Poll: Freelancers: What part of your working time goes to administration?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:08
Oct 27, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Freelancers: What part of your working time goes to administration?".

This poll was originally submitted by Marion Schimmelpfennig

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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:08
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Is making quotes considered administration? Oct 27, 2005

If I consider administration only preparing P.O.s and invoices once I have a job for sure, that's one thing, but if I have to count the time I spend answering to requests of quotes, it's another story.


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Marion Schimmelpfennig  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:08
Member (2003)
English to German
It propbably depends on what one considers "administration" Oct 27, 2005

Personally, I consider everything administration that has nothing to do with translation or writing. But I don't consider quotes or answering questions to quotes as administration but rather as "new business work". So I deal with "pure work", new business and administration. But as I said, it depends a bit on how one defines administration.

However, I am glad about the fact that most of us don't seem to have to deal with a great amount of that. Some even have people doing that for them. Lucky ones!!!

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:08
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dunno about that... Oct 27, 2005

Marion Schimmelpfennig wrote:

Some even have people doing that for them. Lucky ones!!!

Where I live, there's the profession of "gestor administrativo", which wouldn't exist if everyone just did their own income tax and filed their own quarterly reports. (Some even do invoicing for extra bucks). Mum was a businesswoman (as well as a writer), so I was brought up and conditioned by background to do all that myself, and having helped an accountant for two years while I was working in-house showed me that the fisc and accounting were pretty straightforward concepts anywhere in the world, once the kinks in the General Accounting Plan were sorted out. When Excel came into the picture, it was a positive breeze, decidedly less than the 10% of the time I was devoting to it up to then. So imagine my surprise when my accountant friends said, open-mouthed, "you're freelance and you do your own accounting???" (As though that were something freaky). See, the "gestores" had created a really high-priestly aura around the profession, and it didn't help that the taxmen were advising sole traders to go to them. There were people who didn't even know their own business figures - beat that - and no one I knew did any kind of benchmarking (something I do almost subconsciously).

The last 10 years have been changing that. First, there's generally higher computer literacy. Secondly, the taxmen are beginning to see it's more profitable to deal with the plebes, and have been getting increasingly more direct in their approach. (But wasn't that the way things were supposed to be?) And more virtual, as well. Now we can do almost everything over the internet.

The only barrier that persists is the fact that the fisc still seems to speak another language, so what the intermediaries are really doing is a kind of translation (more evident when new laws are enforced and everyone has to ask what it means).

The only times I feel I'm losing out to administration is when I actually have to leg it to the queues and spend the whole morning waiting because of some admin foul-up (which intermediaries can't clear, anyway).

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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 19:08
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Everything that I don't get directly paid for. Oct 28, 2005

When I answered this question (10%-20%) I was counting everything related to jobs but not part of the word count or billing hours. That includes working on and sending out my resume, emails and phone calls with clients or prospective clients, quotes, invoices, receipts, receiving and delivering finished work, upkeep on my own paper and electronic files of finished documents and glossaries, working out software incompatibilities with clients/outsourcers, keeping the records that I will later use for taxes. I don't include filling out my tax forms, since I would have to do that anyway--my business is small enough that it falls under our family's personal income tax.

How I wish that I could just translate! Life doesn't work that way.

Later...I left out something that can be one of the most annoying administrative tasks--working out a mutually acceptable method of payment.

[Edited at 2005-10-29 16:35]

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