Where did you learn accounting and tax matters?
Thread poster: Ruxi

Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
Nov 6, 2006

I am interested to find out where you have learned accounting and taxation matters needed in your activity as freelance?
Did you learn them in your translation studies (university aso), or from a private person, a friend,a profesional?
How many of you already knew such things before becoming freelance and not having graduated specifical economical/finance universities?
Most people probably become freelance - translators or whatever- only imagining that this is what they know and like and have credentials aso.
Are people actually aware of how many other things a person has to know as a freelancer in any field?
Do universities and schools prepare people in such matters today?


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Nadia-Anastasia Fahmi  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 20:38
English to Greek
+ ...
In Greece, Nov 6, 2006

I don't think that any one has this knowledge beforehand in any profession (unless they are Accounting / Finance Graduates).

You either research the matter thoroughly to find out what is needed and then do it yourself, or you hire an accountant to do it for you (which is what I have done, and I am more that pleased with this solution).

Come to think of it, I never bothered with any accounting or taxation matters, even when I was not self-employed (freelancer). I always paid a qualified professional to take care of these matters for me.

I don't know whether people are aware of how many things they should know to work as a freelancer in any field, but I believe no one is. You learn along the way, or hire a qualified professional to do the work.

At least that's what most freelance Translators do in Greece, where taxation and accounting mattes are so complicated.



[Edited at 2006-11-06 13:26]


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
We don't know what we don't know Nov 6, 2006

Ruxi wrote:

I am interested to find out where you have learned accounting and taxation matters needed in your activity as freelance?
Did you learn them in your translation studies (university aso), or from a private person, a friend,a profesional?
How many of you already knew such things before becoming freelance and not having graduated specifical economical/finance universities?
Most people probably become freelance - translators or whatever- only imagining that this is what they know and like and have credentials aso.
Are people actually aware of how many other things a person has to know as a freelancer in any field?
Do universities and schools prepare people in such matters today?


Maybe too many questions in one single posting. One single answer: depending on the complexity of your business, it's enough to know just the basics, and let the qualified professionals (with proper education for this) do this work. It leaves us more time for translating and besides that, you sleep better. Nobody can be expert in everything.

Erik



[Bearbeitet am 2006-11-06 13:27]


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
The business of freelance translation Nov 6, 2006

Since this is a business, I went into it pretty much knowing what was required: I researched the market, signed up for on-site training with a big publishing company, hired an accountant, saved 6 months worth of income, bought the necessary hardware and software, bought office furniture, bought a dedicated phone line and Internet access, designed a brochure and business cards, became a member of the ATA (American Translators Association), wrote a marketing plan, found bigger and better clients, etc. All of this while learning more about my specialties/working languages and keeping abreast of new technologies.

Having a corporate lawyer in the family can also come in handy; if nothing else, to ease your mind regarding the different contracts and NDAs that service providers are required to sign from both direct clients and agencies.

There's, of course, much more involved in setting up shop, but this might give you a general idea. (*)

--
Dyran

(*) I know most translators don't do any of this, which is kind of surprising. If people don't treat their profession seriously, nobody else will.


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:38
German to English
+ ...
Let a professional do it Nov 6, 2006

I have a professional do my taxes and install computer equipment. The time it would take me to learn to do those tasks properly far outweighs the money I spend on those activities each year. Besides, at least in the US, those expenses are tax deductible!

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:38
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The hard way... Nov 6, 2006

Ruxi wrote:
I am interested to find out where you have learned accounting and taxation matters needed in your activity as freelance?


I learnt the hard way to use a professional person for the job. But a little knowledge is not a bad thing, and it is a good thing to be up to date with tax things. In my country, every year a little book is published about how to pay as little tax as possible. Although most things in the book don't concern me (various investment things etc), knowing what I can deduct for makes me somewhat better prepared for the tax year end, even if I'm not the one doing my taxes.


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 18:38
past experience Nov 6, 2006

Prior to going freelance in 2004, I had worked for a translation agency as an assistant PM and in various sales offices over the years, so I knew basic accounting procedures and the difference between an invoice and a PO.

In addition, my boyfriend at the time was an accountant so he was very good about explaining Irish tax requirements to me and things like that, although he didn't actually do my accounts for me. I get another accountant friend to do my tax and final year accounts in return for babysitting and duty-free bounty

I can't understand why more translators don't think of signing up for entrepreneurship or similar basic business courses, but that's a post for another day
I firmly believe translation courses/schools should offer some kind of a basic business module as part of their curriculum. I can tell you it isn't offered in Ireland anyway.

[Edited at 2006-11-06 15:29]


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Clara Duarte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:38
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It is possible to have some knowledge without a degree but sometimes it's not enough... Nov 7, 2006

From helping my father, an accountant, with some aspects of the job, I gathered some knowledge about the subject, but I improved my vocabulary skills and general understanding of finance, economics and management at university. I am now taking a degree in Accounting and Management and I know it will be handy!



I will be able to take on more demanding and difficult jobs in the field, which I wouldn't be able to deliever without a better knowledge and a professional approach to the subject.


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