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Poll: Do you manage your billing/payment issues alone or with the help of another person?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:04
SITE STAFF
Jan 20, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you manage your billing/payment issues alone or with the help of another person?".

This poll was originally submitted by Nadine Epstein. View the poll results »



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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 11:04
Turkish to English
+ ...
I manage them on my own Jan 20, 2015

On average, I issue 6-7 invoices per month; that may rise to about 20 invoices in a very busy month. It is hardly a big deal.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:04
Member (2006)
German to English
By myself Jan 20, 2015

However, I give everything that has to do with the tax office to my accountant.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 09:04
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Likewise! Jan 20, 2015

Michael Harris wrote:

However, I give everything that has to do with the tax office to my accountant.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jan 20, 2015

I issue my own bills, and I suppose I should really keep better tabs on them, but I have never been fond of (or good at) administration. However, I also have someone who does my tax returns for me (in Spain, a "gestor") because I'd be even worse at doing that.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
With my therapist Jan 20, 2015

It got to the point where I was having panic attacks ahead of every month-end, but five years of weekly counselling have really helped me take ownership of my billing issues and sometimes I can now type out a whole invoice without having to have a lie-down. Payment reminders, on the other hand, still bring me out in a cold sweat. Any advice?

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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:04
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
same here Jan 20, 2015

Michael Harris wrote:

However, I give everything that has to do with the tax office to my accountant.



@Chris:

Chris S wrote:

Payment reminders, on the other hand, still bring me out in a cold sweat. Any advice?


Just let it go. It's only money, it is supposed to work for you, not against you.
If you feel you might lose too much money by not chasing them, lower your rates, dramatically if needs be, for non-payers - that way, the money you lose is substantially less and will not worry you as much. Rediscover the pleasure you had in translating when you set out!


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
I like it Jan 20, 2015

Marjolein Snippe wrote:

If you feel you might lose too much money by not chasing them, lower your rates, dramatically if needs be, for non-payers - that way, the money you lose is substantially less and will not worry you as much.


Great thinking.

Even better, don't send them an invoice in the first place - kill two birds with one stone!


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Wilsonn Perez Reyes  Identity Verified
El Salvador
Local time: 03:04
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Alone Jan 20, 2015

I would need help only if I earned thousands and thousands of dollars every month.



[Edited at 2015-01-20 11:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-01-20 11:46 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:04
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I feel for you! Jan 20, 2015

Chris S wrote:

It got to the point where I was having panic attacks ahead of every month-end, but five years of weekly counselling have really helped me take ownership of my billing issues and sometimes I can now type out a whole invoice without having to have a lie-down. Payment reminders, on the other hand, still bring me out in a cold sweat. Any advice?


For better or worse (and you get to know the meaning of that phrase, it's not an empty cliché ...) I am married to an economist.

He insists that I chase the non-payers and THEN drop them after they pay. Over the years he has issued one or two third and fourth reminders - in keeping with his practice of impatiently taking everything out of my hands if it does not work after maximum two attempts...

Except for invoices - I have to keep trying until he is satisfied with those, but after that he does not dare let me mess with the Danish tax authorities!

It still takes me all day to make out my invoices... the only thing to do is focus as if it was a proofreading job, which I don't hate quite so much, and get the details right, then jam in the amount and VAT and promise myself a coffee break at the end of the next invoice...

I admit it's almost enough to make me start looking at employment some months. Imagine a pay check just arriving without all that hassle... Then I think of commuting, traffic, having to sit in an office with flesh-and-blood colleagues, their perfume, inane remarks and phone calls...

I'm unemployable anyway, and there is always plenty in my in-tray, so this phase lasts about five minutes and I get back to work.

Stupid really, because it only means I have to make out invoices again... Don't imagine I do this job for the money!!!


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:04
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Domestic / international Jan 20, 2015

I do all my international billing myself. My accountant does my domestic invocies as she has my invoice block at her office with all my other corporate stuff so that makes more sense. I rarely cut domestic invoices though (grand total of one last year).

[Edited at 2015-01-20 13:21 GMT]


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ikeda45  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:04
Member (2007)
English to Japanese
Non-payer Jan 20, 2015

I'm struggling with a non-payer right now. But unfortunately I can't do anything else but sending reminders. So sad. It's the first company I've ever encountered that said they would never pay to their translators when their clients fell behind due date. What a decent company.

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Alberto Montpellier  Identity Verified
Cuba
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Bug them till they pay Jan 20, 2015

Chris S wrote:
Payment reminders, on the other hand, still bring me out in a cold sweat. Any advice?


No other choice. Right now I'm struggling with a payment that should have been made back in October. For a ridiculous amount, by the way. Sometimes I feel tempted to drop the issue, but then I say, what the heck, let's annoy the hell out of them.
Take it as a sport, even if it stresses you out.


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Mariel Azoubel  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:04
English
+ ...
Agreed Jan 20, 2015

Christine Andersen wrote:

Chris S wrote:

Any advice?


Then I think of commuting, traffic, having to sit in an office with flesh-and-blood colleagues, their perfume, inane remarks and phone calls...


The lesser of two evils.
I'd say that's some pretty decent advice.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:04
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Unless you don't feel secure Jan 20, 2015

doing your own accounting, I wouldn't advise anyone to hire an accountant (I am an accountant, I know what I'm saying). In addition to paying taxes and not getting paid by the so-called non-payers, you still want to pay someone to do your accounts? Don't you have to check everything he/she does to see if they are correct? And if you don't, you'll always be in doubt if they are doing the right thing or not?

I have my own controls, my own "reminders" and "warnings", and even a "demand letter" template, if required. I learned how to calculate and submit my income statement (it's not hard at all, believe me), and I only need third party services if all of the above are in vain (in that case, a billing agency or a lawyer), but I only had to do that ONCE in 29 years as a translator.

So my advice is: learn how to do it and get rid of the money-eating third parties. They are really not concerned about your issues. They work as robots, for hundreds of clients at once, and your accounts go through a machine (usually processed by interns, not professionals), all in "auto" mode.


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