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Poll: Do you invoice your regular clients project by project or on a monthly basis?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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SITE STAFF
Apr 28, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you invoice your regular clients project by project or on a monthly basis?".

This poll was originally submitted by laural

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:50
Italian to English
+ ...
Monthly Apr 28, 2008

I can do anything up to 30 jobs a month for the same client - invoicing job by job would make no sense at all, for them or me. And I prefer to get all my invoicing done in one go at the end of the month anyway, to maximise administrative efficiency.

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 04:50
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on the volume of the project. Apr 28, 2008

I don't actually have a set amount which sets me into invoicing motion, but as a rule I invoice monthly with my most regular clients, unless it's a particularly significant amount (which I would like to receive sooner rather than later!). Suppose it boils down to giving them a bit of goodwill credit when I can afford to, since I don't have a large "accountancy department" which can only cope with invoicing on certain days of the month.

Unlike large companies I have dealt with (in other areas of business) who, despite having agreed to my terms of payment, then proceed to insist on invoicing on certain dates, followed by payments on certain, significantly later, dates. That'll be why they're large...


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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:50
German to English
+ ...
Other Apr 28, 2008

I generally invoice project by project, but if I get a small job from a regular customer, I wait until a little more accumulates before sending an invoice.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:50
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Both really Apr 28, 2008

I invoice my regular agency clients monthly by agreement - anything else would be a waste of time.

I have some other more or less regular clients - that is, good clients who send me work at intervals, but not every month. I send them an invoice for each job, even if it is small. With bank transfers there are no major expenses or lengthy procedures. That way we can tidy up and finish the business before we both forget what it was all about!

They have thirty days to pay, after all...


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 23:50
English to Spanish
Other Apr 28, 2008

I invoice half of them on a monthly basis, and the other half on a per-project basis.

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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 23:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Project by project Apr 28, 2008

Every job gets a separate invoice because most of my regular clients have internal accounting systems involving cost centres that have to be charged internally for each purchase. They prefer not to have to split an invoice between CCs.

It's no extra work for me - my accounting system generates and dispatches invoices automatically from job-logging data - and by making it easier for the clients to process them at their end I get paid quicker.

MediaMatrix


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Heike Kurtz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:50
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Depends on the volume Apr 28, 2008

I usually invoice on a "per project" basis. However, if the invoice amount is less than 50 EUR and the customer is likely to place more smaller orders within the month, I usually offer to write my invoice at the end of the month.

I do have a minimum order charge for single "small" projects - when there are several small projects by the same clients within the month, it becomes void also.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Monthly, sometimes quarterly... Apr 28, 2008

... or even every 6 months if the volume of work is low.
The thing is, I'm rubbish at administrating/organising etc. I just billed a client who I'd forgotten to invoice for some small jobs I did for him 2 years ago. If he hadn't reminded me, I'd have forgotten completely. Something similar happened at the end of last month, it turned out I'd forgotten to bill one client for 640 euros and another for almost 1000. Both of them reminded me about it, so big sighs of relief from me. Now that is what I call a good client!



[Edited at 2008-04-28 21:13]


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Ricardo Pereira  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:50
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Both Apr 28, 2008

I do both, depending on the preferences of the client or if the jobs are many, but small.

Cheers, Ricardo
rmpereira.com


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For each project ........ Apr 29, 2008

I sent invoice each time I submit finished translation.
Therefore there is no itemization of the assignment in my invoice during that month.
For big project I write only one invoice in a given month, but for a month in which I performed many small projects (whether for same client or different clients) I submit dozen of them.
Why? This is strictly for bookkeeping purpose, and this way I never forgot writing and sending invoices. I do my bookkeeping by myself.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:50
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I don't give extended credit Apr 29, 2008

Only three agencies have ever asked me to invoice them on a monthly basis (in order to give them up to 60 days to pay!). The cases were as follows:

1) One apparently hard-up agency requested a "collective invoice" after sending me three jobs in the space of a year! This led me to ask if they meant that they wanted an annual invoice - which was the obvious conclusion.

2) An agency which for a short spell of time gave me regular work, but already had a record of paying me extremely late, requested a monthly invoice in order to try to get the credit extended. I refused, because it would have had an adverse effect on my cash flow at the time. In their case, the 60-day credit would have thereafter been stretched out to 90 days.

3) One day a rogue agency came along, as a new customer, asked for a monthly invoice straightaway, ran up a huge bill over the course of a month, and then was unable to pay it, and only ever paid part of it.

The lawyers I work with regularly need a separate invoice for each different client's file, which most of the time means project-by-project invoicing, unless I get several translations in a row in the same case. It suits me anyway. It has a very good effect on my cash flow.

Astrid


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
It happens Apr 29, 2008

neilmac wrote:

... or even every 6 months if the volume of work is low.
Something similar happened at the end of last month, it turned out I'd forgotten to bill one client for 640 euros and another for almost 1000. Both of them reminded me about it, so big sighs of relief from me. Now that is what I call a good client!



[Edited at 2008-04-28 21:13]


Might make a good poll question in and of itself: What's the largest amount you've ever forgot to invoice?

Mine was an entire week of work. Like Neil's client, mine also pointed out my lapse and asked if I had decided to work for free.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:50
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Project by project, followed by monthly statement Apr 29, 2008

I prefer to invoice project by project, to keep my records in order, sending the invoice by email with the job. Then at the end of each month I send a monthly statement to each client by post, detailing amounts received by that date, amounts still owing for past month(s) and total due for the month concerned.
However, a few clients insist on a monthly invoice, which is in fact pretty much like a monthly statement by a different name.
I even keep a detailed record of each job in an account book (paper!!) - how old fashioned - but this system works well for me and I can see at a glance what is still owing. Also, I believe that if the dreaded tax authorities were ever to inspect one, they would require a paper records of some kind as proof, but I could be wrong on that one.
Regards,
Jenny


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Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 04:50
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Client-specific, but there is a trend to cumulative invoicing Apr 29, 2008

As I basically only have regular clients, I normally send them my invoices after every 2-3 jobs (in some cases, this "gets together" within a week, but then there may be a silent period of several months). But I also have clients (with very small jobs) where I invoice practically only twice a year. This means giving away money, I know, but it saves me time (and I hate administration, just like neilmac!), and time is more precious.

The problem is that I see an increasing trend of postponing payment, with different excuses and tricks.
One of my main clients, for instance, explicitly requested to send an invoice after 5-6 jobs only (no such in-house regulation exists, it is only to diminish the administrative burden, they say). Well... There is a constant work flow, so I can accept that. But I am not very happy about that.
But there are two translation agencies that send me jobs regularly at the beginning of the month (very urgent, very important, we have nobody else to do it... you know...), but they accept(!) only an invoice prepared at the end of the month, with a 30 days payment term - actually we are close to 60 days, each time. (In addition, the translator has got to issue an invoice within 15 days from completion according to the Hungarian accounting regulations, so translators are compelled to a breach of the rules, whilst the client can report excellent payment periods.)

Now, I think this is a really dangerous trend and we ought to fight against it. Blue Board?


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