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Poll: Do you work for agencies whose payment policy is longer than 45 days after the date of invoice?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:18
SITE STAFF
Aug 9, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you work for agencies whose payment policy is longer than 45 days after the date of invoice?".

This poll was originally submitted by Djana Surkovic. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:18
Member
German to English
+ ...
Yes, but ... Aug 9, 2013

Some of my more established clients have 45 to 60 day payment terms and I'm happy to continue working for them because I know they're good for the money. I won't, however, accept work from new customers which have longer payment terms. That is assuming they have been open about their terms or I have checked, I am perhaps not always as rigorous in checking as I should be!

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 12:18
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 9, 2013

Of course, the rate should be marginally higher to compensate for this.

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Jana Kinská  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:18
English to Czech
+ ...
Yes... Aug 9, 2013

... but I don't like it much.

Mary Worby wrote:

Some of my more established clients have 45 to 60 day payment terms and I'm happy to continue working for them because I know they're good for the money. I won't, however, accept work from new customers which have longer payment terms.


Same here. Also, one or two of my clients I have worked with for a number of years tend to change their payment terms & conditions in the course of time - in other words, extend due periods - so I try to find a compromise, if possible.
I try not to envy my chiropractor, some craftsmen and others who simply get cash immediately in exchange for their service.)


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Aug 9, 2013

Most of my clients pay at 30 days from invoice date or even before, but I have one long-standing customer who pays at 60 days.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 9, 2013

I occasionally work with one agency that pays at 90 days. As long as they do pay in the end, it doesn't bother me.
In the past, I have waited for over a year for payments from official bodies (Spanish regional or local govt), so 3 months isn't all that long in comparison.
In fact, my regional government currently owes 3812 million euros to its suppliers, according to official figures, so getting paid at all can seem like a bonus...


[Edited at 2013-08-09 08:51 GMT]


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:18
Member (2008)
English to Italian
yes/no Aug 9, 2013

Yes: good rate, reliable agency, interesting projects
No: low rate


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:18
Member (2006)
German to English
no Aug 9, 2013

not any more. Only had a couple of them, and even after the 45 days, I always had to chase for the payment.
Most of my customers pay after 2 weeks.


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Alexandranow  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 12:18
Romanian to English
+ ...
no Aug 9, 2013

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you work for agencies whose payment policy is longer than 45 days after the date of invoice?".

This poll was originally submitted by Djana Surkovic. View the poll results »


No, I would not like that, but I had never been offered such a ”bargain” either. I prefer to work for clients who pay as fast as possible, even if for a lower charge. But often they use to pay even better than such agencies who delay in such a way the payment.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:18
English to German
+ ...
I am not McDonalds, they are not McDonalds Aug 9, 2013

I have one client who sends regular work in heavy doses at a 60 days payment due date. After a while you don't notice the delay any longer because the checks come in like a clockwork, even if I sometimes can't remember what exactly I was working on for that amount. They often pay much earlier than expected. I prefer this highly reliable client a hundred times over any other client who promises 30 days but is always a couple of days late.


Edited because I forgot to mention the 60 days...

[Edited at 2013-08-09 10:34 GMT]


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Shabelula
Italy
Local time: 11:18
Italian to English
+ ...
frustrating Aug 9, 2013

I tried a few times and sometimes I still do, especially when the project is appetising for long-term involvement or bulky quantities, but I found this frustrating.

So much so that I start losing the sense of work, take more time to complete the job, feel insecure, etc.

By experience, outsourcers who pay upon delivery won't ask again.

One-week payment seems the best, and punctual payers are delightful.

45-day invoice is fine for large and interesting projects, and only with most reliable agencies.

20% downpayment necessary with occasional private clients found in papers or online (and I always cross my fingers until the settlement arrives)


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Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:18
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
Yes Aug 9, 2013

and it doesn't make any difference to me, provided they pay on time.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:18
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Interest rates are definitely not global! Aug 9, 2013

Please have a look at this table

Today, Aug 9th, 2013, it says monthly interest rates are, to mention a few:
Venezuela: 15.63%
Argentina: 13.25%
Brazil: 8.50%
China: 6.00%
Australia: 2.50%
Canada: 1.00%
Euro Zone: 0.50% (most Western European countries too)
USA: 0.25%

Let's take an example using round figures, a common case for me, supposing a translation agency in the USA hired me for a $1,000 job, while having their end-client paying them for it 4 months after delivery.

Assuming that, as a freelancing translation services provider, I am not at all expected to fund either the agency or the end-client's operating capital, if they paid me 4 months later, and I had to live on overdraft in this meantime, I'd actually receive $1,000 - (4 x 8.5% = $340) = $660 worth.

If the agency instead secured a bank loan in the USA to pay me COD, they'd spend $1,000 + (4 x 0.25%) = $1,010 to settle the loan with the bank after 4 months, when they finally received from the end-client.

If I accepted the 4-mo. payment term, in order to balance things, I should charge that agency $1,340 instead of $1,000.

So if the agency used that loan to pay me COD instead, they'd have a financial profit of ($1,340 - $1,010) = $330 at the expense of greedy Brazilian banks... roughly one-third of the direct cost of the project!

The general conclusion is that while COD payment translation rates should be relatively uniform for each language pair worldwide, rates for delayed payments should include the translator's local interest cost.

Hence, for a COD-paying client, it should make no difference in price whether I am in Sao Paulo or Zürich (interest rate close to zero), as long as I can provide the same service. Now a client willing to pay me, the translator, in 30, 45, or more days should consider the cost of using a local bank loan wherever they are against a "loan" from a translator, say, in Brazil.

I had the opposite case too. A translation agency in Argentina (where interest rates are even higher than in Brazil, as shown above) contacted me, and their proposal was: "We don't mind if you charge us higher rates, as long as you accept payment in 60 days. That's a more sensible cash management approach.

Of course, I have my 'list prices/rates' for my standard 2-week payment term, however I am offering a discount on them presently equivalent to about 3 months' interest in the USA for COD payment. The number of clients who did the math and discovered this unexpected source of profit is growing...


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:18
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 9, 2013

I do indeed and I don't have any problem with it
I have several agency clients [Spain, Italy] who pay 30 days after end on month of receiving the invoice - which in practice can be more than 45 days.
I have two [German] agency clients who operate a 60 day payment term.
I have one Greek agency client accepts invoices at the end of every quarter, and pays them immediately, so I suppose that counts too.
I have been with all these clients for years and they pay absolutely on the nose or early, every time. I wouldn't have any problem taking on new clients with the same payment terms either, provided they are reliable in their payments and professional in other respects.



[Edited at 2013-08-09 12:53 GMT]


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:18
French to German
+ ...
No Aug 9, 2013

Michael Harris wrote:

not any more. Only had a couple of them, and even after the 45 days, I always had to chase for the payment.


Exactly my experience.

I usually get paid after 30 days, some of my clients even pay after after about a week.


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