to invoice them? Most of the agencies I work for don't bother, and I just send them my invoice when I finish the work. After all, at that point, they owe me regardless of whether or not they've issued a PO.
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Mair A-W (PhD)
Germany
Local time: 04:12
Member (2016)
German to English
+ ...
Purchase order Jul 31

Frank van Overveld wrote:

The change consists of issuing PO's only after the end of the month of the rendered service. This means that if I hand in a translation ordered on July 1 the same day on July 1, I will receive the PO on August 1, 2 or 3. I will then issue my invoice, which will be paid 60 days EOM. This means 60 days from the end of August, which is at the end of October. Taking into account bank transfer delays, I receive the money on my bank account during the first days of November.



What do you mean by "ordered", if you don't have a purchase order? Don't do the translation, it hasn't been ordered.
If it has been ordered, and you've completed and delivered it, then you can damn well invoice it, with or without whatever the agency chooses to refer to as a PO.


Enrique Bjarne Strand Ferrer
Christel Zipfel
Oleksandr Ivanov
Bernhard Sulzer
 

Frank van Overveld
France
Local time: 04:12
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree, but... Jul 31

Angie Garbarino wrote:

Frank van Overveld wrote:

Taking into account bank transfer delays, I receive the money on my bank account during the first days of November.


A sepa transfer is received the next day, but for a job done in July a payment in October is not acceptable


I personally think this constitues an unreasonable and unfair payment delay, and I wonder if it is legal. Artificially delaying payment by making it impossible for the translator to invoice a service by refusing to issue a PO seems kind of borderline to me.

I have communicated my concerns to their bookkeeping department and have filed a complaint with management (which I cannot contact directly because e-mail addresses are not disclosed), but I would like to hear your opinion and/or advice. Has anyone else experienced this? Do you just deal with it? Would you take action?


Yes this is strongly unfair, you are not their bank, you did the right thing by contacting the bookkeeping dept,

If I were you, in case they do not take into account your complain and change route, I will refuse other jobs from them, we must not accept, we must decide our terms and our rates.

That said I hope they will continue to pay you at 60 days (which is already a long term).

Good luck!


I've had a very good collaboration with this client apart from this issue, they offer a lot of well paid and interesting jobs, I do not want to end the collaboration, but I'm quite annoyed with this nonetheless! I've threatened to charge late fees for every day that payment is not in time, 40 euro's + interest, but that's probably not gonna change anything.


Yolanda Broad
 

Frank van Overveld
France
Local time: 04:12
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yeah Jul 31

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

That's not legal in the EU, where the limit is 60 days. It's also not reasonable.

The company may have cash flow problems. Try to find creditworthiness information about it.


This crossed my mind. I've checked their available financial reports from 2014 until 2017, and profits have gone down steadily, hitting red figures in 2017, so I guess this has something to do with it. They've always paid, so I don't worry about that, but they do seem to be in trouble, even though this agency has offices in multiple countries.


 

Frank van Overveld
France
Local time: 04:12
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Me too Jul 31

Gerard de Noord wrote:

I can live with post factum purchase orders and deferred payments but this practice is clearly in bad faith.

I wouldn't continue working for this agency under these conditions.

Cheers,
Gerard


I don't mind if they issue the PO later, but because they do it the following month and they do not take into account an earlier invoice issuance date, this is pushing the limit a bit too far to my liking.

Thanks for sharing your opinion.


 

Frank van Overveld
France
Local time: 04:12
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting Jul 31

Joshua Parker wrote:

Legal? Not sure. I expect not, though, at least in the EU.

Unreasonable? Most certainly. You're effectively extending them almost four months' credit.

As their name suggests, POs should be issued when they purchase the order - i.e. when they ask you to do the job.

Like Thomas, my gut feeling is that this company may have cash flow issues and this is just a way for them to buy more time. I'd be extremely wary if you choose to continue working for them.

Also, do you even need a PO to invoice them? Most of the agencies I work for don't bother, and I just send them my invoice when I finish the work. After all, at that point, they owe me regardless of whether or not they've issued a PO.


Thanks for the advice. As I mentioned in my reply to Thomas, they do seem to have some financial issues, at least according to the financial data from their head office. I will be wary and try to get some more information from their financial department.

I do believe a PO is required for them to valide any invoice, but your logic makes perfect sense. I will try this the coming month and see that they'll have to say.


 

Frank van Overveld
France
Local time: 04:12
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ongoing projects Jul 31

Mair A-W (PhD) wrote:

Frank van Overveld wrote:

The change consists of issuing PO's only after the end of the month of the rendered service. This means that if I hand in a translation ordered on July 1 the same day on July 1, I will receive the PO on August 1, 2 or 3. I will then issue my invoice, which will be paid 60 days EOM. This means 60 days from the end of August, which is at the end of October. Taking into account bank transfer delays, I receive the money on my bank account during the first days of November.



What do you mean by "ordered", if you don't have a purchase order? Don't do the translation, it hasn't been ordered.
If it has been ordered, and you've completed and delivered it, then you can damn well invoice it, with or without whatever the agency chooses to refer to as a PO.




Most of the work I receive from them is part of ongoing projects they selected me for, one of which started in 2017 for example, so I usually would receive only one PO at the end of the month with all the different tasks. I didn't mind that, it simplifies things. But the PO would be issued at the end of the same month.

You have the same argument as another member mentioned above, I will give that a try. They'll probably say that the PO number is required, but I can answer what you are saying. It probably won't make a difference though, those people are just doing what management is telling them to do. And they didn't want to give me their superior's e-mail address to talk to them directly.


[Edited at 2019-07-31 22:08 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-08-01 07:43 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:12
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I would do one of two things; no, three Jul 31

1) Once I've done the work, payment becomes due. l might decide to defer the invoice to the end of the month, but once that arrives, I invoice. If they haven't sorted a PO, that isn't my problem. I have the right to invoice.

2) I agree to wait a bit for the PO before invoicing. But the clock keeps ticking so they have less time to pay.

3) I refuse to work with them again. That's what I did the last time I experienced this type of problem. Nowadays, I don't have a singl
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1) Once I've done the work, payment becomes due. l might decide to defer the invoice to the end of the month, but once that arrives, I invoice. If they haven't sorted a PO, that isn't my problem. I have the right to invoice.

2) I agree to wait a bit for the PO before invoicing. But the clock keeps ticking so they have less time to pay.

3) I refuse to work with them again. That's what I did the last time I experienced this type of problem. Nowadays, I don't have a single client who issues POs. We (my clients and I) all know the "rules" of business and we're fair to both sides of the partnership.
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IanDhu
Enrique Bjarne Strand Ferrer
Marco Belcastro Bara
Oleksandr Ivanov
Philip Lees
Teresa Borges
 

IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:12
Member (2005)
French to English


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Proof of order Aug 1

If the client sends files, and intimates that they are to be translated, this is proof, especially in the circumstances described here. It is also important to keep all correspondence (e-mails) relating to the assignment - I have a "management" folder for each assignment, to retain proof.

Marco Belcastro Bara
Sheila Wilson
Philip Lees
Teresa Borges
 

Enrique Bjarne Strand Ferrer
Norway
Local time: 04:12
Member (2017)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Financial risk Aug 1

Frank van Overveld wrote:

they do seem to have some financial issues

Obviously - I cant figure out any other reason than serious cash flow problems to postpone issuance of PO.

They just increased your risk from three months (month of invoice +2m) to four months work.
Can you live with that?


Sheila Wilson
Teresa Borges
 

Frank van Overveld
France
Local time: 04:12
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It's a risk Aug 1

enrfer wrote:

Frank van Overveld wrote:

they do seem to have some financial issues

Obviously - I cant figure out any other reason than serious cash flow problems to postpone issuance of PO.

They just increased your risk from three months (month of invoice +2m) to four months work.
Can you live with that?


No, I do not find it acceptable.

Yesterday I contacted them about payment due for two invoices.

They can only find one invoice in their system, even though I have proof that they received both. They may delay payment another 3 months, because if they consider they invoice was sent today, it will again be paid 60 EOM, that would be their logic (at least from their bookkeepers).

This is beginning to really annoy me and I am going to give a phone call real soon.

[Edited at 2019-08-01 06:43 GMT]


 
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