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When do you invoice your clients?
Thread poster: perry

perry  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mar 19, 2007

Hi,
do you usually send your invoices with the translation, or do you wait until the client (agency!) inform you that the job is OK?
I´ve been working for a German agency and at the contract they sent me it is stated that translators might agree to do the corrections demanded by the client. Up to now they didn´t ask me to do any significant change, but I only sent them my invoices after they informed me the job is OK. Is this the usual way?
TIA,
Katia


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:13
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Invoicing Mar 19, 2007

I usually send my invoices with the jobs mostly because this way I do not forget to invoice them. Also it insures the invoice has the earliest possible date which means earliest possible payment. If there are problems and the total of the invoice has to be amended the invoice would still have the same date.
Having said that there are clients who send me several jobs a month so I invoice them once a month.

Ines


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:13
French to English
+ ...
with the translation Mar 19, 2007

Hi Katia,

I always send my invoices with the translation - if there are any corrections, my agencies let me know (if they don't just correct it themselves, which most of them do). I know of some agencies that request that their translators invoice once a month for all jobs done in that month, but none of my clients do this.

The reason for invoicing first is that, whatever happens and whatever the agency or their client thinks of your job, they ***still owe you the money for your work according to your contract with them***. They entered into a business relationship with you and had a responsibility to ensure that their provider (you) would produce good-quality work (which presumably you do!).

It is the agency's responsibility to ensure that a good text is sent to their client, and if you have a part to play in making improvements, then that's OK. If they don't like your work at all, then they can try and negotiate a reduction on the basis of what you have invoiced them. But there needs to be an existing invoice before negotiations can take place - otherwise they hold all the cards.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:13
Dutch to English
+ ...
Don't hold your breath .... Mar 19, 2007

perry wrote:

Hi,
do you usually send your invoices with the translation, or do you wait until the client (agency!) inform you that the job is OK?
I´ve been working for a German agency and at the contract they sent me it is stated that translators might agree to do the corrections demanded by the client. Up to now they didn´t ask me to do any significant change, but I only sent them my invoices after they informed me the job is OK. Is this the usual way?
TIA,
Katia


Send your invoice either on completion of the job or (as I prefer to do for regular clients) as part of a specfied invoice at month-end - I personally hate money coming in dribs and drabs, but that's me.

Quickest way to find out if everything is ok with a job is to raise an invoice - after all, you haven't delivered the job believing it to be sub-standard.

If you generally wait for feedback before invoicing, you're going to wait a long time (if not indefinitely in many cases). Many agencies only inform you if something needs revision (in their or their client's view), otherwise repeat work is the yardstick of their level of satisfaction.

If an agency has a specific procedure and you must wait for the ok, that's a different kettle of fish altogether. Just ensure it's a question of "if we don't inform you of any problems within xxx working days, you may accept the job is acceptable" (so you can invoice). Don't give them the opportunity to delay indefinitely.

HTH
Deborah

[Edited at 2007-03-19 18:12]


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:13
German to English
End of the month... Mar 19, 2007

...that way I reduce the admin both for me and the clients. It also gives time to resolve the majority of queries.
It costs me as much time and therefore money to invoice for 1000 as for 10, so a single invoice is cost-effective.
If the clients agree to the practice it can't be faulted in my opinion
Best
DB


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Invoice right away with delivery Mar 19, 2007

Hi Katia,

From a psychological point of view, I think it always a good idea to send out the invoice right away, either with delivery or very short after. We discussed this last year:

http://www.proz.com/post/349725#349725

After all, in most cases we haven't got any upfront payment so the service we have carried out hasn't been paid for, and normally we cannot expect payment at reception. There's no need to make the waiting period even longer.

Erik


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 10:13
English to German
+ ...
a differing situation Mar 19, 2007

Hi! when my quotation is based on source word count, I generate the invoice immediately and send back, followed by the translation, else on target word based quotation I send usually with the target file. Somes wait 24 hours( I myself do not know why this, but do it) and then send the invoice. But I invoice latest within 24 hours after the delivery. Brandis

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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 11:13
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
End of month Mar 19, 2007

Same as Daniel, I also invoice all jobs at the end of each month, unless it is a new or irregular client, in which case I send my invoice within a couple of days of the delivery of the translation.

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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:13
Member (2004)
English to Italian
yes... Mar 19, 2007

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:


If you generally wait for feedback before invoicing, you're going to wait a long time (if not indefinitely in many cases). Many agencies only inform you if something needs revision (in their or their client's view), otherwise repeat work is the yardstick of their level of satisfaction.

If an agency has a specific procedure and you have to wait for the ok, that's a different kettle of fish altogether.

HTH
Deborah

[Edited at 2007-03-19 13:23]


This is the reason why I stopped working for a particular client. They wanted me to wait for their client's sign-off, which the first time took 2 months and then I had to wait another 40 days to be paid (following a reminder - to which they replied they hadn't been paid by their client yet!). No thanks...

Giovanni


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perry  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Mar 19, 2007

Thank you very to all of you!
I think you´re right!. If, in general, we are paid 30 days after the invoice, why delay it even more.
Erik, before I posted the question I did a search at the foruns, but I couldn´t find a similar question. Thank you for sending the link. I´ll have a look at it also.
Thanks again.
Katia


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:13
English to French
+ ...
Twice per month Mar 19, 2007

I usually do two invoicing rounds, on the 1st of the month and on the 15th. I usually wait for the client/agency to confirm that everything is approved before invoicing, this usually takes only a few days.

[Edited at 2007-03-19 14:33]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:13
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Invoice with the job, plus monthly statement at end of month Mar 19, 2007

perry wrote:

Hi,
do you usually send your invoices with the translation, or do you wait until the client (agency!) inform you that the job is OK?
I´ve been working for a German agency and at the contract they sent me it is stated that translators might agree to do the corrections demanded by the client. Up to now they didn´t ask me to do any significant change, but I only sent them my invoices after they informed me the job is OK. Is this the usual way?
TIA,
Katia


Hullo,
I nearly always send my invoice with the job. Then I send a statement of account to each client at the end of the month by post - partly as a reminder/confirmation of what has been paid and what is outstanding, and partly for my own sake, to keep my books in order.
Only a couple of clients prefer me to add up all the jobs I've done for them in a month and send one invoice at the end of that month (basically, similar to a statement).
This usually seems to work OK in both cases.
Best wishes,
Jenny.

[Edited at 2007-03-19 14:43]


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
non-agency clients Mar 19, 2007

Since I work with direct clients, I ALWAYS wait until they send me back a note thanking me for the work, then I invoice.

There are 2 reasons why I do this.

First, I protect myself from "problems" by guaranteeing my work (i.e., "if you aren't satisfied, don't pay me"). In over ten years (6 of those full-time freelancing) I've only had one non-payer (who never communicated at all, and I think was ditching her financial obligation to me), and it was such a small amount, I just dropped it after writing her twice (it was also for editing an article she hoped to publish; not for translation work).

Second, I do find that one client in particular comes back to me to get help in finalizing the document (which is usually being "developed" in the source language while I'm translating), including in response to errors and problems I spot while translating. Sometimes bits and pieces get tacked on or certain sections get dropped and replaced. Because of that, if it isn't a financial problem for me, I'll wait weeks, even a month or more, before invoicing, so that I can invoice the entire job as a piece.

But I think that each client or type of client probably needs to be dealt with differently. In my case, the projects are not really "money-making endeavors" (a lot of what I do is supported by grant money), and that is very different from, for example, translating marketing copy or business documents.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:13
Italian to English
+ ...
End of month Mar 19, 2007

The main reason is that I regularly do 20-30 jobs a month for the same agencies - and often even 3 or 4 small jobs in one day. Sending out an invoice for each job would be a sheer waste of my time and theirs. It's far more efficient to get all the invoices sent out at the end of the month.

[Edited at 2007-03-19 15:14]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:13
English to French
+ ...
With the translation Mar 19, 2007

I agree with those above who send their invoice in the same e-mail as the translated files themselves.

The advantage is that, in case you are working with a client you don't entirely trust yet, they can't say they didn't get the invoice as long as they received the translated files. Also, when you invoice, make sure you send a PDF invoice that is password protected against editing. You can do this easily with OpenOffice. Another trick is to send your translated files along with the invoice in an e-mail that is a reply to their PO. This creates a single e-mail that contains the PO, the finished files and the invoice. Legally, you're 100% protected - and this also helps you to be much better organized, with less e-mails scattered all over your e-mail client.

The advantage of doing this for me is that I never have any paperwork lagging behind. If you use software like Translation Office 3000, each invoice takes up maybe two minutes of your time. I'd much rather spend two minutes here and there than to take a few hours once a month. When the task becomes one that takes several hours to do, it becomes a chore... And then, you don't really feel like doing it any more, and chances are you'll leave it for later - and you'll get your money that much later.

[Edited at 2007-03-19 15:22]


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