Poll: Which of the following wreaks the most havoc on your monthly finances?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:49
SITE STAFF
Apr 21, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which of the following wreaks the most havoc on your monthly finances?".

This poll was originally submitted by Alan Corbo, CT. View the poll results »



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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:49
French to English
+ ...
Definitely different payment terms Apr 21, 2013

I have a wide range of clients, most paying the end of the month following receipt of my monthly invoice, which is fine. Others pay within days of receipt (even better!), but some, despite "agreeing" to my terms of 30 days from date of invoice, eke it out and only pay at best two weeks after the due date, so 45 days. Most of the time this works out fine, but I did have a spell last year when I'd done a lot of the work for the agency most often guilty of this delaying tactic AND a major French direct client, which normally pays 30 days from invoice, was obviously having cashflow problems as it took several months to pay invoices, despite enquiries and reminder letters: inevitably this led to cashflow problems at my end. You can easily see why small businesses and freelancers just starting out can't afford to keep going through no fault of their own when this kind of thing happens. Fortunately I usually have a buffer for just sort of eventuality, but it is extremely frustrating.

I suppose it is precisely why it's good to have a wide range of clients and also why some lower rates (within reason) can be acceptable if you know that invoices are always going to be paid promptly.



[Edited at 2013-04-21 09:06 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-04-21 09:08 GMT]


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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:49
Italian to English
Late payments Apr 21, 2013

I answered "other", as I don't mind different payment terms as long as people pay on time. In my case the biggest problem is definitely late payments. I have a few lovely clients who pay like clockwork every month, but I also have some who always pay late (they also happen to be the ones with quite long payment terms to start with) and seem to be getting slower and slower. I am trying to weed out the late payers now as it has caused me some big problems - unfortunately my bills won't wait to be paid!

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:49
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Late payers in sync Apr 21, 2013

Sometimes 3-4 of my clients don't get together, because they live in different countries or continents and have never heard of each other, but they all seem to "have agreed" to pay me late. There seems to be some universal system to make them delay in sync.

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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:49
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
feast and famine Apr 21, 2013

combined with different payment terms. Having a nice sum coming your way but it's another month!
and having to send reminders. Sigh.


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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:49
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Feast, famine, and accounting departments Apr 21, 2013

In two separate cases involving different agencies in different countries, the accounting department decided that my payment should be delayed. In both cases, these were firms that I had worked with for years.
In the first case, the accounting department took exception to the look of my invoice, despite having paid it before, and decided that it was not valid. That required intervention by the PM.
In the second, the accounting department decided that I had not filed the requisite forms, despite having paid me before, and despite my having sent the forms in the past. This also required intervention by PM.
What was truly irritating was that, like José's cases, each was the agency for which I had done an enormous amount of work that month, so the delay was actually economically painful instead of just a minor irritant.


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:49
German to English
+ ...
Thanks for the reminder Apr 21, 2013

I keep track of who owes me what and when, but late payments do upset the apple cart occasionally. Most of my clients are really super; 30 days right on time, every time. One even pays me a little early occasionally.

Thank you to the pollster for reminding me about my only 45-day client, who needs encouragement to cough up.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feast & Famine Apr 21, 2013

Well, I don't usually feast, except for a Reuben's sandwich with pastrami once or twice a year. Famine? Not a chance: I keep 3 lb cans of mixed nuts handy at all times.

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Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Transaction Fees Apr 21, 2013

I do high-volume translations, mostly books, and the large fees I charge are really hit hard by PayPal fees when I'm being paid by an individual or agency from Europe.

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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:49
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Excessive taxes Apr 21, 2013

This is the big problem in Brazil. We have hundreds of different taxes that are tearing the economy to shreds. The taxes in Brazil are the highest in the world, and billions go to the World Cup we neither want nor need.

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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feast and famine Apr 22, 2013

That and one of my biggest clients went from 30 days to 45 days, and I'm still trying to adjust.

My newest evil scheme is to be able to feast more often.. buahaha..


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 22, 2013

My biggest problem really long jobs because there's a stretch where there's no money coming in. I don't condider this feast or famine, because I'm working at my regular pace all along, but there's no money to collect.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:49
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Feast or famine Apr 22, 2013

Feast or famine is the worst problem for me, in the sense that it's so frustrating to have to turn down work because of impossibly tight deadlines, especially when two or more "ultra-urgent" offers arrive simultaneously after a period of drought.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:49
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other Apr 22, 2013

different paying terms + long payment terms. As lon as I get paid within 30 days from the invoice I am ok. Otherwise I have to use my time for something that will be paid very late.

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